A Genuine Freakshow. An artful blend of experimentalism and pop sensibility from Reading comprising the traditional rock "n' roll facets of guitars, bass and drums but augmented by the less obvious additions of cello, violin and trumpet. A band that embrace the icy soundscapes of Sigur Ros but remain entranced by the possibilities of the pop song.
The genesis of this multitude is, as you would expect, less than straightforward. A question as to how the band came into being brings forth a plethora of answers and a volley of disagreement. Various members' recall of history blurs between fact and (assumed) fiction. What can be said for sure is that by 2008 the current line-up was settled and the previous experiments which saw them begin as "too pop to be challenging" and then swing the opposite way until they were "too post-rock to be fun" had been amended and developed to hit the sweet spot that remains their raison d'etre to this point.
Prior to that settled point, the band had already made their mark in the world with the release of a debut EP that all those still in the band from that time (those changes of personnel again) agree was the "too pop" point. In what would become standard AGF fashion, the follow up "0.008%' EP was, naturally, the "too post-rock" response. A musical equilibrium was found with the release of "We Are The Undercurrents' in 2008 and its follow up "Holding Hearts' in the same year. By the end of that year another equilibrium was achieved with the permanent recruitment of the final pieces of the band, drummer Jack Bryant just making it in time to play the band's autumn dates by fast-tracking the set in a hectic three week period of cramming on his part.
Plaudits followed for this settled unit. "Holding Hearts' made Tom Robinson's "Best Of 2008', Word magazine's Mark Ellen fell for the band, leading to their recent appearance on the magazine's CD for October. Meanwhile, the seven settled into a touring schedule that saw them build a healthy evangelical fanbase leading to a sold out Bush Hall show in February of 2010. In tandem with touring throughout 2009 and 2010, the band entered the studio with producer Jordan Fish to completely re-record the album that had been taking shape throughout these single releases, so unhappy were they with the final version mark one. A brave decision, some would say foolhardy, but one that is vindicated by the now complete debut album, "Oftentimes' that finally ended its gestation in November 2010.
The journey of this firmly septet - despite the notices from media names - has taken place through the old-fashioned world of word-of-mouth and touring. In keeping with that ethic "Oftentimes' comes to you via the band-owned Peartree Records, all members making a firm decision to retain their ownership of their music and complete control over their musical destinies. In support of the album A Genuine Freakshow return to the touring world for an extensive run of dates throughout September, October and November.
Details of all shows alongside more information on the band and how to get a special 2CD edition of "Oftentimes' can be found at www.agenuinefreakshow.com
"A thrilling Reading-based seven-piece... String section, sheets of Pink Floyd and Sigur Ros fed through the Radiohead filter" Mark Ellen, The Word
"A seven-piece experimental post-everything pop bonanza, and as you'll hear, A Genuine Freakshow are even better than that. What an absolutely marvellous band" Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music
"Combining the grandeur of post-rock with lush orchestration, pop sensibility and a rare vocal sincerity, A Genuine Freakshow is an exciting band... Traces of Arcade Fire, Elbow and Radiohead are evident, however, there is far more under the surface." The List
Timothy Sutcliffe - Vocals & Guitar
Jack Bryant - Drums
Marianne Casey Canning - Violin
Melanie Dickson - Cello
John Dunstan - Trumpet
Simon Evans - Guitar
John Szmidt - Bass
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.