The Dawn Chorus / The Retrospective Soundtrack Players - Blogging all over the World

My name is Kyle. I am a happily failing indie/punk/folk/country/rock musician from Hampshire, UK. I have been singing and songwriting in The Dawn Chorus since 2005, and The Retrospective Soundtrack Players since 2010. I love these two bands like my brother/wife rolled into one. This blog details the shows I have played with both bands, in chronological order.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


New Album News


Some new album news.....

We are hard at work on the new record, after the tour we will really knuckle down to it. Here are some working titles:

The Guilt!
The Happiest Home (In These Hills)
Green Unpleasant Land
Relatively Young and Quite in Love
The Carnival Leaves Town
Three Trumpets (clearly this is a working title)
Heartbeat in 5/4
The Cello Player (a revamped cover of the awesome Kurt Cooder tune)

There are a few others but they have slipped my mind temporarily.

Exciting times



The Big Adventure Stereokill Review

Review: The Dawn Chorusby Marcus Kernohan • Nov 20, 2008 • Album reviewsComments

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Recently name-checked by Frank Turner in an interview with Stereokill as “my new favourite band in the whole world ever”, Portsmouth’s The Dawn Chorus have a lot to live up to. But, as I put their debut album on this morning, I was determined to listen with an impartial ear and not let anything colour my judgement. So, with no lofty and premature expectations, it was a pleasant surprise to find that debut album The Big Adventure is an intensely listenable record.
From the word go, I found myself captivated. The gentle acoustic strumming of “The Big Adventure Part I”, segues seamlessly into the blaring horns and light guitar of “Part II”. Together, they tell an intensely personal story, superbly compéred by vocalist Kyle Evans.
The Dawn Chorus are an impossible-to-pigeonhole band. The Big Adventure ebbs and flows from acoustic ballads to indie-rock anthems, bound together by some intelligent songwriting and lovely melodies. Above and beyond the conventional rock-band instrumentation lies a more experimental streak that shows its face in the violins and unexpected brass. It’s this intricate musical layering that places the albums head and shoulders above anything else seen on the British indie scene this year.
At times, the album seems to lose its way - the mediocre rock of “Summer of ‘99″ feels like a minor letdown, but it’s quickly rescued by some simply superb songs: “The Hope Will Kill Us” and “Song for Antoinette” are particular gems. Even when Evans’ Britpop drawl occasionally sounds a little lifeless, such moments are fleeting and don’t flaw the album as a whole.
The Dawn Chorus are a band in the very best traditions of indie-folk. With a sound that forged somewhere between Bright Eyes and Murder by Death, this is an infinitely varied and uniquely charming album, with huge re-listening potential and the promise of great things to come.
The Verdict:


Interview with Nelly in The List

Exposure: The Dawn Chorus
Date: 27 March 2009
Written by: Thomas MeekComments (0)Share this
The Dawn Chorus: Song For Antoinette
Download audio as mp3.

They made the greatest album of 2008 you probably never heard, but it's not too late to love The Dawn Chorus. Taking influence from Bright Eyes and Wilco, their debut, The Big Adventure, is most blissful, fascinating alt-folk since I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning – not bad for some high-school teachers from Portsmouth. Headlining Glastonbury beckons, but for now, it's Dexter's in Dundee, and a chat with The List. Guitarist, Neil Elliot, does the talking.

How did the Dawn Chorus come to be? We were all school friends from way back apart from Kyle’s little brother Keith, who we stuck on bass. Luckily, he turned out to be rather good at it. After finishing degrees from various universities across the country we came together to form the band in late 2005. We started as a standard indie rock four-piece adding Paul (trumpet, keys) and more recently Ben (mandolin) to the lineup later on.

You play the sort of music we'd expect from mid-west America, not Portsmouth. What made you go down that route? Clearly we have big influences from Saddle Creek artists such as Bright Eyes and The Good Life. The band was formed over a passion for this form of music, not to mention our love for folk heroes such as Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. But as our friend Frank Turner states: Why should folk/country music only be made by people from Nashville, Tennessee?

Your lyrics seem to focus more on genuine stories than vague generalisations. How do you write a Dawn Chorus song?It’s good to see you have picked up on this. Generally as a band we get very tired of formulaic songwriting with meaningless and vague lyrics. Kyle (singer, acoustic guitarist) uses a song as a chance to tell a story. It can be about a fictional subject or something that has happened in real life and quite often a song will draw influence from both.

You're still not on everybody's lips, but those that have heard you seem to like you a lot. You made top 10 in Planet Sound's album of the year countdown for example. What kind of feeling do you get when you know people really love what you're doing? Obviously it’s a great feeling when people like the music we make. It certainly gives us the motivation to carry on with silly tours, especially this leg – Bristol to Dundee! Who booked that! When we play a great show, or get a positive album review, we refer to it as a shot in the arm. It’s not the sole reason we do what we do, but it certainly helps us to keep going.

Is there a hope that this acclaim will transfer to more commercial success? We have a song that addresses this. It’s entitled The Hope Will Kill Us. We enjoy what we do and people tend to like what we do. If we keep hoping for more and it never materializes we will have lost the real reasons we play in a band and travel silly distances to play to three people.

There are a couple of former teachers in the band. Have there been reactions from old pupils? Former teachers! They still teach and I imagine get abuse from their students for playing dreary old indie folk. Let me refer you to our budget YouTube video with countless humorous comments from students.

What makes a maths teacher want to write a song? I know! He should be an English teacher really. Can’t answer that one. In fact I don’t know what makes me want to spend hours writing music. I guess it’s an inner drive that certainly isn’t driven by any financial reward!

What's the nicest thing anyone's ever said about your music? It’s nice when a guy like Frank Turner says you are his new favourite band. I also particularly like this quote from Organ magazine: 'A fine five piece from nowhere in particular, as honest and beautiful as the day is long.'

In five words, why should people listen to The Dawn Chorus? Storytelling in music is fun
The Dawn Chorus play Dexter's, Dundee on Apr 5.


CXXI - Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms - 26/03/09

Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Thursday 26th March 2009
Jellymaid Music Showcase Night

The Dawn Chorus
The B of the Bang

The first ever showcase by Jellymaid, the fine label who put out our first album ( The B of the Bang were incredible - first time I've ever seen them play 'Seeds' or 'Dolores' live - their album is going to be seriously amazing, I'm getting excited. I was doing a lot of wandering during Autons and Melodramas so I can't really speak for their sets, but I know that we had a lovely time. We did 'The Guilt!' again and also 'Schumann', both of which will feature on the new record. We are now to embark on our biggest tour yet, which looks a bit like this (all dates with The B of the Bang):

April 03 - The Vic - Swindon
April 04 - The Mothers Ruin - Bristol
April 05 - Dexter’s Bar - Dundee
April 06 - The Harley - Sheffield
April 07 - The Queen Charlotte - Norwich
April 08 - The Cornerhouse - Cambridge
April 09 - The Mad Ferret - Preston
April 10 - The Talking Heads - Southampton
April 11 - The Victoria Inn - Northampton
April 12 - The George Tavern - London
April 15 - The Pav Tav - Brighton
April 17 - The Cellars At Eastney - Portsmouth

See you there hopefully


CXX- Cambridge Globe - 07/03/09

Saturday 8th March 2009
Cambridge Globe

The Dawn Chourus
The Incredible Flight of Birdman
David Greeves

We'd had a good few months off working on new material when this came round, and it was nice to get back into the game. Birdman were pretty damn good, kind of Smiths-esque jangly guitars with a bit of the old p.doherty vox, all pulled off very well. David Greeves also had some beautiful songs, somewhat reminiscent of Richard Hawley. All good stuff. Steve who put us on is also a bit of a legend, and we got to meet up with our old Cambs chum Gavin.

We played pretty well I think and it was very enjoyable to be playing again. We got an encore and everything -we did a new song called 'The Guilt!' for the first time. We also had some lovely Mexican burritos and quesadillas from Mama Mexico. The boys laughed at me for getting a loyalty card, but i think i'll be having thelast laugh when we go back to cambridge in July. More of which to come.....


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