Brothers gonna work it out

Ukelele kings: The Everly Pregnant Brothers play their annual Christmas concert at the Leadmill on Saturday
Ukelele kings: The Everly Pregnant Brothers play their annual Christmas concert at the Leadmill on Saturday
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They’ve penned a song for Jessica Ennis, reinvented the songs of Bob Marley in New Zealand and now, they’re preparing for a Christmas bonanza – yes, the Everly Pregnant Brothers are back, as Rachael Clegg hears.

FOR a band of chaps whose average height is about six foot, it’s interesting that the Everly Pregnant Brothers chose the ukelele as their instrument.

But, needless to say, it makes for a memorable spectacle.

“We look like giants playing normal-sized guitars,” says Klive Humberstone. “It’s just fun being in this band, I don’t see it as a job, it’s like a hobby.”

The band’s repertoire includes No Oven No Pie, a take on Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry, which became an international success, as Humberstone explains.

“We change the words in the chorus line of songs so that, for example, we substituted the lyrics in No Woman No Cry for No Oven No Pie and this lady in New Zealand had a copy of the track and then, when her 13-year-old son heard the original on the radio he said: “Shouldn’t that be No Oven No Pie?”

And according to Humberstone, covering songs and rehashing them for a ukelele version is a process that reveals a great deal about the composition of a song.

“It takes you back to the basic song structure and teaches you a lot about how a song’s put together because you are stripping it down to its basic structure. The Jam are good to cover.”

The Everly Pregnant Brothers’ repertoire is broad-ranging.

Humberstone explains: “We play Jam songs, Bob Marley and even a version of the King’s of Leon Sex is On Fire, which we call My Chip Pan’s on Fire.”

The band also played at Jessica Ennis’ Sheffield home-coming celebration, for which they adapted Chip Pan’s On Fire – aka Sex On Fire, to Our Jess Is On Fire.

They also changed the Beach Boys track Sloop John B to Jess has Won Gold.

“A lot of our songs are about Yorkshire or places in Sheffield,” says Klive. But the band’s Northern-slanted songwriting doesn’t limit their fan base. “We’ve just played some gigs in Ireland.”

The fact the Everly Pregnant Brothers came into existence at all is thanks to artist Pete McKee.

Klive said: “He put the band together after coming up with a Christmas song.”

The band includes BBC Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster and frontman Sean Doane and since 2009 the band has released three albums, including this year’s Chunky Dory.

The Brothers’ Christmas concert has become something of a tradition for the band.

“We started off at the Harley, then it went to the Queen’s Social Club and this year we’re at the Leadmill.”

But they’re not just playing a show at the Leadmill. The night is dubbed The Everly Pregnant Brothers’ Christmas Takeover’, for which the band will also be DJing.

And the band will be playing a fair share of Christmas songs.

They play at the Leadmill tomorrow.