edinburgh fringe festival residency

The Pleasance Theatre in Islington have just invited me to Edinburgh during the fringe festival for a lunchtime folk residency.

Barbara and Jane will be joining me on accordion and violin; we will be playing at 1.45pm in The Pleasance Courtyard from 22nd-25th August.

You can buy tickets from here – http://www.pleasance.co.uk/edinburgh/events/robin-grey.

Other Edinburgh evening gigs to follow… if anyone has any leads do get in touch!

catching the waves review


Last week my album ‘Only The Missile’ received an enthusiastic and insightful review on creative commons music blog Catching The Waves. I have reposted a slightly trimmed review below, if you’d like to read the original in all its full glory please click on the following link:  http://soundthefreetrumpet.typepad.com/


“Only The Missile is a 10-track album that will appeal to lovers of Leonard Cohen, folk music, introspection, pointed lyrics and open hearts.

The album’s transparent mix warms the listener’s ears while giving centre stage to the understated vocals although Robin can be feisty as well as fluffy. Take ‘The Last Time I Saw David’, an unflinching tale about overcoming religious hypocrisy to reach an atheistic/agnostic state of mind, ensures that Robin will not be booking a gig in America’s Bible Belt any time soon. It’s refreshing to hear a heartfelt song that isn’t all: “I wuv ‘oo; ‘oo wuv me.”

Then there’s the soothing lullaby of The Finchley Waltz (play it to any baby and watch them drop off), a quintessentially English response to the terrorist bombings in London on 7/7:

“I daydreamed for hours in the traffic jam
As the good guys and the bad guys stopped play”

I could recommend any track, but I’ll be unoriginal and suggest the opener These Days, an uptempo mandolin and banjo-laden number with a paradoxically slow but optimistic chorus that will get you singing in the bath and, if you’ve suffered because of the credit crunch, because you’ve taken a bath.*

The title track is a toe-tapper with some wailing harmonica – do harmonicas ever do anything else but wail? – and Your Man is another in a seemingly endless supply of huggable love songs. Swan Song and Five (featuring some very welcome ethnic percussion – bongos, tablas, that sort of thing) bring things to a dreamy close – they’re the aural equivalent of a favourite jumper.

Goodness, what a lovely album. It never ceases to amaze me at what talent is lurking in the darker corners of the net. Please think about sending him a little cash, or, failing that, bake him a cake. He likes cake. A lot. Finally, if I may venture a little advice to Mr Grey: tuck your shirt in, young man. This is the internet – we have standards.”

fensepost review

I just got home from the streets of London to discover a truly lovely review from a US blog called fensepost which I have printed in full below as it made my day…

‘Here is an artist that seems to revel in acoustic sweetness. London’s Robin Grey invites you into his coffee shop friendly world on his latest release. “I Love Leonard Cohen” is a five-track EP so splendid Mr. Cohen himself should be more than honored to have such a talented fan. Anyone looking for a fun-filled depressive state, look no further.

Grey reminisces of greater times on the title track “I Love Leonard Cohen”. This is a masterful folk bit paying a strange tribute to anyone with a regretful memory, as well as simple odes to Meat Loaf, Jeff Buckley, R.E.M., and, more so than others, outplayed Weezer CDs. The blindingly smooth “Shakes and Shudders” is a beautiful backdrop while reading Kerouac’s tale of strength defying times at Desolation Peak – calm, beautiful, and a bit resentful of the pretentious normalcy.

Robin Grey will not need to do too much to prove himself an incendiary artist in the world of folk music. His calmly exquisite mannerisms seem to bring you back to a simpler time and place, whenever you want it to be. There is literature in his words. And “I Love Leonard Cohen” is a beautiful story, desperate to be told.’

taken from http://www.fensepost.com/main/?p=1439

stop okay go interview

‘Stop Okay Go’ have just done a little feature on me with an interview – you can read the original along with other thoughts and musings at http://stopokaygo.typepad.com/ or read it below…

I often forget that there’s anyone reading this blog, happily wrapped up as I am in my own obsessions. So imagine my delight and surprise when I found out that London folksinger Robin Grey read an entry I wrote on him way back in April. Luckily, the medication was working that day and I was being nice. And what is there not to love, really? The thoughtful Grey sings in a deep English voice that gives his songs a sweeping and poetic quality. His album Only The Missile is out now. Read more from the ukulele-teaching and Eminem-loving (we have so much in common!) Robin Grey below:

Stop Okay Go (SOG): The song ‘Every Waking Hour’ is soooo romantic. What girl doesn’t want to hear that there’s a man who is thinking of her in his every waking hour? Tell the truth: was it written sincerely or as a way to pick up girls at shows?

RG: Definitely from the heart. I write silly/insincere songs too but they don’t sit with the majority of my material so I choose not to perform or record them at the moment.

I have been toying with the idea of putting on a wig and adopting an alter ego so these other songs get an occasional airing in public but the lighter side of my personality gets a good work-out teaching kids ukulele so I feel no need at present. At the time of writing ‘Every Waking Hour’ I was lucky enough to be living next door to a drum and bass producer called Mark Watt who also rocked the double bass. He jammed a groove which made the song for me and really picked up the tempo. I recorded that rest of the song about two years later when I rediscovered Mark’s bass line whilst deleting old material from my computer.

SOG: I also love the storytelling and delicate pluck-work in ‘The Finchley Waltz.’ What a beautiful song. I read a review that said your voice sounds like it would be suited for protest music. Is there a message in the song and how do you feel about political songs? You don’t hear many of them anymore.

RG: Thank you. There is a political message in ‘The Finchley Waltz’ somewhere but it gets very tangled up with the other themes of Englishness, motion, love and lost innocence. The song was written just after the 7/7 bomb attacks in London when the police were bringing the town to a stand-still whilst raiding the houses of suspected ‘terrorists’.

When I sing ‘The Good Guys and The Bad Guys stopped play’ I am certainly flagging up my sorrow at our politicians/media/societies urgent desire to pigeon-hole situations into ‘us’ v ‘them’ and ‘good’ v ‘bad’ etc. and how unhelpful I think that can be.

The image in my head at the time was of cops and robbers (suicide bombers) stopping a cricket match and stuffy elderly Englishmen in the crowd (politicians) tut tutting about what a bad show it was and how they should jolly well stop all that nonsense (and further opining it should be prevented by locking up anyone who stands out of line).

I have written political/protest songs but canned all of them thus far because they either sounded preachy or trite. For the time being I think politics will remain a background theme in my lyrics unless I can pen anything as good as ‘Blowing In The Wind’, ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’ or ‘What’s Going On.’

SOG: We’d love to see you here in the U.S. Will you be performing stateside any time soon and what does the future hold for Robin Grey?

RG: I’m currently settling for pretty much the first time in my nomadic little life with a lovely little studio and house in a leafy, ramshackle corner of East London. I am finding it hard to leave my neighbourhood, let alone the country at the moment. I would love to travel with my guitar again one day but I am enjoying putting down roots and growing things too much at the moment.

As for the future, I have another 20+ songs I am working on at the moment and now I have a better idea of the recording process I can’t wait to start playing with microphones again. I may also have a stab at putting my own band together at some point to expand the live show.

Since my album has been out I have been getting better shows and audiences and I hope I can continue to grow things patiently whilst having fun and learning more about songwriting, arranging, recording and performing.

SOG: Thanks Robin! Best of luck!