Syd Arthur

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Syd Arthur
Syd Arthur.jpg
Syd Arthur performing at The Great Escape Festival
Background information
Origin Canterbury, Kent, England
Genres Canterbury Scene, Alternative rock, progressive jazz, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, English folk
Years active 2003 (2003)–present
Labels Harvest Records
Dawn Chorus Recording Company
Green Bean Records
Madman Records
Members Liam Magill
Joel Magill
Josh Magill
Raven Bush
Past members Fred Rother

Syd Arthur are an English psychedelic jazz band, formed in Canterbury in 2003 by brothers frontman Liam and bassist Joel Magill, drummer Fred Rother and violinist Raven Bush.

Rother was officially replaced by the Magills' younger brother Josh in 2016.


Formed in 2003, the band were initially known as Grumpy Jumper[1][2] and then Moshka before settling on the name Syd Arthur.[3] The band's name is taken from the Hermann Hesse novel Siddhartha, with the spelling changed reportedly as a nod to the influences of Syd Barrett and Arthur Lee.[4] The Magill brothers had played together since childhood, added drummer Fred Rother in high school and classmate Raven Bush became the final member at 17. Bush is the son of John Carder Bush, brother of Kate Bush.[5]

The band released their self-titled debut album in 2006 on Madman Records[6] and "Kingdoms Of Experience" EP in 2008 on Green Bean Records.[7] The band then set up their own recording space "Wicker Studios" and their own label "Dawn Chorus Recording Company".[8] in 2011 they self released the "Moving World" EP and "Ode to the Summer" single, before releasing their second album "On an On" in July 2012. Explaining the band's reason for releasing the album themselves, the band's bassist Joel Magill stated that it was "because it’s the only way we know. It may have been harder and longer for us but it has given us more satisfaction, I think. But if a major label waved a lot of money at us and said you could work with anyone you wanted we would have to think about that".[9] The band undertook their first nationwide tour to promote the album in February 2013.[10] The band supported Paul Weller on tour in October 2013,[11] invited the band to record in his studio[12] and tipped the band for success in 2014 in the NME.[13]

In December 2013, the band signed to the newly re-activated Harvest Records label. Originally a subsidiary of EMI and linked to the progressive rock movement of the early 1970s in England, the label is now owned by Universal Music Group. The band's debut album was released in the US for the first time on the label.[14]

The band released their third album "Sound Mirror" in June 2014.[15] The band spent much of the year in the US, performing at South by Southwest and Coachella and supporting the likes of Sean Lennon's band The Ghost Of A Sabre Tooth Tiger[16][17] and Yes.[18] The band promoted the album at home with nationwide tour in September–October 2014, after having postponed dates from earlier on the year.[15][19] The band are currently playing with the Magill's brother Josh filling in for Fred Rother,[20] who has missed gigs in the past due to problems with tinnitus.[21][22]

On 10 June 2016, the band announced that their fourth studio album "Apricity" would be released on 21 October 2016 and also released the title track as the lead single. This is the first album to feature Josh Magill on drums, and confirms the departure of Fred Rother[23] It was later confirmed that Rother left the band prior to recording the album due to "severe hearing difficulties", with singer Liam Magill adding that "it was a precarious moment, Fred leaving, but Josh sort of saved the day, in a way. The transition was slightly difficult because we’ve been a tight band, you know, us four members, for a long time. That was a big change".[24]

Band members

Past members

  • Fred Rother – drums



  • Syd Arthur (2006), Madman Records
  • On an On (July 2012), Dawn Chorus Recording Company
  • Sound Mirror (June 2014), Harvest Records
  • Apricity (October 2016), Harvest Records


  • Kingdoms of Experience (2008), Green Bean Records
  • Moving World (March 2011), Dawn Chorus Recording Company


  • "Ode to the Summer" (October 2011), Dawn Chorus Recording Company
  • "Dorothy" (November 2012), Dawn Chorus Recording Company



  1. ^ "Entertainment Guide". Mr Gig. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  2. ^ "Kent Gig Guide from". Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  3. ^ Paul Lester. "New band of the day – No 726: Syd Arthur | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  4. ^ Matthew Lindsay (2012-08-16). "» Syd Arthur – On and On (Album Review) Vulture Hound Magazine". Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  5. ^ "Syd Arthur brings back Canterbury rock". NY Daily News. 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  6. ^ "Home page". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  7. ^ "Kingdoms of Experience by Syd Arthur". MTV. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Welcome -". Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  10. ^ "NEW DOUBLE A SIDE SINGLE FROM SYD ARTHUR". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  11. ^ "WELLER ANNOUNCES OCTOBER UK TOUR". Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  12. ^ Humphries, Stephen. "Syd Arthur Conjures Musical Canterbury Tales on its New Album | Under the Radar - Music Magazine". Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  13. ^ "NME Reviews - Syd Arthur - 'Sound Mirror'". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  14. ^ Nikola Savić on December 30, 2013. "SYD ARTHUR Sign With Harvest Records For Sophomore Album". Prog Sphere. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  15. ^ a b Current Release: Sound Mirror. "Syd Arthur". APB PR. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  16. ^ "Support tour with The Ghost Of A Sabre Tooth Tiger". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Coachella". Archived from the original on 19 September 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  18. ^ "Canterbury rockers Syd Arthur to play on Yes US tour". Canterbury Times. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  19. ^ Bob Mulvey (2014-07-02). "The Progressive Aspect – TPA | The Progressive Aspect is a site dedicated to progressive rock (and closely related genres) and includes latest Prog News, CD Reviews, Interviews, Concerts, UK Guide Guide, Festivals and more". Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ "The Spring: Syd Arthur in Lille". 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  22. ^ "The Spring: Syd Arthur "Ode To The Summer" single launch". 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  23. ^ "Syd Arthur - We are very happy to announce into the world..." Facebook. 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  24. ^ "Interview: Liam Magill of Syd Arthur (Part 2)". 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2016-11-21.

External links

  • Official website
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