When I was three and a half years old I had a dream that my parents wouldn’t let me play the violin. I was devastated! One of my earliest memories was hearing bagpipes and being terrified (I love them now!) and seeing a string quartet play at a wedding, I knew I had to play the violin or life wasn’t worth it somehow. So aged four my musical journey began with an 8th size violin and Piccadilly Circus. I moved through the spheres of school choir and orchestra, area string orchestra, national youth training choir, county youth orchestra and thence to the Birmingham Conservatoire where I gained a BMus in music composition.
Thanks to Professor Andrew Downes, Mark Lockett, Sid Peacock, Trevor Lines, Fred Baker and Joe Broughton at the Conservatoire I found a style of music and group of people that allowed me to be myself. I’d dabbled in Bluegrass aged 10 when Steve Read a friend of the family got his double bass out and told me to play Billy in the Lowground with him one Christmas. I never looked back and it was only a matter of time before I discovered that folk and acoustic music was where my heart lay. Through the encouragement of Sid Peacock I was given the chance to play in his amazing 17 piece Jazz ensemble, SURGE, and this opened a whole new world of improvisation and possibilities even allowing myself to go completely mental in a free improvisation gig with Chicken Walk at FIZZLE in Balsall Heath, Birmingham.
During this time I found the courage to try singing in public. I always knew I had a voice in there but was often too shy or scared to show it. So in the comforting environment of a folk gig I would sing a song and secretly wish I had sung two or three! I had always listened to and loved Alison Krauss and been inspired to write my own songs and poems throughout school. Being quite a loner I would romanticise about the world in my head and bury myself for hours on end in classic novels and stories.
I grew up in the beautiful heart of the Peak District in Derbyshire. Surrounded by green fields, dry stone walls, sheep, cows and lots of wind and snow in the winter, this environment encourages the mind to chill out and wander, protecting you from the real world. So when I finally left college I felt a bit of a fish out of water. Luckily Ashley Hutchings (of Fairport Convention, Albion Band, Steeleye Span etc) was looking to start a new acoustic group and Joe Broughton recommended me. The rest is history. Thanks to Ashley and him forming the Rainbow Chasers I have had a career in music. This band has allowed me to play my violin/fiddle, learn guitar, sing, write songs, record and co-write with other artists. I have performed in countless concerts/gigs in this country and in Europe and have met and played with some of the best musicians on the scene.
I also play with four piece acoustic band The Rainbow Chasers, 16 piece Jazz ensemble SURGE, my own solo projects and many other artists from time to time. Sid Peacock and myself have recently started our own record company Peacock Angell Records formed an acoustic duo, tracks for listening can be found on the music page.
Special thanks goes to my clever and generous brother Josh Angell for this website which he designed and built for me. This site is being launched as the official start of my solo project. Thanks also to my parents, Sid, family, friends,students and colleagues without whose constant and unfailing support I wouldn’t feel able to do anything! Another special thanks goes to Melissa Morris who takes beautiful and artistic pictures and who has taken some great ones for me for this website. Those days of sitting with a numb bum and my back against the storage heater for hours reading Jane Eyre or Lord of the Rings have long gone and it’s now time to get on and do something!!!!
I would like to share my ideas as they develop and take you on this journey with me. The blog will keep you up to date with all my recent happenings – get notified when I post new stuff with the RSS feed or sign up to the newsletter for less frequent updates. I will be adding to this site over time with gigs, audio, video and more so who knows where this may lead……let’s go!!! See you at a gig sometime.