Friday, May 29, 2009

Sons of the Desert

I was looking for a pic of them but have none, so I found this unrelated pic of a Rye bottleshop in England.
This is a band that I discovered (actually someone brought me to see them!) back in March or April 1989.

It's the kind of band that if you feel blue, you go see them and you feel great! They were playing every Sunday at Elephant & Castle pub in London.

There were 5 members and many instruments. Most played more than one instruments. There was the fiddle, saxophone, guitar, bass, bohdran (Irish drum), trompette and the electric mandoline. I'm probably forgetting an instrument or 2. The members were: Steven, the Yorkside lad (with the thickest accent I've ever heard back then!) who played the bass; Jim the guitarist; Joseph, from Belfast who played the fiddle & the saxophone; Tracy, played the bohdran, the trompette & had a magnificient voice and, finally, Ewan, the ever-so-excentric leader of the band, played the electric mandoline like Jimmy Hendrix played the guitar and also lead singer.
At first 3 of us went religiously to see them every Sunday, then soon, almost the whole of The Pembridge came along. The word spread out quickly!
After a few months, I was going to Ireland and went with 2 Irish (also fans of the band.) who were visiting family. They were going to see SOTD playing in Salthill, close to Galway. I came along only to find out that they were opening for The Pogues! (A major Irish band, quite popular in Europe) I went to the after party. The next morning, I was asked if I had any set plans. I said "no" and was promptly invited to tour with them! I quickly learned that the life of a touring musician is not glamorous: driving to next town, sound check, guig, after-party (maybe), driving to next town and so on! It was just a 5-day tour, Thank God! Their manager was telling everyone that I was his assistant! I was very lucky to see the "insides" of a band.
I found out about 1 year ago, that Ewan & Tracy got married and moved to France. The SOTD is still alive. You can find out more about them (and hear them!) at : Sons of the Desert


Mike Kaufman said...


I just suddenly stumbled across this, but remember it well... The Sons, the Elephant & Castle, the Gallway gig - and the week on tour with them!

Yes, I was also in that van with you (joined mid-week by a friend of mine, whose relatives in Dublin we ended up staying with afterwards).

Pretty strange reading through your post and gradually recognising you after all these years!

p.s. I don't think the Sons ever did realise it was their manager who'd invited you along... they said afterwards they'd assumed you were with me, whereas I'd assumed they'd invited you themselves. Happy days!

Eleni said...

How cool!I just saw your comment.I remember ou too now! I would love to go see them in Vieure, France. I wonder if Tracy would remember me. (Tracy because, I chatted with her on many occasions.)
Yes, happy & carefree days! Ahhhh!