Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We Welcome Ghost Trains to Battfest 2013

Ghost Trains
UK Acoustic Band.
‘An inspirational blend of folk and classic 60’s pop’

Big in Japan?... well certainly Russia, Germany and, er Macedonia, which is the result of songwriter Tim Ellis taking a risk which many bands shy away from. Ghost Trains have taken a somewhat unconventional route to develop their fanbase. Picked up via Myspace by a very nice Russian lady who offered them a tour of her home country, from April to the end of July 2011 they packed their bags and guitars and high tailed it to the outer reaches of western music’s appeal - dubbed the Acoustic Beatles, they played to rapturous sell-out audiences and were having to exit by obscure side doors and narrowly avoided being manhandled by the screaming hordes as their strict Russian tour manager stepped in and prevented access all areas!

No strangers to the touring life (they had a mini tour in the States in 2010 even playing California’s legendary ‘Viper Room’ in Hollywood), this tour took them on an unforgettable road trip across Russia, Latvia, Kainingrad, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria and Macedonia, where an exceptional street gig paid the guys 1600 euros, which thankfully paid for the tour! Exhausted and terrified (having woken up between gigs in the small hours to find the Slovenian driver careering down the wrong side of a dual carriageway, in a scene worthy of a Bond Film) near the end of a 17-hour non-stop journey from Hungary to Macedonia, the guys decided to jump into the comparative safety of a plane for their journey back home!

“We used to have to take turns to keep an eye on him, and of course, we kept falling asleep too (as he did on more than one occasion!).

We were glad to get back alive if I’m honest.
So we came back, on something of a high, and knuckled down to writing a load more material, did some more touring in unpronounceable obscure towns across Europe and released our fourth album at the beginning of 2012 called Jack and Sunshine which seemed to go down really well.

It had some kind reviews and we went on a number of radio stations, such as Genevieve Tudors Folk show on BBC Radio, All FM in Manchester, BBC Radio Stoke and 6 Towns Radio amongst others.
I had been stunned when I noticed that Andy Hughes, from Acoustic Magazine, chose ‘Miss Emily’ as his best acoustic track OF ALL TIME at the end of 2010. And so I dedicate the opening track of our new retrospective album to Andy. There is a video too, for those you tube aficionados out there.”

Ghost Trains single promo video :

The imaginatively titled album ‘For Sale’ is released on 17th March. The title had more to do with a photo that Tim just had to use on the cover, than any deep and meaningful introspection. Although the album is undeniably for sale!

‘The 12 track album showcases the songs which people seem to have enjoyed the most, as well as a couple of new ones, ‘The Ballad of Crazy Nicole’ and ‘I Want You’. Which will be the second and third tracks released off the album, following ‘Miss Emily’, which will be released soon. This is to give us time to recover from our third European tour - the second one covered the whole of September 2012 and like this one, will cover Holland, Germany and Switzerland.

Nice things people have said about Ghost Trains -

Deep, dark, Americana with a decided edge is Ghost Trains’ M.O. It’s real soul of humanity stuff which makes for compulsive listening. FATEA Feb 2011

Ghost Trains have a sound that bridges the gap between Nick Drake and Crowded House, with the melancholy spirit of one and the delicate guitar mastery of the other....Tim’s melodic and lyrical constructions travel various, always unique paths as they unravel. ACOUSTIC MAGAZINE June 2011

These songs hit on all levels as you absorb the serenity, sentiment and feelings of the human psyche contained within. His songwriting is sublime and touches on subject matter which affects us all - love, love lost and found, love found and lost again. Ghost Trains perfectly capture your mood at any given moment, it is meaningful and heartfelt - reaching deep into your soul.
When they perform ‘Michael Caine’ live, it is simply mesmerizing to witness, Tim’s voice is emotive and powerful, filling the room, and the guitar interplay is a joy to behold. They conclude the evening with another personal highlight of mine ‘Deathdance’ and again the vocal harmonies are to the fore with some wonderful intricate guitar and subtle vibrant percussion. So there you have it, I felt privileged to have been there. John West STOKE SOUNDS Feb 2011

Their music is an inspirational blend of folk and classic 60’s pop, characterised by tight harmonies, outstanding guitar playing and pounding rhythms played out with the kind of energy and conviction borne out of complete confidence and belief in what they are doing. Icarus Live Review from Blackheath Convert Hall, London. Feb 11

For fans of Ghost Trains, this is the album that has been gestating for the last few years of the band’s rising career path. Anyone who has met Tim Ellis, Ghost Trains’ writer and vocalist, will be struck by the difference in his off-stage persona compared with the character he inhabits on stage and on record. A shy man to meet, his songs reveal an entirely different individual, a melancholy soul who articulates perfectly the trials and tribulations of modern romance with a depthless pool of emotional expression in his vocals. Both are aspects of Tim Ellis, but he is anything but miserable – who could be with an ability to create music like this?
The instrumental break in Astronaut features the exquisite lead guitar work of Paul Dennis and understated percussion from Jack McCarthy who both round out the package on the band’s live shows.
As a long-term fan of this band, I have said before that it is a mystery to me why Tim Ellis’s songs are not being covered by any number of top-selling artists, and why Ghost Trains are not riding the current and growing wave of popularity of acoustic music. I can only put it down to that elusive break – being heard by the right ears of someone who can open the right doors. If there is any justice, it’s only a matter of time.
Catch Ghost Trains live in the UK before America and the world claim them.
Andy Hughes ACOUSTIC MAGAZINE October 2012

Jack & Sunshine 'must surely cement Ghost Trains' position as one of the finest proponents of Anglicised Americana out there performing. Hopefully this, their third album will also provide them with the recognition their songwriting and performance deserve. There is something very natural about this album, it strikes a chord because it's easy to relate to, feels like it's something that's part of your collective knowledge.' FATEA Magazine March 2012

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