I first met Dave Redford from Every Black Day at a video shoot for another band The Storm Trees. Richard Nettleship had asked for steampunks as extras in his video and we both gave our time to help make it happen. I reported on it, which you can see by following this link. Dave is also a member of Sheffield Steampunk Society so when we saw each other again – admittedly a year or so later – he gave me a CD which contains a selection of the band’s music.
Every Black Day have been around since 2012 and have been working the local gig scene while building their playlist. They list themselves as post-punk, goth and folk while describing their sound as “accidental Levellers meets Joy Division inside the brain of Neil Gaiman who happens to be watching Doctor Who in a 1900 that history doesn’t remember”. Sounds like a good basis to get a band started if you ask me.
The Facebook page lists three band members while the full website (links below) lists four. I contacted Dave to clarify who this mystery fourth member was. With Dave on Lyrics, Kate on Violin and Faye on Bass that leaves Richard. He was the drummer for a few years until he had to depart for Norway with his wife. Since then they’ve been using a drum machine, but they are looking for a real drummer. Interested? Why not get in touch with them on their Facebook page?
The CD contains four tracks. Three of which are on the website which, interestingly, also contains lyrics and a fourth that I can’t find any for, but is by far the most interesting to me. The first track is called OFI Monday which I think is a corruption of the term TFI Friday, but twists it round to look at the bleak misery of starting the working week. The verses are laden with metaphor such as the opening line Siren wakes me without warning which I think alludes to an alarm clock. There are lots of references to the modern era issues of depression, SADS and living to work over working to live. Coupled by a longing to be unique and preferring to live a meek existence of individuality over a life of comfort through conformity.
Despite the rather pessimistic opening track, the rest of the EP doesn’t follow the same route. While the introductory track seems inspired by The Smiths, the sound is closer to BB Blackdog. The second track titled The Ordinary Man is more upbeat and has a hint of the 1950’s built in to the folky rock. It appears to document the criminal lifestyles of the Victorian underworld such as pickpockets, thieves and even maybe blackmailers. References are made to the gas lit streets and the Bow Street Runners. The latter are believed to have been the very first Police Force.
None of the tracks are long with them all equalling a reasonable time of around 3 minutes. In The Shadows Of The Giants is a fast dinky number which sits around the 2.45 minutes mark. Dave reflects on the poor people of the Victorian era and how they contrast with the wealth of the country. How the gigantic monolithic buildings of the major cities are world renowned and prove to the world not only our strength, but how rich we are. Then in the shadows of these giants, down on the streets below, critically poor people live out their meek existence with no chance of getting out of the slump.
The final track is an interesting one because it’s not actually meant to be a proper release. According to the Soundcloud upload of what’s listed as B.L.D it’s a “silly parody we put down when we were supposed to be recording our second EP.” Anyone familiar with Goth music will recognise the record they lampooned as Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus. Every Black Day were inspired by the vampire culture particularly around Whitby. It’s a light hearted poke and all meant in fun. The band assures me that the protagonist isn’t a real person, but the descriptions are very precise. Lyrics such as “Black cape, black boots, black tie, white fangs, the effect was rather sad” and “he said ‘I’ve had this skull cane since Byron were a lad'” suggest that the band don’t really believe that these people are actually 300 year old vampires.
Every Black Day conclusion
It’s nice to hear the raw sound of a band every now and again. It’s easy for bands to invest in production studios but I think you can get a better understanding of the band and where they’re coming from when you hear them without the frills and glamour. This EP was recorded in Richard’s living room, for example. I think that’s great. The band definitely have their own sound although steampunks may recognise a familiarity to BB Blackdog. Each band member is clearly talented in their discipline and it shows in the way that the instruments compliment each other.
I like to hear references to familiar places in songs and because the band are Sheffield based, I get excited when I hear about the Botanical Gardens in The Ordinary Man. I also enjoyed the references to Victorian Britain. Dave is a steampunk so it’s not out of character for that to happen.
The EP I received was a sample of the band’s music and you can buy their merchandise at gigs where they play. CDs are usually only around the £3 each. That’s great value for a clearly talented band. We’ll be publishing more details on their whereabouts later, so keep an eye out. However the music is easily available to listen to on Soundcloud. You can get there by following this link.
The band have a main website which you can visit here for lyrics to the songs. However, it’s badly in need of an update. Nothing has been added to it since 2015.
Most of the activity is on the Facebook page which you can go to and like them to follow their movements. Maybe catch a show.