6th December 2014 ∏
– one of Leicester’s finest singer/songwriters.
Elizabeth’s debut album Displaced came out in March 2014.
This year (2014) has been a very busy year for Elizabeth Cornish and her band. Since the sell-out
show at the Cookie in March to launch her debut album, we have witnessed a string of appearances
from Elizabeth through the summer before she took a break in September for the remainder of the year
to start writing a second album and to concentrate on work.
Elizabeth is a compelling song writer with a fantastic singing voice who performs either solo, with a full electric band or variations in between. She generally gets classed as folk but there is a lot more to her music than folk. Genres such as Americana, country, pop and rock are all present.
Elizabeth had already lived in a number of places before, at the age of 12, she started to write her own songs, while living in Pennsylvania, USA. Influences at that point being Alanis Morrisette’s album Jagged Little Pill, to which she would sing along, and David Gray’s White Ladder which inspired her to play guitar.
Her first live performance was at the age of 16 in Basel, Switzerland, while living just over the
border in France.
In 2007 she moved to Leicester to read American Studies at Leicester University, a course which led her
to return to America in 2009 for a year, this time to Colorado.
On graduation she settled in Leicester where she now works at the University.
Performing regularly around Leicester and occasionally further afield, 2014 saw her release her
debut album Displaced to much critical acclaim.
Elizabeth Cornish Guitar/Vocals (always present)
Jason Skinner Bass (always present)
Adam Wykes Drums (joined late 2011)
Mark Riley-Cardwell Guitar (joined June 2012, left July 2013)
Matthew Russell Guitar (joined October 2013)
Profile of Elizabeth Cornish
Elizabeth was born in Chatham, Kent, but by the age of 4 moved to Yarm, Teeside, and by the age of 6 to Knutsford, Cheshire. Two years later she was off to Pennsylvania, USA where she stayed put until the age of 12 at which point she started to write her own songs.
In 2001 she returned to Knutsford for another spell before heading to Basel in Switzerland in 2005, living just over the border in France.
It was while in Switzerland that she first performed live at the age of 16 at a place called Kaserne in Basel. “Open mics and things like that are really rare over there so I was lucky to get a slot. It was all very high-brow but still a good experience”, she says.
In 2007 Elizabeth made another move, to Leicester this time, to read American Studies at University of Leicester. It was here she met Jason Skinner and together with Glyn Reynolds they formed the band The Fan-Fiction. She played guitar for them and was also starting to appear at open mics as a solo artist. Her first she vaguely recalls was at Olives on Queens Road. “It was one of Stevie Jones’s Open Mic nights
and I played three songs” she recalls. About this time her studies took her back to the USA for the final year of her degree,this time to Colorado. Here she continued to perform at open mic nights and entered singing competitions.
Returning to Leicester in 2010 and with University studies out of the way, she continued gigging but now was getting her own slots, the first at Walkabout closely followed by the Musician. In 2011 Elizabeth took part in and won the OBS Acoustic showcase competition in Leicester. The prize was a slot at Summer Sundae Weekender 2011.
In August 2011 Adam Wykes was recruited to play drums leading to a first 3-piece appearance at White Noise Festival at the Firebug in December 2011. The band expanded again in June 2012 with the addition of Mark Riley-Cardwell on guitar. The first full band gig occurring at the Musician in July 2012.
Following shortly on from this, in August 2012, came a memorable performance at Summer Sundae where a second full band appearance happened. It was one of the highlights of the festival. During this time the album was being recorded although it was to be over a year before it was released.
2013 proved to be an altogether quieter year with a handful of low key gigs further afield in the likes of Northampton, Towcester and Wellingborough. December 2013 saw the band play Bishop Street Church with Her Name Is Calla as part of the White Noise Festival.
March 15th, 2014 was a significant date. It marked the release of debut album Displaced coupled with a sold out launch show at the Cookie where the album was played in full. This established the band as a major force in the local music scene and numerous gigs followed alongside festival performances at Handmade, Western Park, Lainfest and Simon Says.
2014 live performances ended with two birthday shows in September. One for Matt Henshaw and the other for myself! The one for me saw the band fulfilling my request to cover a Blink-182 song What’s My Age Again, thus showing their versatility.
What can we expect from Elizabeth Cornish in the future? There are currently no live shows planned, but we should see a gig by Easter 2015. The second album may be some time as they look to put what they learned making the first album into practice, while carefully writing and selecting songs with which to populate it. They are hoping to play more outside of Leicester to broaden their fan base so perhaps a UK tour and Appearances at festivals further from home could happen in 2015.
And finally despite being in Leicester for a greater period of time than anywhere else she has lived, there are no plans to move on. Perhaps the second album should be called Settled.
Jul 2010 Miss You (digital single free download)
May 2011 The End (digital single free download)
Nov 2011 Harder (digital single)
Nov 2011 Folds – Maybeshewill Remix (digital free download)
Dec 2011 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (digital free download)
Sep 2012 Above Ground – Summer Sundae Leicester College Pop-Up Studio (digital free download)
Mar 2013 We’re Not Perfect (digital free download)
Mar 2014 Displaced (CD album)
May 2014 Handmade Festival live recording (digital free download)
May 2014 Early Years (limited free download)
Aug 2014 Folds – Simon Says Leicester College Pop-Up Studio (digital free download)
Hot on the heels of the Austin Francis Connection was Elizabeth Cornish who played guitar accompanied by another guitarist who produced a haunting, cello-like effect with his guitar which made for a really engaging atmosphere to compliment Elizabeth’s Celtic style and wonderful voice. She performed some immensely compelling songs which instantly draw you in and immediately tingle on your senses. I thoroughly enjoyed Elizabeth’s performance and am really looking forward to her forthcoming EP, although, to really appreciate the experience, as with all the artists in this review, they’re best seen live. [Kevin Gaughan, Writing in Arts in Leicester Magazine, Wednesday 12th January 2011.]
Singer Elizabeth Cornish took up her guitar and was joined on stage by bassist Jason Smith. Already a well known figure in our local acoustic circles, Elizabeth held the audience spell-bound with her enchanting songs. Her crisp clear voice delivered a set of melodies that everyone warmed to. Described by compere Kevin Hewick as a “beautiful set”, her performance was as warm and glowing as the August sunshine outside. [Friday 12th August 2011. Summer Sundae Festival, in Arts in Leicester Magazine.]
Leicester singer Elizabeth Cornish provided the supporting slot for the night. Elizabeth was on stage with her bassist Jason Smith. Elizabeth’s exquisite guitar picking and sumptuous vocals provided a perfect warm up for Martha’s set. Together they delivered a set of enchantingly lovely sounds, deepened with a strong sense of mood and colour, conveyed with delicacy and laced with some vibrant passages. Songs that were gently uplifting and full a tantalising dynamics provided a perfect entrée for the main performance to follow. She sang some of her established works and a couple of new ones, effortlessly putting life and feeling into them. [Arts in Leicester Magazine, Friday 11th January 2013.]
01-09-2007 Youth Culture Festival – Basel, Switzerland
24-02-2009 Fan-Fiction – The Shed
??-??-2009 Open Mic – The Donkey
16-10-2009 The Alley Cat – Fort Collins, Colorado
01-04-2010 Americas Next Great Star – LSC Theater, Colorado
07-05-2010 The Alley Cat – Fort Collins, Colorado (last time)
15-07-2010 Here Come The Girls – The Musician
12-01-2011 OBS Unplugged (Watch this on YouTube)
27-01-2011 OBS Unplugged Finale
26-02-2011 Glastonbudget audition – The Shed (Watch this on YouTube)
12-08-2011 Summer Sundae 2011
18-12-2011 White Noise Festival – Firebug (first gig as 3-piece)
09-03-2012 Acoustic Ladyland – The Cookie
15-04-2012 supporting Tom Morris – Firebug
05-07-2012 The Musician (first full band gig)
17-08-2012 Summer Sundae 2012
21-12-2013 White Noise at Bishop Street Church
18-01-2014 OBS unplugged – The Musician
15-03-2014 Album launch – The Cookie – REVIEWED
10-04-2014 supporting Emily and the Woods – The Cookie – REVIEWED
03-05-2014 Handmade Festival – REVIEWED
04-06-2014 supporting Tom Morris – Firebug
05-06-2014 Western Park Festival – REVIEWED
20-06-2014 Simon Says Sampler – The Donkey
21-06-2014 Lainfest – Twycross
28-06-2014 Folk on the Water
09-07-2014 The Maze – Nottingham
27-07-2014 Simon Says Festival
19-08-2014 headline show – The Musician – REVIEWED
13-09-2014 Keith’s birthday gig – The Cookie
Websites and Tracks
This article by prepared by © Keith Jobey, for Music in Leicester.