Felix M-B Interview

This Friday the talented Nu Folk style Nottingham singer-songwriter Felix M-B is playing a headline show at The Bodega before he moves down to London for college. He'll be joined by a full band on the night as well as support from Lowrie and Tiger. It's going to be an incredible show. We had a chat with him prior to the show about the Nottingham music scene, what to excpect from Friday's show, how he's feeling about the move down to the big city and what the future holds.

This Friday marks your last gig in Nottingham. How has the city treated you as a musicinan?

My first gig in Nottingham was at Jamcafe, which is one of the awesome venues in Nottingham. It may not be a big city but the community of musicians and artists and the huge amount of brilliant live venues really makes it a great scene to be involved in. It's really shaped my career personally. The Bodega has always been an important venue for me so to be headlining it is incredibly exciting.

What can we expect from the final show?

This won't be my last Nottingham gig ever by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a big one for me in that I won't be able to play in Notts for a while. The last show is about saying thank you to people I've worked with a lot over the past couple of years. Tiger is opening the night, and not only is she a great friend of mine but she's also an incredible artist who I've been lucky enough to have feature on my work a few times. Then Lowrie (Fraser Lowrie) who has always been massively encouraging to me and I've played various gigs on the same bill.

You're moving to London, have you played down there before and how well were you received?

Yeah I have played in London quite a bit now, at venues like The Garage in Highbury & Islington and The Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell and so far I've only had good experiences of gigging there. I headlined a beautiful venue called Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare in Hampton (South LDN) the other week and it was sold out which was a pleasant surprise and it was probably one of my favourite gigs. So I'm really excited about the move, despite missing Notts.

What musical plans do you have for the future?

I'd like to keep playing a lot of great gigs and writing material that pushes me and addresses issues I care about.

Tell us about a Nottingham memory or a gig that you will cherish once you leave.

The EP launch this year in January was a great night. To have so many people there and so many singing along was better than I could ever have imagined. I'm looking forward to the same at The Bodega on Friday!

Felix M-B plays a headline show at The Bodega this Friday with support from Lowrie and Tiger. Tickets are available here!

Recreations Interview

      Sam Duckworth, formerly known as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, is back in Nottingham this weekend to perform songs from his new project Recreations. Last week he released his debut album from this project called Baby Boomers 2 and has set off on a UK tour. We had a chat with him prior to his show here about the new material, his memories of playing in Nottingham and what he's got planned for the future.


      You’ve just released your debut album from your new project. Is it good to have the new material out there?

Very much so. It’s been a very long time coming. It’s been a couple of years since the end of Get Cape… and I’ve been working hard in the studio for much of this time. It’s hard to really sum up how it feels to have it out there, as the work is so personal to me, a mixture of relief and excitement. I’ve been striving towards creating a sound of this ilk for quite a while and to finally be able to have it realised in physical form is, to be honest, something that I wasn’t sure would ever happen. The artwork and illustrations have brought a new dimension to it, as it’s always nice to have a visual accompaniment to the sonic work. Rebecca Hendin has done an incredible job and I’m very proud of how it looks and sounds. It’s been a really positive few days hearing the initial feedback to the album, knowing that the hard work was worth it.

How do you think these songs compare to your previous work, both solo and with Get Cape Wear Cape Fly.

In regards GCWCF, it’s not a million miles away from Chronicles. The process of making records for me has very much been a case of going there and back to see how far it is and settling home. All of the experimentation has lead me to a more confident version of the initial output. My sound as always been about trying to fuse together elements that you don’t hear together that often and I feel that this is my most coherent record to date. The solo records very much exist in their own realm, they are much darker and stripped back and tend to come along at times of strife, where focusing on writing songs is solace more than “fun.” In simple terms, this is as much a rebrand (I had to drop the GCWCF name at some point) as much it is a new beginning. I try to be as honest as possible in every record I make and it’s much easier to except who you are and hone it, than it is to try and run from it. 

What’s been your favourite Nottingham show to date?

I loved the Rock City Basement show from 06, Trent Uni in 07, but the final GCWCF show in 14 was very memorable and probably my favourite. I remember the bizarre heckle of “what happened, you used to be a young Billy Bragg” from someone who clearly hadn’t seen me play before or had only ever seen me in an acoustic environment, I also remember the atmosphere being incredibly celebratory. Nottingham crowds have a unique feel to them, intense but in a good way. It can go from pin drop quiet to raucous in the same song and due to the nature of my music, this is very handy indeed. 

You’re going to be joined by Rob Lynch and Sean McGowan for these shows, how did you choose these two guys to support you?

One of the joys of working in the studio for the last couple of years has been working with other people, whose music I believe in. Me and Rob have been friends for over a decade and I have produced both his new LP and his debut, yet this is the first tour we have done together. It certainly won’t be the last. Sean is probably my favourite new singer songwriter and we are very similar people. we have been working together both on his singles and eps and currently towards his debut LP which I have no doubt is going to be a game changer. The 3 of us are really good mates and it made sense for us to ride together, room together and explore the map together. The atmosphere it creates is one of both positive constructive criticism, which makes for a continually improving show, but also it is nice to share in the victories with those close to you. 

What’s next for you this Summer after the UK tour?

I’m Recreations for the long haul. This very much feels like the start of a new chapter. I’m extremely proud of the record and am very much enjoying touring it. I’ve got some festivals coming up and then its out to Europe and then back home for some more touring. Except to see me on the road for a very long time, this record feels like it has a new life and I’m excited to watch it develop.

Recreations plays The Bodega on Satuday the 7th May with support from Rob Lynch and Sean McGowen. Tickets available here!

The Filthy Six Interview

The Filthy Six are an exciting and authentix Soul Jazz six piece that have established themselves as one of the most eclectic live acts around. After realeasing their funky third album 'More Filth' earlier this year, and touring around the US, they're back in the UK for a headline tour and we're excited to have them at our place this Friday! We had a chat with them before the show about the new album, what other famous musicinas they've also worked with and what to expect from the show here on Friday night.


You’ve just released your third album, how has the response been to your new material?

It’s been good so far! We’ve had a bit of airplay from Jazz FM and 6 Music, with Huey Morgan and Craig Charles playing us on their shows. Craig actually played us 4 shows in a row a few weeks back which was great! We’ve also had a few nice reviews, with 4 stars in Shindig Magazine and an 8/10 from Blues & Soul so we’re happy with that and hopefully there’s more on the way.

Over the past month you’ve been touring in the US. How’s it been and how do the crowds over there compare to the UK?

It was a lot of fun. America’s just an exciting place to be, current politics aside! The audiences there are very vocal, and aren’t afraid of getting straight on the dance floor which is always great from our perspective. British crowds can sometimes take more time to show their appreciation but it’s cool because when they do it really feels like you’ve earn't it. We miss the beer and the banter at home though so we’re really looking forward to playing these gigs!

Your band is a bit of a super group of musicians who’ve toured with some pretty big bands. Can you give us a profile on everyone in your band? 

      Ha! Yes, everyone does their fair share of session work so the CVs are nice and varied. The past couple of years I've played with Beck and the Foo Fighters, Mark has worked with Jack White and Basement Jaxx, Simon with Dionne Warwick and James Blunt, Pete with The Wonder Stuff, James with the James Taylor Quartet and Dan with Madness, among others. So as I say, quite a mix!


      We’re big fans of your cover of ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Something’! Will you have any other musical tricks up your sleeve for the Bodega show?

      Yeah, that was a fun one to put together what with the Gospel choir and everything! We’re going to be playing tracks from all 3 records this tour but leaning heavily on the new album. We do like a cheeky cover too though so you’ll have to wait and see!

      What’s next for you guys after this UK tour? Will we be seeing your name on any UK festival line ups?

      Well, i’m in the middle of the Mumford & Sons 'Wilder Mind' tour so it pretty much takes out the whole summer, but we’ll be playing some more dates in the Autumn so look out for them. Hopefully we’ll be back in Nottingham after a good one on Friday!

      The Filthy Six play The Bodega this Friday the 29th April with support from Cheshire and the Cat. Tickets available here!

Kiran Leonard Interview

      Kiran Leonard is a multi-talented instrumentalist from Manchester who's releasing his new album Grapefruit at the end of this month. Already released singles Pink Fruit and Secret Police are brilliant and we can't wait to hear the rest of the album. We had a chat with Kiran prior to his show here next month about the new album, being a musician, touring and what's next for him this year.

       kiran 2

      Your new album ‘Grapefruit’ comes out next month. How long in the making has this album been and are you excited for it to get out there?

      I finished Grapefruit over a year ago, so… yeah, I’m definitely excited to be relieved of it. I can see it now. Slouching in my iTunes. Secretly. Alone. Unwanted.

      You seem to have tons of passion and knowledge about all aspects of music. Did this start at a young age?

      I used to really like writing short stories when I was a kid and music took over when I was 10 or 11. Before that I liked Lemony Snicket, Manchester City and diggers. I like that story about Keiji Haino… you know apparently he really wanted to be the next Rimbaud or something until he heard the Doors’ “When the Music’s Over”, and then that was it. Fushitsusha. 


      As someone who has played instruments for years, what’s your favourite part about being a musician?

      Anything from: hitting a perfect 9th fret harmonic (w neck bend) on an electric guitar; doing a bad Greg Saunier impression behind a drum kit; doing a bad Cecil Taylor impression at a piano; group free improvisation; hitting an ugly chord with a huge tessitura and lots of sixths and sevenths in it; tightening and loosening all the tuning pegs at random; jamming on “Gomni” by Ali Farka Touré or “Moby Dick”;

      When you’re on tour do you have any hobbies to keep you occupied throughout all the travelling?

      I’m in the middle of my degree so I have to read a lot. I mostly just change my strings. I’d say on tour I spend about 19 hours of my day changing my fucking strings. And reading, I don’t know, Pío Baroja or something. The last tour I was reading El árbol de la ciencia by Pío Baroja. A legit fascist, but funny.

      What’s next for Kiran Leonard? Will we be seeing your name on a few festival line ups this summer?

      I’m gonna watch an episode of KOTH and go to bed. In the summer I hope to watch the show in a number of different places, at different festivals around Europe.

      Kiran Leonard plays The Bodega on the 7th April with support from Field Studies and The Blue Period. Tickets available here 

      You can also preorder Kiran's new album Grapefruit released on the 25th March here.

Interview: Drew McConnell of Helsinki

Drew McConnell is more famously known as the bassist in Babyshambles but recently has been working on his side-project Helsinki. The latest Helsinki album was released last month and features a number of special guests including Peter Doherty and Albert Hammond Jr. Luckily for us we'll get to hear some of this new material live when he plays here later this month. We caught up with him in the run up to the show to chat about recording the album and of course, our great city of Notts.


We love your new album ‘A Guide For The Perplexed’. Do you enjoy being in the studio and experimenting with new sounds/genres?

Yes, I feel very at home in the live room of a studio- When you get the right mix of players in the same space the results can be very special, a lot of spontaneous improvisation became ’the parts’ on this album.

What can we expect from this tour?

Well I think each show will be pretty different, as which players can make which shows will differ from day to day. As such the songs will probably sound quite different each show.

You’ve worked with some great musicians throughout your career. Is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you’d love to collaborate with?

Of course, too many to mention. But I’d love to do something with Courtney Barnett. I love how she mixes the surreal with the mundane in her lyrics.

And adding to that are there any new artists that you are really excited about?

Fat White Family are doing a good job of flying the flag for British Rock n’ Roll right now, and Sleaford Mods are proper aren’t they. I really like Felix Tandem from Ireland, and there’s a new kid from Essex called Ratboy who’s making a good noise.

Do you enjoy coming to play in Nottingham? Do you have any good memories of the city?

Yeah of course - The Rock City crowd have always welcomed Babyshambles with open arms. My best memory though is playing a venue called Brownes with my hip-hop band Mongrel in 2009. All the other venues on that tour were scuzzy little punk venues, but this one was like a kind of wine bar; in soundcheck we were like “well this is going to be weird” but it properly kicked off.

Helsinki plays at The Bodega on Sunday 26th April. Grab your tickets here.