RedFaces Interview

They’ve already kicked off 2017 with a headline tour, single release, opened the main stage of Community Festival and supported Aussie legends DMA’s. It’s hard to believe that Sheffield rockers RedFaces are only two singles into their career! We caught up with Isaac from the quintet ahead of their Notts show on 19th September…

Welcome RedFaces! Tell us a bit about how the origins of the band came to now signing a major label deal with RCA.

We started in school, where we all met, and playing gigs to our mates at school and slowly getting longer and better gigs elsewhere prompted us to write more songs. I think writing "Katie Come Home" was the 'turning point' if you can call it that, when we released it we did a gig in Sheffield to celebrate and it transpired that loads of record labels were there. And RCA seemed the most positive so we went with them!

You guys have already supported DMAs and stormed festival stages, what can people expect from your live show? Does your approach to headline shows differ to a festival set?

Definitely, a festival set has got to be instant and energetic. So for our festival/support shows we pick out 7 most instant, energetic songs and play those. A headline set is different and you can really show off your musical palette, introducing slower songs, more experimental styles of playing because the people there WANT to see you, and so you can give them all these different sides to your music.

Kerosene is a fiery debut single and Wise Up is packed full of energy, is this what we can expect the debut album to sound like?

We're still writing songs all the time so I guess we'll see! I think the next single maybe takes a slightly different turn, with influences of Neo-psychedelic music and it's got this Michael Jackson-esque stomping groove to it. It's still got the energy, but musically it's got more of a groove and lyrically is perhaps more poignant. I think the album will be a mix of themes and feel - but will still have that energy and sound we're about. We'll make sure to make it interesting for listeners and not just a lot of similar sounding songs - but as I said we're still writing songs at the moment so we'll probably start thinking about the album a bit later.


You’ve been likened to Jake Bugg previously who’s a Nottingham hero, which artists are the biggest inspiration for you?

We love Jake Bugg, we've seen him live quite a few times and have all his albums. In terms of big inspirations, we were brought up on a mix of British ‘60s pop like The Beatles, The Kinks and The Beach Boys and bits of the Britpop scene. As we've grown up we've also been expanding our musical tastes including listening to Surf music, Rap and Hip-Hop, Psychedelic and experimental rock. I think it's important to try and take influence from as wide a variety of music as possible as it makes for more original and interesting music. One of my (Isaac) first musical influences was Michael Jackson, as I loved his approach to writing his tracks and his focus on pumping rhythms married with gorgeous melodies.

You’ve got a day off from tour, what’s the first thing each of you do when you get back home?

Ryan often gets home and plays "Football Manager" which I believe he's rather good at (?). Harry's the sort of person that's always doing odd jobs - he's always out and about doing things, whether they be musical or non-musical. Charlie's always demoing and improving his skill with studio work, he has this little home studio we've done a few demos there and he's getting really skilled at editing and recording. I'll likely get home and read stuff. I'm hugely into science and all that stuff so I'm always reading stuff from quantum physics to cancer treatments to weird dystopian novels. I guess I'm kind of a geek. As I said before though we'll probably end up writing more songs too, we all tend to gravitate back towards songwriting whenever we have time off.

If you could only ever play one song on one stage, what would each of you choose to play and where?

Right Said Fred by Bernard Cribbins at the Bodega ;)

Good answer lads… RedFaces play at The Bodega in Nottingham on 19th September – TICKETS

Listen to their curated playlist 'Festival Anthems' on Spotify now

Sean McGowan Interview

With "lyrical dexterity and a knack for penning a catchy melody with laser sharp social commentary", Sean McGowan is the new troubadour on the scene. After packing out slots at Glastonbury and The Great Escape, Sean caught the attention of the legendary Xtra Mile Recordings (Frank Turner / Beans On Toast) and is now set to embark on a UK tour to celebrate his highly-anticipated new EP, 'Graft and Grief'. We caught up with Sean ahead of his Bodega show on 9th September...

Hey Sean! Your new EP Graft & Grief is released the day before you play in Nottingham, what can we expect from the EP and the gig?

Hello! It is indeed. The EP is a step up for me. Full band line up, with a fuller and more mature sound (I hope haha). The gig is gonna be energy from the off. We've managed to mould aspects of the solo set into it too. It's a fluent, fun and interesting set. Also, Notts has always been one of my favourite cities to visit. It's a Saturday night so it's gonna be a party!

You’ve recently signed to Xtra Mile Records which hosts huge names including Frank Turner, Beans On Toast and Skinny Lister, how does it feel to be the new name on the illustrious list?

I love Xtra Mile. Have done for a while now. We got together and chatted over what I was looking for from the future. Turns out our ideas matched and then the deal was signed. They're great people and have been so supportive. Match made in somewhere similar to Heaven to be honest. As for those you mentioned, they're all really good friends of mine. I've hung out and toured with them all for years now. It's nice to finally be part of the actual family. Rather than just the pissed support trying to make everyone laugh, haha! 

The September shows will be your biggest to date, how are you preparing for them?

They are and I can't wait. Same way as always. I've done this long enough now to know the difference between a good show and a show that needs improving. My band are the best musicians I know. They make everything so easy for me, we run the set until it feels right. The biggest thing for me is to make it fluent, it needs to feel like a journey. 

We hear that the EP is bookended with poems, is that where a song idea usually comes from and how old were you when you started writing poetry?

Ha! Yes it is, Gag Part 1 and 2! Songs can come from anywhere really. There's never a set routine whilst writing but some have definitely come to life via that route. I wrote my first poem when I was in Year 6.... so like 10 years old? I doubt it was any good. I've improved a little bit since, I reckon.

It’s around 7 years since your first gig and now you’re with a record label and finishing off a festival season on huge stages! Has your music changed much since you started?

The time really has flown, mad! 7 years is a long time. Especially when it covers your 'transitional' years from teen to adult. I like to think I'm more precise these days. And I definitely have more respect for a song as a whole as opposed to just caring about my lyrics. 

And finally, if you could only play one song on one stage for the rest of your life, what would you play and where?

That's a tough one. Probably 'Martha' by Tom Waits. It would have to be on stage at Southampton Joiners too! 

Thanks Sean, see you in September!


Sean McGowan will play The Bodega in Nottingham on 9th September - TICKETS

'Apple Core' is taken from the new EP 'Graft and Grief', released 8th September on Xtra Mile Recordings

New Releases: BANFI & Skinny Living

August has brought up some great music this year and we've got two hidden gems that you may have missed. Check out new tunes from Banfi and Skinny Living below and keep an eye on our social media so you don't miss more acts we've got coming up.

Banfi - June

It may be nearing the end of Summer which means it’s perfect time for some new Banfi music. Their danceable guitar pop landed them a deal with Communion Music and have since joined tours with Bear’s Den, Amber Run and Nathaniel Rateliff. ‘June’ is the trio’s latest release which the band have described as “a love song based on those classic 'run to the airport' scenes near the end of films, only this time he's too late.” Check out the track below and pick up a ticket to their Bodega show on 18th September from http://bit.ly/2nKE6lj... 

Skinny Living - VI

Since ‘Why’ hit online earlier in the year, Skinny Living have been going from strength to strength with huge gigs and TV slots. New EP VI (6) showcases exactly why they’re worthy of their success and why they’re destined for more with 4 beautifully crafted guitar-pop masterpieces. ‘Breathe’ is a slice of fresh air after the heavy opener of Why and ‘Let Me In’ packs an emotional punch before the funky closer ‘If Love’s Enough’. Trust us when we say that these guys live are incredible and you do not want to miss an opportunity to see them before they get massive. They’ll be playing at The Bodega on 26th October with tickets still available from http://bit.ly/2q5oYir...

Anteros Interview

If you're still yet to listen to Anteros, now may be a good time to start. They've already toured across Europe with some pretty huge names (Two Door Cinema Club / Blaenavon) and now they're set to take to the UK on a headline tour, following the release of their fiery EP 'Drunk' in April. We caught up with them in the midst of a busy festival season about what to expect and what you should be having for your hangover breakfast...

Hi Anteros! Looking forward to having you back here in September. For those that haven’t seen you before, what can they expect from the show?

Thank you, we can't wait to be back. We'll be playing some new songs. Expect upbeat, a little punky, sometimes sweet, with a bitter bite. Bring your dancing shoes!

You’ve spent months touring across the continent with some huge names, how do headline shows differ? Will you take a different approach to each gig?

Support tours are great, because you get to play bigger venues and connect with bigger audiences. You also learn A LOT, very quickly. It's also a bit scary, because you don't know how the crowd is going to react - but the challenge is always exciting. Headline shows differ because it's like playing a football match at home. People are on your side, and they're there for you. So you give them what they want, make them sing and dance it all out. It's important to keep the energy on stage, but if you add a good crowd to the cocktail then you're in for a great one. 

You’ve already had over a million streams online, played a major stage at Glastonbury, been featured on prime time Radio 1 and started work on a debut album, but what goals are you still hoping to achieve as a band?

The sky is the limit. Ultimately we love what we do, and we'd like to do it for as long as we can.

There’s clearly an eclectic range of influences on your EPs, how does the idea for a song typically begin?

It changes every time, we don't like getting too comfortable or used to writing the same way. Sometimes it starts with a jam at rehearsal, or a melody idea, chord sequence, etc. 

And finally, what’s your go to karaoke anthem when you’re ‘drunk’ and what do you recommend for a hangover ‘breakfast’?

Creep by Radiohead (Laura's favourite) 

Hungover? Have a mimosa ♥

Anteros play The Bodega in Nottingham on 26th September - TICKETS

'Drunk' is taken from the new EP on Distiller Records

Gigs Preview: September 2017

So we're approaching September. Summer holidays are over and we've packed away the wellies from festival season. It may have been a blast but there's nothing quite like the comfort of a roof over our head and no queue to use the toilet. With that in mind, we're preparing for a packed season of gigs until it's time to hit the fields again. Each month, we'll be handpicking 5 gigs that we don't think you should miss out on. So let's get started!

The one to dance to... Tender - 2nd September

This London duo create jaunty dance pop with an underlying darkness. Their debut album 'Modern Addiction' is out the day before they play here and it's a 45-minute masterpiece that is just as likely to get you on the dancefloor as it is to make you cry your eyes out. TICKETS

The one to say you saw them here first... Banfi - 18th September

Having already supported Bear's Den, Nathaniel Rateliff and Amber Run, this London trio are on the rise with their spiky, dramatic pop music. The beautiful new single 'She Comes Home' hit online last month and is bound to soundtrack long Summer evening drives. TICKETS

The one to pretend you're in a music video... Denai Moore - 25th September

Silky smooth vocals mixed with delicately crafted melodies. Denai released her second album earlier this year, packed full of hope and shimmering with a carefree spirit. Album highlights include 'All The Way', a gospel-filled duet with Kwabs. TICKETS

The one to reminisce to... The Hoosiers - 29th September

Our 12 year old selves would be going mad at the chance to scream Goodbye Mr A at the top of our lungs a decade after it's release. We don't need to say much else other than it's super close to selling out! TICKETS

The one to headbang to... The Xcerts - 30th September

If euphoric stadium rock is your thing, then The Xcerts might just be your new favourite band. Recent single 'Feels Like Falling In Love' is an instant classic and we wouldn't be surprised if we heard it soundtrack a Summer romance on a Hollywood blockbuster some time soon. TICKETS

If you're hungry for more then fear not, we've still got 15 more gigs to get yourself to.

Mo Pitney // The Districts // Sarah Walk // Sean McGowan // Fangclub // Chastity Belt // Ryan McMullan // Noel Gallagher's High Flying Carpets // The Gospel Youth + Milestones // RedFaces // Erja Lyytinen // Sarah Close // Freak + King Nun // Anteros // Little Barrie

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