Date and place of start: 2006, Oxford, UK

Place: Oxford, UK

Theme: music

ECC Participation: artist

photo: Stornoway

One of the most interesting debuts that came out of the British scene in 2010. Stornoway are the heir apparent of Belle & Sebastian. The band, comprised of Oxford students, won the heart of the BBC audience with the song “I Saw You Blink,” played the Glastonbury festival and later appeared on “Later... with Jools Holland” with the likes of Sting, Jay-Z and Norah Jones. Stornoway were included in the prestigious BBC Sound of 2010 list and later released “Beachcomber’s Windowsill” on the independent 4AD label. After garnering success in their homeland, the band went on to play shows across Europe and America.

“We have nothing against the Internet, but… after all, we’re social animals. We just have to go outside and meet people.”

Brian Briggs, Stornoway’s frontman, has a PhD in duck ecology and was a member of a church choir. His lyrics are often anchored in his own experiences. Briggs often writes about childhood, describes the challenges of adolescence and even references his biological hobbies. Jon Ouin is Stornoway’s music czar; he has a masters degree in Russian literature and is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist. Stornoway’s line-up also includes Ollie Steadman on bass, Ollie’s brother Rob on drums. Two musicians, Adam Briggs on trumpet and Rahul Satija on violin, frequently collaborate with the Bristol-based group. The band plays simple, acoustic folk. Their bedrooms double as recording studios.

The band openly quote Paul Simon, Bert Jansch, the groups Pentangle, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Beta Band among their inspirations. Some journalists claim that Stornoway belongs to the nu-folk scene, along with bands such Noah & The Whale or Mumford & Sons. The band’s members distance themselves from these attempts at pigeonholing with characteristic quirky humor.

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TAGS: Stornoway, Artur Rojek, Scary monsters and super creeps