The Big Eyes Family Players, "Family Favourites"
The Big Eyes Family Players began in 2000 in Leeds, U.K., under the name Big Eyes by James Green as a private project, a naive way of trying to create classical music.
It soon outgrew the bedroom and a band was formed. Big Eyes recorded four albums over the next four years for Pickled Egg Records and split up in 2004. After this, Green formed The Big Eyes Family Players as a more collaborative arrangement.
Now based in Sheffield, UK, they have released five albums of experimental chamber folk-pop music, and worked with the likes of Jeremy Barnes (A Hawk and A Hacksaw), Terry Edwards (Gallon Drunk/Tindersticks), Rachel Grimes, James Yorkston, James William Hindle and many more. Green also played on two Rachel’s albums, Systems/Layers and Technology Is Killing Music. Collaborations being close to the heart, The Big Eyes Family Players have released two albums with Yorkston, Folk Songs and Folk Songs II.
The Big Eyes Family Players’ Family Favourites is a collection of reworked old songs and new material, as well as a cover of Dirty Three’s “Three Wheels.” The group started more than 10 years ago, so it decided to reassess its back catalog and rework, rearrange and/or re-record some songs with the recent players to serve the pieces more fully. A “best-of,” if you will, or perhaps a retrospective?
All tracks written by James Green (Domino Publishing Co Ltd), except ‘Three Wheels’ (Ellis/Turner/White, Bug Music Publ).
Engineered by The Essence. Produced by The Essence and James Green.
Recorded in an analogue and digital manner at Blakk Sausage and Meersbrook Manor, Sheffield, UK, in 2009/2010.
All songs copyright TBEFP 2011 (except ‘Three Wheels’)
Design by James Green
Photography by Sarah McAdam (www.sarahmcadam.com) and James Green
Painting by unknown
Thanks to Gem and Henry Green, Nigel Turner, Charlie, James Yorkston, Mark Rimmer, Mr Ellis, Neil Shumsky and The Swains.
James Green – acoustic guitar, nylon-string guitar, harmoniflute, piano, organs, auto-harp, zither, glockenspiel, percussion, melodica
David Jaycock – acoustic guitar, harmoniflute, violin
Katherine Jackson – violin
Ellie Bond – violin
Tom Kidston – bass guitar
Paul Fletcher – drums, percussion
Heather Ditch – flute (on ‘Bunny’)
The Essence – bass guitar (on ‘Jack’)
Lindsay Aitkenhead – viola (on ‘Jack’)
Whatever the name and whatever the origin, Big Eyes has put together some stunning music during the last 10 years. This album barely begins to do justice, but I’ll take it. Absolutely amazing. —Aiding & Abetting
Housed in an excellent sleeve, this could be the finest Big Eyes Family Players release — the songs flowing together perfectly, each one exactly as it should be, the whole so much more than the sum of its parts. — Terrascope UK
The whole thing is over in half an hour. It’s welcome to stay longer – as long as it likes – but it knows the value of a measured dose, and it has business in the east. — Kemptation