Celtic folk band based in Brittany head for Chapel Sessions Sat 5th September for a multi-instrumental night of the best of Celtic folk, sax infused music.
The Churchfitters http://www.churchfitters.com is a folk band like no other. A double bass made out of a saucepan. Heart-wrenching vocals accompanied by a musical saw. Foot-stompingly fast fiddle mixed with infectious funk-rock rhythms and traditional tunes reinvigorated with mesmerising jazz sax.
The four virtuoso musicians from England and France strut their stuff on a stage that bristles with instruments – adding flute, banjo, dulcimer, tin whistle, guitar, ukulele, electric hub-cap bass and a sackful of percussion to their ensemble. And let’s not forget the unique ‘bing-bong’ machine made out of hack-saw blades.
Throw in some exquisite harmonies, a slew of startlingly original songs and a few jokes that create instant rapport and you’ve got a high energy show that always leaves audiences cheering. How do you adequately describe such a musically diverse, uplifting band? You leave it to Mike Harding, a self-confessed ‘huge, huge fan’. He calls them ‘totally brilliant and beautiful’ or Fairport Convention’s Dave Pegg “The most musically inventive band I’ve seen in decades”
So who are They?
‘Like Annie Lennox in full flow’ (Fab Nights Productions) – Londoner Rosie Short’s achingly beautiful voice is equally at home singing husky blues, plaintive femme folk or ethereal originals. A talented songwriter, she’s also a ‘one woman orchestra’, deftly swapping between flute, saxophone, banjo, tin whistle, dulcimer, ukulele and any number of things you can shake, rattle, or whack with a stick. Rosie’s brother Chris Short is a feverishly fast fiddler who has the annoying habit of getting people, who were sitting quite comfortably, out of their seats and dancing. When required, he also plays slowly and most of the other speeds. A mean mandolin player, he sings great vocal harmonies too. Finally, he’s a raconteur with a great sense of humour – but then you need that if you play the musical saw.
Part bass player, part mad inventor, Boris Lebret from Lannion (France) hates to play a regular instrument when he can cobble together a better one out of scrap metal. Like when he discovered four strings weren’t enough for his driving bass rhythms, so he simply reached for the Black & Decker and bolted on another six.
Margaux Scherer grew up in the Juras region of France where she first saw The Churchfitters play aged just nine years old. Little did she know that 16 years later she would be bundled into the back of their van, never to be released. She has only herself to blame as her exquisite drumming is second to none in France and too good to resist. 2014 saw her first ever gigs in England – welcome Margaux!
Have a look at them playing at Cropredy on this You Tube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skw1ZGeng2Y