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Oddity Road Interview

Some cities in the UK stand out for their music scenes. Nottingham, of course, home to Jake Bugg, Saint Raymond and D.I.D. Manchester - home to Oasis, The Smiths and Everything Everything. Sheffield – home to Arctic Monkeys and The Sherlocks. Hoping to add their name to that list are upcoming indie-rockers Oddity Road who have been bringing their lively shows across the country. We met the quartet below ahead of their show at The Bodega on 27th October.

Hey Oddity Road! Looking forward to having you at The Bodega but for those who haven’t seen your live show before, what can they expect?

Hi Bodega. Yeah we're buzzing to get back to Nottingham, we've played a couple of times, and it always goes off! We go for high energy performances at our gigs whether it's to 4 people or 4000, expect the same this time around but turned up to 11. In a sentence blood, sweat and tears and a then a bit more sweat please. 

Sheffield has an incredible music scene with Arctic Monkeys and The Sherlocks leading the way, how does it feel to be adding your name to the list?

We've all just left school in Sheffield and have grown up watching bands emerge, we've been at The Sherlocks gigs at bigger and bigger venues with bigger and bigger crowds. It's incredible to be mentioned in the same sentence and we'd love to join that list of bands but we've got a long way to go. For now, it just feels mint to get out and gig, we've met so many top people in different towns and cities who like what we do, you've got to love it.

The reaction to your singles so far have been great! How is new material shaping up?

Yeah, the reaction was insane considering ‘Handshake’ and ‘You’ were both quick demo recordings put out last year when we were at sixth form. We've been amazed at how well they went down. Both were picked up by Dean Jackson at BBC Introducing and were played on BBC 6 Music too.

As far as new material goes, we're always writing and recording and working hard to get the songs sounding as massive as possible. We've been working with some incredible people. We're conscious we haven't put anything out for some time, but we're now sat on a lot of stuff to choose from when it does come to dropping something new.  It's really something else and shows how far we've grown, we can't wait to release it.

You’ve had a busy year so far supporting The Sherlocks and at festivals including Y Not, Dot to Dot and Tramlines. How does a headline show differ to a festival slot?

Yeah, we've played to some huge massive crowds this year. Albert Hall in Manchester was nuts and Y Not to a packed tent was one of the most amazing experiences but we've been looking forward to this run of headline gigs for a long time.  The fact we get a longer set time means we get to craft the set a bit more than we would at a festival, we feel like we can show more of a range of what we have to offer. We also find it pretty mad looking out into the headline crowds and thinking people are there to see us play! It's special knowing they've taken the time and spent their hard-earned cash to come out and see us. Our recent headline gigs in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield have been on another level. The crowds have been right on top of us, right up for a dance and mosh and totally into it.

You played over at Rescue Rooms earlier in the year, what are your experiences of playing in Nottingham before?

Yeah, we've played in Nottingham a couple of times, at Rock City and Rescue Rooms, we've been really lucky to get to play at top venues. We were on early at Dot to Dot this year on a Sunday. We thought there'd only be a few people there and 5 minutes before coming on it was empty! But it filled up really quickly and we were amazed at how full it was, how many people came down to see us. We had a great time and then we were shown the delights of Nottingham by some locals who knew their music scene!

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

Haha, well we've all got really different approaches to this. Jack has a big glass of milk, one of life’s real pleasures! Dan will pick up his guitar and start writing and recording demo tunes, always working. Ethan will start planning the next gigs and Joel will have a cigar, a pint of real ale and then sleep!

And finally, if you could just play one song on one stage, what would you play and where?

That’s a tough one. Handshake has always been a song which has gone down well at our shows, it'd be great to think it has enough staying power to see us go from playing it at free gigs in Sheff to playing it at Glasto Main Stage or Wembley watching the whole place bouncing along. We'd call it a day then and all join Joel for a cigar...

Oddity Road play The Bodega in Nottingham on 27th October – TICKETS

(Plus guests Vega Bay and Vigilantes)

Listen to ‘You’ here

Slowcoaches Interview

They’re ferocious, energetic and are unleashing their fresh punk sound to venues across the country. Slowcoaches certainly aren’t a band you’d mess with following the release of their incredible debut album, ‘Nothing Gives’, last December. Fast forward 10 months to October and the London trio are already teasing new material and are turning the amps up in preparation of a UK tour. We had a chat with Heather about what we can expect from their Bodega show on 25th October.

Hey Slowcoaches! Can’t wait to have you play at The Bodega but for those who are still yet to see you, what can they expect from the live show?

Sweat, noise, bruised knees.

You released your ace debut album ‘Nothing Gives’ last year, is new material starting to take shape yet?

I’ve been working on our second album for a while now. It took a bit of time to get myself in to the mindset of what I wanted it to be. It’s taking shape now which is really exciting but also pretty scary. We have a new single out next week and it’s the first release from the new record. I’m pretty nervous to see how it goes down but also can’t wait for people to hear it. It feels like a big step in to something much darker that I always wanted to make.

We saw you tear apart The Chameleon last year in Nottingham, what experiences do you have of playing the city before?

I’m from Nottingham so I know the city really well. I bloody love it! When we first started out we played at The Bodega with Shonen Knife, which was crazy cause they’re one of my favourite bands to watch ever. I was literally shitting myself. I’m actually super excited to come back to the Bodega cause it’s one of the places I started going out to when I was a kid… I mean when I was 18 obviously.

‘Nothing Gives’ is jam-packed full of energy and adrenaline, where did the inspiration from your sound come from?

Thank you! I’m a very anxious person, I have a really short attention span and I get bored easily so I think that’s why I write music that’s fast and changes a lot. I guess that’s the inspiration. My mood fluctuates quite wildly between mania and feeling really low and I guess that seeped into the songs on the album. It’s pretty subconscious but it makes sense.

You had some great festival slots over the Summer including Great Escape, End of the Road Festival and Tramlines but how do headline shows differ?

I mean every show is different. Sometimes headlining can feel really great, cause you’re in a certain city and you know everyone there is going to go nuts. But then you can play a slot like we did, opening End of the Road Festival, with kinda low expectations, and be totally surprised by how amazing the crowd is / how in to the music they are. That’s the best feeling.

And finally, if you could only play one song on one stage, what would you play and where?

There’s a floating stage they built on Lake Constance in Austria in the nineties. And it was literally a massive book. And it’s being read by a giant skeleton. Seriously google it, it’s amazing. It sounds like an Iron Maiden set or something but I mean its huge and actually really beautiful. What song would I play? Probably 54, cause its still the one that gets everyone dancing the most.

Slowcoaches will play The Bodega in Nottingham on 25th October – TICKETS

Plus support from Monster Treasure

Pick up a copy of ‘Nothing Gives’ from https://slowcoaches.bandcamp.com/album/nothing-gives

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!

Cheers! 

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...