Split Sofa are a Progressive Pop Rock Band based in Doveridge, East Midlands, UK.
The band was formed by singer-songwriter Lewie Docksey in the fall of 1999 and since then have released 6 albums, 2 EP’s & 1 single all released on their own label Daisychain Songs.
Split Sofa have been played on BBC Radio & ARFM and they have their own radio channel on Jango Radio with more fans added daily.
Sofa have also been in music publications Classic Rock Magazine & Prog Magazine. Reviews for Sofa can be found on several music web sites such as: www.getreadytorock.me.uk, www.uberrock.co.uk, & www.rocktopia.co.uk.
Split Sofa have played at various music festivals and live venues across the UK. A dream gig came to life thanks to David Bash founder and CEO of the International Pop Overthrow Music Festival in 2014 when he asked if Spilt Sofa would perform at The Cavern Club Liverpool in May. The band are pleased to be playing the festival again in 2017.
With the help of fellow band mates: Joe Nicklin- Lead guitar, Martin Gilman – Acoustic guitar,Gareth Williams – Bass / Vocals, Dave Shipley – drums, Split Sofa was founded in September of 1999 releasing their debut maxi EP called ‘Angerlistic Pillow’, which contained all original songs written by Lewie throughout the Summer. In 2016 the line up changed with Alex Ganley taking over the drums and Pete Garyga joined on bass.
Between 2000 and 2001 the band built their own recording studio in Doveridge called ‘The Shack’ and shortly after they launched into their first full album called’ The Day After The Day Before’ which was released in 2002. The album was produced and featured Mick Strode (Band of Joy / Forevermore / Duke La Rue) who played throughout the album adding touches of Dave Gilmour-esque flourishes. Local radio DJ Paul Baker enthused about the album and played tracks from it on his sunday slot at Phoenix Radio.
Mick Strode played on the follow up album ‘The Sorcerers Lullaby’ released 2005 and he also produced it, but he would leave the band to live in France in 2006. The album sold well and again was picked up by DJ Paul Baker who invited Lewie for an afternoon of Sofa and played all the tracks with Lewie between segments on his show.
Lewie felt a change of direction in his writing and set about to record and release another album which got back to the original sound of Sofa. This was actually a step in the wrong direction; recording techniques were getting better , Sofa had already moved on and looking back shouldn’t have been on the agenda, but in fact Lewie delivered a heavy album in 2006 called ‘Draylon’ which was picked up by ARFM and played on Paul Baker’s show called ‘Soundscapes’. Again Lewie felt he had gone form one extreme to another and didn’t like the album with it’s harder edge although he did like certain songs for the album, he felt it lacked heart.
With a set of new songs which had been gigged, the band took them into OverDrive Studios in 2007 and recorded the EP ‘Dark Daze’ . The EP was sold at gigs which the band were now doing, sticking by the rule of only Sofa songs and no covers. This in fact proved to be a success, with followers and friends of the band becoming ‘SofaHeads’ – an group of Split Sofa enthusiasts that support the band with the Fan Club sec Lyndsey Walker at the helm selling merchandise and arranging transport for the live events.
The next project saw Lewie and Martin going back to basics in the writing phase, using acoustic guitars & multitrack recorder to produce demos for the rest of the band to work with and out of those session came ‘ The Seventh Level’ Released in 2007 which was sent off to numerous publishing companies and record labels, as well as celebrities like Jamie Oliver, Chris Evans & the Prince of Wales who all replied positively & with encouragement for the band.
Drop by and have a read of issue 1 of SofaHead our new fanzine featuring an interview with Pete Garyga- the man behind the bass.
A MYSTICAL REASON AND THE GATHERING
Having contacted major recording companies and independent labels Lewie spoke to some at length about getting a publishing and recording contact. He ultimately decided that Split Sofa would do their own publishing and created their own label Daisychain Songs. The first release on that label was the EP ‘A Mystical Reason’ in 2008, which again got airplay on numerous internet radio stations.
The band turned their focus onto looking at internet distribution and sales of the Sofa products. A major part of this project was joining ‘CD BABY’ which led to Sofa’s music being available via download on iTunes and 250 other downloadable platforms. ‘A Mystical Reason’ was Sofa’s first ‘global’ release via the internet and interest in Split Sofa started to increase significantly at this point.
Always in the background the band were writing and recording ‘ The Gathering’ released 2010 to much acclaim, Alan Jones reviewed the album on readytorock.com , he said: ”The Gathering is the band’s fifth album and, for someone like myself who’s never really been into psychedelia (with the valiant exception of the wonderful Ozric Tentacles), I approached this review with a certain amount of scepticism. I shouldn’t have. This is an excellent album” and he states “I would describe the entire work as a triumphant psychedelic trip without need of the tabs”.
The Gathering was also reviewed by The Rock Society Magazine was described the album as, ‘There is a definitive feel of late sixties Move / Beatles-esque Psychedelic Pop Sensibility permeating several of the tracks here, while a languid melodic feel reminiscent of Obscured by clouds – era Pink Floyd is evident. Elsewhere, and it all adds up to a pleasant, well-executed, relaxing listen”.
Through 2011 & 2012 the band recorded ‘Coloured Dream’ which was reviewed in Classic Rock magazine by Geoff Brittian, “With their influences rooted firmly in British 6o’s psychedelia. Midlands band Split Sofa’s sixth album is full of deceptively lightweight Songs that impinge on your consciousness like hazy whispers. Highlights are the winsome Lennon-esque Until Tomorrow and the jangly Lovely day which could be a summer hit with more lavish production”.
Powerplay magazine also saw the album as “The music on here is kinda laid back, to the point of horizontal; It’s very summery and melodic. Split sofa are a bit of a throwback. They love the sixties and are content to stay there, playing psychedelic Rock and singing about the summer of love, but rather than being from The west coast there’ll from the East Midlands”.
Various internet radio stations and also BBC Local Radio gave airtime to the new album which doubled the Sofa fan base. The band pushed hard to get live work, getting spots in venues with credibility, notably The Pokey Hole in the National Forest, The Cavern Club Liverpool as well as various Festivals nationally. By this point in time Roger Moggs had joined the band, rejuvenating the recording sessions & giving the live performances an adrenaline injection.
In January 2014 Split Sofa started to record their seventh album ‘Thornby Park’ – a release date is yet to be announced.
Sofa Rock takes its elements from the influences of bands that fall under the umbrella of Psychedelic Pop / Rock & Progressive rock of the late 1960’s, Pink Floyd, The Beatles,The Small Faces, The Action, The Who, Donovan, Caravan, Icarus & The Creation, to name a few, but also Sofa influences can be found in modern music including The Verve, Pilot Speed, Sparkadia, Kula Shaker, Blur, Oasis & Snow Patrol.