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Curtis Eller @ Shakespeares 19.06.15 + The Silver Darlings


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On Friday June 19th, WagonWheel Presents… is delighted to welcome Curtis Eller’s American Circus to Shakespeares in a joint promotion with Four Rivers. Curtis Eller is one of the most eccentric and individual performers in today’s independent music scene. The wild-eyed vaudevillian’s banjo-driven, rock & roll songs describe a dreamlike vision of American history. After sharpening their skills in the burlesque houses, beer halls and underground theatres of the US, Canada and Europe, the band returns to the UK with a collection of show tunes, dance fads and gospel music whose lyrics are populated by two-bit prize fighters, Hollywood has-beens, grave-robbers and forgotten pop-stars. Where else are you going to hear a song about the filth and corruption of the Chicago meatpacking industry of the 1890’s?


Support comes from The Silver Darlings. Advance tickets priced at £8 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/320755 or entry on the night will be £10. Doors open 8pm.






Curtis Eller is a banjo player, songwriter and rock & roll singer. After beginning his show business career at the age of seven as a juggler and acrobat, the Detroit native turned to the banjo and lit out for New York City where he rose to obscurity as “New York’s angriest yodeling banjo player”. Siting Buster Keaton, Abraham Lincoln and Elvis Presley as his primary musical influences, Eller became a staple of the beer halls, burlesque houses and underground theaters of the eastern seaboard. Fame proved elusive.


Having spent years toiling in the musical sweatshops of the industrial north, Eller uprooted his family and resettled in some faded, tobacco town in the North Carolina Piedmont to begin the arduous task of assembling a new version of his band, The American Circus. The latest version of the ensemble is a brutish and inelegant rock & roll outfit specializing in banjo music for funerals, gospel tunes for atheists and novelty dance fads for amputees. A lavish, Hollywood, dance sequence unfolding on the floor of a Chicago meatpacking plant in 1894.


Eller’s numerous compositions describe a dreamlike vision of American history where all points in time have collapsed into one. Past recordings have seen a ghastly parade of historical luminaries, from Abraham Lincoln and Buster Keaton to Amelia Earhart and Joe Louis, sharing the spotlight with a host of Civil War generals and corrupt 19th century politicians.


The group’s latest phonographic recording, “How to Make It in Hollywood”, is a compact collection of glittery show tunes, sentimental tear-jerkers and rock & roll rave-ups whose lyrics are populated with two-bit prize fighters, Hollywood has-beens, lapsed gospel singers and forgotten pop stars. Eller relentlessly tours the US and Europe with an expanding and contracting cast of misfits.








The Silver Darlings are a varied collection of musicians playing the songs of singer/guitarist Andy Whitehouse. Downbeat romantics, hopeless optimists, they wander forth glass in hand. The band have been likened in turns to Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Karl Wallinger, Jacques Brel and Warren Zevon.


In 2011 they released debut album ‘Souls’. It’s persistent themes are of helpless optimism and an endless pilgrimage in search of human contact.


“Beautiful” Martin Stephenson


“It’s music to make you feel better, hard to categorise, easy to enjoy and when the album closes with a quiet, intense waltz the repeat button is the first thing you reach for.” Americana UK






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Edited by Amsterdamned
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