The Electric Swing Circus
The Electric Swing Circus are a six piece electro swing band based in Birmingham, England. The line up features Vicki Olivia (vocals), Fe Salomon (vocals), Chandra Walker (drums and keyboard), Tom Hyland (guitar), Rashad Gregory (samples, MPC & synths) and Patrick Wreford (electric double bass and bass synth). The Electric Swing Circus formed in June 2011. The band's preview EP, Penniless Optimist, was released in September 2011, and their debut album "Electric Swing Circus" in May 2013. They released their second album "It Flew By" in January 2017. Later in 2017, the band's drummer was investigated by West Midlands Police for the sexual assault of a minor. The police did not press charges due to insufficient evidence.
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Electric Swing Circus
|Members||Tom Hyland |
|Past members||Laura Owen-Wright |
The Electric Swing Circus had their first live performance at the Book Club on 17 September 2011. The band also recorded the video for ‘’Penniless Optimist’’, which was filmed in Boxxed by Realm Pictures.
During October 2011 Penniless Optimist was remixed by [email protected] in the [email protected] and Sam Redmore. Penniless Optimist received airplay on BBC Radio 6 on The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show. The video for Penniless Optimist was also shown on BBC Big Screens nationwide.
Electric Swing Circus has a residency at Hot Club de Swing, a club night at the Hare and Hounds, Birmingham.
The Electric Swing Circus played many festivals during 2012, including Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Nozstock, BoomTown Fair, Beat-Herder, Fieldview and WOMAD. The band also performed as headline act on the Main Stage of Vale Festival 2012. The relentless touring at as many of the U.K. festivals as possible, helped to earn them a quick reputation of being a hard working band to have a party to.
2013 - Debut album Electric Swing Circus released
The Electric Swing Circus filmed the video for the single Valentine in March 2013. It was filmed in Birmingham Municipal Bank and premièred at Swingamajig Festival in May that year.
On 9 May 2013, the band released their self-titled debut album.
Over the European summer, the band played several big name festivals, including their biggest show to date on the Spirit of 71' / Glade stage Glastonbury Festival, Shambala (where they brought their own tent, the Swingamajig Speakeasy to the festival) and Fusion Festival. These shows helped to establish the band as firm festival favourites, with a growing reputation. They were listed in the Glastonbury guide as "one of the highlights of Glastonbury"
Off the back of the success of the debut album, Electric Swing Circus carried on touring, now a mainstay at all UK festivals and starting to branch further out to play all of Europe. The band also played Edinburgh festival for the first time, having a residency with the Assembly group, whilst also performing on the BBC stage, who described them as "Electro-swing at its best". They established the Swingamajig Speakeasy tent at Shambala festival.
They headlined the Avalon Stage on the last night of Glastonbury festival. Towards the end of 2015 they began to record their second album.
2016 - Recording and European tour
The band recorded their second album mostly at the beginning of 2016. The band ran another successful crowdfunded campaign to help fund the new album and recorded at Middle Farm and Giant Wafer studios. The band played Swingamajig festival, where they released "Empires EP (Swingamajig Edition)" and included the tracks "Empires" and "Hit&Run" which were the first tracks recorded for the new album. The band returned to the studio to complete their second album which was titled It Flew By. They recorded a video for the lead single "Empires" which was released and received significant attention on Reddit.
2017 and It Flew By
2017 marked the release of their second album It Flew By, released through their own label Ragtime Records.
The Soul of a Clown blog said "Electric Swing Circus are quite rightly regarded as one of the leading lights in the electro swing scene. Unlike others they have not settled for covers or to being restricted by that style. This album shows them continuing to grow and develop their sound. It steps away from the clichés to allow them to have a far wider appeal"
The band marked the release of the album with another new video, this time for "Mama Cita".
Later in 2017, the band's drummer was investigated by West Midlands Police for the sexual assault of a minor. The police did not press charges due to insufficient evidence.
2019 and "Connected/ Invisible Man E.P."
Following initial recording sessions in late 2018, ESC released the "Connected/ Invisible Man E.P." recorded with long-term collaborator and producer James Bragg. They followed this with video's for every track on the E.P. The relentless tour schedule continued including prestigious headline slots at festivals all over Europe, including Heitere Open Air Festival In Switzerland.
In May 2013, the band hosted a one-day festival in Digbeth, Birmingham, which was the first of its kind in the UK. Headline acts included The Correspondents, Dutty Moonshine, Odjbox and Pierre, DJ Switch and [email protected] in the [email protected] The festival sold out.
In May 2014, the second Swingamajig Festival took place in Digbeth, with many well-reputed acts including Molotov Jukebox, featuring Natalie Tena.
The third festival in 2015 featured Chinese man, and the fourth in 2016 featured Balkan Beat Box as headliners.
This is the Electric Swing Circus's very own festival which they co headline every year.
- Vicki Olivia – Vocals
- Fe Salomon – Vocals
- Chandra Walker – Drums/Keys
- Tom Hyland – Guitar & Vocals
- Rashad Gregory – Samples, MPC & Synths
- Patrick Wreford – Bass Guitar/Double Bass & Bass Synth
- Bridge Williams – Sound
Former band members
- Laura Owen-Wright - Vocals
- Bridget Walsh - Vocals
- Eleanor Rose - Vocals
- Penniless Optimist (2011)
- Penniless Optimist Premix EP (2011)
- The Electric Swing Circus (2013)
- Empires EP (Swingamajig Edition) (2016)
- It Flew By (2017)
- Connected/ Invisible Man (2019)