Interview with Sivu: "I love playing in Nottingham"

Born in the sleepy town of St.Ives, Cambridgeshire, but moving to London to pursue music, 24-year-old James Page struggled to adapt to the capital. He worked as an administrator for a bailiff company, played a crash-course of depressing open mic nights, and then took up a permanent fixture in a call centre in Waterloo – the latter of which strengthened his work ethic, and the songwriting process itself.

At the end of 2013, after delaying the process for as long as humanly possible, Sivu finally handed in his notice at the call centre, signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and finished up his debut album, Something On High which was released in October 2014. This year he is embarking on his first ever headline tour and we are lucky enough to be one of the venues that he is playing at! We spoke to him about returning to Nottingham...

Sivu cont

Last time you were in Nottingham you played at Dot to Dot Festival. How did you like the Nottingham crowd?

I love playing in Nottingham. I've been lucky enough to play there a few times and always had amazing audiences, so very much looking forward to playing my first headline show at The Bodega.

A couple of us managed to catch you when you supported Bombay Bicycle Club recently (good job by the way). Did you have fun on that tour? What was your highlight?

Thank you for watching firstly. That tour was really a dream come true it's not often you can say I got to play along side one of my favourite bands. Me and my band were treated so well too, I don't think I will ever forget it.

The upcoming tour is your first headline tour. What can we expect?

I'm going to be playing songs from my album 'Something on high' as well as some new songs that I'm yet to play live which I'm really excited about. As the venues are quite intimate I wanted to pull in the set slightly taking the songs to a more stripped back setting. It's been quite a challenge but I think it shows the songs in an honest light; taking them almost back to how they were written.

We have always been big fans of your press shots (yes that’s a thing when you work in a venue!) Who came up with the idea?

Thank you! Imagery is always something I wanted to ensure we had right from the start, so i teamed up with an amazing artist/photographer named Vita Hewison and she is brilliant, she only works on film and we spent a lot of time working on double exposure shots which helped us to create what become the theme of the album.


Can we expect to hear some new songs when you play at The Bodega?

I will be playing a handful of new songs which I'm so excited about. No one has heard these songs yet not even my close friends so it will just be nice to test the waters to different audiences every night.

Tickets are available for Sivu's gig on 14th March here.

"I like a bit of ghoul with my rock and roll" - Izzi Manfredi, The Preatures

It’s been a swelling twelve months for Australian rock’n’rollers The Preatures. What with touring alongside the iconic The Rolling Stones, their own wildly successful tours of US and Australia, winning a GQ Band Of The Year award, as well as playing to packed-out crowds at some of last year’s biggest festivals including Glastonbury, SXSW, Coachella, Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits.

Luckily for us they'll be stopping off at The Bodega on Friday 13th March and we are itching to see them live after having their album on repeat in the office for the past month or so.


We managed to chat to Izzi, the front-woman, about their success so far...

Hi Izzi! We are dead excited for the show at The Bodega. We love your album and ‘Is This How You Feel’ is a big favourite for us. When you wrote the song did you ever expect it to kick off like it did?

I wrote ‘Is This How You Feel’ fairly quickly and it always felt good, like something new was happening but we didn’t know quite what that was yet. It was unlike anything we’d done up until that point. It started as a groove in the band and then I sat down with it for a few days, finishing the lyrics and stuff off. I had scraps and pieces of writing I’d done as a teenager into my early twenties, and I basically just arranged them in a way that felt like a story. So the individual verses, the images, are all from different periods of my life. In that way it always felt grand and meaningful to me. I’m glad people like it. It was very cathartic to write.

You’ve toured with some pretty impressive names and also played some amazing festivals. Is there a particular gig/tour that stands out in your head as one of the best?

Glastonbury was awesome. Anton Newcombe from Brian Jonestown Massacre watched our set and hung out. Plus we saw Dolly Parton and had hot dogs. It was the end of a massive couple months on the road for us and we flew home the next day.

This won’t be the first time you’ve come to play in the UK. What’s your favourite thing about coming to play here?

We have heaps of friends there which always makes touring fun! Your pies are pretty good too.

We love the Vinyl pressing of Blue Planet Eyes. Did you all get a say in the design and are you happy with how it came out? Bring some to Bodega so we can get one!

Yeah we love it! We were pretty set on doing something special for our first vinyl. Tom and Jack picked the colours for the disc, which in Australia is a translucent splatter pattern. The American edition, which we’ll have at our shows in Europe, is an opaque two tone swirl. We haven’t done a European press yet. The photos are a big part of the design : it’s a mix of live shots by our friend Mclean Stephenson - there’s a fold out poster of Jack and I which I think is such a classic thing to have in a Vinyl - and the rest are by Tom, our bassist. He also took the cover photo of me in the water. We’ve been pretty surprised by the demand for it, we’re doing a worldwide repress right now and unfortunately stock is limited to 10 vinyl per show for the European tour because we had to ship them over from America.

The preatures vinyl

There are some great tracks on your album but which is your favourite to play live? And when you come to play here can we expect to hear any new songs?

We’re just about to lay down a bunch of new demos for the next record. I don’t know if we’ll be ready to play them live yet though. Our set is pretty short and sweet. Our record’s only 35 minutes long. My favourite song to play live is ‘Cruel’ - it’s the part of the set I go mental.

Your gig here is taking place on the dreaded Friday the 13th. Are any of you superstitious?

Yes and no. We’ll see. I like a bit of ghoul with my rock and roll.

Tickets for The Preatures are available now from Alt-Tickets. You can buy them here.

Lola Colt play Bodega this Friday

lola colt

This Friday Lola Colt, a six piece from London, named after a 1967 Spaghetti Western film, are making their Nottingham debut at The Bodega.Their psych-filled live shows have lead them to create a name for themselves over the past few years. At the end of last year they released their eagerly anticipated debut album, 'Away From The Water' and it has had great reviews describing them as "brooding psychedelic rock" and "sexy yet hypnotic".

We had a chat with Matt from the band in the build up to the show...

1. How is the tour going so far?

Splendidly! It's the first time we've played in many of the cities/towns - it's really exciting to finally get the chance.

2. You’ve recently released your debut album, how have you found the response to it?

The response has been quite incredible, and fascinating. We slaved over the thing for so long it was strange to finally send it out into the world, and to hear people's reactions to it. 

3. What are your main influences in your song writing and the sounds you create?

Primarily inspiration comes from emotion, trying to tap into the way something feels and visualise it, then dissect and manipulate it, explore it and better understand it.

4. Do you have a favourite song to perform live?

It depends on the night and the feeling in the room, but Away From The Water - the title track from our debut album - is always good fun. There are moments in that song where we are all guns blazing, the loudest point in the set.

5. We’re excited to have you here at The Bodega. Are you looking forward to playing in Nottingham?

 Very much so! Nottingham is one of the cities we've never played before - we really cannot wait! 

Tickets for Lola Colt's show on Friday are available here

Interview with The Dough Rollers: "The smaller gigs rock"

Next Sunday (8th March), The Bodega will be treated to a good old Rock 'N Roll show in the form of a headline set by The Dough Rollers. For those of you unfamiliar with this band here's a little breakdown; they've worked with the likes of Jack White and Josh Homme, toured with Billy Idol, Bob Dylan and Queens of the Stone Age and lead singer Malcolm's dad is the one and only Harrison Ford. Oh, and they are an excellent band, of course.

We spoke to Jack the guitarist about coming to play in Nottingham for the first time.

Dough Rollers Promo pic

You’ve worked with some impressive names (Jack White, Josh Homme etc.) over the last couple of years. What have you learnt in the process?

To hurry up and get things done and don't think about things too much...time is precious. Both Jack & Josh were great to work with and both so different in personality and style that you cannot help but learn even if subliminally, but also it can be hard waiting for the various studio processes to work, so don't count on anything to happen quickly unless you do it yourself in your own timing.

Obviously blues and whiskey go hand in hand, and we’ve got quite an extensive range of Whiskey here at The Bodega, but what’s your ultimate favourite?

Mine is Hennessy but that's not whiskey. Malcolm is the whiskey connoisseur and he loves a good bottle of Oban, however on our last European Tour when we supported Billy Idol, it was customary for him to hit the stage each night with a bottle of Jameson, Kyle will drink anything as he is a drummer!!!

Have you ever visited Nottingham before and if not what have you heard about it? Are you excited to come and play here?

We have never been to Nottingham ever, but our friend Jake Bugg is from there as you know and we've heard only good things from him about the place. Our UK tour manager informs us that the place has a ratio of 8:1 women to men which seems very interesting especially after the Whiskey from The Bodega has kicked in, as we do like to party after each show. We know that the venue is the place to play on the circuit and really cant wait to come, seriously. Maybe Jake will pop down to jump on a couple of songs if he is in town?

When can we expect another release from you guys?

Well, we are repackaging and re-releasing our current EP in April whilst we record our new material/album in New York at the Famous Relic Rooms (where we are at this precise moment). We are really excited about the new material. It keeps on evolving and we are looking to showcase and launch it in the UK before the USA, around mid summer we expect....How about that then!

You’re about to go on tour with Black Keys and play some huge arenas – how do arena-sized shows compare with smaller shows like the one you’re going to play here?

Actually, we unfortunately have been recently told that the Black Keys tour is being rescheduled for later this year as the drummer injured himself whilst on holiday, which was a shame as we were all ready to rock n roll all over the arenas. That's why we have been free to come over in March to play at The Bodega and the other venues in England, hence 'don't wait for other people to dictate your route...we make things happen ourselves if need be'.

As for the difference between arenas and smaller venues, it really is a more difficult question to answer than you think as both are amazing in different ways. Yes the arenas size, the buzz of being on a big tour and stage, scale of productions and crew, crowd attendance, noise, even catering is INCREDIBLE, especially if you're a headline act. As a support act its a fight to win over the headline act's crowd but one we have luckily enough been able to do so far. We, in general, get on with all the people we work with and have fun and maximize any opportunity we can.

In the Smaller venues we work in the same way, we try our best to get on with all the local production and other bands so we all have a good night, its a good chance for everyone to learn our craft and importantly engage with our audiences. In fact the smaller venues are often some of our best gigs as we are upfront and personal with the crowd, so much so that they can smell the whiskey coming off the microphones.

Technically some of the smaller gigs can be interesting but we thrive on that, in fact on the last arena tour we did we especially filled our days off with filler gigs in really small pub like venues and we had the best fun. For example one night we played to 2500 at the Manchester Apollo supporting Billy Idol and the next night we played in Halifax at the Puzzle Inn to about 17 people, just us and a few local bands. The smaller gigs rock and we find so many new fans that way. We also get to try our new material easier as opposed to the big venues as support slots are where we only have a limited stage time.

Get your tickets for their show on 8th March here.

Stu Larsen returns to The Bodega on Sunday!

This Sunday one of the loveliest guys in the industry returns to The Bodega to play a show and we are dead excited. We caught up with him to discuss his album, touring and what it's like playing in Nottingham...

Stu Larsen pic

Thanks for making the stop off at Bodega again! We’re really looking forward to the show. Do you enjoy coming to play in Nottingham?

I love playing in Nottingham! I think this will be my 6th or 7th time playing there over the last few years, sometimes with Passenger and sometimes on my own :) I loved being able to sneak on stage with Passenger late last year to sing Heart's On Fire with him at Rock City before flying out to tour Australia. I'm really looking forward to getting back to Bodega again very soon!

Amazingly you seem to be on tour a lot of the time. What are your favourite things about being on tour and do you ever miss being at home?

I love being on the road. I have been moving around the globe constantly for the last 5 years normally just staying in each city for 2-3 days before heading to the next. The best thing about constantly travelling is that I get to catch up with friends in each city as I visit and I love being able to re-visit my favourite pubs and cafes along the way also. Whenever I'm in Nottingham I try to stop in for a beer at Ye Old Trip To Jerusalem.

Ahhh, the good old Trip! Your debut album came out last year, are you happy with the response it’s received? What’s your favourite song to play off it?

It's amazing to hear people talk about my album in such a positive way, I feel very lucky. I think my favourite song to play off Vagabond is San Francisco, the chorus is as true today as it was when I wrote it - 'I won't know where I'm going 'til I get there'.

You’ve visited some amazing countries during your time on tour. Which of them stand out for you?

Japan. It's been my favourite country for so long and I can't see that changing. I love the people, so respectful and thoughtful. I love the food, nothing beats a bowl of Miso Ramen or some Salmon Nigiri :) There is also something so captivating about the culture, new and old, merging into one.

We had a feeling you'd say Japan! Does travelling often inspire your songwriting?

I'm mostly inspired by old Spice Girls videos these days, but previously I have been hugely inspired by the places I visit and the people I meet along the way, everyone has a story to tell and it's amazing to have the opportunity to hear so many people's stories as I travel.

Tickets for Stu's show on Sunday are available here.