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"Review in The Apex"

Inspired by traditional singer/songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLachlan, Tracy Chapman and James Taylor to name but a few, Stryngs offer today's music scene quiet beautiful reflections.

Acoustic guitars, harmonies, violin, gentle bass and drums make this release a delicate piece of listening. Personally this is not the sort of thing I would have on my stereo all the time, as it is quite a sombre mood creator in some places. However, it is definitely something to have in the collection for when you are after something downbeat and lyrical.

It's an all round thought provoker. (By this I mean it puts you in a quiet reflective space.) There is clearly a lot of personal experience poured into the beautifully crafted and poetic lyrics, but the feeling seems to be lost on some of the songs in this recording. I think its because although they are carefully considered I find the lyrics a bit intense; almost too beautiful if that's possible.

But I have to take my hat off to Strings who writes them, as I am informed she has won prizes for her poetry. I suspect that in order to hear the band at their best would be to catch them live, and then an easier connection can be made with the music on this CD.

Sarah Spenser - The Apex

"The Thrill Of Maintaining Momentum"

It is always a pleasant breath of fresh air in a magazine focused upon bass to occasionally get an album where the focus is on the songs and the overall presentation of the band. Bass-focused albums sometimes suffer from a lack of balance that would bring in the public in general. Bassists buy bassists' albums, that is their main demographic. Sales of over 75,000 for an album are considered huge success for a solo bass player. Ten thousand is considered doing really quite well. Truly hitting the big time demands higher counts than that. The same goes for great folk groups like Stryngs. Fighting for high sales in this musical genre is no walk in the park either. It demands impactive tunes, impressive and different sounding vocals, and very well played instruments. Stryngs has all this. So having a talented player like Marshall in a band such as Stryngs allows two positive elements to help each other hand over hand towards success. In a slightly different genre but close enough to serve as an example, there is Alison Krauss and Union Station. If Stryngs can keep it together over a period of time and albums, they have a real chance at a kick at fame in much the same way and for the same reasons. Aint nuthin' beats a different voice, strong tunes and great players! - Bass Inside Magazine


2003 - Debut Album, "The Thrill Of Maintaining Momentum"
2005 - CD Single, previewing new material for the second album, "Eremos"
2006 - Second Album, "Love and Other Vices"


Feeling a bit camera shy


In the words of Martin Giles (March 2003):-
"On a cold evening in January 2000, I found myself in the basement of a cafe in Earl's Court being entertained with renditions of Joni Mitchell songs by some of her enthusiastic fans. The bass player, Chris Marshall, introduced me to another member of the audience - Strings. We soon became friends, and I started playing the guitar again after a long hiatus. That summer, I accompanied Chris and Strings at another Joni Mitchell 'get together', with promising results.

It was late in 2001 before Strings and I began writing songs together. We chose one of her existing poems and - with a little adaptation - soon had our first song, 'See You In The Puddles'. A week later, the same formula produced 'Trick Of The Light'. Suitably encouraged, we tried writing from scratch and quickly found ourselves with 'Perfect Cruelty'. Armed with these three, we visited Chris, for a little of his lyrical bass magic.

With our first songs, our method had been to sit down with guitar and tape recorder and experiment with ideas. A different approach came about with 'Frank's Song'. Strings told me the story of a man she met at the hospital where she was training. She asked me to write some suitable music which I then posted her on a cassette, enabling her to write the lyrics and a melody. Finally we got together to complete the song, and once again, extra depth was provided by Chris' bass.

By midsummer 2002, it was apparent that we would soon have enough material for an album, so concerted rehearsals began at weekends, in anticipation of studio sessions. I had always wanted a violin on several of our songs, and in October, we tracked down a fantastic player - Anna McElligot, who (with very little direction) supplied everything we needed. In November we began recording the album at Phoenix Sound. 'That Night' and 'Convince' were hot off the press, but 'Two Shiny Buckets' was only written towards the end of the studio sessions. Erik Stams added late (yet perfectly timed!) drums in February 2003.

I have spent many years frustrated in the search for like-minded musicians, always facing the 'artistic differences' struggle. For the first time in my life, I am working with people with whom I am completely in tune. I am delighted to have finally found Strings and Chris - and am very proud of this album."

Influences: Various poets, and artists such as Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. Attention to detail in our own songs is something that sets us apart and gets us noticed: the lyrics and arrangements are agonised over to ensure we get the most from them we can.

2004 saw the band expand horizons, adding a full time drummer. 2004, 2005 and 2006 was the gestation period for the band's second album, Love and Other Vices, release in early 2006.