Today we have the pleasure of presenting the latest trippy goodness from The Gorstey Lea Street Choir. Hailing from Staffordshire, the duo of Michael Clapham and Russ Phillips, will be releasing their new album ‘…from Prince’s Park to Farsley – Volume I’ in July through the 500 Broadcast Recording Co.
Before that, take a fun trip via their new single ‘That Chitty Bang Majik’, a propulsive upbeat brass laden indie pop track that builds to a crescendo of question and answer vocals, it’s main lyrical themes being isolation, lack of communication, escapism and ‘Carpe Diem frustration. This song and clever accompanying video take us on a road trip – literally. With Russ and Michael behind the wheel, in a video that seems to nod to Carpool Karaoke, The Gorstey Lea boys’ latest offering appeals to our younger, more innocent nature, when dreams of journeys and discovery were at the forefront and where we still felt free to poke fun at the world around us. Sonically and visually, we give this a royal thumbs up!
The Gorstey Lea Street Choir’s musical collaboration is rooted in a friendship that blossomed over 35 years ago. Having met as teenagers in the mid-’80s, it took until 2016 for them to turn their teenage plans — discussed back when both were involved in aspiring Manchester bands — into a reality with the birth of this project.
Recorded at the Gorstey Shack (Russ’s converted garage) and Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton with producer Gavin Monaghan (Robert Plant, Editors, Ocean Colour Scene, Scott Matthews, Squeeze, Goldblade), ‘That Chitty Bang Majik’ was mixed by legendary producer George Shilling (Blur, Primal Scream, Cathal Coughlan, Teenage Fanclub, Mike Oldfield) and mastered by Ride frontman / producer Mark Gardener at his OX4 Sound Studio in Oxford.
“The song came about last January after a Christmas repeat that we had both watched of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ Michael stated, ‘we love the film and the soundtrack and we started discussing ‘the flying car” and before you know it ‘…that Chitty Bang Magic’ was born,” says Russ Phillips.
“This song represents the poppier side of our indie credentials whilst still retaining our core vibe, 12 string guitars chime alongside brass punctuations and Moog synths, with the two vocal Gorstey chant upfront, telling the story of the track. We are really looking forward to folks hearing the rest of the LP in early July when it arrives, the 4 new tracks and the 4 re-imaginations of ‘Extended Play One’ tracks by Choque from Black Star Liner,” says Michael Clapham.
Based in the former Staffordshire mining town of Burntwood, their music runs with the moods, widely described as dystopian, electric, hopeful, hopeless and thoughtful… The sort of sounds Henry Spencer would have played if he had a Sony Walkman.
‘…from Prince’s Park to Farsley – Volume I’ is the follow up to the duo’s ‘extended play one’ album, which was released in December 2020 and received support from BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio, and a whole host of DAB and worldwide radio stations.
In 2018, Russ and Michael entered Wolverhampton’s Magic Garden studios to work with old friend and producer legend Gavin Monaghan, resulting in their debut single ‘The British Isles’ featuring an inspired spoken-word intro from Joe Strummer. Chris Hawkins from BBC Radio 6 Music picked up on the track, kicking things off again after a 35-year hiatus.
As of June 22, ‘That Chitty Bang Majik’ will be available everywhere digitally, including Apple Music and Spotify. The ‘…from Prince’s Park to Farsley – Volume I’ LP, set for release on July 9, can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. Dive into two other sonic offerings from the forthcoming album below :)
Written and arranged by Michael Clapham and Russ Phillips
Performed by The Gorstey Lea Street Choir
Recorded at the Gorstey Shack and Magic Garden Studios with Gavin Monaghan
Mixed by George Shilling
Mastered by Mark Gardener at his OX4 Sound studio in Oxford
Video edited by Michael with original drawings and cartoons from Russ.
The #carshare footage is one take with a wink and a nod to #PeterKay #carshare and #JamesCorden #carpoolkaraoke @JKCorden @peterkay_co_uk