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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.

helsinki

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.

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