The June Apples is the project of multi-instrumentalist sisters Ellie and Taz whose passion for traditional music has led them to form a duo reworking traditional tunes, songs and stories and creating their own original songs. After being involved in projects with other artists, they discovered their affinity for playing together and for the past year have performed all over the South West. Expect lush harmonies, foot-stomping dance tunes and tales of loss, murder and vegan pirates!
“Thanks so much for your performance in St Patrick’s Chapel last Friday! You certainly wowed us — it was original and distinctive, great fun and musically spot-on (I am the sort of person who pays to hear Shostakovich quartets, so am perhaps a worthwhile opinion).” — An audience member.
Ellie Mains Fiddle, vocals, occasional flute & percussion
Ellie has a deep-rooted love of folk music, art and story. Her musical journey began at Wells Cathedral when she gained a place to become one of the first girl choristers. After leaving the choir she stayed on to study flute, violin and singing and subsequently attended the University of Oxford. Her passion for music never far away, on leaving Oxford she moved to Bristol, started an indie band in her garage and joined an experimental free jazz group. Work and wanderlust took her to the south of France and then to Reykjavik before settling back in the Mendip Hills and picking up her long-neglected fiddle, going to as many folk sessions as possible and greedily learning tunes and songs. She has since become a ‘face’ on the local folk scene and has been part of many musical projects as well as being one half of The June Apples with Taz. When not performing on stage, Ellie organises youth music tours and loves growing vegetables. Ellie lives on a smallholding with her partner, their gaggle of children and a menagerie of cheerful animals.
Taz Mains Guitar, Vocals, Bassoon
Taz started playing music at a young age, and hasn’t really stopped. A brief foray after specialist music school into university led to the birth of her first child (and eventually a degree in music and psychology). As a youth she spent many hours jamming on her guitar, piano and Bassoon, which she continues to do in lots of musical projects, including the June Apples. Her work as a freelance accompanist and strong passion for community music has lead to teaching and group work, including children’s choirs and a successful parent and child music group. She has more recently entered into a love affair with the double bass. Her love of history, local landscape and traditional skills has inspired in Taz a great appreciation of all things folk. Folk bassoon (a niche but nonetheless existent genre) has become one of her favourite past times, along with collaboratively collecting tunes, arranging and writing and playing music with her sister, Ellie.
When not playing music, Taz can be found doing care work, making stuff out of wood, painting and drawing pictures, riding bicycles and gardening. She currently resides in the heart of Somerset’s Mendip Hills, surrounded by lush countryside, children, instruments and cats.