Jez Hellard and the Djukella Orchestra - Live on the ley

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Top  Upcoming Gigs
August 18th Sat
12:00am - 12:00am
Jez Hellard & The Full Fat Djukella Orchestra
Purbeck Valley Folk Festival
August 19th Sun
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Jez Hellard & The Full-Fat Djukella Orchestra
Purbeck Valley Folk Festival
August 24th Fri
12:00am - 12:00am
Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra
Small World Festival, Headcorn

Top  End of an Era...

Perched here, atop the cliffs by Margate’s Winter Garden on this damp and drizzly morning, it seems that Autumn has snuck up on us all of a sudden. Rarely have I seen such a pallet of greys. The lingering mists and driving rain have retreated slightly, gradually revealing the horizon with its hints of green as a Special Brew can rattles by, rolling wind-blown along the promenade.

It’s been a somewhat gruelling September, laced with toil, tragedy and touches of melancholy. The month started with news of the tragic death of Joshua Lambert-Price, one of the finest young guitarists |’ve encountered in a long while, and ended with that of Charles Roff, renowned photographer, gallerist, coast-guard, surfer, bon-vivant and father to accordion-maestro, Tommie. My heart goes out to their families, friends and all who’ve been struck by such brutal news.

Between these ominous bookends, my days (and nights) have mostly been spent digging through dusty corners extracting treasure from hoarded tat, trudging around town centres putting up posters, racing across the country on a tight schedule, and hanging around venues handing out flyers for our up-coming concerts.

After 34 years of the finest asparagus, tomatoes, apples, pears, jam, jelly, berries and horse-radish, weddings, ordinations, house-concerts and parties of every description, my folks have moved out of the home where we all grew up (to an extent) and on to pastures new.

I’ve always been aware that we Hellards are what our American cousins would call “pack-rats”, constantly squirrelling away bits and bobs which “will surely come in handy some day”, but it is only when you start to clear it out that the enormity of this folly is revealed. At one point, my Dad asked if I could “help me get a train-set down from the roof”, and after three hours, both bleeding slightly and picking spiders out of our ears we had assembled about half a ton of ocean-going trunks, and a motley assortment of junk, from dusty and battered kitchen gear to primary school homework, report cards to the aforementioned train-set.

After two skips, thirty-six visits to the tip and six to the charity shop (thanks to Mind for all your hard work), one council collection, one yard-sale and several parties, we somehow managed to get through it. With echoes of a less blood-thirsty Lady Macbeth, however many times we wash our hands, it feels like the dust is still there. It really is amazing how after six hours of sorting and shredding papers, boxing up treasures and throwing out piles of junk, rooms appear more full than they were in the first place.

Just as it’s possible to waste an infinite amount of time on so-called “social media” (surely antisocial is the more apt adjective), I now believe that without the strictest discipline it would be possible to spend an infinite amount of time clearing one room, without actually achieving anything.

Huge thanks to my brother for moral support, to Jo for said discipline, and to Jim, Jenny and Tim for finding a home for my books, records, CDs, cassettes and indeed drum-kit. There are some things which simply can’t be thrown in a skip.

Now that this laborious but deeply cathartic task is done, I am left with exactly a month to sell out our five album-launch concerts in England and get the publicity machine rolling for our subsequent tour of Scotland. That’s a lot of tickets to sell. We’re playing shows in Bristol, Devon, Priston and King’s Cliffe on the first four days of November, then officially releasing the record in London, at The Old Queen’s Head in Islington on Monday November 6th. If you’re anywhere near any of those places, or know any music-lovers who are, it will mean the world to us if you get yourself a ticket and help us get a full house for every show.

If you’ve been feeling a bit worn out and anxious with all the nuclear sabre-rattling, zero-hours contracts, moronic hairstyle-ranting and constant chatter of political monsters (NIetzche’s own blonde beasts), WE HAVE EXACTLY THE SELECTION OF INSPIRING SONGS YOU NEED to bring a charismatic sophistication to your step and a spark to your soul. A few early bird tickets are still available for the London and Bristol shows for the bargain price of £8. Get yours now while they’re still cheap.

Posted: 1st Oct 2017 | Contact