The Rum Circus
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The Rum Circus


Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Playlist"

"Four Points On The Compass".

A bit of a revelation as far as unsigned bands are concerned. A unique blend of romanticism and theatre that brings to mind The Arcade Fire. - Playmusic magazine

"The Rum Circus Gabriel"

It’s always dangerous to read press releases prior to listening to demo’s as they can put the wrong ideas in your head when influences are mentioned. The Rum Circus mention Scott Walker, Jacques Brel, Polly Jean and The Bad Seeds. For once they aren’t a million miles off of the mark, though the songs are slightler poppier and accessible on first listen. Not unlike children’s novels of old though the more you look beneath the surface the darker they become, not unlike the work of Nick Cave.

A four piece they are a combination of classically trained guitarist Becca Grover, Serbian drummer Velibor Krstic and bassist Gavin Jay who has previously played with Morrissey and The Soho Dolls. Lead singer Chesca Grover, sometime Boy George collaborator, completes the line up and it is her songwriting that marks this band out from others. Opening track Gabriel is the most immediate and infectious and whilst sugary sweet it’s the sort of candy that leads to danger a la Hansel and Gretel. The piano and vocal combination reminds of Black Box Recorder and the content wouldn’t sound out of place in a Bad Seeds novel “the bats they drain him while he sleeps, maybe that’s why he’s so pale and thin”. Infectious, it will grow on you each listen.

'Cherry' covers the theme of the parting of a lover but the quality of the lyrics puts many of their peers to shame. When Klaus Comes is faster and showcases another side to the band, an energetic PJ Harvey springs to mind.

Worthy of your attention, their next gig is at The Water Rats in Kings Cross on Saturday 15th July. - SoundsXP

"The Rum Circus - Live Launch Party"

If you often emerge from your bed late in the afternoon with your make up still on, light a fag whilst mixing a bloody Mary, and then step into something sequined for another debauched all-nighter, then you would have been right at home at the Old Blue Last for the launch of The Rum Circus' debut single.

With fairy lights adorning the walls, a series of old black and white films projected onto a huge screen, Ella Fitzgerald singing "The Lady is a Tramp", and a dazzling array of colourful, burlesque characters strutting about in the smoky haze, I felt like a spare corset at the Moulin Rouge. If only I had remembered my red lippy!

A burly drag queen complete with huge fake eyelashes, Essex-style white boots and handbag introduced a succession of circus acts, from a fire-eating sailor girl, to a seductive, feline dancer (nice nipple tassels!) and a puppet freak show. The highlight for me though, was the special appearance of a childhood hero of mine - none other than DJ Boy George!

The place was crammed by ten o'clock when the four-piece finally took to the stage. The first couple of songs indicated that at the band's creative core is the lead singer/guitarist, Chesca. With her strong, broody voice, hair adorned with flowers, and clutching a plastic mug of ship's rum, she was almost snogging the microphone with dramatic fervour.

The reason for this mad party was to celebrate the release of "Four Points on the Compass", the band's debut single and third song of the night. This dark, moody number proved once and for all that "la, la, la, la" is an under-rated lyric that, when used carefully, can convey so much more than most people give it credit for.

A cello player arrived onstage to exquisitely complement the songs "Cherry" and "Gabrielle". The first, an optimistic number with rapidly-delivered lyrics, was about being in love when you're dead (!). The second a melodic, sweetly-cynical song that saw the main singer swap her guitar for a keyboard and cast a rousing, hypnotic spell whilst lead and bass provided stirring backing vocals.

My favourite track, "America " was an ode to the big man himself (God, not George W. Bush) and juxtaposed bouncy, bashy chords with derisively depressing lyrics such as the harsh-but-fair "He won't even notice you when you call his name to praise him". "Pull Out My Eyes" was one of the more up tempo, good-time numbers, with better backing vocals than previous songs. I suspect the drummer was providing harmonies, but I couldn't quite see through all the feathers obscuring my view!

The set ended with something that would have offended my young ears as I played Karma Chameleon on cassette back in the eighties "Thanks for coming everyone, and big thanks to Boy George, you f*cking slag!"

Although the lyrics were occasionally undecipherable, The Rum Circus entertained with highly-watchable, very passionate, kick-you-up-the-arse stuff. A theatrical, sensory overload of a night. - [the-mag]

"Tastemakers Tips - Music Week"

"I've been following The Rum Circus through every stage of their evolution (from Persecution Complex via C33X and a stint as Boy George's backing band), from Patti-meets-Roxy stylings to enigmatic country-noir, with the Grover sisters' fiercely individual look and charismatic live performances a constant, and I consider them one of the best kept secrets of the London underground." Simon Price, Independent On Sunday - Simon Price, Independent On Sunday


Four Points On The Compass (single - 2007 release) with b-side, When Klaus Comes. Streaming play.



The Rum Circus weave luscious arrangements into tall tales and murderous blues. They write about dreams, animals, love and death. They play as if their lives depended on it.

History and Profile

The Rum Circus were formed in 2007 by classically trained sisters Chesca and B, Gavin Jay and Serbian Prince Velibor. From the bones of Chesca’s brooding songwriting, the band put together a set of raucous, rebel rousing tunes and have been playing in and around London.

Gavin Jay has previous experience in both fine art and music. He previously relocated to LA where he toured with Morrissey and is now the bassist and art director for The Rum Circus.

Drummer Prince Velibor studied music and drums in London before meeting with the other members of The Rum Circus in autumn 2006.

Trained as a violinist, B is the lead guitarist for The Rum Circus. Her individual style is influenced by Mick Ronson and Keith Richards, and she has played on records for Ian Astbury and Boy George.

As principle songwriter for the band, Chesca’s unique voice has been compared to Scott Walker and Jeff Buckley. She has performed live on TV and film and has worked with Boy George on projects in London and New York.


Their live shows have garnered universal praise for their exciting and uncompromising performances. Their free ‘Rock n’ roll Rum Circus’ parties held around London have proved an unprecedented success. They have attracted the attention of Boy George who offered his DJ skills at their ‘Rum Circus Sideshow’ party in The Old Blue Last (Vice Magazine) this past January.


Their debut single ‘Four Points on the Compass’ was released in January ‘07 on the group’s own Yellowbelly label.

“A deliciously evocative drive through the cinematic landscape of Lynch, surrealism and film noir, picking up Tom Waits, Bat For Lashes, PJ Harvey and Marianne Faithfull along the way”

The Rum Circus have worked with director Brian Sullivan on two videos for their download tracks. Both are available on their MySpace and You Tube pages and have been played on internet and independent music channels. Strokes producer Gordon Raphael is a fan of the group and has worked with them on several recordings.


The Rum Circus have been championed by Los Angeles’ KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. Internet stations welcomed the single ‘Four Points On The Compass’ and the band have been on regular rotation by various stations including Baroque Pop Radio, Matchbox, Kill Radio, KEXP and Indie 103FM.


The Rum Circus have been collaborating with cellist Joanna Quail (SonVer / Hush The Many) and other instrumentalists both in live, stripped-down acoustic shows and on new recordings.

They are currently in pre-production on their next single and aim to release their first album this year