Big Eyes Family Players’ new album, Family Favourites, is a collection of reworked old songs and new material, as well as a cover of Dirty Three‘s “Three Wheels.” The group started more than 10 years ago, so the decision was made to reassess the back catalog and rework/rearrange/rerecord some songs with the recent players to serve the pieces a little more fully. A “best-of,” if you will, or perhaps a retrospective?
The Big Eyes Family Players began in 2000 in Leeds, U.K., under the name Big Eyes by James Green as a private project, a naive way of trying to create classical music. It soon outgrew the bedroom and a band was formed. Big Eyes recorded four albums over the next four years for Pickled Egg Records and split up in 2004.
After this, Green formed The Big Eyes Family Players as a more collaborative arrangement. Now based in Sheffield, U.K., they have released five albums of experimental chamber folk-pop music, and worked with the likes of Jeremy Barnes (A Hawk and A Hacksaw), Terry Edwards (Gallon Drunk/Tindersticks), Rachel Grimes (Rachel’s), James Yorkston, James William Hindle and many more. Green also played on two Rachel’s albums, Systems/Layers and Technology Is Killing Music.
Collaborations being close to the heart, The Big Eyes Family Players have released two albums with Yorkston, Folk Songs and Folk Songs II (Domino Records). Big Eyes also performed live film scores to the works of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer at the Roundhouse in London and at The Green Man Festival, appeared on BBC Radio’s Loose Ends with Clive Anderson, and recorded a session in Amsterdam for station VPRO and performed at VPRO’s Dwars Festival. Big Eyes Family Players have shared stages with Alasdair Roberts, Nancy Elizabeth, Volcano The Bear, Sir Richard Bishop, Efterklang, Daniel Johnston, James Blackshaw, Marry Waterson, Damo Suzuki (Can) and Josephine Foster.