The Two who are TU
Carolyn is a seasoned musician, having spent many years as singer and bass player with the folk rock band 'Shave the Monkey'.
From folk clubs to huge international festivals, she has played in bands and performed solo across Europe, including Denmark, Belgium and Germany. Her favourite folk club is Hitchin (where she is resident) and favourite festival is Skagen in Denmark where their definition of ‘Celidh’ is to get every performer (sometimes over 100) on stage at the same time singing and performing ‘Look on the Bright side of Life’ in a scene more bizarre than the Python’s could have ever imagined.
As a songwriter Carolyn's style is broadly 'folky' but encompasses elements of many styles according to song. With a strong preference for 'story songs', she writes on subjects as diverse as 17th century witchcraft, Armageddon, mermaids, love, plague and depression.
Carolyn also enjoys creative writing and, when not playing music or doing 'family stuff', she spends far too much time on the internet.
Pointers/facts:19XX: Born, August 25 a long, long time ago, in a land far away (London)
Learned piano for years as a child. Gave up.
1976: Took up the guitar. Aha!! Penny dropped.
1980: Started the bass.
1981: Joined 'Dumplings and Custard' folk trio (awful band name number one!)
1983: Started 'Mike Mucus and the Membranes' with boss at pet food company
(short lived, but great fun - awful band name number two)
1984: 'Aardvark and No Money' played their unusual brand of rock around London and home counties.
Cut a record with Aardvark (vinyl) and the glass master was broken by the production company.
End of story. (Band names getting to you yet?)
1989: Residency at Hitchin with Bryan (still going strong)
1988: Formed 'Shave the Monkey' with Bryan and Duncan, augmented with Guido, then Steve then Kevin. Steve later replaced by Fran. (Band name a middle English expletive this time)
Played all over UK and Europe in the band at arts festivals, folk clubs, folk festivals;
everything but weddings and funerals
Four CDs released by 'Shave'. Carolyn & Bryan's 'Witchfinder General' earning most royalties (smug grin)
2004: End of 'Shave' - a darn good 16 year run in the folk rock world
2005: Played some interesting gigs with Penni McLaren Walker and friends at a number of medieval fairs
2006: Met Shani through a mutual friend
2006: Asked to perform at 2006 Red Lion Folk festival in Cambridge. Was told it had to be a collaboration.
That's how Tu started. (So, better band name at last.)
2006: Played Red Lion Festival, then Pagan Festival
2007: January - Ely Folk Club, first of many excursions planned into clubs;
festivals and arts centres of various musical proclivities across UK and hopefully Europe
200?: Plans to release first album
200?: Intended tour of US
It all started when Shani (pronounced Shah-nee) decided to hit the VERY long road between Tel Aviv and British Columbia, carrying an acoustic guitar in a soft case and not much else, with the hope of growing a tough hide while undertaking such a journey. Since then, Shani’s gone about successfully testing her musical styles in San Francisco, Boston, Amsterdam and now in the UK where she’s been for the past 3 years.
30 years of age, Shani Eliraz was brought up in the sun scorched, sand-enveloped, Gum-tree speckled suburb of Rishon Lezion in Israel. The main local tourist attraction in Shani's hometown was a winery and a more recently built large shopping precinct in the outskirts of the town.
Beleaguered, like any other teenager in 90’s Suburbia, by academic boredom and not enough teenage angst, she took her hard-earned Strat and battered acoustic guitar, and a handful of songs she had written in the years before, and went into the studio to record her demo, "Painting an Overture." She also started and participated with a-many bands, the most successful of which was during her high-school years, aspiring to create that certain odor of the early nineties, Teen Spirit. She played the guitar, bass, piano and sax, and from time to time filled in for the drummer when he was too upset over missing a beat.
The band hit a crossroads after graduation, since its members were now scheduled to replace the academic boredom with the dread of a mandatory military service. Though the army sometimes grants discharge for those who are too artistic and delicate of nature, Shani made the decision to make the best of a harsh necessity and charged ahead. Two years went by, many loves and heartaches with them, and something that has been brewing for a while has started to simmer within.
Shani moved to Tel Aviv and worked odd jobs to support herself. While doing not-so-brief a stint as a Journalist in Israel's most prestigious media group, she started rehearsing again with a friend, practicing the dynamics of a duo. While re-acquainting herself with beloved 90’s icons such as The Breeders and Belly, she has also delved into funky metal styles, and no less than moody hip hop such as that of the Fugees. White girls can't rap, she kept saying. But she did.Just before heading off on her North American exploration tour, Shani was requested to headline a night by the owners of Fast Music label in Israel to play at their club "The Record Player" in Tel Aviv. Other than on stages, Shani’s music was played on several indie radio stations on both east and west coasts of the US, and in 2003, she sketched some of her new songs in the Expression School of Digital Arts in Emeryville, CA.
Now in the UK, Shani found a playing partner in Carolyn Sheppard after playing some of London’s open mic stages and pubs. Together, dubbed TU, they present a fresh two-voice combination of folk and rock, acoustic and plugged.
Pointers/facts:1979: Born, April 30.
1984: Introduced to the marvels of the Piano.
1991: The year blues broke, Saxophone (lessons) and Guitar (self-tutoring).
1996: First home recordings of various song and sketches.
1997: Initial cuts of Painting an Overture.
1999: Wrapping up and mixing of Painting an Overture (can be found here).
2001: Grand Americana Test mini-tour.
2003: UK Landing.
2006: The Teaming of TU.
2007: Forging the fuTUre.