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Oddfellows Casino

Oddfellows Casino is the latest incarnation of Brighton-based singer-songwriter David Bramwell, whose past exploits have included recording with cult producer Kramer for the Shimmy Disk/Koko-Pop label. Bramwell's songs sound like lonely lost ballads, all soft spoken strumming and high gentle vocals, like Robert Wyatt fronting Arco, the most subtle moments of early King Crimson, or America with a brain and a dark side. Careful, articulate and eloquent, low key, soft spoken pop of the highest order. Jazzy moments mix with folk and ambient chill, dub, and string quartets with antiquated keyboards.

Lyrically, Bramwell pays homage to his Northern roots, with tracks such as 'Road Movie' and 'Hide Me, Joe' exploring the wilderness of Lincolnshire and the North York Moors, while elsewhere there are tales of drunken evenings by the fire, the author's forlorn insomniac wanderings and some deliciously black humour in the tale of the 'Prune-Faced Man and His Fat Wife'.

Oddfellows Casino have released a new 4 song EP, 'The Absence of Birds'. The CD also includes a short film, 'The Ballad of Oddfellow' by Brighton-based film maker Toby Amies, which features an original soundtrack by Oddfellows Casino.

Oddfellows are currently working on their third album, ‘The Haunting of Ladybower and Other Tales' - a collection of new songs with a supernatural theme. In May 2008, the group performed their biggest gig to date, at St George's Church in Brighton, supported by a 35-piece Concert Band.

Discography

'The Absense of Birds' CD EP & Film
(Pickled Egg Records Egg 66CD)

Pickled Egg Records are pleased to announce the release of ‘The Absence of Birds’, a four song EP by Oddfellows Casino, combined with a short film by Brighton-based film maker Toby Amies, which features an original soundtrack by Oddfellows Casino.

‘The Absence of Birds’ showcases four new David Bramwell compositions, exuding lush orchestral arrangements with a nod towards late-period Talk Talk, and featuring Oddfellows’ usual eclectic array of guests, including Stereolab's Simon Johns on bass, Giant Leap guitarist and composer Andrew Philips on guitar and percussion, Clearlake's Jason Pegg on organ, and Bevis Frond guitarist Paul Simmons on bass and guitar.

The CD comes complete with a twenty minute film 'The Ballad of Oddfellow', which stars Drako Oho Zarhazar - former Salvador Dali model, actor in films by Andy Warhol and Derek Jarman, and the recent subject of a Radio 4 documentary, ‘The Man Whose Mind Exploded.' This sepia-tinted curio follows the demise of legendary Victorian freakshow host, Ambrose Oddfellow, as drink, tragedy and the advent of picture-houses force him to host phoney seances for the gullible aristocracy of Brighton. But who knows what can happen when dabbling with the forces of darkness... The cast also includes Michael Attree (former world moustache championship holder), Dave Mounfield (portly comedian and nice chap) and the legendary Heidi Heels. The film features an original soundtrack of Oddfellows Casino songs, and was directed by filmmaker and MTV/ Lonely Planet host Toby Amies.

"Bramwell leads the troupe and listener alike on a joyous voyage into the sultry toned sophisticated worlds of his creative muse - a world of vivid tones, caressing tonalities, bespoke down-tempo arrangements, lush with rare vibrancy and romantic incline, peppered with mood, mystery and melody. A treasure, far from the madding crowd, these four tailored treats exude a deft worldly clarity and a sense of timeless etching, fluent in a pop language from another era. A radiating cherry-stone, liltingly immersed in prodding braids of peeping brass arrangements, festooned delightfully with mercurial folds of after-hours grandeur, comprising of driving montages of breathlessly breezy, rustically hued cascades of head-swirling jazz treatments, peppered by lunatic chimes - total seduction if you ask me" [Mark Barton, Losing Today]

"The music is reminiscent of very early Porcupine Tree with a hint of Robert Wyatt - it flows like a meandering English river, decorated with trumpet, brass, piano, and touches of electronica. Bramwell's wistful voice is well suited to this kind of subtle, melodious songwriting, and the EP as a whole is rather lovely. The film relates the sad life of Ambrose Oddfellow, following the accidental killing of his beloved wife. Bramwell's plaintive music accompanies this vision of nostalgia perfectly, and the whole is a memorable work of art" [Ptolemaic Terrascope]

'Take Me Out to Sea'(MP3)

Listen to The Absence of Birds on Last.fm


UK: £8.00


EU: €12.00


US: $15.00

'Winter Creatures' CD
(Pickled Egg Records Egg 54CD)

"As you'd expect from the ever deliciously eclectic Pickled Egg label, the 2nd album from Brighton's Oddfellows Casino is firmly out of sync with current trends, being instead a delicate pastoral exploration of the countryside, coloured with brass and sweet vocals, reminiscent of Soft Machine-era Robert Wyatt. Notes linger. Tunes ache. Lyrics tease, like a cornucopia of found sound and jumble sale psychedelia. Stereolab's Simon Johns provides coffee and comfort" [Everett True, Plan B]

"Singer/songwriter David Bramwell makes some of the most swooningly harmonic melodic pop-as-art being recorded today, as Oddfellows Casino. Lush dreamy intimate constructions made from a mixture of folk, jazz, avant garde pop, show tunes, bright acoustic and electronic textures, as well as classical flourishes, all employed with great empathy and tenderness. This second album easily equals the heights reached by their debut, if it doesn't indeed surpass them. Some of the signposts along the roadway are: Prefab Sprout, Robert Wyatt, Pentangle, Smile-era Brian Wilson (the opening song suite is entitled "Your Welcome/ Cool Water"), John Cameron's "Kes" soundtrack, and much more. Quite marvellous really; certainly one of the loveliest albums of the year, and well worth your time and attention. Like real love, this is guaranteed to break your heart; and well worth it" [George Parsons, Dream Magazine]

'Cool Water'(MP3)
'Camping on the Moon' (MP3)
'The Night we saw a Badger'(MP3)
'Rabbit County'(MP3)

Download Winter Creatures from eMusic
Listen to Winter Creatures on Last.fm


UK: £10.00


EU: €15.00


US: $18.00

'Yellow Bellied Wonderland' CD
(Pickled Egg Records Egg 39CD)

Debut album from Brighton-based Oddfellows Casino, fronted by author and former Shimmydisc collaborator, David Bramwell. Packed to the hilt with to-die-for tunes, the album lurches from Hammond-drenched pop to haunting electronica, blaring horns, wispy flutes, Eastern-sounding string arrangements, and stripped down acoustic pop songs.

"It's not often that an album comes along that leaves you lost for words. If you adore subtleties and things out of step with the current consensus, then 'Yellow Bellied Wonderland' will re-affirm your faith that truly classic songwriters exist out there somewhere" [Mark Barton, Losing Today].

'Road Movie' (MP3)
'Giant Redwoods' (MP3)
'Put the Bird to Sleep' (MP3)

Download Yellow Bellied Wonderland from eMusic

Listen to Yellow Bellied Wonderland on Last.fm


UK: £10.00


EU: €15.00


US: $18.00

'Yellow Bellied Wonderland' LP
(Pickled Egg Records Egg 39LP)

"What we get to hear on Oddfellows Casino's debut album is delicate pop beauty, hidden under a patchwork blanket of unusual sonic twists and turns, informed by elements of jazz, folk, haunting electronica, psychedelia and avante-garde accents. The rich sonic palette includes guitars, Hammond organ, horns, piano, electronics, cello and accordion, beautifully linked by David Bramwell's crystal clear, god-sent voice and the fragile, floating melodies and imaginative arrangements. If there's one record that stands the test of time and repeated listening, it has to be this. Nothing I can put in words accurately describes what's going on here, but it goes without saying that I absolutely love this stuff. This is one of the most accessible but also downright magical recordings I've heard from this fine label" [Mats Gustafsson, The Broken Face]

'Road Movie' (MP3)
'Giant Redwoods' (MP3)
'Put the Bird to Sleep' (MP3)

Download Yellow Bellied Wonderland from eMusic

Listen to Yellow Bellied Wonderland on Last.fm


UK: £9.00


EU: €15.50


US: $21.00

'Giant Redwoods / Put the Bird to Sleep' 7"
(Pickled Egg Records Egg 35)

"Every so often a single comes out of the blue by a band I've never heard of that knocks my socks off: gloriously crafted songs, beautifully produced and arranged, mid-period Beach Boys wide-eyed melancholy, Felt-esque swirling Hammond accompaniment, this has 'classic single' bursting from its grooves" [Gayle Brogan, The Melody Bar]

'Giant Redwoods' (MP3)
'Put the Bird to Sleep' (MP3)


UK: £3.00


EU: €5.00


US: $7.00

Reviews

Foxy Digitalis
Losing Today
Comes with a Smile
Pop News Yellow Bellied Review (in French)
Pop News Winter Creatures Review (in French)
Derives Yellow Bellied Review (in French)
Derives Winter Creatures Review (in French)
Splendidezine

Links

Oddfellows myspace



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