The Cedar
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The Cedar

Band Alternative Folk

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"Keynsham Festival Live Review"

Singer and songwriter Neil Gay explained he was wearing sunglasses because he wanted to look cool. He was without doubt the only one there who was looking cool.
The rest of us, sweltering in an area without any shade, were taking on all the chic-ness of a melting ice lolly. But those who were braving the hot sun were rewarded by an extremely enjoyable set.
The Cedar, who'd stepped in at the last minute to replace a band forced to cancel, are Neil Gay and keyboardist and glockenspiel player Eleanor Murphy, but we have become accustomed to seeing them surrounded by other musicians. This however, was quite a cut down version of The Cedar with the only extra musician being Emma Hooper on viola.
Even so, the viola, keyboards and Gay's guitar wove nicely layered lush sounds behind Gay's smokey and somewhat fragile vocals.
The songs were quiet, thoughtful and delivered without fuss and could have been quite soporific in the heat except that the quality of songs and musicianship, not to mention some superb lyrics, kept you interested.
Neil Gay's witty banter and self-deprecating humour between songs- and Canadian Emma Hooper's terrible 'quiz' - kept it upbeat.
Altogether an involving experience but then we have come to expect nothing less from The Cedar. Rating 4/5. KEITH CLARK - Bristol Evening Post


"Live Review Colston Hall"

Colston Hall Bristol
Any band that lists ukelele, banjo, glockenspiel and guitar tuners among their instrumentation have got to have earned their place playing in the same venue on the same night as The Be Good Tanyas. Based around the duo of Neil Gay and Eleanor Murphy, The Cedar transform into a six piece ‘depending on the venue, the phase of the moon, cash flow and other commitments’. But whether in their diminutive or expanded incarnations, the quality and honesty of their songwriting gently shuffles to the fore, aided and abetted by some genuinely intriguing and imaginative arrangements. Leftfield

- Leftfield


"What's on the Crackerjack stereo"

The Cedar : 'I'm Always Telling Mom How It's Different Here'.

Now available on iTunes or at any of their gigs is this fantastic debut album from Bristol/Bath collective The Cedar. If there was any justice in the world it would be available in every shop on the planet, as it's stunning, giving full expression to the beautiful songwriting and top-class musicianship of this local band. - Bristol Evening Post : Album Review


"The Cedar : Album Review"

The Cedar : 'I'm Always Explaining To Mom How It's Different Here'.
"Neat title evocative of a Raymond Carver short story : check.
Gorgeous packaging involving William Morris wallpaper, photographs, quirky jottings and hand tied raffia string ! : check.
Appealing folksy songs full of incisive thought ("You had your scarf wrapped round like a city wall"- "Don't Say Those Things") and subtle, as-good-as-Arcade-Fire instrumentation in the form of not only strings, drums and synths but also ukeleles, glockenspiels, autoharps, banjolines, karimbas, accordions, French horns,clarinets and rattles all bent to the noble service of sweet, humming-to-yourself-on-a-sunny-autumn-day melodies by six gifted boys and girls from Bath, Bristol, Canada and Ireland who have impressed crowds at all the local festivals yet would probably no more brag about their listen-worthiness than they would set up a hedge fund so we'll have to do it for them : check." Anna Britten 4/5 www.the-cedar.co.uk - Venue Magazine


Discography

'The Problem With Friendly Advice' EP 2005
'Grannies' Knitting Cafe' EP 2006
"I'm Always Explaining To Mom How It Is Different Here' LP 2008 Released in Germany in 2009

Steve Lamacq played 'Sorely Missed' from the LP on his BBC radio 2 show . You can hear it for yourself if you like by going to (from about 50 mins in):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00d0t0t/
Western Canadian radio station, CKUA had a copy of the new album for just over 24hours before it played 'Room To Beat' from the LP

Photos

Bio

Six highly individual musicians with diverse influences. Mix them together and add some 30 instruments that they can play between them and you have the sound of The Cedar.
Based in Bristol and Bath in the South West of England they are a multi-national band with Eleanor from Ireland and Emma from Canada. Having all toured and played professionally for other bands they decided to get together and write their own songs based around the lyrical skills of Neil Gay, the frontman. Neil, banned until recently from Facebook because of his surname, is the principal writer but the classical music influence of Eleanor and Emma is acknowledged on five of the eleven tracks of their debut album : 'I'm always explaining to Mom how it's different here'. The title of course comes from Emma's self-imposed exile from Canada and the long explanatory emails to her family on how weird and wonderful it is in the Wild West of England. Choosing the titles and creating the artwork and design for their CDs is very much part of the whole ethos of the band. 'Grannies' Knitting Cafe' was a term coined by Ben Hostler to describe Bristol's Folk House, a somewhat venerable but much loved music venue, where most of the material on the EP was first aired to an audience. The original sleeves were hand sewn and monogrammed by El, Em and Beth who could be seen knitting on stage when their services were not required for a particular song. The first EP 'T.P.W.F.A.'was largely the work of Neil who had this drawing of a bald Mr. McGoo type character in his head and on the cover of the EP. This character was used as the design for the string puppet featured in some publicity shots and ,as yet , Neil has not been allowed by the others to introduce him to the stage.
The Cedar played Glastonbury in 2007/8/9, Trowbridge Village Pump Festival and all of the smaller Festivals in the South West. They toured Northern Germany in March 2009 and again in October/November. They also performed in Holland and Iceland. They have played London regularly in the past and featured on Musflash TV and Beatcast TV.