Alternative Friday

because great new music doesn’t always get the exposure it deserves

The high quality of new and emerging musicians never really surprises me, but I’m confident that 2017 has been an exceptional year, and as it draws to a close we reveal our Alternative Friday Awards. So who are the winners?

 

Best Album (& Male Vocal): Tom Hickox – Monsters in the Deep
Where do we start with this outstanding musician and album? Returning after a break, the early teaser releases from Monsters in the Deep suggested a new, more upbeat sound for this piano playing Londoner. The Fanfare and The Dubbing Artist are toe tappingly brilliant (the latter will definitely get you dancing, and the true story behind it is remarkable too). Istanbul then raised the bar still further, while the slower but stunning Perseus and Lampedusa, & Korean Girl in a Waiting Room, also contain some wonderful horns and percussion. An added treat was to see these tracks performed live, not once but twice this year. Impressive songwriting, rich vocals, and outstanding musicianship… across a whole album!

 

Best EP: San Blas – Draw, Win, or Lose
There have been some great EPs this year, and I was torn as to which might win this award until San Blas released this EP in November. There are 6-tracks that are all outstanding in their own way, and reveal different aspects to the songwriting and musicianship of the band. From the vibrant Morgan to the slow building Drive, all are led by the ukulele, while adding guitars, drums, and some wonderful horns too. For a little more check here.

 

Best Female Vocal: Eloïse – California
This track from London teenager Eloïse struck a note when I first heard it in the Fresh on the Net inbox back in May. The atmospheric and dark-pop melody is full of orchestrated strings and rhythmic percussion, and with its strong production and Eloïse’s rich and velvety vocals it grew on me more and more each time I heard it. Not bad for a song, during which she “feels about as exciting as tap water”.

 

Best Hypnotic Gem: Super Best Friends Club – Super Destruct
This London 5-piece will soon need a new cabinet, as they also picked an award up in 2016 for the equally brilliant Humans. Super Destruct is the opening track from the album Loveblows, and is an intoxicating 5-minute masterpiece that builds slowly, almost carrying you into an hypnotic trance. It also contains the wonderful lyric “I want to cook you dinner”, which I never sing out loud at home (just in case!). Genius.

 

Top Soulful Rock Tune: The Pure Conjecture – No Ghosts
It’s not easy to pin this wonderful track down as it seems to draw its influences from so many areas, but I loved it from the first listen back in the balmy evenings of summer 17. It mixes soulful vocals and rhythms, softer-rock sonics (get your air guitar out for the solo!) and melodic harmonies that could have come from 1970s San Francisco. The warm production is then the icing on the cake. Superb.

 

Best Indie Earworm: Mosley Bar – Two Apart
There have been some excellent ‘indie guitar’ tracks released this year (see the Best Of 2017 Mixtape for further evidence), so when it’s done this well it is outstanding. From its accessible lyrics & melodic riffs, to the all powerful finale, it’s easily one of the tracks of the year. It is also a encore favourite (as we found out in our Q&A with them), which isn’t bad for a song originally intended as a set filler!

 

Best Electronica Dance Track: Mieux – Shenzhen
This is a killer experimental/EDM piece by the Viennese duo Chrisoph Prager and Felix Wolfersberger, aka Mieux (French for ‘better’), and is an ambitious instrumental that mixes brass and percussion influences with rhythmic synths to create an energy burning gem. One to fill any nightclub floor.

 

The Song of Summer 2017: Abhi The Nomad – Somebody to Love
This infectious and sunny alternative hip-hop gem by the well travelled Abhi the Nomad, who is Indian born, but has ended up in Thousand Oaks California (via numerous detours), was perfectly pitched when it came out this summer. The video also captures the track just perfectly, as we highlighted here. I’ll bet you’re whistling in no time too…

 

Outstandingly Raucous Rock Track: Himalayas – Thank God I’m Not You
Arriving with a whirlwind of distorted guitars and an avalanche of drumming, Cardiff 4-piece Himalayas have struck gold with this 3 minutes of furious garage influenced rock, which also includes enough of a melodic undercurrent and headbanging vocals to hook you in quickly. We also featured this young band earlier this year, in both Emerging artist and Showreel video articles, and I can vouch they’re impressive live too. Superb if you love an uncompromising racket!

 

Best Crossover track: Ashley Henry – Deja Vu
We’ve featured numerous artists from the wider world of musical genres this year, and fitting nicely into this arena is south London pianist & composer Ashley Henry. The track itself is a seven minute fusion of animated jazz influenced piano and exotic drum ‘n’ bass flavours, which (along with other Afro, Latin, & jazz related musicians) highlights why London is seen as a melting pot of great sounds at the moment. One to savour in a late night bar!

 

To hear some early contenders for next year’s awards, do keep a close watch on the Evolving Tunes playlist in 2018!

2017 – What an outstanding year for new and emerging artists! It was therefore a huge challenge to whittle the long list down to these 20 tracks, so sadly there were plenty of gems that couldn’t be included, (the monthly Mixtapes and Spotify Evolving Tunes are the places to head to during the year for more).

As previously, it’s another eclectic array of hugely impressive songs, so dive in and wander through everything from ridiculously catchy indie & pop, to floor filling electronica & synth, via some dark & dreamy alternative tunes, breathless ballads, and playful wordsmiths. Enjoy…

 


 
Himalayas – Thank God I’m Not You
Tom Hickox – The Dubbing Artist
Mosley Bar – Two Apart
Abhi The Nomad – Somebody to Love
San Blas – Morgan
Mieux – Shenzhen
Keir – I Don’t Need Anybody Else
Of Empires – See You With The Angels, Kid
Eloïse – California
Honeymilk – Havslåten
Lewis Bootle – Cells
Giant Party – Ambulances
Bedroom Eyes – After I Was A Kid But Before I Grew Up
Snippet – Bad Man
Lloyd Llewellyn – Long Way Down
Bleach Dream – Silent Star
Family Jools – American Dream
Swimming Girls – 2 Kids
Still a Great Night – Still a Great Night
Lorne – Bread Alone
Kane Strang – My Smile Is Extinct

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San Blas are a London based 4-piece band made up of (left to right) Jamie McCloskey (bass), Sam Thornton (vocals & ukulele), Chris Hammond (drums), and Chris Smith (electric guitar). It’s taken them a few years to develop the sound they wanted to make, but they hit the bullseye with the initial taster they released in late 2016, as I loved the energetic ukulele rock gem Zaid, which didn’t just make the Oct 16 mixtape, it was also in the Best of 2016 mixtape!

 

 

They’ve since spent this year putting their debut EP together, the highly impressive 6-track release – Draw, Win, or Lose – which takes the traditional tones of the ukulele, but also adds further flavours, such as the energy of rock in Morgan and Zaid, an impressive horn propelled finale in the slow building Drive, and Spanish guitar flourishes in the epic Kiss from Argentina. Then there’s the incredible journey from a mellow beginning to the drumming induced foot stomping in Yellow Grey, and an equally melodic finale that is Reckless. Six varied gems, all topped off by the unique vocals of Sam Thornton that compliment the ukulele just perfectly.

 

 

I’ve been fortunate to see the band perform these tracks live too, and with two additional musicians guesting on brass instruments it made for an outstanding feast of melody and sound. San Blas are definitely ones to watch for 2018.

 

When a gig is more like a party!”

That’s how I described seeing Penya live recently, so good was both the performance, and reaction of the crowd. We first featured this London based 4-piece Afro/Latin collective late last year, where they won a 2016 Award, as well as to be in the Best of 2016 Mixtape, due to their vibrant percussion driven electronic sound. Ahead of their live show on Nov 18th, and their debut LP, Super Liminal, coming out in January via On The Corner Records, we catch up with Magnus Mehta, Lilli Elina, Jim le Messurier, and Viva Msimang, to find out more about the band, their journey, influences, and, er, Chewbacca!

 

Penya Official | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Spotify | Twitter | Facebook | Magnus Official

 

~ How did the names ‘Penya’ and ‘Penya Investigates’ come about?

LILLI: “Penya” is a word that has several meanings. In Spanish, depending on where you’re from, it can mean party, jam session, group of people, even supporters club for a football team. Whichever meaning you choose to go by, they all evoke this sentiment of people coming together to have a good time, which I think describes the band and what we try to do with our live show, quite well.

Penya Investigates is actually the Twitter/Instagram handle for Penya, it’s a kind of nod to the Penya Investigations release, which was initially released as an experimental sister project to Penya under the artist name “Magnus P.I”

Jim and I were also part of “Penya Investigations” and the creative process was so rewarding that what was intended to be a parallel project to Penya actually merged together with the band, and influenced the music in a massive way.

 

 

~ Given all the varied instruments and influences in your music, how does a new track usually evolve?

MAGNUS: For me, the impetus to write comes from an emotional idea or feeling, and the easiest way for me to translate that into music is via my percussion instruments. As I combine rhythmic ideas on layered percussion, this eventually calls in a melody, and then the thing starts coming to life. Sometimes I can get a lyric going, but often it will be Lilli that comes up with this. If both of us can get a fix on what the song is about, then things can get interesting quickly.

I also write on electric guitar but use it like a percussion instrument, or I send it thorough effects and go ambient – often the electronic side comes in last, and the sound used is ambient yet groove oriented. Perhaps I like working with ambient sounds because I spend time playing in symphony orchestras and I often hear sheets of sound like string sections for example – but try to translate that into an electronic sound somehow – I hope to continue investigating this idea.

For our live show, combining drum machines and sequencers with live percussion is fun, and something I’d like to do more with Penya in future.

Whilst we use alot of percussion from different geographical regions, I try hard not to get too hung up on that and make an effort to combine the different influences in an intuitive way – I think that is possibly the most important aspect of how we make the Penya percussion sound,

Often I will present an idea like this to the band to develop. Other times ideas grow out of jam sessions, tour bus conversations, or somewhere else entirely – as we grow as a band, our writing style evolves.

LILLI: When we work together on tracks, it’s really important for me to know where Magnus’s initial inspiration came from. Sometimes I get ideas for lyrics or melody lines, just from the sounds of the percussion, and other times the inspiration comes from talking more deeply about the meaning behind the rhythms, instrument choices, themes, etc. I am also a percussionist, and I kind of stumbled onto the gig of a vocalist, so as a singer, I react first and foremost to the rhythm and to the groove. As Magnus said about using the electric guitar as a percussion instrument, I think many times the voice can be used similarly, in fact all instruments can be, and I often make a conscious effort to consider this, whether I’m singing or playing the piano, bass, mbira, or any other instrument.

When it comes to writing lyrics, I’ve been very much influenced by the ‘Iceberg Theory’. In secondary school I had a literature teacher who loved Ernest Hemingway, and who talked to us with passion about the kind of minimalist writing style, where the bulk of the story is ‘underwater’ so to speak, and what is said is only the tip of the iceberg. Many of the vocal lines I have written for Penya are very short and concise, but have a lot of meaning to me, and carry with them a long backstory.

 

~ Where on your travels has had the most impact on your music?

MAGNUS: I went to Cuba in 2004 and stayed for 6 months spending the whole time learning about Cuban music. This was my first major diversion from being a classically trained musician and was a huge release. The impact of this trip was significant as I started to understand how vast yet interconnected the world of percussion is, and this experience inspired further trips – to Morocco, Turkey, India and most recently Tanzania.

I like to try and find the threads that connect seemingly disparate sounds.

 

~ Where and when did you get caught up in The UK’s Afro Latin scene, and which musicians first caught your ear?

LILLI: I grew up in a musical family in Finland, and I have always been lucky enough to be surrounded by music from many corners of the world. My stepfather organised some of the first reggae clubs in Finland, and as a young kid, that was what I loved and listened to the most. My mother loved music sung in Spanish, French, Greek, & Italian, and I remember singing along to the songs without understanding the lyrics at all. An important part of the musical mix was also Cuban son and Latin jazz, which we listened to a lot. I was playing the piano, violin, a bit later on I started taking bass guitar and drum kit lessons as well as singing lessons, and was lucky enough to be studying in an amazing music school, that allowed me to follow my musical passions even from an early age, so I remember learning to play many different styles on all the instruments, and being given opportunities to perform in concerts several times a year.

I came to London to study music at SOAS, University of London, and started taking lessons in Cuban piano and percussion. As soon as I started learning, something clicked in my head and I thought ‘this is what I want to do with my life’. All the things I was drawn to as a musician and as a listener seemed to come together in this style of music, and it’s as if I just knew that I had found what I had been looking for. I started getting to know other musicians and playing with them, first at jam sessions and then professionally in groups. So it felt like a very natural transition from a student to a musician. Since then I have played percussion, piano and bass in different bands and projects. I also met Viva, Jim, and Magnus through the London Latin scene. I feel very lucky to have worked with some amazing musicians in London, and to have been able to learn with musicians with not only great talent and skill, but also discipline and a mentality towards the music, which is truly inspiring.

Answering the question about the first musicians that caught my ear is a difficult one, since I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t listen to at least some Cuban music. When I started getting really into Latin music, as a musician, I was first drawn to New York salsa, especially Eddie Palmieri, Ruben Blades and Hector Lavoe. Other bands that I loved listening to at that time are Orquesta Ritmo Oriental, Irakere, Batacumbele, and early Los Van Van. Since then my musical tastes have broadened and I like a variety of styles from traditional son to reggaeton.

~ VIVA: When did you start playing the trombone, and why was that the instrument you chose?

I started playing the trombone when I was ten years old, after my mum asked me if I’d like to take up an instrument. I’d been in Regent’s Park the weekend before and had watched a brass band play on the band stand. I remember watching the jolly-looking old men huffing and puffing away at these otherworldly contraptions; seeing the slides going in and out… I was utterly entranced. I think even at that age I had some notion I was being vaguely subversive by choosing an instrument so often remarked on as ‘unusual for a girl’ in faintly suspicious tones. I took some pleasure in that! Fortunately for me, my parents were never anything but proud. I was raised by a feminist mother who supported me in making my own choices about who I wanted to be. It was only after a couple of years of playing that I realised that my favourite solo in Eddie Palmieri’s Un Dia Bonito was actually performed on trombone. It was all meant to be.

Since then I’ve dabbled in a few more instruments, most notably since joining Penya last year. I play the bendir (a North African frame drum) in our live show, as well as the shekere (West African gourd shaker) and caxixi (shakers), and I sing. It’s been a completely refreshing process of learning, under the guidance of my 3 seasoned percussionist band mates – I very quickly moved on to performing live! The exhilaration of playing ‘in the pocket’ is really addictive and I see this as the start of something. In the privacy of my own bedroom I also take on a kind of Phoebe attempts Violeta Parra persona, singing and playing the Charango (Andean lute). I’ve been in love with the sound of this instrument for as long as I can remember, and my father brought one back from Chile for me a couple of years ago, to my sheer delight. A work in progress.

I should also add that since joining Penya, I’ve adopted a small collection of pedals – analog delay, harmoniser and looping pedal. These are my new toys and pretty much instruments in their own rights!

 

~ Whose hair would you like to have for just one day?

MAGNUS: Definitely not Brian May. Possibly Chewbacca.

 

 

~ If you had a time machine with just one return ticket, which musical decade would you love to travel back to?

LILLI: I have always, always, dreamt of being able to travel to 1970s New York. Salsa, punk, disco, rock, jazz, hip hop – it is like a musical dream come true. Music is an expression of society and culture, and it fascinates me that a single city could have had such an amazingly rich, varied and creative musical scene happening at that time. Societies worldwide were also going through massive changes, whether it was in the form of global economic crises, continuing anti-war movements, movements for social, racial, and gender equality – music doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and part of the reaction and reflection to all those struggles was meaningful and creative music. Another reason why I find the 70s fascinating, is the emerging technology of portable synths, stage pianos with the sounds we recognise as iconic today, guitar pedals, drum machines… the soundscape of modern music was going through a massive shift, which still affects how we both listen to and make music today.

 

~ JIM: Where did your musical life begin, and where has that journey (musically and geographically) taken you?

My musical life began where I was born and grew up, the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. My family, on my mother’s side, was very musical. I was in a really good choir at school that used to go to France a lot to perform, and one one trip there I saw a drum kit close up for the first time, in a youth club where we were singing. I was 13, and already interested in the drums. One of the other kids in the choir who was already a proficient drummer jumped on the set and started playing it without permission. He got a massive, bilingual bollocking for that. But later, when we were in the sixth-form, he and I formed a band – he actually preferred the guitar – with me on drums, and he taught me some stuff. We gigged around the island, playing the rock and pop hits of the day. It was a great time. Then I started getting interested in jazz, and the limited amount of Latin Music I had been exposed to. Nobody I knew at that time was really into that kind of music, so I began investigating. I bought ‘Giant Steps’ by John Coltrane and it blew me away. A couple of years later this interest in jazz took me to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass, USA, where I stayed for 3 years. While there I got properly exposed to Latin Music and that was the beginning of it all for me.

London has been my base since then but I have been able to spend quite a lot of time studying and playing in Peru and Cuba, and with hundreds of excellent musicians from all over Latin America and beyond. I speak Spanish fluently. During my trips to Cuba I became initiated into the Afro-Cuban religion called Santería, in which drumming is a central part. I have also been sworn in as a ritual drummer for the ceremonies – called ‘Omo Aña’, or ‘Son of the Drum’ – which means I am permitted to play the consecrated drums at ceremonies. It’s a privilege I bear proudly.

 

~ Who were your musical heroes when you were growing up?

JIM: As a little kid in the 60’s, you couldn’t really not have the Beatles as heroes. They were ‘heroic’ on so many levels, to this kid at least. Later on, as a teenager, the Allman Brothers Band became heroes. The fact that they had two drummers at the same time, a la James Brown, was definitely part of it. They were real players, who could jam – like jazzers – but their sound was kind of ‘deep’, or spiritual, if you like. A bit later on it was Tito Puente, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Manny Oquendo, Giovanni Hidalgo for the instrumental sound they made, but there are other musicians such as Brian Eno and David Bowie who I look up to for their artistic vision which transcends any particular genre of ‘music’. Once you are into your thirties it becomes less about heroes and more about people you admire.

 

 

~ Are there any other new bands or musicians in London that you recommend we check out?

MAGNUS: The new Four Tet record “New Energy” – speaking of ambient, groove based sounds, I have been enjoying this record. I also think Four Tet has a wonderful sense of melody. The whole album is great, but check out SW9 9SL.

The new Hello Skinny record “Watermelon Sun” out on Brownswood. Hello Skinny is Tom Skinner (who drums for Kanu, Mulatu Astatke, Sons of Kemet and many others), and I met Tom whilst touring with Melt Yourself Down. He’s one of my favourite drummers and an excellent music producer – Viva and I love “Mr P.Z.” off his new album, as it exhibits the kind of Trombone club / dub atmosphere we envisage as a cool direction for Penya.

IbeyiAsh — recently released on XL Records. We’ve long been fans of Ibeyi and have been watching their rise with interest. They have a rich heritage in Afro-Cuban music, yet have managed to process these influences in a modern and original way. The title track references a well known Afro-Cuban melody but places it in an entirely new context – we’ve tried this kind of idea, but in a slightly different way in some of our tracks such as “Search It Out” and “Beat Your Demon”.

 

~ JIM: What would you tell your teenage self?

Don’t be afraid. Or rather, be afraid, but don’t let it stop you. Don’t let the gremlins of resistance trick you into not taking a bold path forward or into not taking full responsibility for everything you do, or don’t do. The gremlins are always there and they never shut up. Be a warrior and face them. Like our Penya song says, ‘Beat your demon down’.

 

~ If you could play live at any venue in the UK, where would it be?

VIVA: This is a toughie. I’ve been blessed to play so many incredible independent live music venues across the UK, some of which, such as Passing Clouds have sadly been and gone, due to the aggressive drive of property development and the financialisation of everything. On the other hand, grassroots venues like Total Refreshment centre still exist and are doing an amazing job of supporting a huge range of top quality new music and creating community – if more of these could spring up, they’d be my first choice. If we’re talking big boys though, the day I play Brixton Academy I’ll feel like I’ve ‘made it’ because this is where I saw my first proper gig as a teenager, Bloc Party on their first UK tour. Muso friends in the know inform me that Koko’s the one for legit sound, and it’s in my native North London, so hello Koko! It’s also got to be said that some of the most exciting live music experiences in the UK are our incredible music festivals. Glastonbury 2019, let’s do this!

 

~ Aside from music, do any of you have any other creative skills? (or obscure talents!)

VIVA: Crushing cans between my shoulder blades. Bigup!

 

It’s another eclectic array of impressive new music in this month’s mixtape, possibly more so than usual, so dive in and listen to some indie, RnB influenced pop, soulful drum ‘n’ brass (not a typo), jazz rock, troubadour storytelling, synthpop, smokey folk… plus some Belfast punk memories. Enjoy!


Honeymilk – Havslåten
Still a Great Night – Still a Great Night
Leslie Lewis-Walker – While You Sleep
Gecko – iPhone Therefore I Am
Gavin Martin (feat VITO) – I Want To Tell You Something
Dougie Harley & Russell Jeanes – With Leaving Birds
Keir – Squeeze Me
Lorne – Oil & Water
The Academic – Permanent Vacation
King Capisce – Once We Were Wild

Alejandro Moreta Sánchez is a Spanish born multi instrumentalist based in Budapest, and he’s just released his first album under the name of Music Illness Cash-Machine called ‘Off The Road‘. It contains a stunning array of musical flavours, from modern classical to dark folk, but Gun Runner gets a Showreel entry, not just because it’s a psychedelic treat full of dynamic piano work, but because the video, directed by Alejandro himself, captures the energy of the track just perfectly.

He said run boy get a gun…

 

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Mosley Bar are a vibrant indie guitar 4-piece from the North West of England, made up of (from left to right) Tim Williams (bass & vocals), Adam Eccleston (guitar), Matthew Wright (drums), and Ryan Ward (guitar & lead vocals). They first appeared here back in the Oct 2015 Mixtape with the excellent Record Sleeve, and this year they’ve stepped up another gear with the release of their second EP, Royalties, so read on to find out more about the band, the EP, and, er, dancing eyebrows!

 

Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Spotify | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

 

~ Tell us a little about the background to the band?
[Matt] Me and Ryan were in another band (The Inkhearts) that split up, so we put an ad out for a bassist and met Tim, then he invited Adam to come along and we just went from there.
[Tim] I met Matthew through an online ad back in September 2014, which was originally for a replacement bassist for Ryan and Matthew’s previous band, and over the next year we wrote some music, and it was during that time the track Record Sleeve came about. We did 2 ‘gigs’ but it was only in September 2015, when my cousin Adam joined, that we had our first proper gig at Studio 2 in Liverpool, and we’ve been going ever since.

 

~ What have been the biggest challenges to date?
[Tim] Musically I would say when we released Record Sleeve, as that set the bar so high. For a virtually unknown band to get a track that went straight to national radio was unreal. But what got me really down and fed up was the feelings of “shit, how are we going to top that?” In the end I think we give it our best shot with the likes of Risk and Two Apart.
Non-musically I would definitely say that being in a band is hard obviously… it can certainly be very expensive, especially when you feel you’re not getting much success back from it. I quite regularly feel that at times the lights on the stage never shine as bright as they look, but overall I think that if you push through it and come out the other side the result is a much better band.
[Adam] Sorting out a day for all of us to practice, as three of us are at Uni and Ryan has a job teaching.
[Ryan & Matt] Finding our own sound!

~ What was it like recording the Royalties EP at the Motor Museum Studios in Liverpool, and how did they help to create its dynamic sound?
[Matt] It’s a great studio. There’s a lot of inspiration on the walls with all the accolades of bands who have succeeded there. James Mellor, the producer/engineer of the two EPs, really gets us a band so that is a massive help.
[Tim] James has a brilliant ear and imagination, and the way he hears music and how he puts it all together the way he does is just mind boggling. The professional sound comes from having him in charge of it all really. We really trust him to just go nuts with it and every time he knocks it out the park.
[Ryan] The Motor Museum is brilliant for recording! It’s a great environment to focus on getting the right sound.
[Adam] James really helps us as he has a similar taste in music to us all, and understands what we want within a song.

~ The superb Two Apart is undoubtedly one of the most ridiculously catchy indie tracks of the year, with its lyrics, riffs, and powerful finale, so tell us more about it…
[Ryan] I’d written the lyrics with a basic structure, Adam added the Guitar lines and then Matty and Tim took it to another level. It was originally written as a set filler, so it’s turned out quite well!
[Adam] Thanks for that! From what I remember it started with me and Ryan writing the main basis of it and it just elaborated when we all added our ideas!
[Tim] As for the ending, that guitar crescendo thing actually came off the top of my head just before Adam and I drove to a gig one time, and I took the fast tremolo picking idea that you can hear in Record Sleeve, showed the idea to Adam, and he liked it. Then in the studio our producer turned it into layer upon layer of guitar lines, and in the end it just gave birth to that massive ending it has. It will long be the big finale at our gigs!

 

~ Is a third EP due any time soon?
[Ryan] Yes, we’ve a couple of new songs recorded! Still writing more though.
[Adam] We’ve recently recorded two new tracks over the summer back at the Motor Museum, which in my opinion are on par with Two Apart (if not better!)
[Tim] The two new songs are the priority for now, and as we prepare them for a release we will keep writing new songs, and when the time is right for us all we will go back in to finish off another EP.

~ Are there any other new bands or musicians local to you in the North West that you recommend we check out?
Yes…
Saytr Play
Sugarmen
Paris Youth Foundation

~ Which famous song by another artist would you love to have written yourself?
[Adam] Knights of Cydonia by Muse without a doubt, it’s just amazing from start to finish. Matt Bellamy is such a talent and is amazing to see live too!
[Tim] For me it’s definitely Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis. It’s one of those songs that will never age and is basically ‘the anthem’ of Manchester. I honestly think that If you’re ever lucky enough as a songwriter to write a song like that, they just fall out of the sky onto your lap and naturally become what they are.
[Ryan] Ultralight Beam – Kanye West
[Matt] Billie Jean by Michael Jackson because it’s a classic and a massive song. Or, Half the World Away by Oasis, what a tune that is.

~ If you could collaborate with a famous musician or band, who would they be and why?
[Tim] Jamie T, and I think Matty wouldn’t mind a go of that either…
[Matt] Serge Pizzorno, Jamie T, or Pete Doherty for their song writing ability, and Travis Barker because of his unreal talent! It’s hard to just pick one ahah.
[Ryan] Kanye, he is edgy.
[Adam] Either Alex Turner, as he just thinks of the most simple riffs and ideas, and is simply amazing, or Dave Grohl, or a hip-hop artist such as Dr. Dre. I think he could pull something special out for us.

~ If the four of you were asked to curate a festival stage, who would you invite to perform?
Foo Fighters
Arctic Monkeys
Kasabian
Liam Gallagher
Circa Waves
Muse

~ Do any of you have any obscure talents you’d like to reveal to the world?
[Adam] Not that I know of! I guess making my eyebrows dance is a weird talent to have.
[Ryan] My only talent is music, haha!
[Matt] No, aha, I play a lot of sport like cricket and footy. Not bad at quoting funny films or programmes, not that that will get me far!!
[Tim] I learnt some great shoe polishing techniques when I did my basic training for the navy when I was 16, so if you ever need some shoes shined…

~ Which famous person would you love to get to drive the Mosley Bar tour bus?
[Adam] Pete Doherty would certainly be a laugh to have on a tour bus!
[Matt] I’d think Steve Coogan would be a laugh, Liam Gallagher would be entertaining, or maybe just a good bus driver so there were no accidents ahah!
[Tim] Alan Partridge, for a laugh.

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