The Cadbury Sisters
Cheltenham is famous for many things, Regency architecture, the Literature Festival, the Gold Cup, and now, or at least very soon, ‘The Cadbury Sisters’.
Direct descendents of the original Cadbury family, Jessica, 24, Mary 22 and Lucy 19, accompanied by new guitarist Tom Mitchell, are set to take the music world by storm with their hauntingly beautiful acoustic music.
Brought up on a farm and educated in Cheltenham, the three sisters have always loved making music together and began their musical career just under three years ago, performing at open mic nights in and around Cheltenham.
The realisation that they were ‘quite good’ together musically encouraged them to spread their wings and take on an extra band member, with the result that ‘The Cadbury Sisters’ are now regulars on the Cheltenham gig scene, having built themselves a well deserved reputation as a talented four piece group.
Accompanied only by two guitars, played by Lucy and Tom, it is the striking melodies and poetic lyricism of their music that set the Cadbury sisters apart from the crowd, each song telling a story that reverberates with the sound of personal experience.
Unlike regular bands that need to grow together, to develop a history and identity, the girls have had their whole lives full of shared experiences both good and bad, to draw on for inspiration, and it is this inherent closeness and unspoken connection that resonates through their music.
Mary says, ‘Writing is a very organic experience for us; every one of our songs is about something that has happened to one of us, our songs usually come out of the blue and it’s truly magical when all our creative energies come together. Undoubtedly being sisters makes that creativity more intense, and, luckily for us, gives us an unlimited store of things to write about.’
Jessica continues, ‘We love writing about all kinds of different experiences and as three normal young women who have all been through the torments of learning to be comfortable in our own bodies, we would love to be able to inspire other women and remind them that life is too short to worry about things like size and shape. We are three healthy happy girls and we want every girl to be the same.’
Although fortunate to have been brought up on a farm they describe as ‘gorgeous’ and had the benefit of a good education, the girls have never taken life for granted. Their brother Richard, 17, was born with cerebral palsy, but far from this being a tragedy, the girls see Richard as a ‘blessing’, as he taught them patience and humility from an early age. Lucy says, ‘Richard is an inspiration in our everyday lives.’
Regulars at the Cadbury Sisters gigs will often see Richard in his wheelchair by the stage where he loves to watch his sisters and they in turn enjoy having him around; ‘He makes us laugh when we catch his eye because he has such a cheeky grin!’
Musically the girls have been compared to 2011 ‘Best Female Solo Artist’ Brit Award winner Laura Marling, a London based folk singer. The girls readily agree that Laura has been a huge inspiration and it was Laura’s songs they covered on those very first open mic nights at venues such as the Conservatory and Slak.
The highlight of the girl’s gigging career so far has been playing at the Cheltenham Jazz Fringe Festival in May. Lucy Mary and Jessica found themselves on the Budvar stage, surrounded by an audience of music lovers.
Lucy’s face lights up when she recalls that special day, ‘It was an amazing experience, and the response we got from the crowd was wonderful.’
Despite all having regular day jobs, Lucy as a carer for disabled adults and children and working at Bettridge Special Educational Needs School, Jessica as a sales rep for Eon, and Mary also working at at Bettridge School, doing shifts at Slak Bar in the evenings and serving the best breakfasts in Cheltenham at the Curious Cafe during the day, the girls dream of one day being able to concentrate fully on their music.
Says Jessica, ‘Things are going really well for us right now and we are absolutely loving performing together
so regularly. In the future we would love to do some festivals, play in front of a huge field of people, and of course be recognised as a band. To perform together full-time would be a dream come true, and with the support of our family and our fans in Cheltenham, every day feels like we’re getting a little bit closer.’
You can listen to the Cadbury Sisters music for free on their website www.thecadburysisters.co.uk or you can also download their EP which contains six songs and costs just £3. If you want a hard copy of their CD you can contact the girls via their website or pick one up at their next gig, dates of which are all on their website too.