Percival Elliott strip it down for The Ashcroft

It was through swapping mix tapes while delivering antique furniture that Olly Hite and Samuel Carter-Brazier realised they might have a musical future together.

Saturday, 9th July 2016, 6:12 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:52 pm
Percival Elliott. Picture by Paul Thurlow

The Portsmouth-based duo now perform their soulful pop-rock as Percival Elliott.

‘Olly was living over Brighton/Worthing way and I got a job as a furniture apprentice in an antiques shop in Chichester,’ recalls Samuel. ‘Olly turned up one day as the new delivery guy so we used to go on the road delivering antiques and we’d swap mixtapes and that’s how we hit it off as friends.’

By the time they decide to try jamming together, they had already struck up a strong rapport.

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The pair released a self-titled EP last year and are currently in the throes of writing and recording their debut album.

Samuel runs a recording studio in Park Community School in Leigh Park, where they’ve been busy recording, and also at a studio on Hayling Island.

It’s one of those things,’ admits Samuel, ‘a week goes by, then it’s four, and yeah, we’re still writing, still deciding which songs to record. It’s definitely the album next though, with a view to putting it out on vinyl.

‘I was brought up in a musical household with parents who had tons of vinyl – just flicking through that and inheriting a lot of it as an older lad – there’s something charming about having that product that you can hold and touch, it’s quite old-fashioned, but I like that.’

In the meantime, they’re playing at the next instalment of the Ashcroft Acoustic Club in Fareham.

‘It’s just going to be Olly and I, we won’t have our string quartet with us, we’re going to do a collection of covers, you know, some of our favourite songs, and some of the bits off of the album.

‘We just wanted to make it stripped back, really.’

Later this month they’ll also be playing with Chesney Hawkes at Portsmouth Guildhall on July 27 – which will actually be their first ever gig in Portsmouth.

‘Our first gig was with Chesney in Shrewsbury last year. Having been in rock bands a lot and doing lots of gigs with them, you can get tired of doing gigs.

‘When you have a product you’re really happy with or a chemistry you really enjoy, a gig should be something special rather than just playing for your family all the time.’

Ultimately, the pair want to make a living from music.

‘Olly’s had so many brushes with getting signed and being published, so the connections are there, we’re just hoping when we release the album the product will speak for itself.’

Support at the Ashcroft comes from singer-songwriter Jack Francis.

Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

Wednesday, July 13