Posts Tagged ‘Q & A




Clock Opera recently supported Marina & The Diamonds on her nationwide tour, so when they rolled into Brighton The Recommender caught up with frontman, Guy Connelly, just before he went on stage at Audio.  We found him in an open mood, happy to discuss Clock Opera’s evolution into a full band, the benefits of blog coverage, their recording plans and the dangers of playing Black & Deckers live on stage!

Clock Opera (Photo: PR)

THE RECOMMENDER: Hello Guy, so let’s start at the beginning, where are you from?
GUY CONELLY: Near Bristol, a little dead end town called Nailsea.  It hasn’t got a lot to speak for itself really.  It’s next to Portishead but I’ve never thought of naming a band after Nailsea (like Portishead did).  That wouldn’t really work.  I live in London now.

TR: Like pretty much anybody who’s anything to do with this cool, new, rising electronic pop music.
GUY: I don’t know.  I don’t think that’s true.  That’s just people’s perception, there’s more people in London.  I’ve never really paid much attention to where you come from.  Someone might say Bristol has got a really good music scene and I haven’t got a clue.

TR: There’s different parts of the country that are respected for different things.  Bristol’s supposed to be good for Dubstep.
GUY: It only takes a few people to say that there’s a ‘scene’ somewhere, doesn’t it?

TR: That’s a good point, NME are always trying to find a new ‘scene’ to grab onto.
GUY: Everybody loves a scene… except bands.

TR: When did you start Clock Opera?
GUY: We played our first gig less than a year ago.  March, I think, and it’s come on really quickly.  We had a single out in November and people started picking us up unexpectedly quickly.  We’ve only played about fifteen gigs.  We’re really lucky to get on this Marina tour.  It’s our first tour so it’s pretty amazing that it’s sold out.  I mean, obviously they’re not here to see us.

TR: We’re here to see Clock Opera tonight as much as we’re here to see Marina.
GUY: Thanks, but we’re not kidding ourselves.  What I mean is, it’s wicked to come to somewhere you’ve never played together as a band and play to a room full of people.  That’s what you want, it’s amazing and it’s our first tour.

TR: What made Marina the right person to go on tour with, for you?
GUY: She just asked us really.  It’s not like we’re flooded with offers and it’s a great tour to go on.  I did a remix for her which she liked.

TR: Is that out yet?
GUY: No, people have been asking but we’re just waiting to see what’s going to happen with it.  Originally I did it as just a bit of fun that was going to go up on a blog and then her record label heard it and she heard it and thought ‘why not use it’ so I think it’s going to come out with her next single.  I guess it had something to do with us getting this tour.

TR: There’s a connection between the two acts through Neon Gold (the blog and record label).  That’s where we first heard about you.
GUY: Yeah, that’s how I got the remix, through Derek (one half of Neon Gold) and that’s kind of how it kicked off a bit.  We had a Guardian New band of the day (article) and Illegal Tender wrote about us on the same day and all of a sudden people started swarming a bit.

TR: So, was that all from Neon Gold?
GUY: No, Derek picked us up from that blog (Illegal Tender) – I think they’re mates – and then he wrote about us which I think helped us a lot.

TR: He seems to be massively on-the-money with everything he’s picking up at the moment.
GUY: Yeah, he’s a bit of a golden boy.  There’s two of them, Lizzy runs it with him.  It seems to be a surefire route to success or at least a lot of hype anyway which is pretty helpful.

TR: Have you got plans to release any singles/EPs/Albums in the near future?
GUY: We’re recording at the moment, we’ve been doing some mixing.  We mixed a couple of tracks at the end of last week.  We’ve got loads and loads of stuff, it’s just a matter of getting around to recording it properly.  We’ve got at least an album’s worth of stuff.  We’re recording four (songs) at the moment, we’re just kind of deciding really, doing a tour and seeing what offers come in.

TR: Are you a full band now?
GUY: Yeah, since we started playing.  I wrote a load of stuff before we got together but ever since then we’ve been a band.  I still write it to a certain stage and then we all develop it and play it so we’re definitely a band.  Just because I’m up here and they’re having a beer downstairs.  They’re happy for me to spout a load of bollocks in their absence.  People haven’t been writing enough about them.

TR: Everywhere else we’ve read about Clock Opera it ‘s been ‘Guy this’ and ‘Guy that’.
GUY: It’s a bit annoying because they (the band) put a lot in and they bring a huge amount and I want that to be represented.  I think it also says a lot about lazy journalism, somebody writes something about just me and it multiplies but the truth is, we’re a band.

TR: The first couple of tracks we heard, White Noise and Alouette, don’t sound like they’re being performed by a band.  They sound like there’s a lot of laptop jigging, looping and sampling. Did you write and record that before the band?
GUY: I write as I record so a lot of the samples are ones that I’ve made at the start and they never change.  Then we add live instruments as we go along and arrange it.  We add different bits and bobs but the samples are what I start with so they always stay the same really.  We recorded those a while back but this new lot (of songs) have got more of a live sound because we’ve played about with that a lot more.  For one song, the original demo is completely different because there’s a whole new percussion section, loads of live drums where previously it was all based on computer stuff.  I really like that combination, I think that’s really important.  I love electronic music and that’s partly what we do but it also needs a grounding in reality somehow.  Likewise with the samples, they’re all digitally manipulated but I want them to have some kind of human feel to them.  You can tell they were once a real instrument, they’re not just wires generating sound out of nothing, there was something playing at the beginning.  I think that’s what I like about being a band, it brings that out more.

TR: How does it work?  You’re in your house and you hit something and you think “I like that noise”.  Do you record it in your house or do you take it to your studio?
GUY: Well, my house is my studio.  I’ve used washing machines and drills.  I really want to get a power drill solo in one song.  It sounds amazing it’s just about matching the speed with the note you want to play.

TR: You’re actually going to do that live?
GUY: I want to, it’s the threat of danger that I quite like.  It takes you away from just playing instruments on stage and maybe makes the front row step back 6 inches.

TR: You could have a whole tool orchestra, like playing a saw with a violin bow.
GUY: Yeah, I like that, I really like that.  We’re pushed for time with setting up at the moment but when we get our own tour I think you’ll see some Black and Decker on show.

TR: You seem to have mastered that tricky blend of being experimental, whilst still having killer melodies and big choruses.  Do you think it’s still possible to be original and achieve commercial success without having to compromise either?  Is commercial success the main aim?
GUY: No, it’s not the main aim but yeah, you can definitely do it.  It depends what you define success as.  I define success as having enough people loving what you do that you can play a show and get to meet people who are into the same stuff.  The measure of success is what is necessary to propagate whatever else you want to do.  So of course you can do it, there’s loads of bands that have done it.  The majority don’t but if I didn’t believe it could be done then I wouldn’t be trying.

TR: What’s next for Clock Opera after the Marina tour?
GUY: We’ve got a few remixes coming out.  There’s the Marina one, I’ve done one for The Phenomenal Handclap Band which is coming out in March and I’m doing one for The Golden Filter at the moment which might be used.  I don’t know, I’m never sure.  I’m mainly doing that then we’re going to get back in the studio and get more songs done.  Hopefully we’ll have three or four more done by the end of next month and then fill up the album.  We’ve got a few more gigs booked but we’re not planning on playing too many gigs at the moment just so we have time to figure out more songs.

TR: We’d like you to come and play at one of our monthly parties.
GUY: We will play one of your nights, I promise.

TR: We’ll hold you to that. Finally, we always ask the bands we interview to become an honorary Recommender and suggest a band that we might not have heard of.
GUY: Well, there’s a band I really like in London called Magic & Fur. They’re really cool.

TR: Thanks, we’ll check them out, good luck with the show.

And what a show it was!  A remarkable performance, packed with many very strong tracks.  This is one talent that is bursting with creativity, ideas and ability.  We cannot wait for the promise of an album in due course, but one promise we will be pursuing is the offer he made to play The Recommender’s gigs.  Watch this space, but rest assured we will be proudly shouting it from the rooftops when we confirm the booking…
(MA & MB)




We are delighted to be able to bring you an exclusive Q&A with one of the most exciting bands to emerge from Brighton in years. This continues in our growing line of interviewees, from Little Boots, to Marina & The Diamonds, bringing you cutting edge musicians in the early stages of their promising careers.

On this ocassion James and Ally from Mirrors took time out for us, as they prepare for their upcoming Loop Festival performance in their home town of Brighton. Put simply, we couldn’t be more excited if you attached a pair of electrodes to our bollocks. The promise and hype that surrounds this magical band are suggesting big things. The available music that we’ve heard and the live performances to date have only built on the growing reputation.

1.) OK, so you are new to most of us, yet you already have Brighton and the wider music community wetting their pants out there, so lets start at the beginning…We want to know how you all met? We heard you were members of the band Mum-Ra, so is this true and how did you come to form?

I suppose we just gravitated towards one another. James and Tate had just left Mumm-ra and moved to Brighton to start something new. The four of us just clicked. We all had this vision to create a band where the ideas and aesthetic were as considered as the music.

2.) Let’s introduce the band members individually – can we have each of your names and what each of you do in the band?

We are:
James – synthesizer & vocals
Ally – synthesizer & vocals
Tate – synthesizer
Joe – electronic drums

3.) Where do you each come from? Is it fair to introduce you as a ‘Brighton band’?

We think so. Brighton is our spiritual home. Our lives have become so much richer for moving here. It is a very vibrant city. We are all very proud to be a part of it.

4.) Was it true that your first gig was at the New Hero club in town? The Recommender was there and we were surprised at how you came to provide such a tight, well organised set. How many gigs have you played to date? What’s been your favourite?

That was our first show. we’ve only played a handful of shows so far. I think people are surprised how refined the performance is for such a new band. We didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Its all about the details.
Certainly the New Hero show holds a special place in our hearts, as it was the first show in our home city. Our plan is to set up a residency there where we can expand on our ideas – think painted silver dancers handing out trays of frozen flowers, koyaanisqatsi projected on the walls whilst DJ’s throw in some electronic madness. having our own night will give us a chance to create a full on 3D experience.

5.) What’s with the excellent matching ties and suits? Is this perhaps a nod to Kraftwerk or something new you’ve dreamed up?

Kraftwho? The suits compliment our music. A neat, classic image. We’ve seen a lot of scruffy looking fellows in recent times and the suits are just another little thing that separates Mirrors and it’s aesthetic from the other bands around us.

6.) For those readers totally new to you, how would you describe your sound? We heard you mention the fantastic description, ‘Pop Noir’, so can you elaborate?

It’s a phrase we coined ourselves. We wanted to stress the fact that we write “Pop” music as it can sometimes be overlooked when we start talking about our world. We think it’s an accurate reflection of the music we make. It’s memorable.

7.) We have heard reviews that tout OMD, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk and Blancmange as comparisons, so can you confirm where and whom your music influences and inspirations are garnered from?

Well, yes, they are obvious reference points. But I think our sound is much denser than these bands and what we do also sounds very contemporary. We are living in the 21st century, the world around us will inevitably influence our music.

8.) We see you’re playing at Brighton’s Loop festival, which has our tails up, but are you planning to play any other festivals this summer?

We’re playing latitude, and maybe a couple of smaller shows around Brighton. However, we’re not the sort of band to play every show available to us. There’s no point. our shows will be select, special.

9.) There’s seems to only be a few demo’s floating around the blogs and online, so do you have many other songs recorded to date? Is there an albums worth written yet?

We have written many songs, but a lot of them still need work. Our writing process is very slow and methodical, but yes, the record is starting to take shape.

10.) Do you have any plans for a single, an EP and/or possibly an album launch yet?

We’ve got a single coming out this month on the Pure Groove label. Then there are plans in place for the rest of the year but nothing confirmed in terms of an album.

11.) We also heard a rumour about a haggle between labels for your signatures, in which it’s been suggested, rather over-excitedly, that a giant contract could be be offered. Although we presume this isn’t quite the case, can you please clarify the situation? Has anything been agreed with anyone yet? Who would be your ideal label?

We’ll work with the label that we feel best understands the band and it’s ambitions.

12.) Apart from the Loop Festival, what’s immediately next for Mirrors?

We want to make our live show something special. That’s very important to us. Writing and recording will continue and we’ll be ready to release a fantastic record next year.

13.) Lastly, we always ask at the end of each Q&A for the interviewees to become honorary ‘Recommenders’ by asking them to suggest any new bands/acts/DJ’s that have caught your eye in recent times that you would like to share with us?

We’re enjoying listening to Amadou & Mariam at the moment. It’s just a great pop record.


OK, so that’s another great exclusive interview completed. Search our archives for more from Mirrors, as well as the other interviews we’ve done in the past. The Recommender will be at Loop Festival, so if you plan on joining us this coming weekend, pop here to grab a ticket. See you at the front…





If you don’t know this solo female songsmith quite yet, then prepare any available room between your ears as she’s going to be living in there very soon indeed. 

She’s currently attracting a level of buzz most artists dream about, with slots as a featured artist on both Radio One and Radio Two, amongst the inevitable busy blog chatter. This is all after very little in the way of official releases and she certainlyisn’t ready to push the debut album above the parapet quite yet.

We adore her here at The Recommender for her clear and abundant strengths. Strengths you can spot in all the influences she names below, from Patti Smith, to Dolly Parton, to Madonna. Namely, a fiercely independentdrive, a keen interest in the usage of image and style, but it’s most obvious with her astute and brilliant ability to pen an original and melody-heavy pop song that fully snared our attention.

It’s an exciting landscape for the female solo musician in 2009, with the likes of Little Boots, La Roux and V V Brown, amongst others, appearing at a seemingly regular rate. All of them are taking back ownership of, whilst simultaneously re-inventing, the crafted, piano-led pop world.

It must also be pointed out that they all come with punchy, highly-styled vocals. Although their voices can be likened to pop stars of the past, their singing is the part of their songs that separates them from one another. And Marina is possibly the best case for this in action, with her high-pitch inflections and wide range.

We find her today in a rather gentle mood. It’s perhaps a suitable position for someone so talented that she is seemingly more comfortable when talking about her music than any personal attention she’s recently garnered. With this worthy addition to The Recommender’s Q & A’s we are pleased to bring you…



Radio One are starting to take notice and the blogs have been very excited and busy chatting for some time, so do you feel you’re finally breaking through in the media now?


What have you been up to most recently?

Recording my album and rehearsing for Dermot O’Leary on Saturday. Also prepping for the mini tour

How long have you been working at your music and what made you decide to become a musician?

Over 4 years. I dont think it was so much about becoming a ‘musician’ as such. It was never apparent that I was a good writer, a good singer, or a good musician. It was more a huge, huge need to express myself in any way possible and for some reason, my insides told me that I had to be a singer. Life or death. I did a lot of dance and acting throughout my teens but I dont feel quite the same about it as I do about songwriting and performing freely on stage

You seem to not accept any references to Kate Nash when people try to describe your sound. We totally agree, as there’s definitely a clear difference, but for those people new to you, how would you describe your sound?

I suppose alternative pop. The only types of music for me are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ music and that’s it. A song should stand alone without its production and that will always be good enough for me. I don’t know who Lene Lovich is but that crops up sometimes as does the odd Kate Bush reference. I don’t mind what people compare me to really. Small fries!

Who influences you?

Strong, driven people. Patti smith, PJ Harvey, Madonna, The Distillers, Daniel Johnston, Nirvana, No Doubt, Dolly Parton

Whilst we are here, let’s try and clear up some rumours…..Your name suggests there is a backing band, so are there a pack of ‘Diamonds’ behind you? Where does the name come from?

My surname is Diamond in Greek. I didn’t want to be called Marina Diamond as a stage name. I kind of like the fantasy of having an imaginary group of people behind you. It sounds lame but I always wanted the diamonds to be the audience. There’s no point in writing music if there is no one around to hear it…

Do you write all your own music or is there someone you collaborate with? Who would be a dream collaboration for you?

I rarely write with other people but I have done a few sessions with good people and enjoyed it. I want most of my album to be my own though. Dream collab? Hmm.. Probably Brody Dalle from the Distillers. Or Robyn. Or maybe Kanye West.

We heard that you punched some idiot who fell on your keyboard mid-gig – is this true? Have you generally been received well at your live performances?

Yep. Crowds have been very good! He was just a pilled-up idiot. I hate drugs and I hate idiots, so we didn’t get on like a house on fire, lets just say.

We’ve read that you are half-Greek, half-Welsh. That’s quite a combination, so is this true and where in fact do you come from?

Yes, that’s true. I grew up in London, Greece and Wales, so I’ve moved around a fair bit.

OK, that’s quite enough of the rumours – We noticed that on your Myspace you seem to have taken a few fantastic swipes at fellow female solo artists out there, such as Lilly Allen and the wider celeb culture. Is there a message in all this?

Well yes and no. I feel like things are getting better (re: female celebrities). People realise real girls are cooler than fake girls. I’m just saying there is nothing wrong with being yourself. You can wear no makeup and eat a burger and fries and still be sexy. Society is extremely critical of females- and males too. At the time I felt angry about it and wanted to take the opportunity to say a royal “fuck off” to it – i.e. Say that you should not waste your life on this…when you’re dead and gone, will it matter? Im over it now though. It was just a personal thing. Sorry to all the celebrities I slagged off. I was being judgemental.

Have you any tours, festivals or upcoming gigs planned in the near future?

Lots of festivals in the summer! And a mini tour end of feb. Check the Myspace.

Will we see your debut album released in 2009? Any dates set yet? Do you have a name for the album?

Its all a secret.

Following the launch of the totally outstanding tune ‘Obsessions’, do you have your next single planned for a release yet?

Its all a secret.

What’s next for Marina & The Diamonds?

Beans on toast. Then whiskey in Soho. What a combination.

Lastly, so you can become an honorary Recommender, is there any new bands/acts/DJ’s that have caught your attention that you would like to recommend to us?

Oooh.. Giantess, Ellie Goulding.


See you back here real soon for more delicately plucked highlights from the world of new music…





To catch a star is no mean feat. Victoria Hesketh, better known as the delectable Little Boots, is one such star that’s truly in the ascendancy.

I first approached Little Boots for this Q & A a few months ago, but she’s blown up so much in the music press since that she’s been dragged across Europe, across America and back again, so she simply couldn’t grab any spare time for my Q’s.

It’s all totally understandable of course, as she ticks just about every box on the music media’s list –  creative musical talent, impossibly gorgeous looks that mean women want to be her and men want to be with her, bags of style and costume to hold any front page, true musical pedigree having fronted previous girl band Dead Disco, she even ticks the box that’s labelled ‘something different’ by holding intimate personal shows, in her own bedroom on Youtube – how ‘new media’ is that?!

It really is a powerful concoction. And we haven’t even elaborated on what she actually sounds like -namely a perfect pop craft of electro synths, pounding 4-beats, delicate Kate Bush styled vocals and sing-along chorus’. She will ride the charts as well as she will the underground, being found as easily on as Radio One and that’s a talent that surely deserves attention.

And so to the Q & A. Here is your Recommender introduction to Little Boots. Nothing too deep, I just ask for an overview and a little insight from them…

You’ve been busy, so how are you and what have you been up to of recent?

I’m just on the way back from a gig in Newcastle, its snowing and we’re watching ‘Stop Making Sense’ , the Talking Heads documentary in the bus. We’re halfway through the Automatic Lovers Tour around the UK with an amazing band called Heartbreak, which we have planned with special disco guests in each city. We’re also doing a limited split 7″ single and merchandise you can only buy on the tour so its quite exciting to try and do something special like this.

2)You have many Youtube’s posted with you sitting at home playing your songs, giving the fans a real honest, fun, light-hearted, personable view of you as an artist. Are you the world’s first pop star that’s successfully utilised Youtube in such a way?
I have no idea, I don’t really pay much attention to other people’s Youtube channels! Its just something I started doing messing around one day and I seemed to really connect with people, that’s how I spend most of my time if I get days off just messing around making music in my t-shirt and pants in my room. I think it works because they are very raw. Usually just one take recorded on a web cam. I’ll have worked it out 5 minutes before so you get a sense of immediacy and honesty, as well as it exposing the process of making music.

3)What made you turn to showcasing yourself online in this fresh, modern format? Now you are breaking through, do you think you will ever return to it?
I still do them when I get a chance. I just have less time now, but whenever I get spare moments I will still do it.

4) Why do you think it’s grabbed so much attention?
Kind of answered this in 2 if thats ok.

5) You always had toys (I recall a regular slot for a golden cat and a unicorn), joining you as you played, so what’s with their appearances?
I dunno just a stupid joke thing, they were lying around so I put them in and then they kind of became good luck charms.

6)There’s a fair few singers/songwriters desperately trying to reach us through Youtube, but do you see it as a serious outlet for future artists or is your success a one-off?
Its the world’s number one website so its definitely a place where you can reach people and get ideas across, but I find unless another site or blog links to the videos they won’t really get that many views unless you get featured. Also there’s a lot of rubbish on Youtube which I don’t think everyone has the patience to trawl through so I doubt it will because it’s not as important for new bands as something like Myspace. You have to do something really original or genuine to stand out and get noticed.

7)In what other ways do you utilise the online communities to communicate with your fans?
I have a blog that I’m very active on and I post regularly, its very interactive and a lot of people comment and I reply, so is the forum. I also run a Myspace and coordinate all the designs and ideas on the page, I have a Facebook account too but don’t really use that one as much. There’s also a mailing list where I always try to do something different and give away some stuff.

8 ) For those readers new to Little Boots how would you describe your ‘sound’? Who are your main influences and favourite artists?
I would say its hopefully well written pop songs that everyone can enjoy, with interesting production mainly on synthesizers but a more warm and organic sound rather than the slick, cold kind of synthesized pop that’s popular. Some favourite artists are Kate Bush, David Bowie, Gary Numan, Cyndi Lauper, The Beach Boys and more recently Metronomy, Hot Chip, Heartbreak, Fan Death.

9) Where does the name ‘Little Boots’ come from? Do people call you this in person, or is it simply a ‘stage name’?
It was a nickname from a friend which comes from the Roman Emperor ‘Calligula‘ which is Latin for Little Boots. Most friends still call me Victoria, although a lot of people I work with have started calling me Boooooots or Bootsie!!

10) You’ve recently played a few live gigs, including in my local town of Brighton, so how have you been received?
Really well, we have played Brighton 4 times now which is more than anywhere else, and the last one was sold out. We recently sold out the ICA in London which was great, although sad that we had to turn so many people away including lots of friends. I have gained a lot of confidence from the early gigs where I was worrying too much about the technological side of things which is very complicated, and now I just really enjoy performing and interacting with the crowd.

11) Do you have enough tracks written for an album and what will your debut be called? Any heads up on who is producing for you? Is there any release date planned?
We have enough but I want to have more than enough to choose from so I am doing one more month in the studio in LA after we finish touring Europe in December, then it will hopefully be all tied up by the end of January. There are a few producers but mainly Greg Kurstin who produces Kylie, Lilly Allen, Peaches etc. and Joe Goddard from Hot Chip, as well as a track with Jas from Simian Mobile Disco and a few others. The release date is unknown yet but will be sometime 2009.

12)Just so you can become an honorary Recommender, do you know of any new bands/acts/DJ’s that have recently caught your eye that you’d like to recommend to us?
I mentioned them before in my influences but Heartbreak are brilliant, also I love Fan Death from New York. We had a guy play with us the other night called Anoraak from France who is also very good. And there’s a band called Pollyester and I liked what I heard.

13) What is next for Little Boots?
Touring UK… then Germany… then Italy… then maybe have a little time off with my boyfriend and family for Xmas, who knows?? Probably not knowing my luck! Then recording in LA, then finish album, shoot videos, do all that stuff… more touring… maybe festivals? maybe release some music???! would be good!. fingers crossed 2009.

Boots x

OK, I hope that helped you gain a little more from your dose of The Recommender. Got a ‘Best Of 2008’ list coming up in the next few days, so get yourselves back here for more from us real soon…




                                             Q & A   –  THE HAIR

OK, so we are going to try a slightly new take on my blog with this post. Let me know your thoughts as usual…

I’ve been busy grabbing new bands/acts/DJ’s and chucking a few questions their way to help enlighten their fans and because…well…I’m a nosey little bastard. Nice.

Nothing too deep, just an overview and an opinion, with a teeny bit of insight is all I ask from them. Hope it adds to your RECOMMENDER experience. More to come when I get a chance to post them.

First up is a band I’ve written about below in THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 2, so for more info and splendid tuneage on THE HAIR go hunt it out down below. They hail from Yorkshire and brim with excellent riff-tastic, casio-cool Indie pop. I love it!

Their songsmith and lively frontman, SAM ROBSON, was the fella I managed to grab for a spare minute and throw some Q’s his way. Find his A’s below. Enjoy…

1.) For those new to The Hair, what’s your history and how did you meet?

Neil and Lee are brothers who were my next door neighbours..and vijay stepping in to drum earlier this year. We’ve basically been hammering away at gigs for a while, mainly up north but with the odd daliance in a festival or tour support.

2.) How is the Yorkshire music scene these days – any hot tips?

It’s as fabulous as usual. Lots of cool bands around…I’d look out for a guy called Jonjo Feather and also a band called Dinosaur Pile-up. Both are frikkin sweet.

3.) Who are your main influences?

I wasn’t like every other kid, you know, who dreams about being an astronaut, I was always more interested in what bark was made out of on a tree. Richard Gere’s a real hero of mine. Sting. Sting would be another person who’s a hero. The music he’s created over the years, I don’t really listen to it, but the fact that he’s making it, I respect that. I care desperately about what I do. Do I know what product I’m selling? No. Do I know what I’m doing today? No. But I’m here, and I’m gonna give it my best shot.

I can’t do these questions really, it’s tough, but I love all the music I listen to like ryan adams, bright eyes, the faint, the rapture, justin timberlake (!) etc etc but I’m not sure what actually has direct influence on The Hair!

4.) What’s it like having two brothers in the band?

Brilliant, they’ve done all their arguing at an early age so they never consciously disagree…

5.) When is your debut album, ‘Indecisions’, due for a release?

In the UK? We’ll probo not release that particular album but a mix of that and some new tracks…hopefully in the next 9 months…

6.) What has happened with the recent change of drummer and how does this affect you?

It’s made us a better sounding live band…a more commanding bass drum. Plus the band internally has a much better relationship. Things had broken down completely with the last guy (though we wish him well for the future) and now we enjoy it again!

7.) Do you have a favourite song on your upcoming debut album? If so, why is that your fave?
Oh I couldn’t say that…hmm…I love ‘Ghosts’ – that’s good, and ‘Half Cut’ is really enjoyable to hear and play for me. We release it free from on the 14th july!

8.) What is the best way for your fans to access your music?

itunes is most direct, but I would say if you want to get hold of the album before it’s remixed/remastered and released with different songs on a date yet to be decided then there are ways and means…and google is your friend…either that or buy it on import!

9.) Have you any tours planned for 2008 (particularly around the launch of the album)?

we’ve just done 10 uk gigs, one video shoot, and 8 days of work in 14 days, so I’m not quite thinking about other touring just yet! but I reckon we’ll do some extensive touring from the autumn onwards if things work out for us.

10.) Can you give us one random fact that no single fan would yet know about you?

I share my birthday with cliff richard!

11.) What is next for The Hair?

Free download (see above!)!!!

So that’s this Q & A’s first installment. More will follow once I get around to it. I list below, as a little taster, their recently recorded new music video for ‘HALF CUT’. It makes me feel drunk just watching it. It’s yet another bloody brilliant song that gets stronger as it develops. There’s plenty more floating about out there from these guys too.

Find their Myspace page here:

Find ‘HALF CUT’ here:

That’s it for this first Q & A. More to come when I get around to them.

Look out for The Recommender  –  Number 5 real soon…

The Recommender's Flickr Photos

June 2020



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CLUB SMITH (Previously known as THE HAIR)


Mike Bradford (MB) - Creator and Contributor (UK)

Olivia Gable (OG) - Contributor (Austin, USA)

Matt Allfrey (MA) - Contributor (UK)

Natasha Ryan - Photographer (New York, USA)