Elcka - in all their finest


Elcka were formed in London and came into the limelight in 1995 with two singles on their own Nectah label that evidenced a cocksure swagger, a casual elegance and a love of the good things in life that gave the band an instant reputation. They appeared to arrive as fully formed and self-contained denizens of their own world: though it was possible to pick out strands of Bowie, Roxy Music, the wide screen ambitions of U2 even, no one sounded like Elcka.

Their line-up comprised Harrold (vocals), Marcus Sanford-Casey (guitar), Rhodes (bass), Matt Barker (keyboards) and Darren Berry (drums)/(guitar)/(vocals)

Scratch beneath the surface and you'd find the savage poetry that rages against the dying of the light in "Leather Lips," the duplicitous heart of the "Pervert's Servant," the sour aftertaste of "Roast Beef." Possessed of a dry wit and a bag of monstrous tunes, and surfing a wave of critical acclaim, Elcka signed to Island Records .

Their label debut, the single "Look At You Now" arrived in 1996 and seemed to signal the band's continuing skyward trajectory. Rave reviews & a support slot with Morrissey on the 1997 Maladjusted tour across the USA & Europe, gave the band exposure to a wider audience with Morrisey proclaiming them to be one of his favorite bands. Their debut album Rubbernecking was released in Nov 1997 to rave reviews:

"...rough-edged burlesques... sassy, slithery and ROCK'N'BLEEDIN'ROLL." - NME

"...a pocket-sized dynamo of a singer, swaggering moments of low drama." - Evening Standard

"...Elcka invent heroically monumental music..." - The Guardian (click here to see this review)

"... No matter what, the name of Elka will resound throughout this entire planet!" - Music Life Japan (click here to read)

The band appeared on several compilation albums: Volume 13, Shine 6 , London Calling 1996 @ Paradiso Amsterdam The black sessions, on French radio in Paris, with Bernard Le Noir & during this period the band worked with the acclaimed photographer Perou who created the Leather Lips single cover & other images of the band. The band toured and played alongside various other bands from around this time, The Boo Radleys in France & Germany, Space & on the Melody Maker "Shaker" tour alongside Powder, Pusherman & Strangelove. A live recording of the song "Roast Beef" from this tour is available on the homepage here & the song featured on a tape given away free on the Melody Maker cover in Nov 1995.

After several recording sessions throughout 1998 the band recorded a 2nd Album with the producer & DJ Ashley Beadle & their next single Pleasure was released in early 1999, and did well in many regions especially in Russia, where the video was a hit on Russian MTV. However, at exactly the same time, in the 1st half of 1999 their record label Island Records was bought out by Universal, the album release was pushed back & then cancelled completely - a company reshuffle & legal wrangling prevented the band from releasing their follow up album, at the same time they weren't allowed to take it elsewhere on the grounds it could be released later on to "recoup" costs of recording etc. In the days before you could go it alone on the internet, the band were completely stuck without a record label, after a final gig at the 100 club in London the band split up. Darren went on to form Mankato the other members left the music business completely, read more in this interview.

However in recent years, the bands critical acclaim, a solid fan base built up over several years of touring, along with more recent name checking from Morrissey among others lead to some of the unreleased recordings emerging in 2014 after being released on a record label in New York by a fan. Further recordings since resurfaced with various blogs & articles showing a continuing interest in the band, with a growing fan base world wide.

Most of the songs recorded for Softly Softly can be heard here on the Discography page, the album was never offically released.

Read some of the articles written about the band in old music publications like Melody Maker & more recent Online blogs