The Mirrortones - a Ribble Valley acoustic duo prepare to launch first EP

Ribble Valley-based acoustic duo The Mirrortones, Joe Martin and Steph Ashcroft. Photo: Jonathan Kenyon.
Ribble Valley-based acoustic duo The Mirrortones, Joe Martin and Steph Ashcroft. Photo: Jonathan Kenyon.

A YOUNG and talented acoustic duo from the Ribble Valley are making an impact on the local musical scene.

Both 17, Joe Martin and Steph Ashcroft received brilliant reviews, impressing audiences wherever they went. Inspired by the public’s interest they went on to form The Mirrortones last year and recently set about recording their own interpretation of various covers as well as their own songs.

Ribble Valley-based acoustic duo The Mirrortones, Joe Martin and Steph Ashcroft. Photo: Jonathan Kenyon.

Ribble Valley-based acoustic duo The Mirrortones, Joe Martin and Steph Ashcroft. Photo: Jonathan Kenyon.

“We know that to move on we need to write and perform our own music,” said Joe. “Steph has been involved in song-writing for the past couple of years and although she finds this a very personal experience, we have quickly settled into a method to get our own songs going.

“Musically we are really well connected to each other, both drawing on our own influences and always striving to recognise what works for us. People say we have a natural chemistry when we perform and I think this is down to having a shared feeling about the music we put out.

“We are now working towards the release of our first EP and intend for this to be ready in the next few months.”

Marianne, the duo’s first single, has been uploaded and can be found on www.soundcloud.com (just type “mirrortones” into the search box and search for tracks) along with cover interpretations of a few other well known songs.

Ribble Valley-based acoustic duo The Mirrortones, Joe Martin and Steph Ashcroft. Photo: Jonathan Kenyon.

Ribble Valley-based acoustic duo The Mirrortones, Joe Martin and Steph Ashcroft. Photo: Jonathan Kenyon.

“Marianne has quite a bluesy/folk edge to it, but as we discover ourselves musically, we want to remain open to experimenting with different styles,” said Joe.

Steph added: “Our next track, Flying High, is a real contrast to Marianne and has a much lighter feel to it. Joe is the talent when it comes to instrumentation and arranging and he’s working on this at the moment.

“I wrote the lyrics last year and love the ‘good time’ theme; I must have been in a good mood when I wrote it so hopefully other people will relate to summertime, festivals and generally having a great time with friends.

“I like the fact it is very different to Marianne, which is dark and tells a tragic story; Flying High more describes how you feel. I have grown up in a house where there has been so many different styles of music played, from jazz through to R&B. I can’t say I really prefer one above the other, I just know what I like when I hear it.

“Joe and I are discovering ourselves in our music, even though it’s been a big part of our lives for some years and we don’t want to confine ourselves at this point to any one style. I guess it will come out naturally in the end. Where we do come strictly together is through our harmonies and vocal tones; this is at the centre of our songs.”

Both Joe and Steph are currently studying for their A Levels and planning to go on to higher education to study music performance and composition. Besides local gigs, they have been booked to start the line up at The Ribble Valley Mayor’s charity concert at the St Mary’s Hall, Clitheroe, on Thursday. Beginning at 7-30 p.m., this is a free concert with donations to the Ribble Valley Mayor’s Charities.

Next month they make two appearances at The Grand, Clitheroe, on consecutive Saturdays, April 14th and 21st, then on Friday, June 1st, they will play at Whalley Live Music Festival

The Mirrortones have also just been invited to perform on BBC Radio Lancashire on May 11th on the Sally Nadan show, in front of a live audience, and are focussing hard on getting a spot on some of the emerging stages at festivals in the North West this summer.

On March 31st they will compete in the Regional Final of Live and Unsigned UK, a competition in which artists are only allowed to perform their own material. You can also hear The Mirrortones on youtube.