Cherryshoes Front Woman El-Jay Gives Us Insight Into The Birth of the Band

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I was fortunate enough to catch Cherryshoes in the midst of their band’s graceful climb into popularity and onto the airwaves. They have now put Hay-on-Wye onto the musical map, which is also due in part to BBC Hereford & Worcester’s philanthropists, Andrew Marston and Andy O’Hare, who put a lot of work into giving local bands in both counties local and national exposure. Of course, there is always that important element of luck.

They are playing Hereford’s award-winning music venue The Booth Hall Saturday, September 17th alongside Worcester’s popular Desert Rock dudes , Nuns Of The Tundra (they do really rock), and Hereford’s well-loved eccentric songstress Perk, who will be belting out her brand of edgy, and female-angsty acoustic songs that will have your converse a tappin’.

Of course, the Underground Revolution couldn’t be more pleased to have Cherryshoes on our list of amazing acts performing in Hereford for the first time, and putting our city on the musical map as well. The perfect time to interview El-Jay (Lisa), the enigmatic Cherryshoes front woman, who seems to be shrouded by a mysterious aura that is fueled by her unique, entrancing vocals and style of music.

“It’s all about the Mountains, Rivers, Brooks and Woodland. A mysterious air in these parts. I love it”

The Interview

El Jay from cherryshoes

Hereford City Centric: We are honoured to have you play in Hereford’s Booth Hall for the Underground Revolution on September 17th. Is this your first time playing in Hereford? If yes why do you think that is?

Cherryshoes: It is the first time, until now we have not been asked to. Looking forward to it!

HCC: You are only down the road, and I am sure stranger things have happened, but I have to admit that is pretty strange. I hope this brings more bands from Hay-on-Wye onto the Hereford music circuit and vice versa. We certainly are over the moon to host your first Hereford gig. 

How long have you guys been going and how did the band come together?

CS: It was about a year or so ago. We came together via a festival in celebration of my uncle.

Cherryshoes play Herefords Booth Hall and Underground Revolution

HCC: Sounds like a pretty cool uncle if you ask meWhat are the influences that led to Cherryshoes’ musical style? How did you choose the name?

CS: The name came from a dream I had, we just went with it. Our Musical style? No idea everything and anything, if it feels right then it’s right.
HCC: Interesting, they say dreams can come true and in this case they have. You seem to be getting a lot of interest from BBC Radio who put you in their lineup for the BBC Introducing Stage at T in the Park, and are giving you airplay on Radio 6 and Radio 1 which is ridiculously cool.

What was the turning point that led to this happening?

CS: We where invited to do a session with BBC Hereford and Worcester Introducing, from there we were put foreword to play at T In The Park which was just mad! We had a really good time, and were able to see loads of amazing bands including  The Last Shadow Puppets who where brilliant.

HCC: Amazing. Who is the songwriter? Who is the rock that keeps the band together?

CS: I write the songs, take them to the guys and see what they think. If they like it, we all work together on it, experimenting and messing around with different ideas. I would say the ‘Rock’ is everyone, we all have different dynamics and ideas luckily we all roll in the same direction.

HCC: We happen to be in the middle of a great culture renaissance in Herefordshire. With notable events taking place down the road from Hereford, such as the Ludlow Food Festival, the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, etc, this renaissance has been a long time coming. Did growing up in a literary festival city such as Hay-on-Wye have any influence on your band?

CS: It’s all about the Mountains, Rivers, Brooks and Woodland. A mysterious air in these parts. I love it.

HCC: It is what I have been saying for years! I have tried describing it several times but you have pretty much put it into words for me. It’s all about the natural light, the surrounding landscape and a mystical energy that seeps into your soul. This part of the country attracts creatives in a similar manner to how St. Ives attracts artists looking for inspiration and tourists from around world looking for a beautiful, peaceful getaway from their hectic lives. We just live it everyday. 

How many albums do you have recorded and are there any in the works?

CS: None so far. We are working on it, In search of the right place!

HCC: Well call me as soon as you put one out because I will be the first in line to purchase the album and the T-Shirt! Thank you Lisa for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this for Hereford City Centric and the Underground Revolution. See you soon.  

cherryshoes, nuns of the tundra and Perk play the booth hall hereford
Poster Designed by Artist/Musician John Rose for the Underground Revolution
The Booth Hall Hereford UK
The Booth Hall on East Street in Hereford city centre. Photography Nick Vidal-Hall

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Author: M Cuadra

LA transplant living in England with 23 years experience in the fashion and makeup industry. As a Beauty, Fashion and Culture Blogger who loves punk, indie, grunge and live music in general, it's important to engross oneself and co-exist in these mediums to keep a cutting edge perspecitve that produces inspiring work for generations to come.

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