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Tom Walker Interview

2017 is already shaping up to be one hell of a year for music but for one artist in particular, it couldn’t have gone off to a better start. Tom Walker has already signed a major label record deal, earned himself slots on tonnes of festivals and his current single Just You and I has already clocked up over 10 million streams on Spotify! We had a chat with Tom ahead of his show at the Bodega in Nottingham on 17th May…  

 

Hey Tom! We’re looking forward to having you in May but for those who are yet to hear your music, what can they expect?

Yeaaaah! I'm really looking forward to it... I've been down to Nottingham before playing a few acoustic sets but this time I'm back in town with my band. From when I’ve played in Nottingham before, I know the crowds are always awesome! 

We hear you’ve been busy in the studio, can you give us any hints on how it’s shaping up?

It’s shaping up very nicely. I’ve been working with a producer called Jim Abbiss [Arctic Monkeys/ Adele/Kasabian]. We've just finished the EP and it sounds wicked. We went all in getting as many real instruments on the record as possible. We even got a brass band in for one of the tracks! 

Each of your releases so far have been incredibly eclectic, where does inspiration usually come from when songwriting?

I usually write about whatever is going on in my life, I find it hard to write if I can’t relate to the subject matter, it just feels a bit fake otherwise. 

Your gorgeous current single Just You & I seems to be everywhere at the minute and is currently on over 10 million streams on Spotify! What are you hoping to achieve from the rest of the year?

I know, it’s pretty crazy! I've been totally overwhelmed with the reaction it’s been getting; it’s always nice when people dig the music. As for the rest of the year I just want to keep putting out new music and traveling as much as possible. 

Last question, if you could just play one song on one stage for the rest of your life, what song would you play and where?

I'd probably do a cover of "Tribute" by "Tenacious D" on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival - reckon that would be a good laugh. 

 

Tax the Heat Interview

“We really want to help keep guitar music alive for the next generation of rock music fans, come and live it with us…” Tax the Heat are fresh rock ‘n’ rollers that have been bringing their nostalgic anthems to adoring audiences across the country. With a ferocious debut album released last year, we caught up with the quartet on what we can expect from their return to Nottingham.

Welcome Tax the Heat! We’re looking forward to having you but for anyone who hasn’t had the chance to hear you yet, what can they expect?

They can expect a high-energy rock 'n' roll show with big sing along tunes. If you're into loud guitar music that spans styles from Free to QOTSA to The Hives and back via The Who you'll dig it. You need to ask yourself do you want your face ripped off by a guitar riff? If you're sane and the answer is yes, then buy a ticket and join the ride.

 

Your debut album was released just over a year ago, are there any plans to get back in the studio? Any chance for new tunes on the road?

I'm actually answering these questions whilst being sat in the studio, it's taking shape. We are at the beginning of album two work and will certainly be testing some new tunes out on the road.

 

Your music feels charmingly nostalgic, where would you say your main influences come from?

Our influences are wide and varied. We started the band with a firm idea of being a 60's style band capturing the energy of the British invasion bands that paved the way for all this stuff. Soon enough though it became its own beast and we let some of our other influences shine through. I like to think we nod to the past but we really want to help keep guitar music alive for the next generation of rock music fans. The genre is suffering, it needs new life, come and live it with us.

 

2016 was a big year for you with the album and tonnes of festivals, how are you hoping to top it in 2017?

We've got this headline tour coming up which will be great and also some key festival slots such as Download. Our next focus for the second half of the year will be our second album and getting the plans together for that, especially going into 2018. There's always murmurings of exciting stuff on the horizon so we will see what comes of that but ultimately more touring.

 

What do you know about Nottingham crowds? Have you had any special experiences or memories from the city before?

We played Nottingham once on a support slot with Black Star Riders and it was great. Very passionate live music fans which is all good with us.

 

 

Tax the Heat will be playing at The Bodega in Nottingham on 20th April - TICKETS

 

Natives Interview

In the generation of reality shows, very few Pop artists can say that they learnt their trade the old way through years of touring and living out a van. Natives however can proudly say they've earnt success the hard way as they now enter their fifth year as a band yet are playing the biggest shows of their career whilst gearing up to release their stunning sophomore album. Before they head back out on a headline tour in May, which features a stop at The Bodega in Nottingham on 18th May, we had a chat with the quartet about what to expect.

Hello Natives! We’re looking forward to welcoming you back in May for a headline show. This isn’t your first time at our venue, are there any special memories that stand out from playing in Nottingham before?

Hello! The show we played earlier this year at Rock City really stands out. It’s one of those iconic venues and was our first time on that stage, it definitely felt like a special moment.

We love what we’ve heard so far from the second album! What can we expect from the rest of the album?

Thanks! The album is quite diverse so there are definitely some elements which we haven’t shown yet. There are some dance music influences and a lot of new sounds which haven’t really come out yet. Also, the whole album tells a narrative, which is something you obviously can’t get a sense of until you hear the entire thing in sequence. We’re excited for people to hear it.

You’ve recently travelled the country as support for Busted, how has that been? Any stand out moments for you as a band?

The tour was great. The standout moments were getting to play to huge crowds in towns and cities where we wouldn’t normally have that opportunity - it was amazing to playing to thousands of people in Folkestone and Southend, for example, where tours of this size don’t normally visit.

 

 

2016 was a very busy year for you with non-stop touring and recording the new album. How’s 2017 looking?

Busier than the last! It’s pretty much 50/50 between studio time and live shows (and preparations for the live shows). Absolutely no complaints about being busy though, this album project is the best thing we’ve ever been a part of and the ambitious nature of the idea will make it all the more satisfying once it’s out! I think towards the end of the year and into next year we’ll be much more focussed on the touring side of things, to give us a little creative break before we start work on the next thing!

You certainly bring a party vibe to your shows, how would you describe your music to someone that’s yet to hear you?

We get asked this a lot! The best thing we’ve come up with is "Tribal Pop”. We always encourage people to have a listen or come to a show and make up their own mind though.

 

Finally, if you could just play one song at one venue for the rest of your careers, what would you choose?

“We Are The Champions” at St Mary’s Stadium!

 

Natives play The Bodega in Nottingham on 18th May - TICKETS

Listen to 'Chasing Lions' here

 

Blaenavon Interview

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that Blaenavon have been on the tip of everyone's tongue (at least after they've figured how to prounounce the band name.) Indie's new kids on the block have already spent months of touring with acts like Two Door Cinema Club, Sundara Karma and The Hunna but with their debut album release in early April, headline tours are beginning to become all theirs...

Hey Blaenavon! We’re super excited to have you here, can you give us any hints about the show or the album?

Hello Bodega. For the first time the live show and the album are getting married in public. It’s really quite exciting because we get to exhibit songs that we’ve been dying to play live since we were little children. We’re hot and fresh off some massive shows supporting Two Door Cinema Club in Europe and we are on the top of our game. We missed our crowd out there on the continent though, we can’t wait to see everyone. 

 

 

This isn’t your first time in Nottingham, do you have any memories of playing in the city before?

We’ve been several times. The Bodega, Rescue Rooms and their surrounding pubs feel like second homes. Second homes in a city of the future that always brings to mind a film set in some perfect world, what with all the trams and constant sunshine. 

You’ve spent time supporting Two Door Cinema Club, Sundara Karma, The Hunna and The Sherlocks, how does your approach to a headline show differ to a support?

Well it’s amazing to be playing with those guys of course, but we’re keen to get back to our own shows. We are a very ‘interactive’ band in a way. Whilst people could see what we were about with those support shows and appreciate the songs, our set feels most genuine and alive when we have our own crowd that knows the songs inside out. There is an exciting feed going on and we often end the shows full of energy. We can be more confident in our craft when we know people have come to see it for us and we play off of that. 

 

 

Your debut album That’s Your Lot feels incredibly eclectic, you clearly had a huge range of musical and personal influences. Did your vision of the album change much over the 5 years you were making it?

I’m glad that you’ve noticed. It’s something we were worried about when we started mapping ‘That’s Your Lot’ out. At that time we were enjoying a lot of albums that had a clear line of vision and sound running through it and started to panic that we wouldn’t be taken seriously or people would think that we were throwing everything at the sticky wall. After a while we realised that it would be the only honest way to make our record. It’s a collection of the most important times in our little lives and they have been full of variety so far. Jim Abbiss our producer made sure the sounds held our diverse visions together and so it feels like a nice way to present those years. 

We’re loving what we’ve heard from the album so far, particularly Orthodox Man, which song from That’s Your Lot are you most excited to play?

 

Swans, but don’t tell anyone it’s a secret. We all have fond memories of accidentally creating a 7 minute leviathan when we were 15 and working in Frank’s sister’s bedroom. It transformed into something quite special in the studio and it’s a very expressive song to play. Some people have been asking us to bring it out of the woodwork since we started the band. 

 

After most blogs and magazines tipped you for 2017, this Summer is bound to be a big one for you! Anything you’re particularly excited about before the end of the year?

The kind of relief that occurs when the chicks leave the nest. We have put a lot of ourselves into this record and it is beyond our control from the 7th April. We will have a small glass of champagne. We have done everything in our power to make it brilliant and honest. Also very excited to see the reactions people have to the other sides of us which is found deep in the record’s journey. 

Thanks for speaking to us, see you in April!

Bye for now. 

 

Blaenavon will be playing at The Bodega in Nottingham on 6th April - TICKETS HERE

The debut album 'That's Your Lot' is released on 7th April - listen to 'Orthodox Man' here

 

Cattle & Cane Interview

Describing themselves as sibling harmony rock-pop, Cattle & Cane are one of the country's most refreshing new bands and are gearing up to release their new album Mirrors at the end of April. We had a chat with Helen from the duo ahead of their Bodega show on 10th May. Tickets are still available from http://bit.ly/2l86osm...

 

Welcome Cattle & Cane! We can’t wait to have you return back to Nottingham and hear the brand new album, Mirrors. Are there any hints you can give us about the new album and the new tour? 

Hello! We are so excited to come back to Nottingham. It was such a dark horse on the tour we didn't realise how amazing the audience would be there! The new album is quite different to our first. We've definitely explored new avenues, new sounds and new themes with this album so we can't wait to tour it. And obviously we'll be playing tracks off our debut album too!

2016 was a very busy year for you with tonnes of festivals and gigs. How’s 2017 looking?

2017 is looking pretty hectic too! We've got so many things penciled into our diary already. But we wouldn't have it any other way! We love being on the road or going away to write and record new material. 

 7 Hours and I’ve Been Silent have been met with a great reception so far, which songs do you most look forward to playing live? 

There's so many that's it's really hard to chose. Our songs vary quite a lot from the quieter, softer harmony lead songs to the ones that we can kind of let lose with. I personally love the ones that free me up on stage and let me move and express myself more. "Make Your Vision", "Fool For You" and "Saviour" are my favourites from our new album. 

 

This isn’t your first time in Nottingham, are there any special experiences or memories that stand out?

I remember being shocked in Nottingham when people sang back our songs. We expect to hear it when we're gigging close to home so it was such a good feeling to experience that. And I remember so many people staying back after the show to come and meet and speak to us and everyone was so cool - Nottingham is such a friendly place! 

If you could pick one place to perform that you’ve never played at before, where would you go?

Ohhhh tough one there's so many!! I really like obscure venues. Venues that aren't really meant to be venues. We've played on a train before and in a launderette, so yeah somewhere a bit different!  

One last question, how would you describe yourselves to someone that’s never heard you before? 

This is such a hard question! Sibling harmony rock pop?!

Cattle & Cane headline The Bodega on 10th May 2017 - TICKETS

Listen to '7 Hours' here