Indieterria Review – The Blinders at Castle and Falcon in Birmingham

 

Event poster for the gig at Castle and Falcon

Paper Buoys/The Mothers Earth Experiment/Calva Louise/The Blinders
Castle and Falcon
Birmingham
23/10/2018

I was asked a question. A very simple one. Straightforward.

“How was it?”

Thoughts were running wild in my head. I wanted to say so many things and yet I barely could come up with anything. My throat was tight. From shouting and screaming. My head hurt. From head banging and being repeatedly kicked and pushed all over the place in the mosh pit. My body was tired and bruised. I was exhausted.

How can you answer, when a simple, straightforward answer simply does not exist?

Fancy shot of the venue – because the owner of the smart phone felt artsy;)

***

We arrived at The Castle and Falcon a bit late as the traffic in Birmingham was horrendous. Since Paradise Circuit in the city centre has been closed for major works, getting in and out of the Second City during rush hours reminds us of a military operation. You have to jump lanes, watch out for temporary traffic lights located in the strangest of places, swirl and turn and pirouette on narrow lanes like a ballet dancer. Two and a half hours of this mad dance is enough to tire you out before the show even starts. We sadly missed the first support act, a local Brummie gang named Paper Buoys, but at least we can find the solace in the fact that we have seen them open for the Blinders in February this year at the Sunflower Lounge. Maybe next time we will have more luck. Oh well, c’est la vie.

The view of the stage with red banners with Columbia emblem

The second opening act for the night, The Mothers Earth Experiment may also be local but they are well known and respected for their full blown psychedelic sound and mesmerizing stage presence. The sextet is led by vocalist and guitarist Mark Roberts and consist of James Baker (keyboard, backing vocals), Jake Clarke (bass), Reece Greenfield (drums, vocals), Oliver Overton (percussion) and Jackson Younger (guitar). We saw them play for the first time at the Night Owl in Birmingham in August along with our beloved WorcesterWave acts: The Americas and As Mamas and they made a huge impression on us. On stage, Mark Roberts is more of a shamanic priest with a guitar than a musician, his entire body was perfectly tuned to the music. His movements flowed naturally in coherence with the hypnotic rhythm section. Whenever the music stopped, Mark froze in a dramatic pose with his hands raised above his head and eyes open wide (or fully rolled back). Whenever the tempo changed, so did the performance. Blessed with powerful voice, nearly mystical chanting backing vocals and great skills, Mother Earth Experiment are something fresh and an absolute pleasure to watch. They played four tracks off their self-titled debut album released in 2017: “Ignorance”, “Quietus”, “Bliss” and their best known single “Cool Down Mama”. Two of the tracks were nearly 10 minutes each and even that felt like not long enough. It was heartbreaking to hear that this was one of their last concerts together as they decided to go their separate ways. The final performance will take place in Birmingham on 16th of November so if you want to go down in the rock and roll history, grab a ticket now. This will be one of those “I was there” moments worth telling your grandchildren about. We only hope that the remaining members will regroup quickly and return with a brand new, exciting project.

Tickets can be purchased:
https://www.facebook.com/events/385825898623595/
https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Birmingham/104-/The-Mothers-Earth-Experiment—Final-Show-w-High-Horses/13372200/

Mark Robert of The Mothers Earth Experiment

The Mothers Earth Experiment in full swing on the stage

The Mothers Earth Experience is a cult art rock/psychedelia act in West Midlands music scene

After The Mothers Earth Experiment charmed the audience (including the headliner and their entourage), Calva Louise had a difficult task of raising the bar even higher. The London based trio consisting of charismatic singer Jess Allanic, Alizon Taho (bass, backing vocals) and Ben Parker (drums, backing vocals) put up a great, energetic show full of grunge-like fuzzed riffs, sing-along melodies and angry pop beats. We were glad to hear people singing the lyrics to “I heard A Cry” and their BBC 6 Music acclaimed single “Outrageous”. Being the only woman on stage that night, Jess brought all the teenage girls to the front, where they had a proper 30 minute party. It was good to see their faces alight with excitement, watching a woman shred the guitar, shout her heart out and doing a splendid job.  With recent reports saying that nearly half of all new guitar players being females, we need bands (and role models) like Calva Louise more than ever. Their musical style may be very different than that of The Blinders but putting them together on one tour was surprisingly a very good decision. We are looking forward to see Calva Louise in the future on a tour of their own. Maybe with Soeur? Maybe with Estrons or Mercury Prize winners, Wolf Alice? We would love to see the British version of the Lilith Fair tour. It has been long time overdue.

With the Calva Louise set over, the mood inside the venue changed in a matter of seconds. The infectious, melodic vibe evaporated, replaced by nervous anticipation. The crowd thickened, the lights dimmed, voices reduced to a murmur. And once three, dark-clothed silhouettes appeared on stage, you could feel the temperature rising. The beginning was sudden and heavy like a shotgun blast. Bright red lights blinded those nearest the stage but behind our backs, a vortex of bodies erupted. The Blinders started off with “Gotta Get Through” and quickly followed with “L’Etat C’est Moi” and “Brave New World” without any breaks to catch our breath. It has been written and said many times but the band members are extremely skilled musicians. Thomas Haywood can bleed, throw himself on the floor, climb the amplifiers and still play flawlessly. If you have ever seen Luke Griffiths of the False Heads creating his perfect mayhem on stage, giving himself a concussion and still finishing his riffs, then you probably know what we mean. If you have not, then let’s just say that both Griffiths and Haywood are in the league of their own. They could juggle knives and still play their instruments simultaneously. The same can be said of the rhythm section that grinds everything in its path and spits out the splinters behind them. Looking like a young Nick Cave (and always dressed to impress) bassist Charlie McGough delivers thunderous cannonade and drummer, Matty Neale is properly possessed behind his drum kit, hitting the right notes with the speed of light and murderous precision. Such well-developed technical skills are rarely observed in a band that has been playing together for only couple of years. You could easily attribute them to musicians at least decade older.

Thomas Haywood as his stage persona Johnny Dream delivering a sermon to the faithful citizen of Columbia

The Blinders are a rare beast thought and their technical skills only match their song writing abilities. In one moment they can be as brutal as IDLES, driving their audience into frenzied pogo of epic proportions, in another they are delicate, almost lyrical. “Free the Slaves” is actually a poem recited with minimal, Beatles-inspired background music and the slow and dark “Where No Man Comes” showcases maturity in the use of language and metrical composition. Again, it is a common knowledge that the band is inspired by literature and poetry but it still takes you by surprise how well those artistic references are executed. Haywood’s declamation, gestures, half whispered-half screamed monologues are a small masterpiece in itself. It gives the live performance a bit of a theatrical luster and splendour. His charismatic stage persona of Johnny Dream, simple yet striking black make up, make you think of a Shakespearean actor. If he ever gets bored of making music, his next career move could easily take him to the stages of the East End or Broadway.

Charlie McGough performing on stage

Matt Neale – the beating heart of The Blinders

When you think the band would slow down a bit, the drilling beat and punkadelic aesthetics are back and you are thrown back into the mosh pit. “Swine”, “ICB Blues” and “Ramona Flowers” have the public on their knees and the band covered in sweat. The show goes on with people throwing their hands towards the stage, Haywood surfing the crowd and hanging from the ventilation crate on the ceiling, t-shirts being removed, naked bodies slamming into each other in a wild, almost ritualistic manner. And then comes the final push towards sonic destruction that drives everyone insane – 7 minutes of Dionysian thiasus in the form of “Et Tu”, “Berlin Wall” and “Brutus”. Now everything is allowed, everything is fair – hair is flying in every direction, somebody losses both shoes, the brave ones are stage diving, the meek are dancing and hugging each other. The trio gives it all.

The lights are turned off without warning and we all fall silent, waiting in darkness. Is it the end? We can see Charlie and Matty leaving their posts but Thomas is still hunched on the floor, motionless. One of the technicians is passing him a guitar and he raises, completely exhausted, to perform some sort of an encore, one last song of the evening. It is “Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)” a hauntingly beautiful composition penned as a tribute to a friend who took his own life. We can see tears in the eyes of many people as they sing to “dream the most dangerous of dreams” – to be free.

And then we are free. We are free of our worries, free of bad thoughts, politics, and rotten world that surrounds us. We are happy to experience something unique, a magical performance that brought us all together.

The band is now gone but we are still gathered in front of the stage, hugging each other and re-living the last hour. It will take us another 20 minutes to leave.

Charlie and Max Grindle – who helps the band onstage as part of their technical crew. Max is awesome and a proper legend. Here`s to you mate!

The Blinders in their element.

“How was it”?
It was beautiful. Cathartic. Impossible to describe.

If a picture is worth thousand words, maybe next time, a hug will be enough to convey thousands of thoughts and feelings? I truly hope so as I may be speechless again.

See you in two weeks in Bristol.

The merch stand

All the goodies the money can buy!

You will never escape the watching eye!

Setlist:

Gotta Get Through
L’etat C’est Moi
Brave New World
Where No Man Comes
Free the Slave
I Can’t Breathe Blues
Swine
Hate Song
Rat In a Cage
Ramona Flowers
Et Tu
Brutus/Berlin Wall
Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)

“Columbia” is available on Modern Sky UK
https://theblindersofficial.

Shadows play

————————-
Vanadian Avenue would like to thank: The Blinders’ technical crew and their management (for their time), Caffy St Luce (thank you, thank you – you know for what!!), Dizzy Spell of The Zine UK, Christopher Phee of Junior Weeb (happy birthday!), Lee Richardson, Milo Ferreira-Hayes, James Devine and Matt Rawlings of Dead Dads Club (for being the best of friends), Erin and The Cosmics (for being awesome as usual), Mark Roberts and the rest of the Mothers Earth Experiments (you are worth every taxi fare in the world), Calva Louise, Paper Buoys, Mark Stack (for being an awesome companion in the mosh pit), MOSES (for just being there), Becky Bushnell & Daniel Davies (for being absolute sweethearts!), Sonic Gun Concerts with Tom Holloway and Liam Connolly, Patrick and the rest of the Violet and everybody else who bought the tickets and made it such a special evening.

“Never Fight a Man With a Perm” by IDLES and “The Boy With a Bubble Gun” by Tom McRae are especially dedicated to our fellow gig goers.

And first and foremost to those who make the music

 

Erin Grace (The Cosmics), Thomas Haywood (The Blinders) and Chris Phee (Junior Weeb) at the after party

Matt Rawlings and James Devine (Dead Dads Club), Chris Phee (Junior Weeb) and music promoter Mark Stack at the after party

Matt Rawlings (Dead Dads Club) and Malicia Dabrowicz (Vanadian Avenue) with a broken nose…

Take care for now,
Mal+Rita

We thought that we will add some more photos from the night for the enjoyment of our blog readers. We did not manage to film all the bands, so at least two out of four to illustrate what a wild night it was!

Photo gallery: The Mothers Earth Experiment

 

Photo gallery: The Blinders

 

 

We have been writing extensively about the Blinders on our blog Indieterria, so please have a look if you want to know more.

Introduction to the band:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/indieterria-presents-the-blinders/

Interview with The Blinders:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/indieterria-meets-the-blinders/

Columbia review:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/indieterria-review-columbia-by-the-blinders/

Columbia album performance blog:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/indieterria-presents-the-columbia-library-archives/

Columbia Tour blog:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/indieterria-presents-the-columbia-tour/

That`s all for now

Mal+Rita

Indieterria meets Raptor

Hi, hello!

It is true that good AnR falls in love with a band at least once a week. After all, this is what we do – our job is to find a new talent, recognize its potential and bring it to the public/record label/press attention. We are constantly on the move. From one venue to the other, from Soundcloud to Youtube to Bandcamp. Our feelings change like a kaleidoscope. A band we saw few weeks earlier and we thought were rubbish will win our hearts at the next gig. A singer we heard today and we thought was excellent, will be deemed pale and stale next week when somebody better comes along.

Panta Rhei, a great philosopher once wrote. Everything has to flow, change and improve. In normal circumstances, we will come to see a band several times before we make up our minds. One bad gig will not cross our your chances, several good ones will only strengthen our resolution to help.  Sometimes, however, magic happens. This is what we wait for, why we roam the darkest, smallest dive – bars and open mic nights. Very, very rarely, a band will enter the stage and within 10 seconds we know we have found a gem. It happened to us with The Blinders, The Americas and Children of the State. And with Raptor.

Raptor self titled EP

The first time we saw them live, it was an electrifying feeling. Like a thunderstruck or a solid punch in the guts. Your hair stands on ends, there is a chill running up and down your spine. You gasp in an absolute awe, with your mouth open and you watch the pretty colors and listen to the most beautiful music in your life. We exaggerate a bit, but the feeling of surprise and amazement is real – this is an act you know you will be working with. Call it a sixth sense – we can spot a good material for rock and roll greatness from a long way and assess them in a matter of seconds.

And once we are in love, we do everything what’s in our power to help. In majority of cases, we invite the chosen act to sit down with us and talk about their beginnings, music, influences and plans for the future. We learn more and more about the band. We research, gather links and materials about them. We become experts. This is the only way we can help – you need to know the band like a back of your hand. Talking to Kurt and Adam Fletcher was a pure pleasure – another proof that our intuition was correct.

Ladies and gents, please welcome the masters of psychedelic rock to our humble blog.

We give you, Raptor!

Brothers Adam and Kurt Fletcher

Official bio:

Raptor are a psychedelic rock trio comprised of brothers Kurt (guitar/vox) and Adam Fletcher (drums) and Nick Osborne (bass) based in Bristol. The band formed in the quiet depths of rural Herefordshire, released their first offering simply entitled “E.P” on Friday, 13th February 2015 to critical acclaim, showcasing their fuzz driven guitar grooves and hard-hitting drums. June 2017 saw the release of Raptor’s double single “Ultraviolet/Haight Street” that has since received raving reviews from BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester, Bristol Live Magazine, Bristol 24/7 and Rock Radio UK among others. Their electric performances won them acclaim from Scott Holiday (Rival Sons) and Verden Allen (Mott The Hoople) and allowed the band to open for Robert Plant, Mick Ralphs (Bad Company) and Dr Feelgood.  In May 2018, the band signed to Don’t Tell Anyone Records (DTA1) and their new single “Dynamite (is Freedom)” was released on 31st July 2018. Raptor have currently completed writing of their full-length debut album and the record is set to be released this autumn via DTA1.

According to your biography, Raptor is a trio consisting of two brothers and a friend. You formed in 2014 in Leominster but currently reside in Bristol. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of our blog.

The sleeve to Raptor`s debut single Double A side Ultraviolet/Haigh Street

Kurt Fletcher: Hi guys! We are Raptor and the band is made up of me (guitar/vocals) and my brother Adam (drums), currently we’ve got our friend Nick Osborne on the bass.

Psychedelic rock seems to have a certain fondness for reptiles. There was T.Rex, Thin Lizzy, Tuatara and now, there is Raptor. Did you chose the name to fit right into this trend or was there any other reason to come up with it?

Adam Fletcher: I’ve never really though of that! Kurt once told me the name appeared one lunchtime in his alphabetti-spaghetti (laughing)

2015 saw the release of your 5-track extended play curiously entitled “E.P.”. To make it even more unusual, you have decided to publish it on Friday the 13th. It received very favourable reviews. Can you tell us more about it?

Kurt Fletcher: We spent a long time searching for a studio and decided to record at The Forge in Warwickshire with Tom Gittins. Tom’s place is really cool and was  haunted by a friendly ghost called Millie! She’d mysteriously move the camera that was facing Adam whilst we were recording drums on Get Down…. Spooky!

Raptor fans must have the patience of a saint, as you made them wait for nearly two years before you released any new material. Your next double single “Ultraviolet/Haigh Street” was very different than your debut. It was more aggressive, more edgy and less bluesy. Your style also evolved considerably  and we can hear obvious prog-rock inspirations such as early Genesis or  even Van Der Graaf Generator! Where were you doing during the break? Practicing, getting better and recording?

Brothers Adam and Kurt Fletcher

Kurt Fletcher: Thank you! To be honest it has all felt like a really natural progression as both before and after our EP release we were gigging hard. We were only 17 and 19 so Ad was starting college studying studio engineering and I was about to go to the BIMM Bristol Uni studying all aspects of music performance.  Because we had such a gap between recording we listened to so much different music – we made a conscious decision to really push what we were doing in the studio, Adam was getting more into production while I was getting more interested in songwriting.

Your new sound has been compared to King Gizzard and Lizard Wizard, Jefferson Airplane, King Crimson with a lot of Oasis and psychedelic Arctic Monkeys thrown into the mix. Are those your influences? What type of music are you listening to at this moment?

Adam: I’ve been listening to some Queens of The Stone Age, Tame Impala, Joe Walsh(Eagles), Nirvana and a little funk like James Brown and The Meters… lost of very different genres.. all far too loud.

Kurt: I’ve blasting a lot of Frank Zappa, Uncle Acid and David Bowie. Tom Waits, Demob Happy, The Stones and Santana are favourites of ours.

Raptor received praises from the biggest names in the industry such as Scott Holiday of Rival Sons, Verden Allen of Mott The Hoople and even legendary Robert Plant. He invited you to open for him. Do you remember this gig well?

Kurt Fletcher: It’s always amazing to meet people you respect so highly and it’s an honour to play with them! Scott and Verden are good friend of ours, we’ve had some great nights out with Verden, he still parties as hard as back in the day! Go check him out playing blistering Hammond organ in the All the Young Dudes vid on YouTube.

Adam Fletcher: The Robert Plant gig was so fun! He lives relatively close to where we grew up, there were rumours all the time about Planty showing up at someone’s gig. I remember on the night half way through a drum solo turning around and seeing Robert Plant watching me through the curtains… I lost my mind. He graced the stage after us and opened with When The Levee Breaks.. it doesn’t get any better than that! I spoke to him after and he was so kind and great conversation…. what a night!

Cover of Dynamite (Is Freedom) – Raptor`s current single

Just last month, you have been signed to a proper independent label. Congratulations! How did your co-operation began?

Kurt Fletcher: Alex Andrews, who runs Don’t Tell Anyone Records (with his business partner Sam) asked us to play a show with his band Stone Cold Fiction in Bristol this April and we got on great! After meeting with Alex again we started making plans. DTA1 is an independent label and is all about helping one another out – He put out King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s record last year and released our new single ‘Dynamite (Is Freedom)’ in July this year.

You have new record deal and a brand new single “Dynamite (is Freedom) out right now. What is the song about?

Kurt Fletcher:  It’s difficult to give Dynamite (Is Freedom) a direct meaning as it was written over a period of months – soaking up different inspirations along the way. There are cynical parts to it as well as elements of dystopia, it talks about accepting the situation you are in and learning to come to terms with things.

Did you have fun recording it?

Adam Fletcher: Recording this record has been some of the most fun we’ve ever had and we are extremely pleased with what we’ve done. It was recorded at Bink Bonk with Mat Samson (Turbowolf/Kasabian) in Bristol with analogue and digital gear… We  chose to track live without a metronome to capture the sound and energy of our live show. Mat is as mental as we are which meant for a lot of sonic experimentation using a collection of vintage amplifiers, effects and audio rarities including vocal mics owned by The Beatles used on their last three albums (and the rooftop gig), guitars amps owned by Motörhead and a Reverb unit owned by Pink Floyd and used on The Wall!

If we’d like to see you live, where do we go? Do you have anything lined up?

Kurt Fletcher: We’re going on tour at the end of September with Stone Cold Fiction & Don’t Tell Anyone Records so you can catch us across the UK! Here are the dates:

Wed 26th September – London – The Lighthouse
Thur 27th September – Bradford Upon Avon
Fri 28th September – Leeds – Verve Bar
Sat 29th September – Newcastle – Little Buildings
Sun 30th September – Manchester – Wangies

What can we expect from Raptor in the next few months. Go on and surprise us!

Kurt Fletcher: We’re set to release an album this September, other that that we’ll be collecting strange gear, drinking around Bristol and working on new songs!

Social media:

Website: http://www.raptorliveandloud.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raptortheband
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/raptortheband
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raptortheband
Bandcamp: https://raptortheband.bandcamp.com/
Soundcloud: https://www.soundcloud.com/raptor-the-band
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV7i9Wyx1ko
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/5nkHHW45RyoYv10FmjpaRD

We are going to see Raptor play live in Manchester on the last date of their tour, so please be prepared for an massive update to this interview. There will be pictures, filmed performances and maybe a flash video-interview!

We love coming back to the Kingdom of Mancunia and we know we will have a fantastic time.

Please join us and have a good day .
Until we meet again,

R+M

Indieterria review – Guitar Music Is Dead by The Americas

“Not scared of no darkness” – The Americas “Guitar Music is Dead” review


When I look back, there is a cinematic quality to it. I can see it in my mind unfolding like a film. A girl is walking into a local venue, wrapped in her over-sized winter jacket. She`s very nervous to the point of feeling lightheaded. Yet, she is very determined. She came to this place to find bands to promote. She is about to rebuild her life from actual scratch and it’s the music business with no plan B. She will find herself some local acts to promote and it will snowball from here. It`s a Phillip Hall or Tony Wilson type of thing. You would not understand.

The bar is half full with some people talking and listening to songs played via PA system. There could have been an open mic night but it ended. The girl was late. She loiters with a glass of cola for a while and then strikes rather awkward conversation with two guys at the bar. They seem like a perfect target. And the conversation goes like this:

– Sooo, are you in a band? – she asks
– Yes – one of the boys is irritated because he has just been mistaken for his twin brother
– We are … ummm a five piece…
– And have a female singer  – interrupts the brother and they do look identical
– Would you describe yourself as a good band?

The boys stare at each other:

– Suppose so? – says the first one measuring words – But if you want to find a good band in this town there`s The Americas…

The Americas

The boy is Fergus Brazier – lead guitarist of incredibly potent indie pop/shoegaze act named nth cave. His hair is still not dyed blue, he is months away from departing to London to work at the Beeb. His brother is Hector Brazier, drummer in the same band. They recorded a session for BBC Hereford and Worcester but have no idea that it will become one of the most popular sessions for local chapter of BBC Introducing. They are unaware that in the future they will co headline Musicians Against Homelessness in Worcester collecting more funds than a similar event in Birmingham. It is also too early for their demos to end up on Steve Lamacq`s desk. It`s only winter 2016 and we have just met.

Similarly, the entire local music scene is yet nameless. It will take several more months before Andrew Marston of BBC coins the term “WorcesterWave” to describe our collective push to be recognized. But the stars are aligning. The nth cave boys just introduced me to The Americas.  I don’t know many people in town so it is hard for me to name others in the room. But it is full of people with whom I will work and whom I will call friends. Jesse River Dylan Murray is packing up his guitar – dressed in his fashionable coat, Troy Tittley of Nuns of the Tundra is out in the little garden in the back of the venue. Hanna Webb is saying good bye to her mates from Population 7 by the doors, there is a song by Soeur on the speakers…

 

The EP banner

The girl goes home quite ignorant that she accidentally stepped in to an environment that resembles Seattle in the late 80s – where local music scene is full of incredible talent and it is ready to make itself known to the country. So far the girl has just learned names of two local bands. One of them will change her considerably. She gets home and puts The Americas into Google…

It took 547 more days (I have been counting, not sure what it says about me) to finally see the band live – on 16th September 2017 during Worcester Music Festival. By then, The Americas had three singles out and they toured the country playing all the important festivals. They rounded up the year being featured by Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music during his Christmas program.

Second time I`ve seen them was on 30th March 2018 (tendency to remember life events by the gigs), they played to a sold out crowd in the same venue when I first heard their name. They were dressed in matching red suits and white shirts. They debuted some new songs and taunted an upcoming EP.

If I can conjure some more of this nonexistent film about the Worcester scene. In March 2018, I am now at the side of the stage screaming out America`s lyrics and having a very emotional time. Over the two years period The Americas found a way into my soul and into my playlists. I interviewed them for my blog, I discovered their previous  project (Holy!), I have their song on my ringtone and I march into work at a local authority to their beat. If allowed – I am harping about them (and The Blinders) to anyone who was unlucky to show interest in anything music related.  The band kind of become friends since we all live in the same town.

The WorcesterWave is in full swing – local artists have been on BBC Hereford and Worcester, BBC West Midlands, Black Country Radio, Radio Brum, XS Manchester, BBC Radio 1 (including a Maida Vale session for Soeur), 6 Music, Radio X, Amazing Radio and festivals around the country. Local press (Worcester News, Malvern Gazette, Hereford Times), big rock magazines (Louder Than War, Kerrang, NME), independent zines (Leather + Denim, Some Might Say) have featured artists from the scene.  It becomes the norm to see local bands regularly gigging in London, Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, opening festival stages and even being considered for labels. If a movie about us is ever going to be made – there surely will be a scene of Fergus (with his now trademark blue hair) pitching local acts to some indie labels at a music fair in London for an hour and forty –five minutes. Or The Americas singing their hearts out at The Lexington while opening for The Blinders…

Our combined efforts, support from Beeb and DJs such as Andrew Marston, Steve Lamacq, John Kennedy, Daniel P Carter, Huw Stephens, Mary Ann Hobbs, Lauren Laverne or Tom Robinson and simple luck pushed WorcesterWave further than anyone of us would dream. But one thing remains certain: The Americas seem to be ahead of everyone. They set trends and go places like they have found a crystal ball and can see the future. Whatever they do today, the scene will try out tomorrow.

And here we get to the meritum of this longish essay – the debut EP from The Americas aptly entitled “Guitar Music Is Dead”.

Signed copy of Guitar Music Is Dead

On September 7th 2018 The Americas debuted a six track EP – their first offering to the world. Recorded at a secret studio located in Oxfordshire countryside, “Guitar Music Is Dead” has been mixed and produced by Mike Hill and the band, using tape instead of digital technology. It gives the record unique, old fashioned feeling – something that you don’t hear on other indie releases. However this is not nostalgia for the golden era of rock and roll. The EP feels very modern, both in sound and output. It just has that “thin mercury sound” that Bob Dylan spoke about – for a lack of better definition.

Analogue approach brings forward the beauty of The Americas that could have been overlooked before – that of honesty, that comes from hearts and experiences of the members.  The band does not shy away from hard topics on the record: loneliness in “Come on Out”, political and economical mess of the world  in “American Morning” or drug use in “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”. But everything is delivered with a dose of sadness and poetry, rather than a blunt force. The Americas look at the world and  see what surrounds us and react to it in their own ways. They do get angry in “Bad News” that seems to be directed at people in music industry (or any industry where you work and struggle) but also deliver a beautifully crafted song about getting away in “Backyard Love Song” and a love song in form of “Rosanna”. This is my personal favourite. If I may dedicate few lines of text to it.

Front Cover of the EP, Photo by Holly Elizabeth Beson-Tams (band`s official photographer)
https://www.facebook.com/DenimnLeatherMagazine

“Rosanna” closes the record with a bang and a wonderful jam at the end of the track. But it is the lyrics that won me over.  Perhaps I am wrong, but this is not an ordinary love song. This is a “love beyond the grave” type of a story – where two people have each other for ever, no matter what.  “Rosanna” is a possessive, us vs. the world, Bonnie and Clyde, True Romance kind of a feeling. The one that each of us dreamed of but very few will ever experience.  And then there is this passage “I am not scared of no darkness, as long as I’ve got you here in my heart”.  For a whole list of personal reasons that should not go into the review  – this line got to me and became some sort of a mantra in times of trouble. It is nearly a protective spell, and I don’t believe in magic. I do however believe in power of music and “Rosanna” is one hell of a powerful statement.

The EP also brings in a new element to band`s repertoire. For the first time, both Harry Payne and Aaron Whittaker share vocal duties.  Aaron takes leads on “American Morning” and “Backyard Love Song” – both compositions he authored. While Harry Payne`s vocals are expressive and at times cutting like knives (last minute of “I Don’t Wanna Go Home will leave you with deep emotional scars), Aaron vocals are soothing and gentle. Harry and Aaron complement each other, when one sings leads, the other does backing parts and it works like magic. I have yet to find an indie record that has this sort of chemistry and fellowship between band members.

Back Cover of the EP, Photo by Holly Elizabeth Beson-Tams (band`s official photographer) https://www.facebook.com/DenimnLeatherMagazine

That partnership is very much visible on stage when The Americas play live. They instinctively know what the other person will do, where the music goes, what songs follows. Off stage, they sit together like a family unit rather than a bunch of mates.  I have seen other acts being fiercely jealous of the unity in The Americas. Come to think of it, “Guitar Music Is Dead” would not be such an exemplary record if it wasn’t for the brotherhood shared between Harry, Alex and  Aaron.

And I have to mention something about Alex Bradshaw`s drumming. The legend has it that he was “stolen” by Aaron and Harry from his mother group and was convinced to join The Americas instead. I`m not particularly sure this is what really happened but Alex`s input in the band is crucial for the sound. He hits the tubes like there is no tomorrow in “Bad News”, only to bring delicate textures of “American Morning” next and contributes groove to the phenomenal jam at the end of “Rosanna”.  How many times you get to listen to a record and say – yep, the drummer is the right one for the band. The chemistry between Aaron and Harry is kept in perfect balance by Alex and there is no doubt about it.

“Guitar Music is Dead” is a great EP, lasting about 30 minutes and it’s one of two records of the year for me, alongside with “Columbia” from The Blinders. What is a small disappointment to me, unlike “Columbia”, “Guitar Music Is Dead” doesn’t fully capture how the band sound when playing live. You still need to see The Americas on stage to fully understand their powerful mix of Americana, soul, gospel and classic rock. The EP is an excellent record but The Americas are capable of so much more than the format could handle.

If you can get yourself a copy of the EP, do so. It will be exciting for me to see where the band will go from here. And perhaps for the entire WorcesterWave scene as well.

 

Cover of Come On Out – first single to promote the EP.

***

It was very hard to write this review. Took me about a week.  I wrote at home, in a hotel at 3AM when on a trip to Manchester, on buses and in bed. I reviewed “Columbia” in about 5 hours from start to finish and required four revisions. The Americas took about thirty. This record hits so close to home that I had to take chunks of text out not to make it too personal. Morrissey once said that we should never forget the records that saved our lives. “Guitar Music Is Dead” did just that. On at least three occasions this year.

Alex, Harry and Aaron – thank you.

***

Cover of “American Morning” – second single off the EP

“Guitar Music Is Dead” was released on 7th September 2018.

TRACKLIST:

1. Come On Out
2. American Morning
3. Bad News
4. Backyard Love Song
5. I Don`t Wanna Go Home
6. Rosanna

Order:

https://theamericasyeah.bigcartel.com/product/guitar-music-is-dead-cd-pre-order

Cover of “Rosanna” – third and final single to promote the EP

Interview with the band:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/indieterria-meets-the-americas/

You can follow The Americas using the links below:

http://www.theamericasyeah.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theamericasyeah/
https://soundcloud.com/theamericasyeah
https://twitter.com/theamericasyeah
https://www.instagram.com/theamericasyeah/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1QxPYzki5ME5mHztKXbEir?si=AC1ZwAdZSUemXwrCC3u3TQ
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/guitar-music-is-dead-ep/1422754052

Or listen online:

The EP has been promoted by three singles that were released throughout the summer. You can find them on band`s YouTube channel with respective lyrics.

Reviews:

Please do not take just my word for granted how good The Americas` EP is. Here is a whole bunch of other reviews (and this is just a small fragment of what`s out there) if you cannot make up your mind if you shall get your own copy of “Guitar Music Is Dead”:

Gigslutz:  „Every track varies from the last, showing the incredible talent and individual sound the band is bringing to the table, and this just the start of what The Americas are capable of”

http://www.gigslutz.co.uk/ep-americas-guitar-music-dead-2/

This Feeling track of the day: “Anthemic, groove laden guitar music you can dance to – and no one’s doing it better right now”.

http://www.gigslutz.co.uk/feeling-track-day-americas-come/

Oddscene (French online magazine):  “The Englishmen of “The Americas” start a brand new chapter with their first EP that will see the light of day in September”.

https://oddsceneblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/the-americas-on-veut-creer-quelque-chose-qui-soit-hors-du-temps/

Words For Music: “EP packs a whole load of guitar in one place. The ring of the classic bluesy vocals are complemented by rock and country guitars while hats are surely tipped towards indie music, making you really question the Midland origin of the band”.

https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/08/ep-review-the-americas-guitar-music-is-dead/

The review was followed by Q&A by the magazine:

https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/04/interview-the-americas-answer-10-questions/

Counteract:  The Americas are ensuring guitar music is in rude health”.

http://counteract.co/interview/interview-the-americas-come-on-out-for-new-single/

Northern Exposure:  “The Americas are a British guitar band trying to make it pay in the 21st century. Taking influences from 70’s Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and American pop-culture.They put on their suits, strap up their boots and take their rock and roll gospel to anyone who’ll listen”.

http://northern-exposure.co/the-americas-announce-three-new-singles/

North Exposure:  “These indie rockers cause quite a ruckus when playing and have taken that riot on tour with a slurry of festival appearances last year which were all well received”.

http://northern-exposure.co/daily-exposed-the-americas-come-on-out/

We Close Tonight: “If you can find me a trio of blokes from Birmingham who are better at making Americana music than The Americas, I’ll buy you a pint of something bitter.”

https://weclosetonight.com/2018/08/08/the-americas-rosanna/

One Great Song:  “From indie infused country guitar to melodic piano and bluesy vocals, the trio’s debut EP is shaping up to be a refreshing offering of proper guitar music with a nostalgic twist”.

https://www.onegreat-song.com/single-post/2018/07/30/The-Americas—American-Morning

One Great Song:  “Heavenly melodies meet with bluesy, soothing vocals  to create a classic rock n roll edge”

https://www.onegreat-song.com/single-post/2018/06/04/The-Americas—Come-On-Out

One Great Song: “Nobody else is producing a sound quite like theirs right now, and the Guitar Music Is Dead EP is all the evidence you need of that. Traditional but quirky, nostalgic and powerful; The Americas are proving that guitar music is in fact thriving”.

https://www.onegreat-song.com/single-post/2018/09/13/The-Americas—Guitar-Music-Is-Dead

Indie Central Music: „The Americas have just released six-track EP ‘Guitar Music Is Dead’, and prove in 29 minutes of 60’s-flavoured rock’n’roll that they are one of the new wave of UK bands making sure guitar music is very much alive”. (also user rating for the band is stated at 8.2 out of 10)

http://indiecentralmusic.com/moder-age-music-song-of-the-week/

Reyt Good Magazine:  “With their reputation and fanbase rapidly growing across the independent scene, the band look to be a definite hit this summer”.

https://www.rgm.press/review-the-americas-come-on-out/

Popped Music: “Once again the guys have smashed it and given us a summer anthem that we can listen to all day, every day. “ (about “American Morning”)

https://poppedmusic.co.uk/2018/08/09/just-listen-the-americas-american-morning/

Popped Music: “Have been a big fan of The Americas since seeing them gracing the stages at some small venues and then smashing their set at Isle of Wight Festival (…) Judging from this release, the EP, “Guitar Music is Dead”, is something to look forward to”. (about “Come On Out”)

https://poppedmusic.co.uk/2018/06/03/just-listen-the-americas-come-on-out/

Indie For Bunnies
(Italian Indie Blog): “For lovers of that sound of the ’70s but also for those looking for a half hour of great music: do not waste your time and listen to it, guitar music will never die.”

http://www.indieforbunnies.com/2018/09/15/ep-the-americas-guitar-music-is-dead/

Denim+ Leather: “Beautifully refreshing in a sea of indie rock and their songs truly mean something”.

http://denimnleather.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-americas-come-on-out-single-review.html

Indie Radar added “Bad News” to their playlist showcasing the most important guitar bands in the UK

On 7th September 2018prestigious service Indie radar added “Bad News” to their Spotify playlist

Till the next time.

Malicia

“Everyone can enjoy the sun on their face. It’s a basic privilege even the plants have.”

Indieterria meets Inwards

Dear readers!

Oh, it was a very frustrating beginning of the month! The WordPress went down, their SSL broke and our publishing schedule got delayed by a week and a half. Luckily, Rita is a miracle worker, found the right script, implemented it and voila – we are back in action. But it took a long time and we do apologize for the technical issues. They were outside of our control!

So, in span of just several days, you can enjoy two brand new blogs. The first one is our view/review/official waffling post about The Blinders (you can read it Here) and the other is a brand new interview with the electronic music prodigy, Inwards.

Inwards in another dimension (or maybe just on the stage!)

Of course, we don’t have to tell you that Inwards (aka Kristian Shelley) is the pride and joy of Worcestershire and we are extremely proud of his achievements. And there is a lot to be proud about! His music receives praise after praise and super favourable reviews from journalists, media and radio stations. Kris is going places and he is going to the top at an impressive speed. Before you blink, he will be there at the top of the charts with Burial, Aphex Twin and Chemical Brothers.

Talking to Kris is a rare pleasure. He is entertaining, kind and very pleasing to interview. He is curious about the world, culture and popular heritage. We sat down with him after his session for BBC Introducing in Hereford and Worcester and grilled him about his equipment, music and having his music played on the national radio.

Official bio:  Inwards is the alias of Kristian Shelley, a multi-instrumentalist and music programmer from Worcestershire, UK. His work exists in the experimental domain and draws influence from the far borders of dance music, using modular synths with acoustic and electronic sources to create a nostalgic and colourful sonic palette.  Crackling with the freedom and spontaneity that characterises his studio productions, Inwards live performances vary from one environment to the next, taking on organic forms through the manipulation of his electronic instruments. Gaining a reputation for his absorbing shows, which are often complemented by live visuals, he has played alongside the likes of Lapalux, Adam Betts (Three Trapped Tigers), Tyondai Braxton (Battles) and Ulrich Schnauss, and at festivals including The Great Escape and Brighton Digital Festival. Signing to Small Pond in 2017 after capturing attention with a series of DIY releases, Inwards invites you into a dark yet playful and psychedelic world of sound on his debut album.

According to your bio, Inwards is a moniker of producer, multi-instrumentalist and music programmer – Kristian Shelley. We are intrigued. Can you introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria?

Inwards: Hello readers of Indieterria! I’m Kris and I play instruments and use computers to make music.

Inwards is very poetic term. It describes someone “orientated towards the inside” or something “existing within the mind, soul or spirit, often not expressed”. It can also be applied to a person that is private or even shy. This is not a name that was chosen accidentally, isn’t it?

Inwards:  No, it is not an accident. The music I make is an introspective experience for me so I arrived at the name “Inwards” and it felt right. I stuck with it.

Before becoming a DJ, you played in several alternative and funk outfits. Is working on your own much harder than being part of a group? Do you feel more comfortable relying only on yourself on stage?

Diesel album cover

Inwards:  Working on your own can be a very freeing experience. It also makes you question whether what you are doing is a good vibe because you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off. Being on stage alone is much more daunting than with a band but I like it. At this moment, I’m looking forward to a new project I have started with some musicians friends this year. I really miss playing in a band and miss the band vibrations!

It is not always possible to meet your musical heroes, but you were lucky to speak with Aphex Twin (aka Richard D James) at Bangface Festival in Cornwall in 2012, right at the beginning of your career. Are you still in touch? If so, did he say anything about your newest compositions?

Inwards:  This was just before I had started making electronic music and the whole festival was very inspirational! We didn’t exchanged details but I was lucky enough to bump into him again last year at a small festival in Cornwall and we had a good chat about modulars and living in the countryside. I don’t know if he has listened to any of my stuff, but it would be great to give him something back for his early support!

You have performed alongside Lapalux, Forest Swords, Adam Betts (Three Trapped Tigers), Tyondai Braxton (Battles) and Ulrich Schnauss (of Tangerine Dream) and at festivals including The Great Escape and Brighton Digital Festival. If you could share the stage with just one artist or a band, who would you choose?

Inwards: (laughing) Slayer! It has to be them!

On 19th of January 2018 you released double single entitled “Amsterdam”/“Computertalsk”. In one interview you mentioned that both tracks are based on your personal experiences.  Can you tell us what events from your life inspired each song?

Amsterdam/Computertalsk double single cover

Inwards: Well, the first track “Amsterdam” kind of gives me that feeling of freedom you get when travelling. It is mixed with undertones of wanting to return home and chill. “Computertalsk” represents a different feeling, the one of trying to make the computer to express itself. It is like giving the machine a voice so it can tell you what’s going on. For me, this tune is like the computer is learning to talk because it’s got something really emotionally potent it needs to tell you. I really like making the machines feel like they have a personality and trying to give them a voice and this was me exploring these possibilities.

You are the only Worcestershire based artist who has been championed by so many DJ across BBC 6 Music: Mary Ann Hobbs, Don Letts, Stuart Maconie, Lauren Laverne, Tom Robinson, Steve Lamacq and Tom Ravenscroft. Your single “When she flashes her smile on me” was named a Song of the Week. That’s a complete take-over of national radio station! What`s your secret?

Inwards: (laughing) I don’t really know how to answer this question. I don’t think there are any secrets to making music! Just do what feels right for you.

We have seen the equipment you use to create your music during your session for BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester in Pershore. It looks very impressive and very complicated. We are sure that outside of music, it is also capable of answering phone calls and making a cuppa. Help us out and tells us what are all those cables, wires and boxes?

Inwards: I will try to make it easy! So, the main box with the wires is a modular synthesizer. It is basically a synthesizer that you can choose what component parts are inside it. Basically, you can make it your own instrument. The other stuff is a mixer, drum machine and a Delay Pedal which I use alongside the modular and my computer to create the vibes. I wish it could make drinks but not quite there yet (laughing). Would be cool to make a phone module that could randomly call people in a contacts list and then use the audio from the call in the system. Or a prank call module with customizable soundbank for all your favourite prank calls. If you are a modular synth developer and reading this, you’re welcome!

Tell us about your relationship with your label – Small Pond

Kristian at work

Inwards: I met the Small Pond crew through living in Brighton. I remember going to a great party at their studio on Castle Street. I think it was the opening evening of the studio that the Small Pond team had been building for 2 years. I met most of their employees that evening, although I didn’t back then think I would be working so closely with them in the future! Samuel Organ asked me in late 2016 if I would be interested in working on a release with them and if I had any music that I would consider submitting. I put everything I made that I thought was decent enough and sent them a file with about 60 tracks in it. It was quite nerve racking experience really. It felt like sending of all this precious stuff that I wasn’t even sure was any good anymore because I had listened to it so much. I think they were a bit taken back by the number of tracks included! Obviously, they couldn’t make a 60-track album (or could we?). It took some time for us to work out the best combinations of tunes but we got there in the end. The album turned out to be a belter and I’m super proud of it. Yeah in short, the relationship is ace, I had a great time so far working with the whole team and I look forward to future projects with them.

Your music is classified as general electronic /dance but we hear so many elements and inspirations: from Aphex Twin, Ian Pooley, The Orb, Orbital, Future Sound of London, 808 State, Sven Vath to Atticus Ross. At times you cross into territory inhabited by Boards of Canada, Unkle, Bjork and all the way to Radiophonic Workshop. You seem to be familiar with incredible amount of popular music, how do you retain your own distinctive identity?

Inwards:  I think the identity of music comes from chasing a sound or vibe that makes you feel a certain way. For me, it’s like there are massive spaces in music. Almost like big gaps or territories that haven’t been discovered yet. Making music is my way of bridging these gaps and getting to these sonic landscapes that I feel are missing from my current musical world. I think this is perhaps where musical identity comes from. When you are trying to chase an idea or feeling that exists only in your mind and you try to make it into something tangible. It has your own stamp on it.

Your debut offering via Small Pond – “Diesel” was released on 27th April 2018. How did you approach working on that album? Did you enter the studio with prepared material or preferred to compose there and then?

Inwards:  My approach varies to each song individually. Each track is like an experiment where I am exploring music possibilities within a framework of equipment that I set up in different ways each time. When I experiment, I am chasing a vibe or sound that makes me feel in a certain way. Sometimes I can be making music and listening to the same cycle for an hour and not realize it because I am totally sucked in. Some tunes are made in a methodical sequenced way on the computer and others may be coming straight out of the hardware live or a combination of the two methods. I didn’t sit down and said to myself: “Right, I’m going to make a 13-track album this month”.  Every time I make music, I just do it in certain moment. Only afterwards I try and fuse tracks together to make larger works.

Last question – where can we see/hear you next? What`s in your calendar for coming months?

Inwards: I have a live show in London coming up at the Pickle Factory on the 16th of August with my visual bro Irie Pixel. We have been working on a live AV show that I am excited to perform. I’m very excited that the show will take place at the Pickle Factory as they have really good club system. Also, I have a show coming up in Bristol soon and some other very cool things to announce but can’t quite tell you about them yet! You will have to watch and see!

You can follow Inwards on social medias:

Label: Small Pond
Contact: Rosie James
Website: https://smallpondrec.co.uk/
Bandcamp: https://smallpond.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inwardsuk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inwards_
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/inwards_92/
Bandcamp: https://smallpond.bandcamp.com/album/diesel
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/inwardsuk
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/542nHHjo4wRmP3AbeJWkse?si=I3pj6B1DSyqchOJ45fV8uw

On 29th April 2018, Inwards visited his home town of Pershore to record BBC Introducing session. We have been there and made some recordings and videos on the day. It is only fair to share some of our materials with you.

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You can also see our videos on Youtube (yes, we have our own channel with a lot of goodies here)

Well, that’s all folks for today, but stay tuned and we will be back shortly with even more news, reviews and interviews!

Please stay beautiful!
xxx
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Indieterria meets Jack Fletcher Band

Hey all you people (right here, right now)!

So much is going on dear readers, that we don’t know where to start! Interviews, pictures, secret gigs being organized (maybe in Birmingham, or maybe not 😊), plans and collaborations – we are 24hrs party people, only our party is a long-time marketing campaign! It is an exciting time to be alive as our friend says, but we wish our day had 48 hours instead of 24. Or well, you only live once.

Saturday, the 9th of June is coming closer and closer and we cannot wait! We will have a mini Worcester invasion with HVMM playing at The Flapper, Lost Tigers appearing at the Bishop and Actress and Dead Dads Club coming back to The Sunflower Lounge to rock you like a hurricane. Please use the links below to purchase the tickets and support The Racket, Jack Fletcher Band and our Malvern boys in DDC, if you are looking for a quality entertainment. Always support your local DIY scene. Those bands are the future of the British guitar music!

Poster for gig at the legendary Sunflower Lounge on 9th June 2018

https://www.facebook.com/events/216304582300587/
https://www.seetickets.com/tour/modern-age-birmingham-w-the-racket

You can also read our previous interview with:
Dead Dads Club: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/indieterria-meets-dead-dads-club/
The Racket: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/indieterria-meets-the-racket/

The event has made it onto the newspapers in Brum, so we are happy kittens:

https://www.expressandstar.com/entertainment/music/2018/06/04/wolverhamptons-the-jack-fletcher-band-to-support-the-racket-in-birmingham/

Today, we would like to present you with the last interview we did to promote the show. The Jack Fletcher Band is one of Wolverhampton’s finest new bands and you just have to see them live. We talked to lead singer and guitarist, Jack Fletcher about the band’s name (quite obvious!), playing with Johnny Brown of Twisted Wheel and their new upcoming music. No beating about bush, only simple and straightforward answers. This is what we like!

Band`s logo

Jack Fletcher (vocals, guitar)
Tom Robinson (drummer)
Henry Bradley (bass)
George Hadley (lead guitar)

Official bio:  The Jack Fletcher Bans is an indie-rock four piece from Wolverhampton that can only be described as real rock with their stripped back guitar music, Midlands twang and their live-for-the moment attitude.

After the split of his former band “The Town”, lead vocalist Jack Fletcher began his solo career before meeting fellow band members: Tom Robinson (drummer) and Henry Bradley (bass) on a music technology course at university. From this friendship and the introduction of George Hadley (lead guitar), The Jack Fletcher Band was formed. Combining influences from mod bands such as The Jam & The Who with the rock and roll sounds of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.

To date these Black Country lads have played numerous festivals and venues including Lakefest (supporting the likes of Primal Scream, The Coral, Cast and Star Sailor), Party in the Pines Festival, Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms, Notting Hill Arts Club, Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham and the legendary Band on the Wall in Manchester.

With their unique and timeless compositions, youthful spirit and optimistic outlook, The Jack Fletcher Band are a group that will stand the test of time. They are a band that not only defines the present, but a band that embodies the culture and guts of those that came before them and will continue to do so for years to come.

Amazing picture taken by our dear friend Nidge Luhg Sanders at Trust A Fox Photography https://www.facebook.com/TrustAFoxPhotography/

Before we start, let`s have a proper introduction to all the members of the band. Please tell us who is who?

Jack Fletcher: Hi. My name is Jack Fletcher and I’m the lead singer and I play guitar. The rest of the band is George Hadley on lead guitar, Henry Bradley on bass and Tom Robinson on drums.

You have been performing under The Jack Fletcher Band moniker for quite some time now. It is simple yet memorable name. Did you choose it on purpose or was it last minute decision that just stayed with you? Are you tempted to change it to something else?

Jack Fletcher: We decided on The Jack Fletcher Band as the band’s name wasn’t really something we cared about. I wasn’t really good at picking names so we picked the worst name that we could find (laughing). Joking aside, it’s just stuck with us.

Your biography mentions that the band started out after a group of incredibly talented musicians took the same music course at the university. It is a perfect script material. Was it really a random encounter or did you know each other before?

Jack Fletcher: We all knew each other. Myself, Henry and Tom – we all really met at college and George was a friend of Jack’s early on… and the rest is a history (laughing).

Jack, before forming this group, you fronted The Town, an accomplished act in its own right. Can you tell us more about your project?

Jack Fletcher: The Town was my first real band. We played all around the country when we were around 16 -17 years old. Looking back on it, that’s a big achievement in itself really. We did well and we were so very young. But we enjoyed it.

Jack Fletcher Band in black and white

You have wonderful working relationship with Twisted Wheel. You supported them several times and in return Johnny Brown performed with you on stage. How did your collaboration start?

Jack Fletcher: We were always big fans of Johnny’s music and we met him at an acoustic gig in Derby some time ago and our friendship has been good ever since. We see him as a hero, but please don’t tell him that (laughing). He is a good friend.

The video to song “Has it all gone wrong” beautifully directed by Benjamin Harrp amassed over 100k views on social media.  We have to admit, we absolutely love this song. It is very emotional. Any back story behind this track?

Jack Fletcher: Thank you! The story behind this track is very simple. I personally believe everyone can relate to it. Anything can go wrong in life but I suppose, it is always for the right reasons. The song is very emotional but I think it has a positive ending. You know, “keep on keeping on”, that sort of thing. And we are glad to hear that people can relate to the song’s tune and its lyrics.

Another of our favourites “What are you waiting for” was produced by Ryan Pinson at RML Studios in Wolverhampton. Pinson is known for working with several upcoming independent artists such as Jump The Shark, Wax Futures and Cosmic Rays. His style is crisp, a bit raw and energetic. Was that what you wanted to highlight in your song?

Jack Fletcher: Writing a good song is one thing but getting it produced well and making it sound like you do live is very difficult. Ryan’s a legend. He is an excellent producer and he can do his stuff very well. Always brings the best out of our music and that’s very important for us.

As Vanadian Avenue is based in Worcester, we have to mention that you have played on our home turf at Worcester Music Festival in 2017. How do you remember it? We hope The Faithful City provided you with a solid crowd and good memories.

JFB live on stage

Jack Fletcher: Yeah we have played in Worcester a few times. To be honest sometimes a bit too early for us to have half-decent crowd. You seem to put up shows very early guys, but the experience hasn’t been bad all bad (laughing).

On 9th of June you will join The Racket and Dead Dads Club at The Sunflower Lounge for a true rock and roll celebration. Are you preparing something special for the gig?

Jack Fletcher: We will try and impress people at gig on Saturday. That’s what we always intend to do anyway. We are not planning anything special, we will give it our all and maybe play a new tune.

Your schedule this year is fully packed. Where can your fans see you next? Any summer festivals or important concerts we should be on the look out for?

Jack Fletcher: We’ve got a quite a few things coming up and we are getting quite busy again. But everything still needs to be confirmed. Always come to our social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to check things out. You will not be disappointed.

As mentioned already, the band is available on all important social media platforms, so take your pick!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackfletcherband/
Official website: http://www.jackfletcherband.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jackfband
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thejackfletcherband/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC81Xd2zyhx0Xkju36Q5Geug
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jackf_music

Talking to the bands is one thing, but seeing them live is a completely different set of vinyls. Hopefully we will see you in Sunflower Lounge this Saturday. Bring your friends, a pair of comfortable shoes and let’s dance the night away!

Au revoir la haut à mes amis (just because speaking in French is hot these days)
xoxox
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria meets FAITH

Dear readers!

Thank you so much for your kind reaction to our interview with The Racket! We are truly grateful for all the shares, likes and positive comments, it means a world to us! We hope that you are enjoying the interviews as much as we do preparing them and hopefully, we will see you all at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham for a real rock and roll banger on 9th of June!

If you’d like to learn more about the event organized by the wonderful crew at Modern Age Music or read the previous interviews we published, please click on the links below:

Poster for gig at the legendary Sunflower Lounge on 9th June 2018

Event page on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/216304582300587/
Organizer: Modern Age Music: www.ModernAgeManagement.com
Interview with As Mamas: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/indiaterria-meets-as-mamas/
Interview with The Racket: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/indieterria-meets-the-racket/

This interview was done as Birmingham native band FAITH was supposed to support The Racket – however after we did the interview band had to cancel. Still so, Indieterria got hold of McCabe, Jason, Tom and Matty to chat about their second EP (which will be simply called “Two”), the joys of working with long-time friends and returning to stage in their home town. As one of our musical heroes keeps saying, it’s great to be alive and it’s a pleasure to be able to discover new exciting bands.

Let us introduce you to:

FAITH

Jason Payne – Vocals & Lead Guitar
McCabe James – Rhythm/Lead Guitar
Tom Jones – Bass Guitar
Matty Neale – Drums/Percussion

Band`s logo

Official bio: Faith is a Birmingham based quartet consisting of Jason Payne (vocals and lead guitar), McCabe James (rhythm guitar), Tom Jones (bass guitar) and Matty Neale (drums and percussion). Founded in 2015 they draw their influences from The 1975, The Cult and Joy Division.

Within the walls of debut EP “One”, FAITH’s true musical introduction to the world is conjured, with a compelling combination of dark pop layers amongst an attack of strings and a rebellious pulse. Hook-filled melodies sit within hard and heavy beats as songs are laced with intelligent yet angst-filled lyrics which speak to a generation. The synth infused, deep funk underlay adds salt to the wound building up to a unique dirty, metallic dance eruption. Their recent single “Honey” received an extensive airplay on BBC Introducing in West Midland.

Local press sees you as one of the outstanding bands in town on par with The Assist, Karkosa and The Clause. Please introduce the band to the readers of Indieterria.

McCabe James: It will be my pleasure. FAITH is Jason Payne, our lead singer and guitarist. He also plays synth. Well in reality, he just pushes one button on it before each song, that’s all (laughing). Next, we have Matt Neale who plays drums. Tom Jones is on bass and backing vocals. And then there’s me, McCabe. I’m the newest member of the band on guitar and some backing vocals but I’ve known Jason and Matt for years and being in other bands.

Jason Payne: We are a four piece indie pop soon bringing to you an explosive new EP, full of silly guitar riffs and mint combination of drums/bass with an average vocal but great lyrics. That’s how I would describe us (laughs).

Matty Neale: So we’re a bit of everything, you have me Matt Neale on drums always up for a laugh and don’t take life too seriously. Jason Payne vocals can be shy but once you get to know him he is possibly the funniest person I have ever met but he’s an absolute legend and knows how to make your cheeks hurt through laughter and he also writes some banging tunes along the way. Tom Jones plays bass like a boss but also originally came up with sex bomb, it’s not unusual etc. McCabe is cockney what more is there to say apart from he’s mad as a box of frogs but is completely devoted to shredding the guitar and living life to the full. Altogether we are FAITH an original indie pop/rock band from the West Midlands.

Tom Jones: We’re just four lads that enjoy making music and having a laugh while doing it to be fair. Jase is the funniest bastard I’ve ever met and a perfectionist in every sense. McCabe knows his way round a guitar better than I know my way round the pubs in Shrewsbury (that’s well). Matt is a quality drummer and we gel well as the ‘rhythm section’ of the band. And well I just turn up half hour late to everything still pissed and get an alright sound out of a bass I suppose.

Faith ready to unleash new music

You have been praised for your eclectic song writing and compared to The 1975, Joy Division and even to The Cure. But we want to hear what new elements you bring to popular music. What makes you unique?

McCabe James: Thank you. We add a nice mix of different influences that shine through on each song but with a big guitar sound when needed. The new music has definitely progressed from our first EP  – “One”.

Jason Payne: Our old management compared us to all those bands and they don’t really have a clue about music so I wouldn’t listen to that. We`re pretty unique I can’t say we sound like anybody to be fair.

Matty Neale: Our EP Two is unique, it is the best piece of music I’ve ever heard from an unsigned band if I do say so myself. Energetic drum beats with powerful guitar riffs shredding through and catchy lyrics that have meaning. We’re a mix of old and new in one.

Tom Jones: I think we’re unique just because I can’t put my finger on our sound, even more so in the new EP but when I got asked to join I listened to some of the tracks from EP One and couldn’t get where the influences had come from but took an instant liking to the band.

FAITH knows how to have good time. Your interests on social media mentions “parties, females and sunshine”. Imagine you are in charge to plan a weekend away for Robert Smith. Where do you take him and what do you do for two days?

McCabe James: (laughing) This is a good question. We would probably take him to Amsterdam and get on it!

Jayson Payne: Who’s Robert Smith?

Matty Neale: McDonald’s drive through would defo be on the cards and maybe my nan`s.

Tom Jones: I’d take him to The Nag`s Head in Shrewsbury cause it’s the best pub in the world and show him how to down a Guinness.

Despite your young age, you are not debutantes. You have been making a mark on Birmingham scene for about six years now. In 2013, Express and Star called you “an indie band on the road to success”. The same year you played your first show at the O2 Academy. Your songs appeared on Amazing Radio, Black Country radio, BBC Hereford and Worcester, BBC West Midlands and BBC Introducing. You crossed the country on tour, filling out important venues such as Sunflower Longue in Birmingham, Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton and Nambucca in London. This is a very impressive CV indeed.

McCabe James: Thank you. Well, we are trying our best! Right now, we’ve been off the scene for a while. We have been rehearsing, writing and recording for the past year and a half since I’ve been in the band so it was a long break for us. After this, we feel like we have to start from scratch in a way but we’ve had a pretty good response to our new single “Honey” even if the Facebook likes don’t prove it (laughing). We just love what we make and we hope the audience will like it as well.

Faith in monochrome

The band’s first EP “One” came out in October 2015. It was immediately promoted by BBC Introducing and received positive reviews in local press and zines. How do you recall the recording session?

McCabe James: I have to admit the recording process for our first EP was a lot easier than the recording for our second one. All our songs were written before we got into the studio to record “One”. This time it’s different. We are in the studio now, writing the material and recording it at the same time.

Matty Neale: I’d been out the night before and went straight to the recording session. Took me about 500 times to get the beats right because I was still wrecked but managed to smash it then fell asleep listening to “Your Love Is Wasted On Me” feeling sorry for myself.

Tom Jones: I don’t because I wasn’t there but if it’s anything like the ones I’ve been at, Jase would just have everyone in tears for ten hours straight.

Over the years, you have had several line-up changes. The core of the band seems to be centred around Jason Payne (vocalist and lead guitar) and Matty Neale (drums and percussion). Can you tell us about your composing process? Do Jason and Matty compose all the songs or does the band work together?

McCabe James: Jason, Matt and myself go a long way together. We were in a band called “The State Of Things” about five or six years ago. After TSOT parted ways, we eventually reunited and went on to form FAITH. Everyone is involved in composing and writing music. We all have our own styles and preferences but what really counts is everyone is engaged in our creative process. We all contribute equally towards writing.

Jason Payne: The songs are usually a quick group process instrumentally but a long, painful process lyrically. I don’t like to put my lyrics out there if something doesn’t sound right or doesn’t have a meaning.

Matty Neale: It’s weird but we work as a band so well that one of the lads could hit a chord and I’ll put a beat to it or vice versa. Then Jase will put some lyrics on it and before you know it we have a new tune. We all add bits or parts we want to as long as it sounds sick!

Tom Jones: A lot of the time Jase will come to us with an idea and then we’ll all have an input into what we put into the song but a few times we’ve just played some random stuff in practice and accidentally wrote a song in half an hour. I think we all gel really well as a band to be fair and that helps when writing new material.

Cover of “One” EP

FAITH has been crafting the second EP entitled simply “Two” since last year. What can we expect and do you have the release date yet?

McCabe James: We do not have a release date so far, no. What can you expect? Well, we’ve progressed a lot as a band. Since I joined in, we have changed the style a bit. Our music got bit more groovier and funkier. Our personal music tastes also developed and I’m sure you will be able to hear it on our new EP when it is released.

Jason Payne: No release date as of yet but it is pretty fucking decent I’ll give us that.

Matty Neale: You can expect it to be 10 times better than Arctic Monkeys new album to put it that way. Hoping to release it in the summer.

Tom Jones: We have got a proposed date but it’s our secret for the minute! As for the EP it’s the best thing I’ve ever been involved in and we all think it’s the dog bollocks to be honest. I think we all enjoyed writing these tunes and getting them down and I think that shows in the music.

First single to promote your upcoming EP, “Honey” is already hitting radio stations.  It is regarded as the indie anthem of summer. Can you tell us more about the song?

McCabe James: What can I say? “Honey” is basically a song Jase wrote about his misses! (laughing)

Jason Payne: Song is about my misses, always moaned at me for years for not having a song written about her and now she does and she’s happy, and what a tune it is.

Matty Neale: It`s catchy and upbeat with story telling lyrics.

Tom Jones: It’s an upbeat catchy tune and it’s one of my favorites to play. Great for summer.

Jayson Payne

On June 9th, you will be returning to Sunflower Longue to support The Racket. Will you play any of your new material?

McCabe James: We are very excited to perform alongside The Racket, The Jack Fletcher Band and As Mamas.  Definitely, we will be playing our new songs at the gig as well as the older ones. We can’t wait to see you all there.

Jason Payne: (in a very enthusiastic voice) Yeah!

Matty Neale: (in the same time as Jason) Yes!

Tom Jones: (agreeing) Yes.

One last question. You can make your one wish come true. What would that be, except for the world peace of course!

McCabe James: (laughing) I wish we could do this full time so we can finally quit our shit day jobs!

Jason Payne: To play to more than 5 people obviously!

Matty Neale: I would absolutely love for our tunes to be heard around the UK and the world. One of my main wishes is to play our set on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. That would be a dream come true!

Tom Jones: Play massive gigs and have as many people as possible listening to our music. Sounds cliche but it’s what we love.

If you’d like to follow FAITH on social media, please use the links below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weareFAITHx/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wearefaithx
Twitter: https://twitter.com/weareFAITHx
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wearefaithx/

We absolutely love FAITH. They are funny, full of enthusiasm and they work/play hard in equal measure. We are heartbroken that they will not support The Racket on this tour but we will do our utmost to catch them live in the near future.

For now, that`s all from us dear readers and keep your eyes open for upcoming editions of Indieterria.

Mal+Rita

Indieterria meets The Racket

Hello, hello!

Band`s logo

We always say that the time goes really fast when you are having fun and it is true. So many gigs, so many outings, open air mic nights and  it is almost the end of May! But the most exciting months are still head of us.

The next big date in our rock and roll diary is the 9th of June when we will be going back to the beautiful Sunflower Lounge to see the newest indie rock sensation, The Racket. The quartet is now on their headlining national tour and they decided to pop into the legendary Brum venue to show the West Midland folk how to play, fast, powerful songs and how to thoroughly enjoy the experience. The gig is brought on by the amazing crew at Modern Age Music and we cannot wait to step into the mosh pit.

If you are interested in purchasing tickets for the Birmingham show, please click on the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/events/216304582300587/

Poster for The Racket gig on 9th July 2018 at the Sunflower Lounge

To prepare well for this musical feast, we sat down with the band to ask them several questions, from their early days in their hometown of Widnes, to musical inspirations, their newest single and some of the rock and roll antics that will definitely go down well into the  history of  modern music. The interview is one of the longest we did and we had a real blast. Thank you The Racket and hope you had as much fun answering these question as we had asking them and putting them on here!

The Racket – social media profile picture

Callum Codd
Mike White
Dom Eaton
Colby O’Sullivan

Official bio: The Racket is an alternative rock four-piece from Widnes that receives more and more attention on an independent music scene. The band have played their own headline sold out shows at Liverpools Zanzibar Club and Manchester’s Night and Day. They completed their first UK tour in 2017 supporting Louis Berry on numerous dates up and down the country then topped off with a hometown gig with Trampolene. Such creativity, melded with high energy enthusiasm, has been rewarded by them being listed by This Feeling as one of the big in 2018 bands. Their trajectory is steep and they are building momentum with every lager stained, sweat drenched show – and that’s just the front row. Having recently finished recording with Al Groves in the Motor Museum, the second release is finished and will be coming out later this year to coincide with their first music video. The band is currently on headline national tour with several summer festivals booked in including Great Escape, Confessional and On The Hill Festival as the main support to CAST. The Racket will play The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham on 9th of June 2018 with support from The Jack Fletcher Band, FAITH and As Mamas.

You describe yourself simply as a “four-piece from Widnes”. Please introduce the band members to the readers of Indieterria.

Callum: I’m Callum. I’m guitarist and singer.
Michael: Hi, I’m Michael and I play the guitar.
Dom: I’m Dom, the drummer.
Colby: And I’m Colby. I play the bass.

Your home town boasts of strong musical heritage. Widnes lies closely to Spike Island where The Stone Roses held their legendary festival, it inspired “Homeward Bound” by Paul Simon (a song written at a local train station) and is referred in works of Belle and Sebastian (“Stars of Tracks and Fields”) and Elvis Costello (“Watch Your Step”). Jane Weaver and Mel C call Widnes home. The town also has a famous music venue – The Studio. Have your city and its history had any effect on your band?

The Racket. Picture by Culture City management https://www.culturecity.co.uk/the-racket/

Callum: To be honest the history of Widnes hasn’t influenced me at all and probably never will! It’s the present, the way people go about their daily routines today and their lifestyles. It interests me to write and sing about the people around me. Mostly just normal things, born mainly out of frustration but also out of enjoyment. I think all the best comedians, actors, songwriters are the ones who are down to earth and talk about normal things.

Michael: Widnes is just where we have grown up and lived. As for an effect on the band, well it’s the special people from Widnes that have carried us through since day 1 to where we are today. Without their backing, we’d be playing The Hammer and Pincers on a Friday night doing shit covers!

Dom: I don’t think it’s something we think about often. The town itself hasn’t had an impact too much, it’s more the people around us that have influenced us. Widnes is just like any other town in the UK and our songs are relatable because they’re about issues and problems that happen to people our age up and down the country.

Colby: I wasn’t very interested by music while growing up. I was way more into football, up until around 2005 and 2006 when there was a lot of new bands coming through like The Arctic Monkeys. I would say, from that time on, I was influenced by music more than anything else.

The Racket is being compared to The Sex Pistols, Libertines and The Cribs. We can think of a dozen indie bands who would be mortified by the pressure to deliver. Comparisons to the greats seems to invigorate you. Do you have a way to handle music related stress?

Callum: We don’t often get stressed. We’re all good mates and we’re doing it because we love it. If people want to compare us to others, then so be it.

Michael: Every band gets comparisons as soon as they start. It gets boring when people ask, what sort of music are you? Get off your arse and go see a band live and it might just blow your mind! I think it’s in our nature to compare music to what’s gone before, but there’s no stress or pressure. We’re just doing what we’re doing and still would be whether people think we sound like The Sex Pistols or Danny Dyer’s Chocolate Homunculus.

Dom: It’s great being compared to The Sex Pistols and The Libertines because we’re fans of these bands but we’ve heard it that often now, that for me, it has become a bit meaningless. This is our band, we want to do our own thing, create our own sound and make our own impact. What invigorates me most is playing live and knowing that you’re playing to a crowd of people that want to hear your music and are going for it just as much as you are. Of course, we’re serious about the music and where we want to take it but we’re still four really good mates having a laugh and doing it cause we enjoy it. For me there’s no pressure on us.

Colby: It’s always nice to be compared to good bands from the past but I don’t think it affects us in anyway. We just want what they’ve got or had and it’s our music out there for everyone to hear an enjoy.

On the set of their first music video by Sitcome Soldiers Ltd https://www.facebook.com/sitcomsoldiers

In one interview you mentioned that your songs are born out of “boredom, teen angst and social commentary”. Which song you have penned so far makes you truly proud of and what it is about? 

Callum: Going back to what I said earlier about normal, mundane things. There’s a song I’ve wrote called “Two Minutes Hate” which is exactly 2 minutes long and goes through the routine of someone who gets up, goes to work, comes home, has their tea, goes to bed, repeat. Frankly, it’s most people I know! This is why, I think I’ve managed to capture it quite well. Quite proud of that one, but I also love the song called “Why Are You Watching Me” mainly cause of the riff!

Talking about teen angst, the photo promoting your single “Faded Days” shows your bare bottoms lined up along a wall. The picture is accompanied by a quote taken from the lyrics that states you are fed up being “bend over backwards for a man who’s in a suit”. Very risqué yet incredibly brave for a young band. Did it get you in any trouble?

Callum: (laughing) Not yet, no! Hopefully it does sometime otherwise we would have just stuck on normal picture there! And it’s funny you pointed out that lyric because we genuinely had it on there! We love playing footy and that’s how you end a football match where I’m from!

Michael: (laughing as well) The only trouble I had was having to look at Dom’s hairy arsehole all day!

Dom: We haven’t got into any trouble for it yet, still time though (laughing). I don’t know why anyone would complain though. I’ve been told on at least two occasions, I have a great arse.

Colby: Let’s just say, for the cover of “Faded Days” we wanted to do something everyone can relate to the lyrics in the song so…(laughing)

You will be playing important indie festival this summer – Liverpool Calling with all the hottest acts on the circuit: Sheafs, Soeur, False Heads, Himalayas, Strange Bones or Emily Capell. What do you prefer: large stages or intimate venues?

 

The Racket performing live in Liverpool on 19th of April (supporting Trampolene). Picture by Tom Adam https://www.instagram.com/tomadampics

Callum: Definitely the small ones. Getting loads of energy in front of us in a small room is something special. Honestly one of the best feeling you’ll ever have. At the same time though, we’ve not played many “big” stages yet. From what we’ve done so far, I’d definitely choose the little scenes any day.

Michael: There’s no feeling like playing to a packed tiny room. People falling on stage and knocking mic stands over. I think when we’ve played the bigger venues, I don’t like being more than a step away from the rest of the band.

Dom: Playing intimate venues is great. Being so close to the audience allows you to feed off their energy and excitement, it’s a great feeling being in that moment. Playing bigger venues is something I’m looking forward to doing more because I think it becomes more of a challenge then A test to see if we can get what we want to say across to a bigger audience.

Colby: It’s always nice playing in front of new people at festivals and getting out there with your music but there’s nothing like a small gig with the fans that follow you to every gig. They always put on a good show for us to watch while we’re playing. We never mind them watching us!

The new single “Know It For A Fact” has received rave reviews and is promoted on BBC Introducing Merseyside. We have to admit it is incredibly powerful track, which surely will start mosh pits. You are one of few bands that manage to bring the fury and dynamics from the live performance onto the record without losing an edge. Any secrets to your recordings?

Callum: The last single was recorded live with hardly any takes and minimal over dubs. I think that makes it sound exciting. This time, we have done it differently. We worked with Al Groves at The Motor Museum and he has done an amazing job. I think just the amount of time we spent getting the best, most exciting, angry drum take possible made everything else a lot easier. Full day for the drums for one song!

Dom: I think it’s just a case of spending enough time on getting great takes and getting the sound right. I was definitely conscious of putting the same amount of energy into the recording as I do when playing live and hopefully that’s something that come across. Al Groves, who we worked with on “Know It For A Fact”, has done a great job and it’s his input and ideas that have made it what it is.

Colby: There’s no real secrets to how we record our records. We just go into the studio knowing what we want the song to sound like. For “Know It For A Fact”, we knew we had to do a powerful recording, because that’s how the song comes across live. It is important for us that it should come across exactly the same when you are listening to the track at home.

The band performing live at the Magnet Liverpool on 4th of February. Picture by John Hollingsworth https://www.johnhollingsworth.biz/

On 9th of June 2018 you will be playing at the legendary Sunflower Lounge. Is it your first time performing in Birmingham? What can we expect during the show?

Callum: I never been to Birmingham before but expect a set of fast, loud rock and roll tunes. It’s also a Saturday night so expect a lot of drinking to get done! (laughing)

Michael: We’ve only ever been to Birmingham New Street station on our first trip to London as the band, so to us it’s a new experience. You’ll have to show us some good pubs for before the show! As for the gig, expect some poor attempts at Brum accents in between songs. (laughing)

Dom: It is our first time in Birmingham and I’m really looking forward to it. I think what people can expect is just a lot of energy and a lot more sweat. We’re going to put everything into it and show people why they should be paying attention to us.

Colby: As others said, we have never played Birmingham before. I’m expecting a good night, plenty of drinking. We play every gig loud and fast so the crowd should love it

This tour is your first as a headliner. You will be playing dates all over the country across the month of June, ending with a gig in Liverpool. Is there anything you want to do, any places you want to visit?

Callum: It’ll be good to go back to our favourite pubs in different cities like The Harley in Sheffield, Good Mixer in London, just as long as Sunday morning, we’re in The Bradley in Widnes!

Michael: I’m looking forward to London. We know there has been demand for a gig down there for a while, so that’s set to be a good one. Sheffield is always fun. Finishing the tour in Liverpool to our crowd will be the perfect end!

Dom: I’m just looking forward to visiting new cities, new venues and playing for new people. We’ll be out of our comfort zone. It’s our first headline tour so I’m just buzzing off that.

Colby: Really looking forward to headlining each night. The one I’m looking forward to the most is probably Sheffield. We had a really good time last time we played there and hopefully we will have the same great atmosphere again.

The band performing live at the Magnet Liverpool on 4th of February. Picture by John Hollingsworth https://www.johnhollingsworth.biz/

Last obligatory question: where do you see yourselves in five years’ time. We predict Pyramid Stage at Glasto. Your picks?

Callum: Well, The Pyramid Stage is the big one for me, always has been! I think as long as we’re still together playing music we love, whatever that be at that time is the most important. Right now, who we are, and what we’re doing is perfect and the future is looking bright for us.

Dom: As long as we’re still together, playing the music we want to play and enjoying it, then I think I’ll be sound, I’m also ambitious and the thought of playing bigger venues and bigger and better gigs and doing all the major festivals definitely motivates me. I want us to be successful and to not only be around in five years but for people to know who we are.

Colby: (laughing) Probably jail for strangling Mike at some point!

You can learn more about The Racket by visiting their social media pages:

Management: https://www.culturecity.co.uk/the-racket/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRacketMusicUK/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theracketuk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theracketmusic/

More articles about the band:
http://liverpoolnoise.com/band-feature-the-racket-widnes-music/
https://hotvox.co.uk/artists/racket

Please come back soon as we will have interesting interviews and reviews coming up shortly!
Have a good week and don’t forget to drop us a message or leave a comment.

xoxox
Rita and Malicia