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A Dancing Beggar

Category :  johnny (rock,ambient etc...)
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About A Dancing Beggar

MySpace A Dancing Beggars The Story...

A Dancing Beggar is the musical project of 21-year-old musician, James Simmons. Having played a mixture of drums and guitar in previous bands, a solo project seemed the next step in achieving other creative goals. Using just a laptop, a couple of guitars and a cheap microphone, everything is written, recorded, mixed and produced in his bedroom.

Influenced by seminal post-rock artists like Maps, Sigur Ros, Amusement Parks On Fire, and Epic45, A Dancing Beggar began in summer 2007. After the purchase of some recording equipment a number of songs were written, recorded and distributed across MySpace. It wasn’t until early 2008 that a collection of songs seemed to link together for a possible release. These were recorded and subsequently turned into the 5 track EP 'How They Grow' which has been described by The Stool Pigeon as a 'post rock treat'. In late 2008 the entire EP was re-mixed, and on the 23rd February 2009 Grand Independent released ‘How They Grow’, as a 6 track EP on iTunes. ‘How They Grow’ takes elements of post-rock and shoegaze and has been compared to the sounds of Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Ulrich Schnauss and July Skies.

As of March 2009, work had begun on new songs for A Dancing Beggar’s eagerly anticipated full-length album, ‘What We Left Behind’. These songs are more acoustic based, less distorted and euphoric with emphasis on a more organic sound. Composed and mixed by James, all eleven tracks were recorded in James’ bedroom again using an acoustic and electric guitar, microphone and laptop, between November 2008 and June 2009. This time incorporating field recordings by artists Peter Caeldries, Adam Danz and Cynthia Lawson, samples of which can be heard on ‘Our Distant Memories’, ‘Skinny Trees’ and ‘Branches and Nettles’. Notably an extract of ‘Day 16 - Recall Your Favorite Childhood Memory’ by Cynthia Lawson, a story about how she nearly jumped into a swimming pool with no water in it when she was very young. Such samples only compliment the ethereal sounds of ‘What We Left Behind’, marking a turning point in the maturity of A Dancing Beggar’s music which in most parts navigates around the concept of nostalgia.

What We Left Behind
Label:Grand Independent
Format:CD, Album
Released:07 Sep 2009

Lo-Fi perfection of souring grandeur
Post-rock gets a bit of a hard deal sometimes. It is not all pony tails, smoke machines and eight minute songs. For those whom the genre is their bread and butter the intricacies of a ‘Mogwai’ movement compared to the exhausting exultations of an ‘Explosions in the Sky’ concoction make up the back drop of a genre that is experimental in its essence and a fully blown sonic war at its peak.

‘A Dancing Beggar’ can play devils advocate here as their style perfectly fits between both stylistics and plays along beautifully by bringing a different slant to the party. Their tone is rustic and simplistic but the production is lush and lavish enough to capture a band with some real quality. ‘Sand Between Our Toes’ plays on that fantasy with poise and perfectly captures feeling as well as sentiment. The albums soundscapes conquer over your senses and the sonic artistry on show is delightfully playful and consistently intricate and intriguing. ‘A Dancing Beggar’ is the one man product of the Brighton based musician James Simmons. Staggering, truly staggering. (Discogs Album Review here)

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