Interview: Ferris & Sylvester

Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester formed a duo in 2016 and, since then, have released a string of critically acclaimed singles and EPs, including 2018’s ‘Made in Streatham’, which was recorded in the kitchen of their flat in London. Through constant touring and stylish videos, they have been steadily building up a sizeable fanbase and creating a real buzz; the video for recent single ‘Flying Visit’ has been viewed 57,000 times on YouTube in the last four months. 2019 has seen Ferris & Sylvester play various festivals, including Black Deer, Isle of White, Glastonbury and AmericanaFest in Nashville. Soon, they will be returning to the USA to record new songs and 2020 looks set to be even bigger. After completing their biggest headline tour to date, the pair took the time to talk to Andrew Frolish of Americana UK about performing, song writing and preparing to record their first full-length album. Continue reading “Interview: Ferris & Sylvester”

AmericanaFest, Nashville, September 10th-15th, 2019

For Americana UK, this year’s Nashville experience ended where it pretty much started – at Robert’s Western World on Lower Broadway. Hotfoot from arriving in the city around 7pm our assembled scribes headed straight downtown to see Joshua Hedley and the Hedliners. These showcases at Robert’s are something of a Nashville institution for both discerning locals and tourists – performing classic country sets from the 1950s and 1960s, Hedley’s velvet croon and stellar backing band which includes Buck Owens’ drummer and a long standing pedal steel player with Merle Haggard, demonstrate their encyclopaedic knowledge of country music and musical chops over a set spanning three and a half hours. Continue reading “AmericanaFest, Nashville, September 10th-15th, 2019”

Ferris & Sylvester + Roseanne Reid, The Portland Arms, Cambridge, 30th September 2019

2019 has been a breakthrough year for Ferris & Sylvester. With slots at various festivals, including Glastonbury, Black Deer, Isle of Wight and Americanafest in Nashville, the duo has been reaching out to new audiences and winning over plenty of fans. Their rich Americana sound is a blend of influences – blues, pop, country – and after well-received singles and the EP, ‘Made in Streatham’, they are steadily building up to the release of their first full length album. Judging on this performance at The Portland Arms, taking their time over things, honing their song-craft and on-stage delivery, is proving to be a successful strategy. Continue reading “Ferris & Sylvester + Roseanne Reid, The Portland Arms, Cambridge, 30th September 2019”

Ferris & Sylvester, The Poetry Club, Glasgow, Tuesday 5th February 2019

Glasgow’s Poetry Club is a great place for an intimate gig. With a sold-out crowd of 125, it was the perfect venue for the second night of Ferris & Sylvester’s first headline tour.  The duo of Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester had a simple set up tonight, just the pair of them, their guitars, bass, tambourine, and drum. It took them a minute to find their feet on the stage but opening with one of their older songs ‘Save Yourself’ ,the bittersweet love song from their debut EP- ‘The Yellow Line’,  they immediately showed what the duo are highly capable of which and which they proved throughout the night as their set continued. Continue reading “Ferris & Sylvester, The Poetry Club, Glasgow, Tuesday 5th February 2019”

Trampled By Turtles + Ferris & Sylvester, London Electric Ballroom, Friday 16th November

Minnesota-based six piece Trampled By Turtles may be best known in the US, but their quirky take on bluegrass is spreading further afield, and spreading fast. At least, they’ve filled the not inconsiderable space of the Electric Ballroom for this show as part of the London Roots Festival with apparent ease. Appearing on stage at the unusually early hour of 8:15pm, it’s immediately clear that they’re already a finely honed machine, as well rehearsed as a Special Forces unit about going into battle.  Set up side by side at the very front of the stage, the sound of mandolin, violin, banjo, guitar, acoustic bass and double bass all blend into one seamless, momentum-filled force of nature. Continue reading “Trampled By Turtles + Ferris & Sylvester, London Electric Ballroom, Friday 16th November”

The Long Road Festival launches with Lee Ann Womack, Billy Bragg and more

We’re doing well for americana tinged festivals this year and today there’s the announcement of another one which says it’s bringing the “sounds of the country music scene to the UK” but actually has a broader line up than that makes it sound, but in a nice way. Taking place within the grounds of Stanford Hall in Leicestershire from September 7th – 9th 2018, The Long Road will present one of the UK’s largest, most authentic celebrations of country, Americana and roots music featuring five stages of live performances, bespoke food “events” (egg and spoon race?) and a wide range of themed outdoor activities. Continue reading “The Long Road Festival launches with Lee Ann Womack, Billy Bragg and more”

Susto, Omeara, London, 6th February 2018

Is there anybody in there? / Smoking weed with God.” The song, ‘Waves,’ the fifth in their set tonight, typifies much of where Justin Osborne’s head is at: namely, in songs about his drug taking past and the religious undertones of what’s described as “soul loss” (the loose translation of the Latin American term, Susto). All that – and maybe the search for some kind of meaning in an increasingly complicated and troubled world. Continue reading “Susto, Omeara, London, 6th February 2018”