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Pop duo shrugs off covid woe to pen song for birds
Elephants and Castles perform.
12th May 2021
By Ollie Young
A pop duo has written a new song – telling birds all about the chaos the last year has been.
Elephants and Castles, comprised of Robin Spencer and Chris Anderson, has released the new track A Song for Birds after picking up the idea during lockdown.
Robin, who lives in Lostwithiel, said: “During lockdown, our long-distance band (me in Lostwithiel and Chris in London) chats normally revolved around music, football and missing the pub.
“However, birdsong soon crept into the conversation.
“It sounds cheesy but instead of moaning about football losing its soul and missing gigs, we turned our televisions off, opened the windows and listened.
“We thought we’d write a song for them, the original warblers, letting them know the state of things they were looking down on.”
After Robin moved to the area in 2019, the logistical issues surrounding distance have been apparent.
The quirky, alternative pop song and video were written and recorded in both Lostwithiel and Deptford, south London.
The band, which is named after the area of the capital where the duo used to teach, also have other irons in the fire.
Robin continued: “We’ve been busy writing a piece for theatre, I’ve written the script and together we’re writing a dozen or so original songs.
“You could call it an alt-pop musical, soundtracking the new normal, it’s kept us busy and we’re excited to see what it turns into.”
A Song for Birds isn’t the group’s first covid-based track: the duo also released an alternative Christmas song last year.
The two, who have frequently been compared to the legendary Simon and Garfunkel, have aimed to only make music about matters they care about.
The pair’s debut tune was based on the life of Justin Fashanu.
Fashanu was the first openly gay footballer to have played professionally in the UK, whose story came to an end with his suicide in 1998.
Robin met and was inspired by Justin at a coaching course when he was an apprentice at Lincoln City, and Fashanu’s story forms a backdrop to Elephants and Castles’ anthem.
In the future, Robin told the Voice he is hopeful for more gigs and song releases this year.
“We’re looking forward to airing the tunes and hopefully developing the show in the south west.
“There’s talk of a few gigs and more releases later in the year so we are excited.”