It was a brisk January morning when South Londoners Ed Begley (vocals/keys/guitar) and Rory Simmons (guitar/trumpet/programming) found themselves beneath the pavement in Piccadilly Circus. It was between ToolShed - the underground studio belonging to producer/drummer Adrian Meehan - and their respective homes that Archivist began to unfold over the first half of 2013.
With renowned opera singers for parents, Ed was introduced to a wide variety of music from an early age. As a child he sang, played piano, church organ and clarinet. The main influences from this period included the operatic works of Benjamin Britten and Wagner, and instrumentally Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and the French Romantic Composers. It wasn’t until his teens that he began listening to more contemporary music. Ed’s first taste of the London music industry was a result of his friendship with Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets), whom he went onto support on their debut Eel Pie Review tour. This first band included Will Harvey (Dry the River) and Tom Cullen (Crystal Castles). It was during this time that Ed began to engage with Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley and Aphex Twin. These artists continue to influence his music.
Ed went on to study Jazz at Trinity College of Music, but abandoned the course halfway through to focus on his own writing career.
He worked as a guest vocalist with various avant-garde collectives including The London Soundpainting Orchestra and Fringe Magnetic. The latter was founded by Rory Simmons, whose other ventures include Eyes of a Blue Dog and Friendly Fires. The two met in 2011, but it took a couple of years for Archivist to come to fruition.
Ed and Rory's diverse abilities as multi-instrumentalists and programmers have translated what was initially a studio project into a live show. Over the past year Archivist has appeared at several festivals including Secret Garden Party and Wilderness, as well as at venues across London, most notably the Elgar Rooms of the Royal Albert Hall. The project has attracted attention and remixes from artists such as Ikey Owens (The Mars Volta) and Dan le Sac.
Archivist is still a relatively new venture and continues to develop. Their first release gives a glimpse of what's to come from one of South London's most exciting and innovative musical partnerships.