Hideous Mink's Grassroots Spotlight: Egyptian Elbows
Ursa Dissects: Max + Rob (Egyptian Elbows)
Egyptian Elbows are a music promotion company based in London, revolving around the twin flames of founders Robert Broadbent and Max Wheeler-Bowden. A more scintillating double act, tweedle-dee & tweedle-dum, Ant & Dec, Chas & Dave or Gareth & Stacey of the ROCK SCENE you'd be hard-pressed to find in this city. The tireless two-way have been putting on packed-out and eclectic shows for a boiling minute now and never fail to throw themselves full-heartedly into their every venture. Flame on, dude. Their infamous '0:01' show at Oval Space in East London was the first no-restrictions full-capacity show in the capital since the pandemic began and drew local and music press and TV cameras into the throng to mark the historic occasion which put a gracious end to a few years of too much sleep. Equilibrium (sort of, momentarily) restored. An impressive rollout of events and an ethos of experimental shows bringing unlikely collaborators together marks Eggy Elbows (pet name, slightly less glamorous but more catchy, like each new strain of plague) as 'good boys' in this writer's little love diary. The pair host a new music show on North London's iconic Boogaloo Radio, and Mr Broadbent also forays into spoken word performance par excellence. He also gets Ubers everywhere, but don't tell his cabbie father. Let us dissect.
1. wHeRe DiD tHe NaMe CoMe FrOmOOOOOONLY joking, I'll spare you that one. Have you ever switched minds/bodies, freaky-friday style, for a day or two? Or do you ever feel a certain level of telepathy growing between you?
Rob: When it comes to having similar thoughts, it's less telepathy and more the codependence of an old couple descending headfirst into the depths of madness "he owes me a tenner" / "he nicked my bread again" that sort of inane thing.
Max: Yeah, I guess it's telepathy in the way that I know exactly how to piss him off in almost every situation... I mean he is a cunt though
2. Do you have an arch nemesis promotion duo? Whether you do or don't, how would you best like to dispatch said nemesis'?
R: Secretly we do yes but they're much better than us at what they do and also they probably don't even know we exist. I always thought a fun way to exact their downfall would be by gaining access to their emails / socials and dropping a load of typos into their comms, so people stop taking them seriously (I'm not telling you who they are)
M: I think that if you got hold of anyone's socials Rob we'd get caught red handed, because you'd instinctively post more videos of me doing stupid shit ... arch nemeses are good though, London is jam-packed with creative people that are pushing each other all the time, it's hard to imagine the breakneck acceleration of some bands without a handful of others keeping them on their toes
3. What are your favourite and least favourite things about corralling mindless muso bandies into stellar nights of joy and great success?
R: Bands (generally) are let's say, below average at doing admin shit - emails / confirmations / invoices - all that boring fluff that comes with organising an event, it's not unheard of for us to hate hate hate hate a new band we're working with in the lead up to the very moment we meet them for soundcheck, when we are almost always pleasantly reminded they're obviously delightful and just can't be arsed with emails - nine times out of ten, our fury is placated and the seeds sown from email brevity blossom into lovely beer nourished friendships
M: Well, I've never felt that way about bands Rob, you're on your own there. I love ALL the bands we talk to, full stop. The real WORST thing was that Rob and I used to take it in turns not to drink if we were running a show - but he's gone tee-total until West Ham win the Europa League so I enjoy every muso corroling my path, endlessly and he's just a fucking bore.
4. Take us through Eggy Elbows' dream venue and lineup in a brief but passionate exposition.
R: It's Friday night, the beer is free, the bands are getting paid triple their usual fee, some millionaire on their deathbed is footing the bill...
M: The fucking ace thing about being a grass roots promoter is seeing the bands you work with grow, and get waaay fucking better from when we put them on. For me the ideal night would be to bring back our favourite bands from the last few years and have a right knees up - preferably in a venue where we can sell cans for two quid. Any takers?
5. What do you feel is your crowning achievement so far?
R) The 00:01 show for us was tip top. There's a picture of Max from the night that sums up why we did it - but it really was quite literally just a stupid idea we had one morning so bringing it all together and actually having all those bands play in the first hours lockdown was lifted was somehting else. We had friends in countries around the world (around the fucking WORLD mate) who saw the footage on their local news which is equal parts ridiculous and hilarious
M: Yeah, each year we try to do a big thing that's a little more interesting than the previous. First year we did a late night Visions festival afterparty (with SCALPING & Wooze) Second year we did a gig that was an immersive experience of the band's universe (TTRRUUCES) and Rob's mentioned 00:01 - that was 2021's highlight - but this year, fuck knows, I guess we'll just see what stupid idea becomes a thing this time around
R: Nice blowing of our own trumpet there mate
6. Have you got a straight?
R: Max might but he's currently pretending he's stopped smoking so you might need to ask on the sly
M: I do... but it's gonna cost ya
7. Please invent, describe and name a cocktail that completely encapsulates everything & everyone you've ever been and ever will be.
M: If i am able to drink the juiced leather of a football and the blended plastic of guitar plectrums I'll be able to consume the heady mix of music and soccer every fucking day of my measly life, I'll call it "THE FOOSIC"
R: You're gonna have to throw some lager in there for the consistency, but yeah that is a good one we'll take two please barkeep
Upcoming Egyptian Elbows shows:
Team Picture @ The Shacklewell Arms - 12th May
KIEFF @ The Shacklewell Arms - 16th Jul
+ a load more to announce
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