Skiffle party for Please Y'Self at new 1771 Festival on edge of Peak District ahead of musical siblings' 50th anniversary

Sibling skiffle trio Please Y'Self have played as far away as the Falkland Isles, graced four different stages at Glastonbury, done gigs with Dire Straits and The Clash and twice toured with Jools Holland.

Monday, 4th July 2022, 11:34 am
Updated Monday, 4th July 2022, 11:35 am

A pretty impressive record for John and Rob Gill and their sister Chris Shaw who will be performing at this weekend's new 1771 Festival at Cromford Mills.

They will be pulling out all the stops to entertain a home crowd in the run-up to their 50th anniversary.

Guitarist John said: "We thought we'd take a trip down memory lane and include some Please Y'Self heritage stuff like our 80s hit Skiffle Party."

Please Y'Self siblings John, right, and Rob Gill with their sister Chris Shaw.

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    The siblings will also be unveiling new interpretations of lesser known original song recordings from their archive.

    Rob said: "We have a Half Man Half Biscuit song that we only played once before lockdown stomped all over us. It features the local area and we've changed some lyrics to include Cromford."

    Chris said: "Looking forward to being on stage with my bros and sharing the excitement and energy with the audience. Can't wait to hear the acoustics and the sounds bouncing off the ancient walls. Especially my punk skiffle washboard rhythms."

    Rob said: "Set within the mill complex, there will be hundreds of years of history, wrapped around a festival stage. What an iconic backdrop for this event."

    Please Y'Self play at the festival on Friday, paving the way for headliners the Boo Radleys. Rob, who plays tea-chest bass, said: "Looking forward to see the Boo Radleys play Wake up Boo, that really is the sound of summer."

    The festival will reunite John, Chris and Rob with the Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican with whom they have played at Bearded Theory and at The Maze in Nottingham. John said: "We have been known to join each other on stage for a huge (and hilarious) skiffle jam.

    With John living in Matlock Bath, Chris in Starkholmes and Rob in Wirksworth, the siblings don’t have far to travel to the festival. John said: "It's a gig we can walk home from. It means friends and family can get to see us. Some of our grandchildren have never seen us in full flight."

    Chris said: "It's very special to have this on our doorstep and for the local community to have access to the headliners as well as performance opportunities for up and coming local performers."

    Her daughter, Phoebe Shaw, will be performing at a free concert on Saturday afternoon featuring other local artists. Chris said: "I am very proud of her doing her own 'thing' as a singer-songwriter. I know that she is also proud of her musical family but she has never taken up my offer of washboard tuition!"

    John said: "Phoebe's doing really well - she recently played to a few thousand people in a festival in Germany. She sang a medley of Beatles songs in German and they all sang along with her!""

    Please Y'Self celebrate their 50th anniversary in September so the 1771 festival will get the party started early.

    "We call all still jump around and we still have all our marbles," said Rob. "We're getting on a bit but we're not as old as Cromford Mill!"

    John said: "What started as a college busking band turned into an occupation that has given us so many experiences and so much fun. In 1975 we were runners-up in the finals of the Melody Maker Rock/Folk competition at London's famous Roundhouse venue. The winning band disappeared after a few years but we kept going...and going. I guess we're a real Duracell Bunny of a band!"

    Chris added: "I am very proud of everything that we've experienced and achieved as musical siblings. It's amazing looking back at the archive and seeing how we soaked up influences from each decade, interpreted them,then continued to evolve and create new stuff using washboard, tea-chest bass and guitar. We've had a lot of fun and crazy experiences along the way."

    Stereo MCs will headline on Saturday night at the 1771 Festival. To book tickets for the evening concerts on July 8 or 9, 2022, go to www.wegottickets.com/f/12751