The last full Woodford Folk Festival was 2019/2020 and it was significant to The Holy Rollercoasters for many reasons - it was the biggest show of the band’s life, they played 6 shows in 7 days, they camped near Emma Wiggle and it was an experience that strengthened the bond between the members tenfold. The cherry on top was spending the week collaborating with the award-winning indie singer-songwriter and owner of a goddamn heartbreaking voice, Asha Jefferies.
Bounding on stage halfway through their sets, Asha duetted with lead singer Jimi Beavis, harmonised with guitarist Chris George Bancroft and keys player Benjamin Van Jole and roared out a huge, horn-heavy showstopper with the band’s arrangement of her own song ‘Absence & Copyright’.
These performances birthed the idea to record the song together but Covid swiftly halted such plans, until recently. With a bit of extra time up their sleeves, they decided to also record one of Asha’s unreleased songs, ‘Don’t Do Cocaine’, but Jimi taking the lead. The track has been fully rearranged and given a heady big band funk treatment.
“It seemed right,” says Jimi. “I had been thinking about going to see her single launch and then with recording for our album about to start, I began to plan with Andrew. Later that day I bumped into Asha at the shops and I was going to call her but… we just ended up discussing it right there in the health food aisle in Coles and here we are.”
Asha was not new to the band by any means. She had been in Jimi’s English class when she went to Music Industry College and guitarist Chris Bancroft has performed in her band and she sings on his solo recordings. In fact, it was right before her first BigSound appearance with Chris in tow that Jimi gave her some advice: “Don’t Do Cocaine”, he said.
So she wrote a song about it.