Unusual mix of bass and mandolin

Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston.
Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston.

Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston kick off the 2012 Roots Around The World world music series at Chichester’s Chichester Inn on Wednesday, January 4 - on the back of the release of their first album together.

More usually associated with Show Of Hands, Miranda was filling in in a band called The Scoville Units in which Rex plays. It went so well that they decided to take it further.

“We just thought what a great combination it was, double bass (Miranda) and mandolin (Rex)”, Miranda explains.

Miranda can cite a couple of other instances where the two instruments come together; but it’s certainly one of the more unusual combinations.

“But it’s great. With the double bass, you’ve got the bottom line covered, the bass clef, and then you have got lots of room for the mandolin to shine through.”

Helping the harmony is the fact that Miranda and Rex are an item, which accounts for some of the electricity that people have detected on the album, Miranda feels.

Part of the attraction for Miranda is also the contrast with her Show Of Hands work.

“It’s really lovely for me to finally believe in something that I am doing on my own and be able to go out there and do my own thing. I didn’t enjoy performing as a solo. I didn’t have the fire in my belly. But now collaborating with Rex, it’s a great, great duo.

“Some of the songs are new songs. Some of them I have been singing for years, but Rex has breathed new life into them. He is fantastic at producing and arranging.

“He produced the album with Joe Rusby - so basically it is old songs with new life breathed into them. It’s good to do some of my back catalogue, plus Rex had a couple of songs that I came home singing. It was just things that came to the surface, plus we listen to a lot of music in the car.”