LIVE: Curtis Eller

15/04/2009

Alison Emm went to see Curtis Eller at The Maze


Curtis Eller (right) accompanied by a friend on accordion (left)
Curtis Eller (right) accompanied by a friend on accordion

Who could resist the draw of a man who proclaims to be New York’s angriest yodelling banjo player?  Not me, that’s for sure.  I did note, however, that although The Maze was busy, it seems more than one of Nottingham’s population had been able to suppress themselves... more fool them. 

Curtis Eller is a sight to behold when he comes on stage; a tall, gangly man with a head of unruly curls, a moustache that any man would be proud of and a fine pair of braces to keep his trews up. His weapon of choice is not that of many modern musicians but he wields it well.  Ignore any preconceived notions of hillbillies duelling by the river as this is not what Mr Eller’s banjo playing is about.   

Moustached maestro Curtis Eller
Moustached maestro Curtis Eller

Bounding around The Maze’s stage with more energy than a four year old, his ability to high-kick mid-song makes The Pussycat Dolls look like clumsy oafs.   A man of balance, he even dared do it whilst on a stool for a couple of songs; the man has skills.  During the evening he sheepishly apologised to the audience that he had forgotten his kazoo only to have one lobbed on stage by Nottingham’s own Joey Chickenskin.  This was a gesture that Curtis Eller seemed to wholly appreciate until he blew into it  and realised it sounded more like a deflating balloon than a musical instrument.  Not put off by bad British design, Eller replaced all kazoo parts with yodels, a more than satisfactory result (yes, even yodelling can be made palatable by this man).  

His music is (sort of) of the blues/punk/folk/rock variety and as a solo artist he fills not only the stage but the whole room with his presence.  Such is the strength of his voice that even when he sang his first song partially without the microphone, you could barely tell the difference.  His songs are like illustrated stories that his music colours as they progress: Tales of circus elephants, Buster Keaton, bygone American Presidents, his daughter and boxers were all told throughout the evening. 

Curtis Eller is officially my favourite live act; he is funny, engaging and asks nothing more than for his audience to be part of the spectacle.  He knows a good tune, he can sing it crystal clear and he’ll make you laugh between songs.  

Curtis Eller played Cosmic American at The Maze on Wednesday 8 April 2009.


Curtis Eller website
The Maze website
Cosmic American website

 

 

Share this article



Ads by Google


Comments


comments powered by Disqus

Share Tools

Go to comments Read comments and make your own

LeftLion Newsletter

Get a weekly dose in your inbox

LeftLion Newsletter
more info

Confetti

Confetti
more info

Most read this monthalt

  • LeftLion Magazine #60
    With Stuart Pearce, Shaun Derry, Sleaford Mods, Gallery 47, Lenton Flats, Soul Buggin', DiY, D'Israeli, Ross Noble and more...
  • Doing it for DiY
    Legendary Notts free-party collective DiY threw a 25th birthday at the weekend. At their expense. As ever. Then someone robbed them. LeftLion asks if you can help
  • Brief history of Gunn Crime
    An overview of the criminal careers of Bestwood Cartel leaders and 'Godfathers' of Nottingham gang crime, Colin and David Gunn
  • Stuart Pearce
    "I don't think I could have finished my life without managing Nottingham Forest"
  • Five Reasons Why Grandmaster Flash Changed The Game
    The man who introduced the medium of hip hop to the mainstream will grace the stage of Nottingham this Sunday at The Approach
  • LeftLion Kickstarter
    Help us to raise £10k on Kickstarter to take LeftLion Magazine monthly and bag yourself some money-can't-buy rewards in the process
  • Pick of the Week: 11 - 17 August
    LeftLion's handy guide to the dandy things going on in Nottingham over the next seven days
  • Just The Tonic at Edinburgh Fringe
    We followed round Nottingham's famous comedy club on their epic first week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  • Pick of the Week: 4 - 10 August
    Look at all these pickings. There's so much to do that our brains are convulsing with joy
  • Pick of the Week: 18 - 24 August
    Superheroes, the Doctor, films in fields, musicians in luchador masks, dancing like muppets - yep, Nottingham has it covered

LeftLion on Facebook

 

Event Listings alt

There aren't any tickets available for sale. view all events

Ads by Google