Sunday Driver
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Sunday Driver

Cambridge, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Cambridge, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
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...the more upbeat ‘The Suitor,’ although it probably has less ‘Indian’ influence running through it is a terrific track with some really neat guitar work while Chandy’s vocals are more mid-range and remind me of Bec Newman from The Hot Puppies. Likewise, the more jazz themed ‘Clockwork Tiger,’ is an interesting listen with little clarinet runs buzzing around like a frantic bumble bee.

For me however, it’s the draw of the more Indian based songs that appeal. ‘Myself,’ features the distinct sound of the tabla together with some light sitar mixed in amongst the body of the work. And although it is of much slower pace and quieter than the music I’d normally listen to, ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram,’ is beautifully atmospheric creating images of a pink-hued sun shrouded in an early morning mist, rising slowly into the sky as below it the ground begins to steam under its hazy glow. (It does – it really does! I love this track!) - loudhorizon


The showcase was climaxed, at the Royal Northern College of Music on Friday night, by the fusion band Sunday Driver, which has seven principal members. Led by the impressive Chandy Nath on lead vocals the group speicialises in merging Asian music with indie and rock. They achieve this by incorporating tabla and sitar into a live set consisting of harp, clarinet, drums and guitars. The lyrics are mainly in English with the occasional sections in Sanskrit.
.... It is a great way to climax four days of creative energy and non-stop performances. - The Stage


... "The Mutiny" is an album that can work on so many levels because there are so many aspects to it. You can allow yourself to be seduced by the sounds and melody, alternatively you can feel your way in via the intelligent lyrics or you can go the whole hog and embrace the whole. However you chose to do it you will find a different listening experience.

It's a difficult sound to describe in its entirety. I guess it could be called world fusion, perhaps old world fusion, is a more accurate interpretation. Regardless, this is an album that has so much going for it. One you can return to time and time again. "The Mutiny" is as beautiful and dangerous as a Bengal tiger caught by the tail.

Neil King - Fatea


What glorious luck! Sunday Driver are a band with a glorious sitar led sound; appearing just as Slumdog Millionaire, with its accompanying A. R. Rahman composed soundtrack, has turned attention over to music from the east.Pre-Slumdog Nitin Sawhney had already blazed a trail with his unique crossover sound; a multicultural fusion that combines traditional Asian influences with pop collaborations. Can Sunday Driver follow suit?

‘The Gayatri Mantra’ is a sacred mantra, often chanted in the religions of Hinduism and Brahmoism that celebrates unity; it has been interpreted in many different ways through spoken verse and music. Sunday Driver carries the majesty of the chant with driving sitar and pounding tabla, producing something positively pulchritudinous and vital. The single, taken from their album In the City of Dreadful Nightoozes conflagrant energy.

B-side ‘Rats’, likely a metaphor describing the scuttling rodents that prowl subways and concrete mazes just before nine and just after five, showcases the range and dexterity of Chandy Nath’s vocals. Certainly it is a more folk assimilated song which bristles along rather nicely.

What we have is something playful that moves beyond that horribly constrictive term ‘World Music’ – those two words that usually make you reach for the plug in a flash. ‘The Gayatri Mantra’ is a little sample that whets the whistle, enticing you to want to see Sunday Driver live to experience the exquisiteness first hand.

Sunday Driver: 7/10 - Audioscribbler


ie britische Band Sunday Driver ist ein neues Beispiel für die musikalische Vielfalt des Steampunks. Dieses Mal kommt diese exotische Interpretation nicht aus der entfernten USA sondern direkt aus der europäischen Ecke, dem United Kingdom. Sunday Driver ist dabei auch gar nicht das, was man gewöhnlich unter Steampunk versteht: Sie mischen indische Einflüsse mit viktorianischen britischen Klängen und erwecken dabei auch Eindruck von „World Music“.


Die siebenköpfige Band aus Cambridge hat gerade im vergangenen Jahr auf vielen Festivals gespielt. Mit von der Partie sind Joel Clayton an Gitarre und Sitar, Kat Arney an Harfe, Klarinette und Spoons, Amit Jogia mit der Tabla, Melon am Bass und Chemise an der Gitarre. Chandy Nath leiht den Liedern ihre schöne Stimme und schließlich Scot Jowett an den Drums.

Ihr erstes Album von 2009 „In the City of Dreadful Night“, das auch vom britischen Arts Council unterstützt wurde wird jetzt im neuen Jahr im April auch durch ein zweites „The Mutiny“ unterstützt. Daher hier einmal im Vorfeld etwas über das erste Album.

Schon das Cover gefällt mir, es ist schwarzweiß, eine viktorianisch anmutende Zeichnung einer Stadt – oder wohl eher genauer Gebäude und viktorianisch gekleideter Menschen. Das innere des Booklets wirkt wie eine wirre Tageszeitung und lässt sich durchaus länger betrachten.

Die Einstimmung fällt dem Song The Gayatri Mantra zu. Er ist sehr orientalisch angehaucht und zeigt sofort die Connection zu den indischen Einflüssen auf. Ansonsten haut mich der Song nicht so aus den Socken und kommt mir mehr wie ein langes Intro vor.

Meine absoluten Lieblingssongs sind Black Spider und Heroes. Ersterer steht auch zum freien Download auf der Website von Sunday Driver zur Verfügung. Hier ist der Refrain besonders mitreißend, er hat auch gleichzeitig etwas Düsteres. Auch die Instrumentauswahl und die tüpfelnden Klänge lassen mich irgendwie an das Krabbeln von langen Spinnenbeinen denken.

Heroes beginnt recht unspektakulär aber besonders das Ende wird mitreißend und schneller. Mit etwas poetischen Gesängen über Helden, die das Licht und die Aufmerksamkeit lieben, wird es dann schnell dramatisch. Schließlich setzt ein Intro ein, dann ändert sich die Stimmung von fast andächtig zu fetzig. Wirklich zu empfehlen.


Sweet Dreams ist wieder ein sehr ruhiger Song. Die Gitarren- und Harfenklänge plätschern so dahin, sind sehr entspannend. Entfernt erinnert mich der Song sogar an My Immortal von Evanescence. Weiter geht es mit dem Lied Bakul Bagan Road, das ich kurz mysteriös nennen würde. Es beginnt passend dazu auch Mantra artig mit „Tell me, tell me, tell me“. Die Instrumente sind hier besonders orientalisch und erinnern an indische Bauchtänzerinnen.

Der folgende Snow Song ist wieder ganz ruhig, fast leise. Zwischendurch hat man das Gefühl Chandy flüstert fast. Spindrift ändert nicht viel an dem Eindruck. Hier ist sogar die instrumentale Begleitung minimal, aber dafür wirklich schön. Manchmal hilft es auch, die Dinge einfach und kurz zu halten.

Down by the Den beginnt mit Trommeln, dann geht es orientalisch weiter. Der Refrain ist besonders rhythmisch und auch der orientalische Einfluss wird immer stärker. Gegensatz dazu bietet gleich wieder Rats. Diese Song mag ich wegen der unterschiedlichen Aspekte. Manchmal – besonders in der Bridge – wird es plötzlich besonders dramatisch dann wieder ruhig. Das Ganze ist etwas zackiger und wuseliger – vielleicht umauch an Ratten zu erinnern?

Bol and Spoon beginnt ganz anders als der Rest mit einer Art Sprechgesang. Auch dieses Lied ist sehr orientalisches angehaucht. Es wird komplett auf indisch (?) gesungen. Gefallen tut mir der Refrain, der etwas von Chorälen hat und dramatisch ist. Ich könnte ihn mir gut als dramatische Untermalung eines Thrillers vorstellen – der Held muss schnell die Welt retten, die am seidenen Faden hängt.

Naked Bodies beendet das Album dann auch schon und wirklich gut. Es ist einer des besten Songs der Scheibe. Die spitzen Töne und der hohe Gesang geben dem Text eine gewisse Würze, die auch nicht zu dick aufgetragen ist.

Gerade hat Sunday Driver auch bei Bandcamp ein digitales Album ihrer Vintage Collection hochgeladen, das für 7 Pfund zum Download bereitsteht. Es ist ein digitales 13 Track Album, dessen Songs zwischen 2001-2006 aufgenommen wurden und sich daher meiner Meinung nach vom Stil her etwas vom ersten Album abheben. Das ist aber gar nicht schlecht, da hier der World Music Effekt etwas zurücktritt und gerade denen zu gute kommt.

Besonders zu empfehlen ist hier der Song Valentine, ein ruhiges entspanntes Lied das nicht nur am Tag der Liebenden – den Valentinstag – das Herz warm hält. Chandys klare Stimme schafft gemeinsam mit den Klaviertönen eine romantische Atmosphäre, die mich ganz still und andächtig werden lässt. Vielleicht hängt diese Gefühlstiefe damit zusammen, dass sie ihn auch geschrieben hat.
Ich empfehle wirklich jedem da einmal hineinzuhorchen. - Musikgraph


In August of 2009, the theatrical seven-piece world/fusion group Sunday Driver showed up for a gig in Brighton. To the surprise of the costume-loving, historically inspired crew, their audience was also dressed entirely in period garb.

What Sunday Driver didn’t know at the time was that they had walked straight into the steampunk sub-genre, a genre that harkens back to the Victorian period, favoring individuality, alternate histories and even alternate universes (think HG Wells’ “The Time Machine” or the 2011 film “Hugo”). The band had never done anything to try to fit into this genre, but after being billed as a steampunk act once, they made their home there.

“It’s important to understand initially we were discovered by steampunk, not vice versa,” explains the band’s guitar and sitar player Joel Clayton. “Our artwork, our songs drawing on Dickensian living, the view of the British Raj from India’s point of view, the fact we were dressing up as lost Victorians on stage back in 2008 – these things are what brought us into the genre.”

Sunday Driver consists of Joel; Chandy Nath on vocals; Kat Amey on harp, clarinet and spoons; Amit Jogia on tabla; Melon on bass; Chemise on guitar and Scot Jowett on drums.

A band that fuses their European and Indian sounds to bring something wholly their own, Sunday Driver formed in Cambridge in 2000, and as some band members have come and gone, they’ve solidified their ideal group. Having funded three records through grants from the Arts Council England, they recently launched a Pledge campaign to help them follow through on some grand ideas and tour their latest project – “The Mutiny.” Though they don’t have a record label, Joel says the collective has learned how to operate as their own mini-label of sorts.

“By the time we went in to record ‘The Mutiny,’ we really knew what we were doing as a unit,” he explains. “We had defined roles outside of our musicianship. I had become the manager of the band, Mel our producer, Chandy was left to focus on being a singer, Chemise our treasurer and Kat our logistics organiser. We function as an indie record label off stage and as a band on stage and in the rehearsal room.”

Now that “The Mutiny” has been recorded, Sunday Driver are gearing up to tour and promote their newest work. Plus, they’ve got some super innovative ideas burning on their brains, and they’re ready to make those ideas a reality. The band, which has been known to feature spoken word artists like Beyonder in their live show, are hoping to take that collaboration into the studio and add another dimension to their music.

“Beyonder raps about mutinous rats and war torn soldiers over verses on the new tracks,” says Joel. “What we’d like to do in the future is take this into the studio and give Beyonder and some other spoken word artists the opportunity to remix or just add their stories to the instrumental tracks from ‘The Mutiny.’” And that’s not all the band is hoping to do through their Pledge campaign. Kat speaks a little more to the US tour they’d love to launch this year. I ask what they would do if resources were unlimited and they could dream fully unfettered.

“The costs of taking that many people to the US with visas is huge,” Kat points out. “But we know that there’s a big market for us over there, which we’d love to reach. If we were able to cover costs so we could just get away and write more music – unpaid leave, travel, accommodations, biscuits – we would love to go away to a house somewhere for a fortnight or even a month and focus on writing and demoing new material.”

Chandy, who brings a beautiful sound to the band with her wildly entertaining vocals, actually spent two years (1999-2000) as a glaciologist researching the behavior of ice flows to understand how the Antarctic ice sheet might respond to global warming. She says it was then she became the most enamored with songwriting.

There’s no better way to fill your mind when it’s minus 20 degrees celsius and you’ve been camped out on the ice with the same three guys for weeks on end. It was great fun though,” she says. Though she no longer has a layer of ice beneath her feet to spur her to write, Chandy still finds ways to seek out inspiration. And you might be surprised at what tops her list.

“The music of speech and the lilt of people’s voices – this gives me loads of ideas for tunes,” she says. “In London, where everyone has different accents and speaks different languages, intonation says more than words. My life’s ambition is to reduce all communication to five musical notes.”

Adding his two cents when I ask about the overall personality of the band, Chemise sums it up for me in one (fairly) simple picture:

“Imagine a cricket match – where the umpire is drunk and the teams try to make each other cry with hurtful taunts,” he jokes. - Pledgemusic.com


This review and photo have been confirmed for the next edition which is due out after the submission deadline.. check the URL for copy once it's out - R2R


This review and photo have been confirmed for the next edition which is due out after the submission deadline.. check the URL for copy once it's out - Songlines


See bio or www.sundaydriver.co.uk/press.htm - Sundaydriver.co.uk


Discography

The Mutiny by Sunday Driver
CAT N.O: BBR003
Release: April 20 (2012)

In the City of Dreadful Night by Sunday Driver
CAT N.O: BBR001
Released: 2009
Sold: 900+ CD units (US/UK/Europe/Australia)
1,100+ digital units (over 50% of iTunes to US)
Accolades:
Secured press reviews of Mutiny for Ap/May 2012 The Sunday Times, Songlines and Rock n Reel.
Spot play BBC RADIO 3 , BBC RADIO 6, Asian Network.
Fatea Magazine Award for Innovation 2009
Best Steampunk Band Facebook Awards 2010
Songs from the album featured in the soundtrack for the new British feature film ‘Junkhearts’, starring Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes / V for Vendetta) .
Songs from the album featured in the Radio 4 documentry ‘Jatropha the Wonder Plant‘.

The Gayatri Mantra / Rats double A-side by Sunday Driver
CAT N.O BBR002
Released: Feb 2010
Double A-side single taken from In the City of Dreadful Night.
Multiple BBC radio interviews and plays including national and regional

Hear lots here www.soundcloud.com/sundaydriveruk

*Note - Stage plan included in tech ryder

Photos

Bio

Award-winning British-Asian 7-piece band Sunday Driver are forging a new genre of fusion that blends contemporary styles with eastern influences, instrumentation and stories.

Formed in Cambridge in 2000, Sunday Driver have grown from a small acoustic act to a riotous 7-piece band, which in 2011 toured the UK , Germany and the US. Their unique line up comprises clarinet, tabla, drums, sitar, concert harp, guitar, vocals, and a pair of old dessert spoons.

Following their acclaimed 2010 album "In The City of Dreadful Night" – for which they received an innovation award from Fatea magazine - the band secured their third UK Arts Council grant, to record "The Mutiny". Due for release in April 2012, the album has already secured national radio play on the BBC, with reviews in major broadsheets confirmed.

""The Mutiny" is as beautiful and dangerous as a Bengal tiger caught by the tail" Fatea records.

The band is well known for its innovative creative projects. Earlier in 2012 the official video of "the Concubine Waltz" - funded and made by US fans - hit over 5000 downloads within a few days of release.

And in 2011 the band used its arts council grant to develop a live show incorporating spoken word and Kathak dance, which led to a high profile slot at the 2011 Decibel arts showcase at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, UK) :

"The synergy between the band members is also contagious. It is a great way to climax four days of creative energy and non-stop performances." The Stage Magazine

"In The City of Dreadful Night", released in 2009, evokes the shadowy landscapes of Victorian Calcutta and London and won FATEA music magazine's innovation award in 2010.

"Dreadful Night" was featured on radio stations including BBC Asian Network (both the Nikki Bedi show and Pathaan’s musical rickshaw), BBC 6 Music (Tom Robinson), and numerous local and regoinal radio stations.

Sunday Driver are well known for their curiosity for experimenting with new sounds. The Mutiny" represents a significant step forward in the band's songwriting and musicianship, drawing on influences as diverse as the Indian Mutiny of 1857, a malevolent mechanical tiger, traditional Indian melodies and mantras, and fallen dictators.

Recent highlight performances include the Cambridge Folk Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Hall front room (supporting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment), The World Steam Expo (USA), a headline slot at Inselsommer Festival (Germany), a headline slot at The Asylum (the UK's premier steampunk festival) as well as supporting various high profile bands including Raghu Dixit and The Levellers.