Fading Blonde Interview

Creating refreshing indie-pop anthems, Notts boys Fading Blonde are set to bring their stadium-ready hooks for their biggest headline show to date on Friday 13th December. Their ‘Missing Everything’ EP showcases why they’re one of the city’s brightest new artists so we caught up with them ahead of their Bodega show this month.

Hey lads! Your biggest headline show is fast approaching, how excited are you for it?

Hey! We honestly can't wait. Not even a little bit! It feels like everything so far has been leading up to this. We're so grateful to everyone who has bought a ticket. Friday can't come soon enough…

Take us back to the beginning, how did the four of you get together and start making music?

So Evan (vocals/guitar) had just wrapped up with another band and was looking to start something new. Harvey, having seen Evan’s old band play, reached out and the two of them started making noise together. Harvey quickly recruited his handsome guitarist friend Owen, who happened to have a handsome bassist friend called Charlie. Owen invited Charlie along and we all hit it off straight away. Sometimes it can be tough when you meet through music and don't know each other beforehand, but we became really close in no time at all. I guess it works because we're all determined to make something of this. We wouldn't be in a band together if we didn't all believe we could do Fading Blonde full time (eventually)! 

How does the songwriting process take place? Is it fairly collaborative between all four of you?

Evan usually writes the song on an acoustic guitar and sends over a rough demo ahead of our next rehearsal. We'll get in a room flesh it out together until it feels like a Fading Blonde song. It's not always fully lyrically written at this point. Usually Evan's got the lyrics for the first verse and a chorus, and the lyrics for the second verse come as the song develops. Sometimes things are more spontaneous in the practise room, our song 'Flashing Lights' for example, was super organic. We started the rehearsal with a riff and finished it with a song. It's great when that happens, because the song really shows off everyone's creativity and influences. 

You’ve got a massive indie-pop sound built for festival stages, what’s the goal for the next 12 months of the band?

Thank you! 2020 is set to be a really massive year for us. We're kicking things off at Beat The Streets in January, which is shaping up to be an incredible festival. We'd love to play some more festival stages over summer, as well as play more shows in different cities. We'll be back in the studio in January and will be releasing new music throughout the year. We've also got some very exciting show announcements coming up in the new year, so keep your eyes peeled. We just want to keep writing songs and playing them to as many people as we possibly can. The show on Friday feels like the start of the next chapter for us. 

You’ve been playing all over the city at pretty much all the venues on offer, how great is it to be a part of the Notts music scene?

We LOVE the Notts music scene! Everyone is so so supportive of one another and we've made so many amazing friends from playing music in Nottingham. Notts musicians religiously go to each other's shows and we wouldn't change it for the world. You can always catch us in the audience at local shows. This weekend we saw George Gadd, Velvet Blush, Marty and Kelsey and The Embers in the space of 2 days. That's a proper local music scene! 

Any pre-show rituals we should be preparing for? The weirder the better (as long as it can fit in our tiny dressing room, no hot tubs in there unfortunately…)

We like lots of cuddles before any show to help manage the nerves/excitement. You can often find us clinging onto one another watching the other bands. Then just before we go on, we huddle up and chant 'smash, smash, smash, smash' over and over, usually embarrassingly loud, until we feel pumped enough to go and smash it. We did that before one of our first ever shows and it's become a very necessary part of the process.

And finally, what can we look forward to from your headline show?

Friday is going to be a massive celebration. We'll be bringing every ounce of energy we've got and leaving it all out on that Bodega stage. We'll be playing tunes from our EP 'Missing Everything' as well as our brand new single '25' (which is out on 10th December). We're even playing a new tune for the very first time which we're really excited about; it's a very different vibe for us. Don't forget to get down for doors to catch performances from two of the best live bands in Nottingham, Good Hustles and Left Hand Lane. We're so excited to have those guys on board. It's going to be an amazing show, we can't wait to get up there and have a dance with you all. Let's make some noise!

Fading Blonde will be at The Bodega on 14th December with guests Left Hand Lane and Good Hustles. Tickets are on sale now here.

Announced this week - 06.12.19

A hefty 8 announcements this week so let’s jump right in.

Imagine the twisted love child of Mac Demarco and Tame Impala and you'll get pretty close to local quintet Sancho Panza who will bring their psychedelic wonderland to The Bodega stage on 28th February 2020.

We’re so excited for their upcoming second record 'Sorry for the Late Reply' and a headline Bodega show on 18th March from Norweigan punks Sløtface , bringing their high intensity to our stage. Stopping off as part of their Ressurection Tour, iconic LA band Giant Drag are back and will return to Notts on 25th January, bringing their much-adored coolly groovy pop melodies with grungy power chords.

Back with their upcoming second album 'OK Hotel', blues rock quartet Broken Witt Rebels will join us on 5th April, whilst pop-rockers The Hara will pack a punch with their gritty riffs and punchy drums on 9th April.

Fusing folk instruments, punk energy and catchy pop melodies, Black Water County will bring their blistering live set to The Bodega on 28th March. Heading on a co-headline tour, the legendary Stray and Ken Pustelnik’s Groundhogs will join us at The Bodega on 11th March.

And finally, highly respected actor and songwriter, Laurence Fox is set to bring his soft melodies and raspy vocals to us on 25th February, as shown on recent album ‘A Grief Observed’.

Tickets for all shows will be available over on Alt Tickets.

George Gadd Interview

Having spent time relentlessly touring at festivals and support slots whilst packing out shows of his own, Notts lad George Gadd is a DIY folk-punk songwriter, blending heartfelt lyrics with big singalongs. This December, George will take to The Bodega stage with his band for a big hometown headline show. We caught up with him to chat about bad gigs, 2019 and what to expect from his upcoming show.

Hi George! Looking forward to having you back at The Bodega in December. For those who aren’t familiar with you, what can they expect from the show?

Folk-punk for punk folk or just everyone! Best described as a mix of Bruce Springsteen, Frank Turner and 2000s emo.

It’s been a number of years now since your last Bodega headline, how excited are you to bring the full band back?

Very much excited, our last gig together was in August at the Riverside Festival. I've been taking a bit of a break to go on holiday and I’ve also been focusing on my job a bit more. This will be my last gig of 2019 which has been a pretty incredible year which included me playing some of my biggest shows as well as touring with Ducking Punches and Harker (who are also on the line-up) earlier in the year.

You’ve played shows all across the UK since a young age, how has your approach to live shows changed in that time?

I think confidence. As I've grown older, I've not been as worried about embarrassing myself, especially with a few drinks in me. I used to be really nervous before going onstage but not so much these days. If I have a bad gig now, I tend to laugh at it rather than get upset. After myself and the band headlined Bodega last time, myself and Ciaran (guitarist) played a gig at a beer garden in Cotgrave and everything that could of went wrong did. It was the only gig in 11 years of doing this that my mum has attended and she said she wasn't keen to go to another after that!

We’re itching for some new George Gadd tunes, is there anything you can tell us about any new material in the works?

I can confirm that I've been demoing a few new songs but not rushing anything. There may be one in the setlist though.

Take us behind the scenes in a George Gadd songwriting masterclass, how does a song usually form?

It can either be me and a guitar and it will all just pour out fully formed or it can be something I work on over a number of years. 'Not Human' was a song which was immediate and if anything, there were additional verses that were cut. Whereas 'Shake a Ghost' I think I wrote in May 2017 and wanted it to be like the 'Walking on Sunshine' of emo-folk but it didn't really get finished until January 2018. A lot of those ideas would have also have been floating around for years in various notebooks.

And finally, if you could go back through the Bodega time-capsule and see one band here that you missed, who would you see?

There are a number of bands that I wanted to see but was too young to see them. Manchester Orchestra, Frightened Rabbit, Ben Howard, Laura Marling, The National and Bright Eyes all came through but I was far too young to go or at university.

George Gadd will be at The Bodega on 7th December with guests Harker, Velvet Blush and Kate Auburn. Tickets are on sale now here.

Announced this week - 29.11.19

We’re right in the middle of our 20th Anniversary week so let’s celebrate with more gig announcements! 5 up for sale this week so let’s dive in…

Blending vivid riffs, stadium-ready indie-pop hooks and heart-bursting lyrics, Zuzu will bring her massive galactic pop to The Bodega on 1st March.

Launching his second album 'Broken By Design', Jake Martin & The Broken Bodies will bring their full throttle folk-punk and intricate acoustic songwriting to The Bodega on 8th May, joined by B-Sydes and Leslie George Carter.

Set to release their debut album in March, Lancashire four-piece Lottery Winners will bring their infectious guitar pop to The Bodega on 26th March.

Born out of a compulsion to make infectious, melody driven music from a treasure trove of secret sounds, Pictish Trail will bring his sun-warped pop to The Bodega on 31st March.

And finally a freebie in our downstairs bar, Manchester's finest Ryan Jarvis will bring his infectious pop-rock anthems to our Acoustic Sessions on 14th March.

Tickets for all shows will be available over on Alt Tickets.

Elles Bailey Interview

Blending her Bristol roots with a slice of Nashville, blues-Americana sensation Elles Bailey released her highly acclaimed sophomore album ‘The Road I Call Home’ earlier this year. Since then, she’s been touring all over the continent, wowing audiences as she goes. Now back in the UK, Elles is out on her UK tour and will feature a stop at The Bodega on 5th December. We had a chat with her about life on the road and her ‘Blacktop Companion’ release.

Hey Elles! Can’t wait to have you in Nottingham, how excited are you to get on the UK leg of your aptly titled ‘Road I Call Home’ Tour?

This whole year has been such a blast and I’ve toured all over Europe and into the USA, but I am so happy to be finally back on home soil and touring the UK. The shows have gone so well already, and I am loving it.

Your soulful sound is so unique, who were your inspirations growing up and how did music become a part of your life?

I don’t remember music not being a part of my life really, my dad listened to Blues and Country music like The Band, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and The Eagles, whilst my mum listened to gospel music. But growing up wasn’t all about my parents music, I was a product of the 90s so maybe the uniqueness comes because I used to love the Spice Girls too… or maybe not LOL.

Many of your songs are so beautifully personal, do you find it hard sharing them with the world?

I used to, and sometimes it’s really hard on stage to perform some songs. Even in Sheffield last week I cried on stage but as a singer/songwriter it’s what we do. It’s part of the territory and I am just really glad that my music resonates with people, because in the end that’s what you want as a songwriter. You want others to feel it too.

The reaction to ‘Road I Call Home’ was incredible but with these extra deluxe songs on ‘Blacktop Companion’, did you feel like you had more to share from this era?

100%. Blacktop Companion tells more of the story and in fact features three fully produced songs from the ‘Road I Call Home’ Recording session that didn’t make the original record, and a cover of Levon Helms ‘When I Go Away’ which we have been playing on this album tour.

We hear you played 6 different countries in one month recently, that must’ve been a great experience, right? 

Did I? Wow that’s cool – I didn’t even realise – which seems mad right? I see the world through a van window but am very grateful that I get to travel to so many cool places. We spent 12 hours in Sandane in Norway in the Fjords and it totally blew my mind. I decided not to sleep and go star watching at 4am – that was super special!

And finally, what should we look forward to with your upcoming Notts show?

Firstly, my band are on fire so I am so excited to bring this show to Nottingham. I have only ever played as a trio there, so I am excited to introduce the band to The Bodega. What else should you look forward too? Just the show in general – I am excited to share some old favourites from Wildfire that we have resurrected just for this tour but also play a few tracks from Blacktop Companion as well as most of the Road I Call Home record. It’s gonna be a lot of fun!

Elles Bailey will play The Bodega on 5th December, with special guests True Strays. Tickets are on sale here.