Songs from the Shed - an Internet sensation

A MODEST shed in the back garden of a Clevedon house has become a musical Internet sensation.

In the past 18 months, the structure in the garden of Jon Earl’s property has played host to more than 50 local, national and international musicians, all of whom have requested to play acoustic sessions that are recorded and then posted online.

In June 2009, Jon and his friends thought of setting up a cheese, cider and real ale appreciation society with plans to meet in the shed once a month.

However, when it was suggested it would be good to get a musician to play at the first meeting, Songs from the Shed was born.

Jon, aged 48, said: “I have always been into music and I wondered whether the idea would work.

“We started with a local band made up of local musicians and put the video online.

“Straight away I got an email from the American band, Water Tower Bucket Boys ,who were touring in England and asked if they could play in the shed.”

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Since the first video, Songs from the Shed has now racked up more than 120,000 video views from music fans across the globe.

Big names in the music industry have shown interest in the project and one 12ft by 10ft room in the shed, which is a former army billet, has already hosted Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel fame, who is well-known for his single Make Me Smile, and Dave Rotheray of The Beautiful South.

The project has also received high praise from Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris.

Jon, a father-of-two who owns That Copy Shop in Alexandra Road, said: “I thought it was just going to be a vehicle for local musicians to promote themselves but it has grown vastly beyond that.

“It has now begun to take over my life and I am struggling to get my normal work done.

“It is important not to scupper the simple, non-commercial essence of the site.

“However, if the right kind of offer came along I would consider taking on a sponsor.”

So far, the website boasts 59 recorded sessions and Jon has another 15-20 to add.

Some big names have been booked for the coming year and Jon believes that by May there will be 100 or more videos online.