Lyrics Insights 2 – Pothole Tambourine

Hello Ethryllites everywhere. Welcome to another our series of insights into our songs and lyrics. This week our featured song is “Pothole Tambourine”.

Firstly, A Quick News Update

 On Wednesday night we were at West Street Live in Sheffield for an eclectic evening featuring ourselves, Uncle Funkle and Bright Black. Some youtube clips of our performance can be found here. I would like to particularly thank Matt H. who made me lemsip and was generally lovely (I was feeling rough as a badgers bum that night as I have had the lurgy all week – not quite sure how I made it through the set).

The next gig we currently have booked is on Saturday May 14th “RoofRaiser for Refugees” at Shakespeare’s in Sheffield. We will be appearing with the Bell Hagg Orkestar and Kingfisher Blue. It is all taking place for a fantastic cause. We would love to see you there if you can make it.

Pothole Tambourine

Pothole Tambourine is written about the delightful highways and byways of South Yorkshire. Whilst driving between my home in Rotherham and work at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital I had to drive up a particularly badly potholed road in Greasborough. Having had a rehearsal the night before, I still had my tambourine in the boot. Every time I hit a pothole there was a wonderful arrhythmic percussion effect. Thus the idea was born. It was developed further as I drove around Sheffield. Southey, Walkley and Arundel Gate all get a mention.

I particularly hate potholes as, following back surgery a few years ago, they have caused me particular pain. They have also done hundreds of pounds worth of damage to my vehicles over the last 20 years.

I  this song Kris really gets to have a bit of a show off on the bass, with a really funky beat going on below. Martin uses a light hand on the fiddle here, adding just a little pizzicato embellishment. We decided to use the harmonica as the solo instrument in this song, as it mimics the frantic car horns which can be heard wherever drives swerve to avoid holes in the road and nearly hit each other. The vibraslap was added after seeing a friend’s band “Braver than Fiction” use one and realising it would give us the perfect “sproing” noise we had been missing.

Happily Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Sheffield City Council seem to be trying to get on top of these potholes at last. Keep it up guys, you’ve a little ways to go yet. Our vertebrae and vehicles thank you for your efforts.

Pothole Tambourine

Fare thee well my springs and track rod ends,
Shock absorbers fair thee well,
For I know that it’s going to be a long time in the shop,
Before you all work again.
There’s a rhythmic clunk from the junk in my trunk,
The change on my dash rings like a bell,
There is no help for it, I cannot ignore it,
If I let it bug me I would be in Hell,
I’m shaken to distraction, by the up and down action,
When I only want to go along,
There’s just one thing left to do for peeps like me and you,
In all the clatter try and find your song.

Pot Hole  (sproing) Tambourine (clap clap) Pot Hole Tambourine
Like the surface of the moon, On a lane of leafy green,
Pot Hole (sproing) Tambourine (clap clap) Pot Hole Tambourine,
The state of Britain’s roads is utterly obscene,
Pot Hole (sproing) Tambourine (clap clap) Pot Hole Tambourine,
Sing this song as you bounce along,
To your Pot Hole Tambourine.

The views may be pretty around the steel city,
But better keep your eyes upon the track,
Otherwise a crater will get you sooner or later,
Knackering your wheels and you back,
From the Green of Southey to the heights of Walkley,
You will find it is much the same,
Ridge and Furrow Tarmac, Grass through the black,
Not so much a journey as a deadly game.


Instrumental (harmonica)

My poor old shocks, can’t take any more knocks,
I’ve lost my exhaust and cowell plate,
My track rod ends, now have funny bends,
And my oil sump is down Arundel Gate,
It’s becoming clear, I’ll need new wheels every year,
Driving’s draining all the pennies from the bank
Unless I win NASA give over, to lend me a Luna rover,
Or I buy an army surplus 10 tonne tank,

Chorus x 2 (key change on 2nd)

Sing this song as you bounce alon———————-g, To your Pot Hole Tambourine. (Sproing)

Lyrics Insights 1 – Wait ’til I Get You Home

Hello again Ethryllites. I hope you are all having fun and generally being awesome on this fine spring day. We enjoyed a fabulous gig on Friday night at the West Street Ale House. It is a great new venue, and you need to try the beer. Delicious.

On Wednesday next week (13th April) we continue our “World Tour of West Street” at West Street Live. We hope to see you there, treating yourself to an outrageous cocktail and some good tunes. The perfect remedy for hump day.


At Friday’s gig I had a request to start posting some of Ethryll’s Lyrics on our website. I thought this was an epic idea. I am hoping it may even lead to more singing along. So over the next few weeks I will be writing some features about our songs, including the lyrics and some insights.

Wait ’til I Get You Home

“Wait ‘til I Get You Home” is about a couple, one of whom is an extrovert, the other is more reserved. The song tells about the social awkwardness this creates for them. However, the song also tells how all’s well when they get home and it’s just the two of them. The song is not about any particular couple, it is based on patterns I have observed in many relationships of friends, family, colleagues and fellow conspirators. The song does not specify the genders of the couple. So don’t be surprised if it reminds you of some people you know, or even of yourself.

The song writing process for “Wait ‘til I Get You Home” began whilst I was driving, and was hastily scribbled down in my notebook whilst parked in a lay-by. To start with it was quite “straight” but I knew I wanted to use my new djembe in it. What brought the song truly to life was when Jackie and Kris got hold of it. Jackie changed the guitar part to more flamenco inspired rhythm, and Kris added a calypso style bass line. Added to this, Martin’s fiddle is more traditional UK folk. Like chocolate and chilli, it probably shouldn’t work, but it does.

You can hear us performing Wait ’til I Get You Home at West Street Ale House in this youtube video.


Wait ‘til I Get You Home – © Ethryll 2016

Verse 1

Tonight you’ve been laughing a little too loud,
Tonight you’ve been acting a little too proud,
Tonight perhaps you’ve raised one more glass than you should,
That pot plant you’re chatting up would run it it could,
And you’re dancing like my dad, After too much coffee,
I forgot on nights like this, You can get really bossy,
It might surprise them all but it happens to be true,
The best part of the evening will be leaving with you.


Wait ‘till I get you home, darling,
Wait ‘till I get you home,
They just can’t understand why we fight on no man’s land,
Wait ‘till I get you home

Verse 2

Tonight I’ve scarce seen a smile on your face,
Tonight you’ve been acting with funereal grace,
Stood by the wall with that stick up your butt,
Too cool to come out on the dance floor and strut,
On the edge of conversation, Wincing at jokes,
Your Monosyllabic, Responses are like croaks,
It might surprise them all but it happens to be true,
The best part of the evening will be leaving with you,

Chorus X 2 Bridge Chorus X 2


Wait ‘till I get you home, Wait ‘till I get you home, Wait ‘till I get you home (Cha, cha, cha).

Ethryll April Newsletter

Welcome to Spring Ethryllites Everywhere!

Coming Up this April

Friday April 8th 2016 – West Street Ale House, Sheffield – from 8pm

Wednesday April 13th 2016 – West Street Live, Sheffield – from 7.30pm

Saturday May 14th 2016 – RoofRaiser for Refugees at Shakespeares, Gibraltar Street, Sheffield  – from 7.30pm. Ethryll will be the guests of Kingfisher Blue and The Bell Hagg Orkestar.

Thursday May 26th 2016 – Taste Sessions – Taste, 36 Kingsgate, Doncaster – from 7.30pm, we will be the guests of Tony Nicholson.

Ethryll In the Media

Check our this fantastic article about Ethryll from Unsung Music Blog

What’s New With Us?

At our upcoming April gigs Ethryll will be premièring the first pieces from the new Jeanie Johnston suite, plus our other new song 2020 Vision.

Our existing song “Pothole Tambourine” now has added Vibraslap. It needed more vibraslap (thanks to Mel Lampro and Braver than Fiction for the inspiration). The packaging that the new toy came in also caused endless amusement. Nice one Stagg.

My new vibraslap came in dubiously branded packaging.
My new vibraslap came in dubiously branded packaging.


Gig Cancelled – 17th March

The Acoustic Thursday gig at Doncaster College, High Melton Campus has sadly been cancelled. We have been told that they have technical difficulties which cannot be rectified in time. We would like to give our apologies to anyone who was planning on coming to see us.

There is going to be a folk band,
On St Patrick’s Day,
All dressed up,
Nowhere to play,
Have you got a venue,
That’s without a band?
Send us a message quick,
We’ll try and lend a hand.

Failing all else we may go and find an open mic. night and play a song or two. We will post on Facebook, Twitter and the Website and let you know where we end up.

Our next gig is at West Street Live in April. Hope to see you there.

Ethryll Newsletter


Hello Ethryllites! It’s time for you update of Ethryll news, and we have a very exciting month ahead in March 2016.

Upcoming Gigs – See Us Live

17th March 2016 – Acoustic Thursdays @ The Pavillion, Doncaster College, High Melton Campus

From 7.00pm. We are preparing a fantastic St Patrick’s Day themed set which focuses on our Irish folk music inspired works. Be prepared to get jiggy!

New Developments

Ethryll are currently working hard on some exciting new material based around the amazing story of the Jeanie Johnston. We hope to be premièring some of these at our March gigs. We also have a new song 2020 Vision, which takes a look into a future which is fantastical and dystopic by turns.

New Gear

We have been making a bit of an investment in our on-stage sound. Our March gigs will see the first outings of several new instruments including two beautiful acoustics and some new percussion that will really add more depth and interest.

Of Guitars

My new axe

There comes a time in every musician’s life when they think “I’m serious about what I am doing (whilst having fun), and I need a more serious instrument”. Boys seem to hit this aged 13 as soon as they are able to play a C Major (that’s “Crooked Lady” to you Phoebe). I remember the other boys doing music at school lusting after Custom Strats and Vintage Les Pauls. My story with guitars is a bit different. Firstly, I have never owned an electric guitar!

The guitar was the 5th instrument I learned to play (I am a bit eclectic). In the village where I grew up there were some fantastic “have a go” style evening classes that ran in the school and community centre. Howard,one of the teachers at the primary school played guitar, and he began a guitar class. Howard had been very involved in the folk scene in London in the late 60s and early 70s, and had some great stories to tell.

The material we covered in class was very folk and protest song oriented. Our teacher began introducing me to songs and styles which really suited my voice. He later told me that because I instinctively sang the song as I played, it had encouraged the rest of the class to do the same. He had taught classes before where everyone played the song, but no one sang! Our class sang together as we played, and after a while we began to experiment with harmonies and songwriting together.

So my first guitar was a nylon strung, snaggle toothed banana. I picked it up at a jumble sale for £15. Three of the crappy plastic tuning pegs had snapped off, so you had to tune it with pliers. The neck was completely bowed, so that by the 6th fret the action was about 6 miles high. I stuck with it from September, when the classes started until my Birthday in February. During this time my teacher constantly bemoaned my instrument and how it was holding me back. (It beat being told that insufficient practice was holding me back).

So February came, and so did my Birthday, and a trip to TPS Music in Hinckley to buy guitar number 2. To be fair, in those days, TPS was a very small shop and choice was a bit limited, especially for my budget.  In those days I never played with amplification, so I opted for a big Jumbo size which was nice and loud. The guitar cost £70 and it is a SaeHan. I have never seen another SaeHan before or since.

I love this guitar with all it’s flaws. If you have been to an Ethryll gig where I have been playing guitar you will have seen it, 24 years on. Sadly it is now getting tired and buzzy. Even some loving ministrations from my excellent friend and general guitar fiend Tim could not resolve all it’s issues. It also has more than a few bumps and grazes from being my faithful travelling companion. It could tell some stories. Thank goodness it can’t!

I had a previous misadventure trying to replace the SaeHan. I bought an Armadillo backed Tanglewood electro-acoustic whilst I was in Freedom Hill. I could not get used to it. Armadillo backs and “decolletage” do not mix. I sold it a few years later.

At the strong suggestion of my husband, and a few others I trust for sage advice, I have decided that the old girl just could not cut it any more. The nail in the coffin was doing some recording where the buzzes and wonky intonation were very obvious. It just would not do any more. So as of today the SaeHan is retiring from stage life. I have a new guitar, and I think I am finally onto a winner.

I have particularly small hands. This had always been an issue for me on the SaeHan, and there were some things I just couldn’t play as a result. On the advice of my beloved Bass man, and several musical friends, I decided to look for a guitar that is the right size for me. I am done with struggling with a massive plank. Some research later, I discovered two brands of guitar which specialised in “ladies” models (shades of Little Britain). Narrower necks, but full scale. The body somewhere between ¾ and standard. A little smaller in the body than a Baby Taylor. These were Daisy Rock and Luna. Luna was much more readily available in the UK, also their high spec electrics and beautiful designs won hands down. I opted for the Luna Passion Flower, which is in a gorgeous and very “Ethryll” purple.

It arrived today, and I am a very happy lady. The sound, of course, has less bass than my old giant SaeHan but it is beautifully clear. Not a buzz anywhere. I think the more treble sound will contrast nicely with Jackie’s larger acoustic.

It is so much more comfortable to play. It was also a pleasure not to have to compromise between sound, playability and aesthetics. I am so glad that there are now much more respectable instruments out there geared up to female musicians that don’t look and sound like toys.

The balanced output is a definite winner (bye bye DI) and I have to say the tuner beats the Fishman hands down. My only suggestion to Luna would be to reconsider the plastic material used at the bridge and nut. This is the only place where this guitar betrays it’s very reasonable price tag. The sound is great now, but I am worried about how it will wear.

It’s first outings will be our gigs on March 14th (Shakespeare’s) and March 17th (High Melton). It will be all newy newness as we also have 2 new songs and Kris’s new Michael Kelly bass. Hope we can see you there.

A Musical Holiday in Dublin

On the plane

This weekend two members of Ethryll (Kris and I) escaped to Dublin for a much needed break. We were also celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary. We had a fantastic time and it has been an inspirational weekend, musically speaking. It was good to be somewhere where the live music scene is truly thriving.

Firstly we hit Dublin’s amazing selection of music shops. The Gandharva Loka world music instrument shop gave me the chance to purchase the much longed for rain stick to add a sea sound to the start of Eel Reel. I also got some bells which I am sure I will work in somewhere.

My silly purchase was a tiny working harmonica necklace. This shop is a little gold mine for percussionists and what I want to call “World Woodwind” players. A very friendly place.

At Mdragonflymammyusic Minds Kris hit gold in his search for a stage worthy acoustic bass. He found a Michael Kelly 5 String Dragonfly Acoustic Bass. It not only sounds amazing, and perfect for Ethryll, but it is a visual work of art too. We couldn’t bring it back on the plane, so they are shipping it to us this coming week. I am very excited for it to get here and start hearing it in the band.

The new bass is called “Mammy” (Sunday name “Agnes”) because it is from Dublin, and it has a Dragonfly on it*. I also picked up a better strap for my Djembe (an old handbag strap will not do long term) and a “Travelog” stomp pedal so we can have a stronger beat behind some of our songs.

I found Music Minds to be a great experience. Some really interesting stock and unusual finds at good prices. Stuff you would be hard pushed to find in the UK in a place where you can look at things properly and try them out. **

JeanieJohnstonOne part of the trip which set the song writing neurons firing was a tour of the
replica Tall Ship “Jeanie Johnston”. The original ship has an amazing story which I am hoping to tell at least some of in some new songs now officially “in development”.

If you want to whet your appetite by finding out more you can take a look at  Jeanie Johnston’s story will provide a great contrast to “Fastnet”.

oshaemerchantIn O’Shea’s Merchant’s we found some great music. I was impressed with the Sunday session. The occasional trad. song to sing along to, but it was enlivened by some brave covers which the lads really pulled off. Folk Bob Marley works. The pub also does a great Seafood Chowder and Veggie Curry.   

Thank you for an excellent trip, Dublin. Thank you too to Jury’s Inn Christchurch for a lovely stay.


*  The Mammy, Agnes Brown, is the central, rather sweary character in the RTE/BBC TV series Mrs Brown’s Boys.

**But mind your head on the Flying V hanging from the ceiling. It’s even pointier than it looks.

Ethryll Newsletter #1 : February 2016


Welcome, Ethryllites to this, our first newsletter of hopefully many!

Rather than send you lots of individual emails we thought a simple newsletter every so often would be the best way of going, but of course we would love to hear your feedback – you can chat to us in our forums or on our facebook page or even on twitter 

If you’re reading this newsletter via the website or have come here from a link on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or any other site then remember you can get these delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list.

January was a busy month, comparatively speaking for Ethryll – with two gigs, one at West Street Live and one (a private birthday booking) at The Burton Street Project in Sheffield. Both were very successful, and in particular, the Burton Street Gig which was the first test for our own new PA and lights.


So what’s new?

If you haven’t seen, Kris has been very busy with the image of the band – both on the website with a total redesign of our online home, and with a new redesign of the logo. I think you’ll agree that the website looks absolutely great! We also have forums and a lot more content than the previous sites. You can join the website as a member and then you can contribute to discussions, comment on posts and interact in many more ways.

We now have a booking and diary system up and running – so if you’re thinking of booking us for a function, party or event you can check our availability.

We also have a small lighting setup and PA system. It’s only small but from little acorns…

Finally, we have some rather nice band photos – and a full band publicity photo. Feel free to use these in any publicity material regarding Ethryll. We have larger sizes of all of these available on request – just email us if you need them.



Forthcoming Gigs

We also now have a few more gigs in our books, plus a couple we’re currently hammering down final details on. These are confirmed:

Thursday 17th March – Acoustic Thursdays at High Melton College

Wednesday 13th April – Akoustica at West Street Live


But for now; fondest regards

Hannah, Jackie, Kris & Martin