with Stray Fossa
Downstairs, All Ages
DOORS: 7:00 PM // SHOW: 8:00 PM
ON SALE NOW!
Sunday March 17, 2019
The story of Ten Fé is a love story, of sorts. For the songwriters at the centre of it – Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan – the band is the eventual realisation of two respective careers spent navigating the bumpy terrain of the music industry. Both have been in bands before, some successful, some less so, until in each-other they finally found a musical partnership built on a deeper understanding.
As they prepare to release their second album, the pair are reflecting on where they’re at and how they’ve got there. Leo is from the Black Country. He grew up in Walsall, an industrial town north-west of Birmingham – a place regularly voted “the armpit of England”, he adds, beaming with pride. He describes his household as “Catholic-socialist”, all about inclusion, and steeped in a tradition of folk singing passed down through his Irish family. Ben on the other hand, originally from East London, found his musical feet in school – picking up a guitar, and moving through Britpop into psychedelia and then jazz as he progressed through his teenage years.
Separated by 150 miles, the pair both spent their formative years writing songs and playing shows. On leaving school Ben made for the Royal Academy of Music, where he focused on jazz guitar. Leo spent a brief spell in London, before crossing the Irish Sea for Dublin from where his family hail originally, to try and earn a living from music there. Their first meeting came about in 2005 through a mutual friend who was also studying at the RAM. “It was a musician’s party,” Ben remembers. “People were jamming and we started playing an old rock and roll song on stage together.” While this meeting left an impression on them both, it wasn’t until 2008, while Ben was beginning to enjoy success playing bass in indie outfit Golden Silvers, that the pair reconnected and decided to try their luck busking as a duo.
It’s a decision that has come to define their relationship. During the past decade the pair have spent countless hours crammed onto the District Line during
rush hour, dodging the police; being handed punches, £50 notes and everything in between. As respective bands came and went, the nights spent living
under the city’s fingernails, trying to make ends meet, remained a constant. In this respect, busking is integral to understanding Ten Fé: who they
are and where they’ve come from. “There’s a sense of the trenches,” Leo explains. “That’s how this band was formed.”
Drawing on mixed musical inspiration absorbed from parents’ record collections, the Nick and Will Evans got their start organizing regular free concerts with childhood friend Zach Blount in their hometown of Sewanee, Tennessee. Today, after a six-year hiatus, their creative process has reemerged in the face of opposing artistic tastes, yet shared obsession to make more sound than one would expect from a three-piece.
The band's debut EP, "Sleeper Strip" (2018), garnered praise from notable blogs and magazines, such as The Wild Honey Pie, Obscure Sound, and Whurk Magazine. Compared to the likes of Beach House, Real Estate and The War on Drugs, the release yields a “nocturnal vein of rock with strong melodic elements” – a “heart-rending blend of garage rock and dream pop” with “consistently superb vocal deliveries throughout”. Outlets were quick to applaud the songwriting, home recording and self-sufficiency in music production. Stray Fossa's third single, "Commotion," released in September 2018, received positive reviews as a "compelling unconventional" take on shoegaze, and following a successful stretch of shows up the east coast, the band released their fourth single, "Swells," in January 2019.