Volume 92, Issue 76

Thursday, February 11, 1999


Anything cruises merrily along

Simplicity of plot slays irristable love story

Underground sound

Throwing literary tantrum

No limits pushed by Silkk in family effort

Underground sound

Photo by Amy Tigani

ONE DAY THEY'LL BE ABLE TO AFFORD SEATING. Melodic local band Eleanor's Chair make due with what they have until their appearance at the Rose & Crown on Saturday.

Terry Warne
Gazette Staff

The feet start tapping and the fingers start snapping. In a matter of minutes, the entire body is twitching. What the hell is going on?

"It's rock 'n' roll," says Dan DeVries, drummer for the London-based band Eleanor's Chair.

With so many genres of music and such a variance of artists duking it out on the charts, more and more musicians are trying to distinguish themselves from the pack by creating music which places them on the fringe. Eleanor's Chair will have nothing to do with that.

"There's such a lack of good melodic rock," says vocalist Chris Egan. "It's not there anymore – you don't hear it. The scene is so jumbled up with movements like techno that there's a lack of good melodic songwriting."

In this respect, Eleanor's Chair has little to worry about, as they are adept at weaving a catchy melody throughout their songs.

In writing the lyrics, Egan stays away from personal experiences and likes to write about things acceptable for different interpretations.

"I would never want to say that one song is about one thing. The lyrics are very subjective, not objective."

Last week the band competed in a Battle of the Bands at the Wave in which they placed second. When asked if they should have placed first, Egan, DeVries and guitarist Pat Telmer nod in agreement.

"I think it's a very political festival," Egan states without guile. "But you know what? We weren't even interested in placing, we just wanted people to hear our music."

The band is geared towards landing a record contract and believes the first step towards success is taking themselves seriously. Egan expands on these ideas.

"We're good enough and we work very hard. It's not the fame and fortune that's important, it's the success."

"Actually," chimes in DeVries, "I just want to play."

Eleanor's Chair looks forward to live shows more than anything else, but band members have had varied experiences playing around London. Some shows have been sparsely attended, however, the band realizes it's hard to get people to walk in off the street when they aren't familiar with the music. One disastrous show stands out in which the band was booked to play with a bunch of punk bands.

"We were the Backstreet Boys in comparison," Egan scoffs. "The band before us played a song called 'Butt-Fucking Truckers' or something like that. We were like 'oh shit, the crowd's going to hate us.'"

The band is starting to catch on in London and say they have accumulated about 30 groupies.

"Girls are now throwing themselves at us," DeVries says tongue in cheek.

Eleanor's Chair is proud of the attention and effort they put into songwriting, believing a strong melody will never become unpopular.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999