Tenyson, a three-piece band that’s far from ‘Ordinary’

By - Friday 22nd January, 2016

Paul Dennis shoots the breeze with Croydon band Tenyson

Tenyson: left to right Rawden Enever, Rob Jupp, Scott Clarke.
Photo by Tenyson, used with permission.

I like the Croydon festival thing. Food, music, comedy, community – all are celebrated far and wide within the borough. I try to support these events as much as possible, and along the way you do bump into some regular faces, people of the same mind.

That is how Croydon band Tenyson made a blip, and then repeated blips, on my radar. I got used to seeing and hearing this stripped-down three piece at Croydon festivals, to the point where it was a surprise, and a bit of a disappointment, if the group wasn’t involved. It’s nice to hear something different, and Tenyson is certainly that – even if their new CD single is titled Ordinary. I met up with the band, and amongst other questions, I asked them why they appear at so many diverse festivals.

“We just love playing live – give us an audience and we’re good to go,” explained bass player Rawden Enever.

Alternative, experimental, muscular, delicate

“We like to gig as often as we can, but it’s a bit of a problem locally as there are only a couple of venues in Croydon where we can play,” confirmed singer and guitarist Rob Jupp.

With an ever-expanding song list, the limited playing time at festivals prompted the band to organise what turned out to be a well-attended Halloween ‘party’ at ScreamLounge in Croydon’s South End last October.

“It gave us the opportunity to play some old favourites as well as our new stuff and it went down really well,” added Rob.

The band’s next scheduled gig is at the O2 Academy Islington later this month.

We’ve got big plans for 2016

“It’s going to be on Friday 22nd January and we’re really looking forward to blowing away the festive season cobwebs,”put in drummer Scott Clarke. “We’ve got big plans for 2016. We want to get out and play live a lot more, so we want to organise a tour,” he added.

Tenyson’s music is hard to categorise: it’s alternative and experimental and it veers from muscular to delicate. Inspiration for the songs comes from life experience and the world at large.

“It’s emotional music written from the heart. Some of the songs can sound a bit dark but they do pick people up too,’ explained Rob, who is the main writer.

“Rob brings them to us and we kick them about until they fit,” added Scott.

“I plant the seed and they water it – it wouldn’t become a tree if it wasn’t for all three,” laughed Rob.

Away from the band the three have jobs to keep the money coming in. Rob is a luthier (repairer of stringed instruments) and also makes the distinctive ‘green monster’ guitars that he uses himself.

“I use vintage wood, the oldest I can get hold of. I’m always on the lookout,” he revealed.

Scream Studios is a bit like Tenyson HQ

“Old hardwoods like teak and mahogany work best; the older they are the more seasoned they are and you get a great sound out of them. It’s all about the wood.

“I’ve made guitars out of coffee tables, fire surrounds, anything that has the right quality,” he added.

Mahogany and teak, very solid stuff – so how heavy are the guitars that he uses? I asked.

“Very,” he grimaced.

Drummer Scott’s day job is running Alley Cuts hairdressers at Scream Lounge, while Rawden can often be found at Scream Studios when not working as road crew for bands like Ugly Kid Joe and Vintage Trouble.

‘The Scream is a bit like Tenyson HQ,’ laughed Rob, who became more sombre when asked the group’s opinion of the proposed closure of the Fairfield Halls.

“Criminal”, was the band’s response.

While the future doesn’t exactly look bright for the Fairfield, the same can’t be said of Tenyson.

2016 could just turn out to be Tenyson’s year. Check the group out on Facebook and YouTube.

Paul Dennis

Paul Dennis

An award-winning journalist, Paul has worked on angling titles for much of his career, including 16 years as deputy editor of Angler's Mail and 4 years as editor of Total Sea Fishing magazine. He is a regular freelance contributor for a wide array of non-angling-related titles, author of two books on angling and a widely-followed authority on the subject.

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