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Friday 29 July 2016

Review: 40 Shillings On The Drum @ Churchill Square Brighton

Busk Stop is a competition that has attracted musicians, crowds and over a million online fans  to Brighton's Churchill Square Shopping Centre, as local musicians are given the chance to win a day in a recording studio – as well as gaining huge online exposure.

One of the bands attracting the largest turn out were Brighton's, 40 Shillings On The Drum. 

Hailing from Brighton and armed to the teeth with an array of songs about life, love, friendship, and getting smashed out of your brain, they are ready to take on the world, one town at time.

The band's lead singer and lyricist Dan Scully said: 

"After a year of writing and rehearsing .. we are all extremely excited about getting our music out there - we're working hard to write the best songs we possibly can and are confident, that the hard work will pay off."

The band turned up for their mid-afternoon slot to find a large crowd awaiting their forty-minute set.

Scully introduced the folk-rock collective to a round of encouraging applause, and they were away.

Opener Ode To Old Reilly set the tone of a band big on musicianship and melody - and intelligent lyrics with both a meaning and enough hooks to get under the skin of even the most hardened music lover.  

Churchill Square Centre Director Mark Buchanan-Smith - who liked the band enough to offer them a slot as part of the Centre's Busk Stop initiative - said: 

"The standard of entry has been just superb .. it's been fantastic to see the response of the shoppers as the musicians perform in our lower mall," 

The band soldiered on through their six-song set of original material that culminated in the already popular Brighton Belle. A song that could be to 40 Shillings On The Drum what Fisherman's Blues is to The Waterboys.

The roots of the band go back to The Flogging Molly Salty Dog Cruise 2015 — a voyage like no other. 

An epic adventure from Miami to the Bahamas that was the inspiration that Scully  had been looking for.

After gigging for several years in the indie-rock outfit Left Hand Red, followed by a dip in experimental waters with electronic-rock band Give Her the Gun, it was time for something new. 

The epiphany Scully had upon the seas of the Caribbean was much more aligned with his own musical loves. 

A genre he held dear had been tapping on his shoulder for a long while but either through blindness or ignorance, he had not acknowledged it. 

It soon became crystal clear that a folk-rock direction was the answer. A place where he could share his own stories, both personal and otherwise, in a way he had never before.

With wide-eyes and open ears, long-term comrade and drummer Danny Woodford, listened intently alongside new acquaintance, Steve Cobley, a guitarist with lightning-fingered capabilities.. 

Like hound dogs on the scent trail, they were soon led to Seb Cole, a talented musician, producer and key tinkerer extraordinaire.

Finding other people with the same passion was a more difficult task. 

Remaining resilient against the perils of disappointment and frustration, their patience paid off in June 2016 with the double addition of tea and biscuits disciple, Barry Bloye, on bass, and the ferocious fiddling of cider-loving, Sue Buckler.

40 Shillings On The Drum continue their quest for world domination at The Engineer Charity Bash, in Newhaven, on Saturday 30th July (onstage 5.30pm - entry £3) - and The Hub, Kings Road Arches, on Friday 19th August (entry £4). CLICK HERE for more info..



by: Mike Cobley


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