Nothing in life is certain, we only know that we exist, and therefore, that there is a beginning and an end; everything that happens in between is the will of God, Allah, Jehovah, the gods, Buddha, Karma, the universe and the three Norns at the foot of Yggdrasil that decide our fate (everyone’s basically covered there…). If you look back over the past five years of your life, could you have predicted most of the journey you have taken to where you are now? I’d wager not! I know that I (Ollie Trevers, aka. The Great Leslie) certainly couldn’t have. My journey from five years ago to this very second started with three words. Saucy, Naughty, Rubbish. Join me now as I revisit the turns I have taken.
My journey begins in Leeds, 2015. I was just finishing my undergraduate degree in music at Leeds Conservatoire, but in typical student fashion, had saved most of my work to the last minute. I was due to do my ‘final performance’ (which, if I remember rightly, counted for 70% of my third year grade) in two weeks, and as of yet had not completed writing all of the songs for my set, which as I’m sure you can imagine, is a massive cock up. I played with the idea of yodelling for a solid twenty minutes, but then expelled this idea from my mind, finally realising, after three years of being a student, that I would procrastinate at any cost if it was a task I had to do. The worst of it was that, not only did I not have the music ready, but that once I did, I would have to teach it to my then band, The Doldrums.
The Doldrums was comprised of some of my best friends in Leeds at the time, one of which I also went to school with. They were all in the year below me, and thus still carefree and relatively happy. Not that I was, or am against a carefree and happy existence, but a year does a lot to man, (something I can certainly attest to five years on) and their nonchalant demeanour did not fill me with confidence that we would have an adequate performance ready in time. I think I found a grey hair… In any case, they were the second hurdle; the first was yet to be jumped over.
I began as many modern songwriters do, by desperately going through the voice notes on my phone, trying to find something of value that I had already recorded. Behold! I came across several ideas that I could use. They were very post punkie and punchy, not something I’d written much of before, but anything was good at this moment. After several days of actual work, I managed to write four new songs: ‘Saucy, Naughty, Rubbish’, ‘Chinese, Chip Shop’, ‘Crazy’, and ‘Beddable’. Praise the lord! Oliver Trevers had done some work! Now for another miracle…
In fairness to my band, they were incredibly helpful, and the fact that they were all massively talented made everything a lot easier. We had several practises until 3am, and it seemed to do the trick. My recital was a success; candyfloss all round, the Brexit referendum hasn’t happened, Trump’s not President, everyone’s basically very happy, but it is not the end. Only a year later, after trying to take off with The Doldrums, I decided to leave for London, to move back home and do a Masters degree in song writing at The Institute Of Contemporary Music Performance (because remember, I’m a very good student).
During this busy period in my life I started writing music for film and TV. The first of which was a film called Funny Cow, starring Maxine Peake, Paddy Considine, Tony Pitts, Stephen Graham, and Alun Armstrong. This certainly was not something I’d ever considered doing before, but I admit, it was a pleasant part of my increasingly bizarre journey. However, writing and touring my music, with my own band remained to be my deepest desire. The only problem was, I didn’t have a band… but I did have Saucy, Naughty, Rubbish, and my new manager, Samuel Trevers (my brother).
Sam proceeded to kick my arse into gear, organising recording with a funny Mexican man I had befriended at ICMP, goes by the name of, Guillermo Campoy, aka. The Great Leslie. BOMBSHELL! At that time however, Guillermo and I had not considered starting a band together, particularly as he had neglected to demonstrate to me his talent on the guitar. Despite this, we got the EP recorded, and the first EP of Ollie Trevers was released at the end of 2018.
A few months later, after having two gigs with an undefined shambles of a group of musicians, we found a new drummer, goes by the name of, Ryan Lavender, aka. The Great Leslie. BOMBSHELL! Ryan brought a lot more groove and pace to our playing, and thus, our live performances were faster, which upon reflection, served the Saucy EP dramatically. If I listen to the old recordings now, I inadvertently start looking at my watch, and then I realise I don’t have my watch on, and that I very rarely wear my watch, and then I go in search for my watch, and by the time I have it on so I can look at it, in an attempt to make a point about how slow the songs are, I still hear the same song playing. Basically, well done Ryan.
Over a year and two bassists later the world was and remains to be ravaged by a deadly pandemic, but this was not enough to stop me, or the band in our tracks, if you’ll pardon the pun. We needed some new blood, someone to add some joy, love, and tasty bass lines to the mix. Enter, Jason Boyd, aka. The Great Leslie. BOMSHELL! In the wake of Jason’s arrival, we have become something more than The Ollie Trevers Band, and this, I believe, now shows in the music that we have released in 2020 and that we are yet to release in 2021; but it is important to remember where we started. It is important to not let go of the things that have made us who we are.
The Great Leslie has taken down the original Saucy, Naughty, Rubbish EP, but as a nostalgic wave to the past, we’ve recorded, and are now releasing, a live version of the songs, starting with the title track. This means our oldest fans can still enjoy the music, but also lets us respectfully leave Saucy, Naughty, Rubbish behind, to move on to better things. I can promise you all that our future musical endeavours may be saucy, and indeed naughty, but certainly not rubbish.
We hope you enjoy it in its new live form and we love you all dearly.
Until next time, I am most honourably,
Oliver Trevers, aka. The Great Leslie (BOMBSHELL!)