As is traditional with musical pieces we shall begin with an introduction: My name is Leigh Alexander, and for quite a few years now I have been bothering the stages and pub corners of Oxfordshire with various acts and instruments.
My main act is a punk band named Beaver Fuel, which combines loud, fast-paced guitar, bass and drums with intelligent, often amusing lyrics, underpinned with a general sense of silliness. Well, so the reviews say. My solo act Leigh ver Fuel is similar, although with a largely different set of songs and more intelligible vocals due to the fact that an acoustic guitar doesn’t make quite as much noise.
The acoustic guitar also comes into play with Spoon Theory, a covers duo with a female vocalist which is moving more towards audio-visual arts through YouTube. Finally, I am one half of ZeeZee BaBa, Oxfordshire’s foremost (ie only) balalaika, glockenspiel and vocals duo.
Oddly, being involved in so many musical acts is actually quite normal in Oxford, and a strong community spirit means there are always plenty of people to work with. Except drummers. There is always a shortage of drummers.
So, how did we get to here? I have a mailing list for my band activities which I also use as an excuse for creative writing. On top of the information about gig dates etc I tend to go off onto often unrelated tangents, and although that may seem a distraction from the facts it has actually proved quite popular with the recipients. Possibly more popular than the bands themselves. One regular reader happens to be the webmaster for the Best of Oxford site, and so I was asked to contribute occasional articles in a similar style.
I’m not completely sure how these articles will evolve yet, but the fun is in the journey. Hopefully more fun than being in Journey, who surely must be coming soon on the conveyor belt of reformed relics of music past.
One thing I think we can be sure of will be a regular theme of footnotes explaining the obscure attempts at humour within the articles, so we shall start here with the title: I’ve never knowingly heard a note by the band Dashboard Confessional, and I’ve never played skiffle, zydeco or any other style that involves a washboard as a percussion instrument. That is not to exclude such possibilities though, in the last year or so I have had such new experiences as playing soul songs in a cod-reggae style, jazz songs with a Spanish flavour and African rhythms on a traditional Russian instrument. Oh, and all of my punk songs have considerably more than three chords. Yes, it’s that radical.
So, this article has been about me, but as I am a guitarist and vocalist what else would you expect? I know, you expect some information about music in Oxford, that is the remit of this blog after all. Well, now that the introduction is out of the way, we will explore such things in the verses of future articles. Although, given my tendency to meander, most of the future will probably more closely resemble a middle eight and is unlikely to establish a recognisable chorus. A bit like some of my songs, really.
Until the next episode,
Leigh ver Fuel
ZeeZee BaBa will be playing on day one of the Skittle Alley Weekender at the Plough, Long Wittenham on 30th August. No dates for the other acts have been confirmed at this time.
Leigh ver Fuel’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/LeighverFuel
Beaver Fuel on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeaverFuel
Spoon Theory’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SpoonTheory
Spoon Theory on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpoonTheory
ZeeZee BaBa’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/zeezeebabamusic
ZeeZee BaBa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zeezeebabamusic
Member since: 12th August 2014
Leigh ver Fuel is vocalist, guitarist and mostly to blame for the punk band Beaver Fuel, has a solo act, is one half of acoustic covers duo Spoon Theory, and plays balalaika in ZeeZee BaBa.