The Elison story should start with a fulfilled desire to play the saxophone at school, but instead starts with a short-lived stint as the chief and only bassoon player in the school orchestra. This led to a lengthy hiatus from music until school was left behind once and for all, although the faintly happy memories of a few lead singing parts in disappointing school shows had a career as a bed and bath crooner almost all but guaranteed. The necessary four guitar chords were learnt and the singing began. The lack of any real talent at this point meant it should have remained a private past time, but the surprising volume put out by this once bass blowing chest caught the attention of a few distant neighbours and their anger suggested at least one thing. The voice was strong.
After a few years a four track recorder was bought and some songs were written and some were even good. Good enough it seems to attract the attention of a student record label run out of South Birmingham College called Incubator Records and Elison was born. 2004 saw an EP released and 2005 saw two albums, bought by a handful of people. A lack of promotion due somewhat to a lack of live performances meant some on stage experience was needed and in 2005, Elison found himself playing lead guitar in the Indie band 'Sideways Glance' and doing the bass and vocals in the band 'Hoodoo Fifties'. A lot of writing and recording led to an employment opportunity as a producer for the folk band 'Mr Bones and the Dreamers' and later the invitation to join the band as bassist and backing singer. During this time both 'Sideways Glance' and 'Mr Bones' were signed and in fact Sideways Glance are still playing together today. This gave the necessary experience in the ways of live music for Elison to take to the stage to promote the first album for many years, 2014's A Familiar View. Some fifteen years on from strumming away to baffled neighbours and people finally had the chance to pay for such treatment.
From the first gig it was known that a band would need to be formed to really tour the material and so the live shows for the next album, 2015's A Week of Aborted Bike Rides and Broken Pac-Man, featured Oli Brown on the piano and after a few shows, Rob Newbury was brought in on drums. The sound was getting close, just the lack of a bottom end meant that finally Tom Coppins joined up to play the bass. This line-up gigged around Birmingham for the whole of 2016 and the guys did a fantastic job of re-arranging the songs to work live.
2018 saw the release of a third studio album Infinite Elison which received far more attention than previous releases due to being played live. In 2019 a new single Jammy Dodgers (The Brexit Song) was released in the summer that seems to have become the nearest to an Elison hit due to being featured on Anti-Brexit radio and it was the start of a series of single releases not to be featured on an album. He has found this method suits the times, with less pressure to get a whole album prepared and a more consistent buzz around regular new releases. It led to the idea of having the first Elison Christmas song, with Pigs In Blankets being released in December 2019.
2020 saw more singles released: 21st Century Politics in January, The Devil's Door in April, And Then Repeat in July as a lovely summer 'hit' and then a beautiful song about the birth of his daughter Extraordinary Love in November. 2020 also saw the pandemic and the lockdown's, which happened to coincide with Elison changing every piece of studio equipment and instrument bar his Father's acoustic guitar for the 60's. The new equipment led to a huge leap in recording quality and a project was needed to learn how to get the best out of the gear. As it happens there was an album almost completed in 2004 in the Incubator Records days that didn't get finished or released and had seven pretty great songs on it. The lockdown gave the perfect opportunity to record those songs and release them. One particular fan of these songs and a constant reminder to get them finished was Elison's Mum and so it was decided to set the release date for her 70th birthday. Little was he to know at the time, but once the release day was upon him, Elison was in hospital at the birth of his first daughter. This of course meant the release of Shards of My Past was only the third most important thing that day.
2021 saw another single released, the 80's Indie/Pop tinged Back to the Fear and there is a thinking that there may be an album to pull these single tracks and some other material together, so check back regularly to see what's happening. Two re-releases from a previous album have made some waves with their greatly improved recordings in Special and If Only We Knew.
2022 has got underway nicely with the release of the brand new song When She's Eighteen, a tongue-in-cheek look at parenthood. Then in April Elison was challenged by BBC Introducing to take part in their Collaborator Generator to be matched up with another artist and write a song together in a week. Find out a little more about that process and have a listen to the resulting song The Devil. You can head down the page to listen to the singles and albums and watch some videos. Please do follow Elison on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Spotify as well as anywhere else you might find him as it's a tough game this music thing and everybody's help is always hugely appreciated. Most of all, please enjoy the music!