NYC Weekly Roundup: A Club for Aerialists & Clowns

Photo by Matthew Holmes

London-based electronic music group A Club for Aerialists and Clowns are set to expand their creative reach across the Atlantic in 2019 with a four-day fest in New York City. Touring in support of the band’s third full-length album, the “camp and prank” show, which now bears the somewhat generic title CampandPrank, has slowly become one of the signature acts at the grassroots music festival Green Man each August.

Underneath a light-filled room at London’s swanky Amadeus, Joe, Eric, and Joe have spent the past month rehearsing their set for an upcoming weekend performance at the Gramercy Theatre in NYC. A funky, psych-rock rock group, the “middlemen” pop on the band’s vibe are described by the lyricist Joey as being “about as broad as the sky above us”. There’s an air of searching to the album’s title track, which was co-written with magician Joey Votto.

The trio, who are incredibly likable young men, also includes a few of their friends who have all seen circus school, clown, and aerial arts as part of the weekend. The eclectic choice of music selection speaks to the thoughtful approach A Club for Aerialists and Clowns are taking to the US tour.

Photo by Matthew Holmes

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, A Club for Aerialists and Clowns drummer Joe has been part of the circus community for almost a decade. He speaks enthusiastically about circus and circus music, saying, “I first attended a circus school when I was 13 and came back afterwards. It was really wild, exciting, and so much fun.”

The self-described “wild and crazed” performer (Joe), studied under Irish circus master Andrew “Dee” Gannon and learned to juggle, pole dance, aerial, and dance for the Circus Libertines, which travels the world from London to New York City.

Photo by Matthew Holmes

Joe, a family man himself with two young sons, says the concept of his cover of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” in the opening chorus of their song collection Circus Crossing: Embracing Chaos was at first a joke, but there’s a fierce affection for “The Bitch in Disguise” singer that speaks to the spiritual side of this music.

Photo by Matthew Holmes

“The idea for ‘Hallelujah’ comes from them. We were playing a song that started out as a joke where I sat at a piano and sang ‘I feel what the f*** I need to’. Well, two days later we realised we had got to it. So, we thought we’d do a cover of Jeff Buckley and play it as a total joke, as if it were a karaoke version. But it’s actually quite meaningful.”

Joe describes his band members as “impulsive kids” and the three of them have been having a lot of fun showing off their circus tricks and clothespin spinning at CampandPrank, where young punters are allowed to wear panda outfits, tight T-shirts, and clown shoes. They’re big fans of NYC after their experience at Green Man in 2014, “It was such a vibe. It feels like a big strong family vibe, they’re all like our friends and there’s this amazing family vibe.”

There’s also the giggling to look forward to with the self-proclaimed group of “obsessives” who were college friends. “We’re under 20 and we still dress up and sing circus songs,” says Joey.

Photo by Matthew Holmes

The trio has been performing at other punk-festival-style scenes around the country, including London and Glasgow, and they’re already busy writing new material for their debut album. The group just wrapped up an eight-week UK tour and they’ll have another eight week trip to the UK before they embark on their headlining tour in the States.

Photo by Matthew Holmes

Photo by Matthew Holmes

Leave a Comment