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Bloxx Interview

Saying that this is Bloxx’s first headline tour would suggest that the band don’t have touring experience but how wrong that presumption would be. March saw them play a sold-out Alexandra Palace as support for The Wombats on their nationwide tour, following stints on the road with Sundara Karma and Pale Waves too. Now with their singles hitting the Radio 1 airwaves and festival stages set, it’s time for Bloxx to be at the top of your Summer playlists. We caught up with the quartet below ahead of their Bodega show on 8th May.

Hey Bloxx! Can’t wait to have you here but for those who may have not heard you before, what can they expect from a Bloxx show?

They can expect a really lively show, energy and a lot of fun! Maybe a bit of sweat, and the best support bands also…

‘Novocain’ is an almighty tune! How does it feel to get it out to the world?

Thank you! I think that was a tune we were all really excited to release, I reckon it’s one of our favourites. We had it ready for so long so it was hard to wait to unleash it.

Tell us briefly about the process in creating the song. Where did the inspiration come from? Did lyrics or the instrumentation come first?

Instrumentation tends to come first, we always play out a tune a few times before I figure out exactly what I feel the song is supposed to be about. We wrote ‘Novocain’ over like 3/4 times and it became what it is now and we think that went entirely better than expected the first 3 times!

You’ve toured with Pale Waves, Sundara Karma and The Wombats. Have you learnt anything from being on the road with such huge bands?

Learning how to do long tours and tips and tricks of such great artists has been such a highlight for us. We strive to be just as humble and grounded and wonderful as all of the bands we’ve toured with. I learnt loads of useful tour wardrobe tricks to extend the cleanliness of any gig outfit, and also really helpful vocal tricks that stop me from losing my voice.

Does your approach to headline shows change to support gigs?

I'd say not really, just because we try to give 100% of our energy and focus to every gig we play, support or headline. It's important that fans go away enamoured and impressed, but I think our headline tour will see a new element of fun and passion in our set.

And finally, what are you most excited to get up to on this big headline tour?

We're so excited to be able to play headline shows for the first time ever, and play the cities that we love so much again. We can't wait to visit Northern cities and have cheap pints and see friends. I think London in particular is exciting for us as it's our first ever London headline show and we're so ready for it!

Bloxx will be at The Bodega in Nottingham on 8th May - TICKETS

Funke and the Two Tone Baby Interview

If you search Funke and the Two Tone Baby online, the description of a “one man sonic explosion” keeps coming up and quite frankly, we couldn’t put it better ourselves. Funke has been taking his unique foot-stomping live show to pubs, venues and festivals across the country. It’s almost impossible to pinpoint a genre or sound, just listen for yourself, you won’t regret it. We caught up with the man himself as he prepares to release new music and take on new headline shows in April.

 

Hey Funke! Looking forward to having you at The Bodega but for those who haven’t seen you before, what can they expect from the show?

Alt-blues, dirty beats and a lot of groove. A lot of sweat, dancing and smiles. Songs about festivals and happiness but equally songs about your own fragile grip on reality. Plus, there’s usually a stage invasion of monkeys towards the end. That’s pretty good.

You’ve played in Nottingham before but we hear this show will be different. What have you got up your sleeve?

When I perform it’s just me on my own and a suitcase full of tricks, effects, synths, drum-machines and guitars, run through loops. My live show is slowly turning into a live DJ set but none of it’s pre-programmed. I thought I’d try to up my game this time around and bring a band with me.

I’ll be bringing an incredible jazz drummer, Mr Graham Mann (Matt Berry and the Maypoles) and Mr David Migden (and the Twisted Roots) on vocals, trumpet and synth. It’s been a long time since I’ve played with a band but to have such unbelievably talented musicians at my side is a real honour, and a lot of fun!

Your solo live set-up is a sight to behold, how did that come about?

Necessity really. When I was at college my band broke up and I started playing solo. I ended up

coming by a loop pedal and loved the freedom it gave me. Over the year I’ve added more instruments and effects to my rig as I’ve needed them and my sound output has naturally grown with it. I make a lot of noise for one man. And energy, apparently, but it’s easier to stay in time if you dance!

What’s your favourite part of the job? Touring or studio work?

I’ve been in the studio recording for the first 15 days of the year. It was great and I loved every minute of it, but I really, really miss performing. I’ve got 10 new songs and I’m so excited to get on the road and play them to everyone.

You’ve been busy away working on a new album, can you give us any details on it?

My third studio album is titled, Denizen, and will be released on May 4th, with the release tour starting April 18th in Bristol and ending at The Bodega on the 22nd.

The first single, ‘Genghis Khan’ will be released towards the end of March.

Personally, it’s the best record I’ve ever made. It’s blues with elements of punk, funk and electronica, complete with a jazz D&B track and a ban-the-bomb protest song. I’ve never stuck to a genre yet Denizen still feels like a coherent work. AND it’s got some fat beats!

What cities do you get most excited to play in the lead up to a tour?

I’m not just saying this because I’m writing this interview for The Bodega, but Nottingham. There’s a really special scene floating around the midlands at the moment, and it seems to be centred in Nottingham. The city has some stunning venues, is currently producing loads of great music and the audiences are well up for a party, and are some of the nicest people you’ll meet.

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

Back to my jazz D&B track, Doppelgänger (incidentally the 3rd single from Denizen) at The Bimble Inn.

The track because it’s challenging and has a lot of scope to evolve over time to keep it interesting.

The stage because it’s travels to some great festivals and has a bar!

Funke and the Two Tone Baby will be at The Bodega on 22nd April - TICKETS

Carnival Club Interview

Get prepared to meet Carnival Club. This Northern quartet are ready to burst with their fresh, raspy rock ‘n’ roll. In their short time as a band, they’ve toured with Liam Fray (frontman of The Courteeners), been billed on festival line-ups, gained a legion of dedicated fans, and are just gearing up to release their second EP in March. We caught up with Kai ahead of their Bodega show which is taking place on 12th March.

Hey Carnival Club! Looking forward to having you here but for those who haven’t seen you before, what can they expect?

HEY! Yes, our live show is everything. We’ve worked hard on our songs but we have put a shift in into making the performance the best it can be. We’re no acrobats but we play good and loud.

You’re heading on a headline tour to celebrate the release of your new EP ‘Nomads & Crooks’, how excited are you to get it out there?

We’ve sat on that EP since September 2017, so we’re really ready to get it out there! These songs are really being put out for the people that have come to every single show of ours and love the first songs we wrote. So this is for them.

We hear this EP is a progression from the first, what can you tell us about the new tunes?

This new EP has two sets of recordings: tracks 2 - 5 were recorded at Radium studios with Kev Carrol (who we worked on the first EP with), that are all quite melodic but still have the feel of them being untouched and raw. Then the first track (Sin City) was recorded at Oscillate studios and produced by Joe Cross of The Courteeners. That’s our banger, we know everyone will get behind it, it’s one to dance round your room to. We can’t wait for you to hear it!

The Manchester scene seems to be buzzing at the minute, is there pressure to live up to the reputation that Manchester bands have?
To be completely honest, even though I'm from Manchester (Kai) it would be a lie to call us a Manc band because all the other guys are spread out over the north, and I can say the same about a lot of other bands here. You are right, the scene in Manchester is insane, but we are by no means feeling the pressure, because what’s in the past isn’t what’s on our minds. You do find a lot of wannabees and blatant copies of old Manchester bands, but I’d say there isn't much comparison with us and the old boys. So I can put my mind at rest with that one.

 At the end of the last year, you played shows with Liam Fray. How was it going on the road with such a legend?

That was the best thing that could have happened to us. At the time we were going through a rough patch, as a lot of problems were occurring day after day. When we got the call to do the shows we lost our minds. Everyone sacked everything they were doing, work and uni got pushed aside. We learned a lot on that tour, it made us the band we are today. To go from playing to a couple hundred in Manchester and not many elsewhere, to sold out 1-2,000 capacity venues was insane. Liam was a gentleman also and helped us along the whole way. We just can’t wait to do it again.

What’s your favourite part of being in the road?

The best part of being on the road is that you never know what you're in for. You wouldn't believe what can go on... It’s all DIY and everything can go wrong in an instant, but as long as we’re travelling, playing shows, and meeting new people all the time then what more can you want? I feel as though when you're in the tour bus around the country, you're in your own world and you forget about any problems on your mind. A ‘stressful stress release’ is probably the best way to put it.

2017 was a huge year for you with releasing your debut EP, selling out your third hometown show and getting on the bill for some big festivals too, what are you hoping for in the next 12 months?

After the EP comes out, we plan to release a new single in summer (which we’re working with Joe Cross on) and to write as much as possible. We have loads of ideas and we can't wait to show them to you. This year for us, we’re going to try and play to as many people as humanly possible to build the name and get as big as we know we can.

Carnival Club are playing The Bodega on 12th March with special guests Soft Girls & Boys Club and Brown Lion Zoo - TICKETS

The Night Café Interview

Liverpool teenagers The Night Café are indie’s newest kids on the block. Selling out headline shows and packing out festival crowds all before their debut album, this quartet are the new band you need to know thanks to their intricate guitar riffs and soaring melodies. We caught up with Sean, Carl, Josh and Arran on their upcoming shows, new music and how the Bodega crowd can ruin their equipment…

Hello The Night Café! Looking forward to having you here but for those who haven’t seen you before, what can they expect from the live show?

What’s happenin!I think people should just expect to have a good time at a heavy show with lots of good music.

Your music radiates sunny indie-pop vibes with an underlying dark edge. Where did the inspiration for your sound come from?

We all listen to lots of different music, we don't focus on a certain genre or band really. We love bands like Title Fight, Basement, Brockhampton and love artists like Jordan Rakei and Tom Misch. That just scrapes the surface, it's a very mixed bag.

You’ve spent time supporting Blaenavon, Sundara Karma and The Hunna. How do headline shows differ?
Our headline shows just go off more for us and just feel that bit more special!

Your debut EP ‘Get Away From The Feeling’ had a great response, how’s new material shaping up?
Our second EP will be out early next year. There's not much I want to give away apart from its a lot darker than the last but it’s also filled with some ruthless songs too.

You’ve played Nottingham various times at The Bodega, Rescue Rooms and at Dot to Dot. What memories do you have of playing the city previously?
Nottingham's always been boss! When we had our first headline show in The Bodega, it sold out on the night and we had a stage invasion (which we don't like ‘cause it fucks all our equipment up) but the novelty of it was worth it hahaha!

There’s a day off from tour, what’s the first thing each of you do when you get back home?
Normally we all just chill and have a day to ourselves. Or if we are off in a different city we have a day out sightseeing and that.

And finally, what’s the one thing each of you would like to achieve in 2018?
Sean - ‘happiness and positivity’

Carl - ‘the respect of every genre’

Josh - ‘We are going to figure out how to do everything we want to do, as that’s what we’ve been doing and it’s working’

Arran - 'Make even more bangers'

The Night Café will be at The Bodega on 24th January – TICKETS

Jade Bird Interview

‘Something American’ is a debut EP that showcases a distinctive new artist who emphasizes melodic craft and emotional subtlety. That EP comes from Jade Bird, a London-based singer-songwriter who is receiving praise internationally for her delicate and honest folk/country blend. She may only have one EP released, but she’s shortlisted for the BBC Sound of 2018 Poll, made the Radio 1 playlist and had her US TV debut on The Late Show. We had a chat with Jade ahead of her upcoming tour which features a stop at The Bodega on 2nd March.

Hey Jade! Looking forward to having you here next year but for those who haven’t yet heard you, what can they expect from the show?

Some good music, a good laugh and a bit of sass ;)

Being included in the BBC Sound Poll must’ve been a great way to end the year! What did you get up to in celebration?

Well, insert rock ‘n’ roll story here *I was actually on tour*, so I had a nice long drive and some whiskey on the way back. I’ll be sure to have a few more on Christmas to have a late celebration though!

You’ve recently sold out your London show at Omeara and made your US TV debut, what else are you hoping to achieve in 2018?

Well, I’d absolutely love to sell out my first headline tour - that would be the dream. I’ll also be putting out my first ‘proper’ video, so that’ll be exciting too…

The debut EP ‘Something American’ has elements of Americana, country, folk and even glimpses of pop. Where did the inspiration for your sound come from?

I’ve got quite the pool of inspirations. I love great songwriters, that seems to be the running thread. Be it Howlin’ Wolf, Elliott Smith or Chris Stapleton. Some more favourites of mine are Ryan Adams and Alanis Morissette; I think I just like really honest writing too, stuff that you wished you written.

 

Cathedral has recently been added to the Radio 1 Playlist! How’s new material shaping up? Will we hear any before the tour?

Absolutely!! We have something VERY special coming in January, it’s quite a leap in my music, I feel like it’s really evolved and I just can’t wait to share that.

Rolling Stone have recently named you “a country artist you need to know”. How does it feel to have the support from huge names like Rolling Stone and BBC?

I’ve always been someone whose very confident in their vision but having such recognition can really give me a nudge to be like ‘you’re on the right track’, and that allows me to be more ambitious with my writing and my musical journey. So it’s hugely flattering!

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

Great question! If it was a song of mine I’d say ‘What Am I Here For’. It’s not too strenuous to play for the rest of my life hahaha. I’d pick the Royal Albert Hall too. I’d probably do it in different accents just to keep it interesting.

Jade Bird will be at The Bodega in Nottingham on 2nd March 2018 –TICKETS

Check out ‘Cathedral’ live from Omeara here