Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

To Love and To Kill-Stories of the Old Country

March 1, 2005

toloveandtokillBand Name: To Love and To Kill
Album Name: Stories of the Old Country
Best element: Good emotive qualities.
Genre: Ambient
Website: http://www.boatsandstars.com/geneq/tlatk.htm
Label name: Generic Equivalent (www.boatsandstars.com/geneq)

Band e-mail: N/a

(editor’s note: if there’s one thing Generic Equivalent Records does well, it’s release interesting music. Secondly, they release strange artwork that confuses. If any information is incorrect in this review, it is the fault of the editor.)

“A. No redos, take backs, try agains, make a stew.” This is the little information I had when I received this CD by To Love and To Kill. Little did I know how intricate yet simple this experience would be. The CD starts off with a speech from an inspiring poet: an explanation of his poems and his adventures through poetry. This also is the explanation of the whole CD and even To Love and To Kill as a band.

One of the easiest things to realize about the band is that it has no singer and lacks momentum. Song after song is perpetually the same, separated only by the occasional new guitar effect. I wouldn’t have known it was a new song had I not checked. Every song seems to consist of the same things: piano, guitar, and some effects. Even these are lacking new sounds and rhythms every song, sounding exactly as they did the song before and the song before. Feeble attempts at mixing the CD into something more diverse fall a little short at best. Some effects, instruments, and light talking in the background portray feelings well, but still lack difference. Their broad, yet simplistic style is hard to explain, although saying that it falls somewhere between the lines of classical and emo isn’t that bad of a description.

Right now, the feelings and instruments are there, but the thought and the emotion need to be expanded. With a singer, an occasional change in pace, and a definite style, everything would fall together for this band. With these minor changes and some more experience I believe this band could be going places; for now the fundamentals of something fantastic are in place.

-Tony Kennedy

independentclauses@hotmail.com

The Sugar-Free All-Stars-Dos Machos!

Band Name: The Sugar-Free All-Stars
Album Name: Dos Machos!
Best element: Fun. Pure Fun.
Genre: Cake-like Pop/rock
Website: www.sugarfreeallstars.com
Label name: N/a

Band e-mail: chris@sugarfreeallstars.com

Sometimes kitsch is not a bad thing at all. Sometimes music is supposed to be unashamed and a little bit over the top. Sometimes you just want to sit back and have fun. Usually, when I get in this mood, I’d slap on Fashion Nugget by Cake, but after hearing Dos Machos by the Sugar-Free All-Stars, they may just have to supplant Cake’s spot as ‘pick-me-up’ music for a while.

The Sugar-Free All-Stars play that type of pop that’s just too fun for emo kids to handle- where Cake has a trumpet to make their music happy and brilliant, The All-Stars have an organ. Yep- an organ. They use it with great abandon, using it anywhere and everywhere, augmenting their sound to its fullest capacity. Its best uses come in “Buddhist in a Beemer”, where a perky organ line is the lead hook for the song, and in the ridiculous “Cornbread”, where the almost-subtle arrangement of the organ (cause honestly, how subtle can an organ be?) saves the song from utter vapidity.

But there are other instruments than organ here on Dos Machos. There are vocals (dry, wry, and perfectly matched to the music), bass (funky, quirky, and owing a great amount of tribute to Cake), and drums (well-matched to the sound- never invasive, but never too quiet or lost in the sound). Notice an absence? That’s right- there’s only occasional guitar on this album, and the great thing is that I didn’t even notice. That’s how well the All-Stars have pulled off a no-guitar band- it took me a look at the credits to realize that there’s a guest guitarist whenever a guitar plays. The sound is so full without it that you just don’t miss guitars. That’s pretty awesome.

“Bender to Ender” is a hilarious ‘roll-your-windows-down-and-sing’ song, with its great lyrics, catchy melody, and awesome bass line. You’ll memorize this one. On a slightly mellower note, “My Key” is great at being a little more melancholy. The keys work brilliantly here, fusing with the vocals to create a great feel for the song.

The All-Stars are hilarious, fun, and unique. This isn’t as fun as Cake’s music (the All-Stars haven’t written a bluegrass song about seatbelts yet), but it will definitely register up near them in the fun scale. I would highly recommend this album to anyone- because sometimes you just have to sit back and let the music keep you afloat.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

Shimmer-S/t

shimmerBand Name: Shimmer
Album Name: S/t
Best element: Radio-ready perfection.
Genre: Good pop.
Website: www.shimmerrock.com
Label name: Cake Records (www.cakerecords.com)

Band e-mail: shimmer@cakerecords.com

Within 30 seconds, I had compared Shimmer’s “Don’t Trip on Your Way Out” to Maroon 5’s work. In under a minute, I liked “Don’t Trip…” more than any of Maroon 5’s songs. In under 8 minutes (two songs) I found myself decrying an injustice: how is Maroon 5 signed to a major and not Shimmer? Shimmer is funkier, jazzier, more guitar-oriented (thank you Shimmer…thank you), and with an equally, if not more, seductively-voiced frontman. It’s the perfect set-up for a pop group in today’s scene- and what’s more is that I actually find myself replaying Shimmer’s self-titled album, whereas I get tired of Maroon 5’s Songs about Jane very quickly.

And it’s all because of that guitar. The lead songwriter in Shimmer is actually a guitarist, as opposed to Maroon 5. This leads to some great guitar lines, such as the immediate, “listen to this NOW” grab of “Don’t Trip”, the funky stomp of “Shoulda Known”, the all-out rock of “Who Loves Ya”, and the various pop/funk lines that generate the bulk of this album (“The Violence of Love”, “Crazy But True”, “Sweet Love”). The bass is suitably fine- slappin, bumpin, and generally being funky. It’s right how you expect it- and trust me, there’s never been a time that I enjoyed predicting music except for Shimmer. It just feels right.

It feels so right- especially in the area of vocals, where skip perabo beats everyone. The range is impeccable, the gruffness employed perfectly, the falsetto in top form- there’s just absolutely nothing you can put down in his voice. It’s a fine-tuned instrument of the highest quality.

Shimmer is invincible. Their pop destroys the rest of the radio. It’s that simple.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

Nathaniel Carroll-A House by the Highway

nathanielcarrollBand Name: Nathaniel Carroll
Album Name: A House by the Highway
Best element: Omniscient musical talent.
Genre: Indie Rock/Folk
Website: http://www.morawk.com/nathaniel/
Label name: Generic Equivalent Records (http://www.boatsandstars.com/geneq)
Band e-mail: n/a

This CD blows Ben Folds and John Mayer right out of the water. In fact, despite their legendary status, it would not be surprising to see both men in the front row at a Nathaniel Carroll concert, outwardly cheering, yet inwardly seething with jealousy. That is just how talented this young musician is.

Carroll is a master of guitar, piano, voice, and songwriting, and he lays it out for the world to see on A House by the Highway. Each song tells a mini-story, and each story covers a wide variety of subjects – some which we have heard before, some which are personal to Carroll himself, but each told to us in a clever way which grabs our attention and makes us feel like we are there in the moment.

Musically, the majority of these tracks are exceptional. “Sick Day” exemplifies Carroll’s mastery of the modern guitar, while “Time Machine” does the same for his mastery of modern piano styles. “A Boy and his Piano” and “Pleasant Goodbye” show how Carroll can follow a more classical style, as does the very beautiful, very solemn instrumental “Before I Go”. On top of all this we place Carroll’s voice, which is emotive and very pleasing to the ear- he really knows his craft and does what he does very well.

The only weak point on this CD is the track “When This Leaf Has Turned,” which is a very beautiful song, very cleverly written, but just feels like it drags on a bit more than it needs to. But when a beautiful song drags on too long, is it really all that bad?

Enlightening at times and soothing at others, this CD is a masterpiece. For fans of Ben Folds (Five) and John Mayer, this would be an excellent CD to pick up.

-Andrea Goodwin

independentclauses@hotmail.com

Names Without Numbers-Running Marathons/Chasing Ambulances

nameswithoutnumbersBand Name: Names Without Numbers
Album Name: Running Marathons/Chasing Ambulances
Best element: Variations in sound with definitive style
Genre: Poppy indie rock
Website: http://www.nameswithoutnumbers.com
Label name: Torque Recording Company (http://www.torqueonline.com)
Band e-mail: nameswithoutnumbers@hotmail.com

As a band, Names Without Numbers is not entirely inexperienced. They have releases dating back to 2001, showing that they have had time to perfect their craft. They know what’s going on in the world of indie music. They haven’t outright said this, but Running Marathons/Chasing Ambulances says it for them. With the poppy sound of Bleed American-era Jimmy Eat World combined with subtle emotional undertones, Names Without Numbers has created ten tracks worthy of applause.

There is an omnipresent energy throughout every song on this CD- no track ever gets boring. It feels as though they were thoroughly engaged in the moment when they recorded it, which helps engage the listener. With each track varying in tempo and style, the music never feels stale, and every track presents something fresh and new. There are more uptempo songs, such as the ‘new-school punk’ undertones of “Eight Hours from Omaha”, the darker, Alkaline Trio-reminescent “Stars Between Stations”, and more somber tracks such as “Sleeps with the Fishes”. There are even a few screamy parts, such as the breakdown in the middle of “Waking from the Coma”. While each track does vary in sound, Names Without Numbers has definitely carved themselves a niche in the world of indie rock music.

The lyrical arena is the only area where this album falls (slightly) short. The lyrics, while meaningful and diverse in subject matter, are a bit surreal and feel a bit forced at times. This isn’t a consistent problem; songs such as “Never Settle for Anything Other Than Mediocre” and “The Fourth” stand out as very clever lyrical efforts, so the talent is definitely there.

Running Marathons/Chasing Ambulances definitely deserves a recommendation. While nothing in here is truly groundbreaking, Names Without Numbers has created a release with replay value.

-Andrea Goodwin

Independentclauses@hotmail.com

Jam On!

Jam On!

The jam band. You may know of a jam band. You may have heard a jam band once. But unless you’re into the jam band scene, it’s hard to find out much about jam bands. Even ‘established’ jam bands are under the radar to most indie rockers. The Independent Clauses has its jam band awareness meter on, and we’ve discovered Liquid Harvest. This interview with Chris King of Liquid Harvest provides some insight into the often invisible world of Jam Bands. Now, if I can just stop sounding like a bad PBS announcer….

1. First off, name me the members of Liquid Harvest and their positions in
the band.

Well, we have Patrick Turley on Rhythm Guitar and Vocals, Chris King on Bass and Vocals, Luke Mitchell Drums, and Rick Perdue on Lead Guitar.

2. So how long has Liquid Harvest been a band? How did you form up?
The band was formed in 2001. It was just some guys from college who got together and played acoustic guitar. As time went by we added and lost member until August of last year, when Rick was brought into the band. Now we are stronger then ever and this is by far the strongest lineup.

3. Did you just announce “we’re going to form a jam band” or did your sound
evolve into what it is today?

It actually started off with Pat on acoustic guitar and Luke on hand drums. From that
they brought in another acoustic guitarist. About a year later they brought in me on bass and another acoustic guitarist! At one time we consisted of three acoustic guitarists, bass, and hand percussion. After that we tried electric and finally worked into a full electric set.

4. How do you guys write songs?
The song writing in this band is very weird. Someone will come to practice with a song, and we will play through it once. You can tell if the magic is going to be there or not. We normally will not play the song again if it is really rough the first time. Rick needs to take most of the credit for songwriting. He is by far the most knowleged, theory-wise, so he can take a song and make it sound beautiful.

5. Does your town have a jam band scene, or are you reasonably on your own?
How has that worked for getting fans?
The scene around here is very weak, but at the same time we can travel 3 hours away
in almost any direction and the scene is just great. The good news is anytime a
national act comes through in the jam band genre, we are normally the ones who get
to open up for them. Last month we opened up for Acoustic Syndicate, it was just amazing to hear those guys playing live. Our fans are very loyal. They definitely mean a lot to me. It’s nice to see the same faces at each show. It also challenges us to not play something we have played before. This has lead to some incredible jams. I can look out into the crowd and see everyone singing with me, its just amazing.

6. Most jam bands change significantly from the stage to the studio- how do
you think your music holds up or changes in the transition?
Well, we have a few songs that don’t change and some songs that are almost
completely different. We try to keep the jamming down on the CD. Songs like “The
Umbrella” and “Déjà vu” are pretty much like they are live. We are going back into
the studio within the next month to record our EP and we have been cutting songs
to make them more of the standard 4-5 minutes. On one hand I like the 4-5 minute
songs because the fans can go to a live show and be blown away, but a lot of times
I want to give it all on the CD full jams and all. The music holds up great in transition. This is mostly again because of Rick. He puts great song structure into each tune.

7. How has your CD been received by your fans?
Liquid Harvest fans are just awesome. They come up and talk after the show. They see us out they will stop us and say hi. The best compliment I hear is “I was just listening to your CD in my car.” It’s nice to make music that people are listening to. We promised ourselves that we would earn our fans one at a time. I want to personally know each of our fans. I spend hours talking to fans online. It’s great.

8. What’s your favorite Liquid Harvest memory?
Oh man so many. I think my personal favorite was all of us in a hotel room in NC. Just all 5 of us (sound man included) in a TINY hotel room just goofin’ off. All the rest of the good times always involve Pat. He’s just like that.

9. Who’s the one person/place/thing that’s screwed the band over most that
you want to warn people about?

No one has really screwed us over, yet. I would warn people about signing contracts before having it looked over by attorneys. We have had friends who can barely pay their bills because their label makes so much money off of them.

10. Do you listen to jam bands? Who’s your favorite upcoming band, now that
Phish is gone?

I love jam bands. Obviously we are all big Grateful Dead fans. Rick is a huge fan of The Steve Kimock Band and Railroad Earth. Luke is really into moe. and Phish. Pat is into Zeppelin and Joplin, and I am a huge fan of Jack Johnson and Widespread Panic.

11. What have you been listening to outside of Jam Bands recently?

I personally am a big fan of Switchfoot. I know Pat is a big fan of the Deftones. It’s hard to listen to other styles once you get into the jam scene. The amazing solos these bands come up with hold to no other style. We are all fans of good music, no matter what genre, but for us 4 jam-band is like no other.

For more information on Liquid Harvest, go to www.liquidharvest.com .

-Interview conducted by Stephen Carradini by e-mail in the month of March.

What Happened to Your Integrity?

What Happened to Your Integrity?

I finally found a drummer to play with. After three-plus years of looking for a drummer who was willing to play post-hardcore, I found him- or at least I thought I did. We were jamming for the first time a week ago, doing a cover of No Trivia by From Autumn to Ashes, and I added screaming vocals. At this point our drummer stopped playing and said, “We really shouldn’t scream. I don’t think we will be as popular if we scream.”

This set me off. He had claimed that he wanted to play, and that playing was all he cared about, yet he was complaining that we wouldn’t be able to be popular if we included screaming in our songs. I think this mentality is the reason good bands are becoming scarcer. This thought process is ruining bands that have the potential of bringing new, great cards to the table with innovative music styles.

Bands, even the “underground” and “indie” bands, are buying into the thought process that there is a mold that you can’t stray too far from. These cookie cutter “indie” bands are the same ones who claim to be branching out. Honestly, I think that musicians have become so intensely focused on money and making that hit record that they have forgotten their number one priority: to make music that they want to make. So many times I read interviews and see a band member say “Well, I would really like to play *insert genre here* but it’s just not feasible at the moment.” Granted, sometimes this means he couldn’t find other people to play that genre with them. But more often it means that they didn’t feel they could have success in that genre- not because of talent but because of popularity of the genre. I just want to hear a band play the music they love, not the music that they think other people love. Now I may be in the minority on this one, but I just want to see a genuine band that loves their music.

This thought process is also stopping bands from experimenting in their genre. Bands are so worried about staying true to a single genre that they won’t go out on a limb and try new things. For example, think about this: I want to see a scream-core band like Alexisonfire try playing a ballad. Why not? I just want to see bands play with their sound and be willing to play what they like.

-Scott Landis (redbassist66@comcast.net)

I Must Have-Shake That American Ass

imusthaveBand Name: I Must Have
Album Name: Shake That American Ass
Best element: All-genre incorporation, and spazz-out goodness.
Genre: Spaz-rock
Website: www.imusthave.com
Label name: N/a
Band e-mail: ilikethewayyoutalk@hotmail.com

I have a soft spot for three types of music: well-done acoustic indie-pop (Sunset Alliance’s The Novi Split), post-hardcore (Tooth and Nail’s MewithoutYou), and spaz-rock (Saddle Creek’s Beep Beep). I Must Have falls squarely in the genre of spaz-rock, and they don’t make any bones about it.

Yes, their art is spazzy, their lyrics are spazzy, their titles are spazzy, every single thing is on the verge of crazy, but not quite. This is best shown in the first track “Party Disarray” (I love it when people set out a mission statement in the first track- it’s just good album planning), where the dour vocals belt out, “You comb your hair and you drink some wine! You kill her and you thrill her!” Later on in the song he screams that sounds like a cross between Jack White and and a real scream. It’s crazy. And that’s just vocally.

Prone to rock, but also prone to random spurts of jamming, minimalist sections that prey on silence, technical math rock explosions, and to stop/start fits of spasm, this rock is so precisely written that I can’t imagine the amount of time that must have gone into this. To make all this chaos scripted for tape must have taken the utmost patience and care. The back-and-forth punch of “Robotic Harvest”, the demented drumming and stellar bass line in “Complexity in the End”, and the manic, panicked crowning achievement of the album: “Good Nights”. The song rips from all out rock to indie-rock lullaby to stomping rock to precise twists of songwriting and back…it simply defies logic. It’s awesome.

I Must Have disables the barriers of music. They incorporate everything into their spazziness, and if you like experimentation, hard music, indie rock, or like to be punched in the face, you should definitely Shake That American Ass with I Must Have.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

Here’s to the Snobbery

Here’s to the Snobbery

I hate snobs. You all know who they are: those rock stars that take the fame to their head and blow off everyone from the paparazzi to their fans to their families. I hate ‘em. That’s why I liked independent music so much once I started getting into it- it seemed that most bands were pretty nice, average people. These guys were in bands that had pretty nice, average sounds, and overall, I was excited to see that not everything musical was attached to an ego.

This lack of pretentiousness enthused me, so I started getting deeper into the scene, finding the bands that really made the best music. Since then I’ve lost all hope in music. Why? Well- all the best indie bands in this town (and quite possibly the nation, as I’ve had this trouble in other places) are snobs. Downright, straight up, however you phrase it- complete and total snobs. There’s a collective of them, actually- a self-serving zine that’s in order, shows that only support that collective, all sorts of stuff. No band gets into the collective. No band gets out. It’s a self-perpetuating monarchy.

I hate to be a little bitter, but come on, people! Indie music is supposed to be one up on the corporate music world! Yes, you’re one of the best bands in town- for pete’s sake support the scene! Include some bands! Endorse some shows! The scene picks up when there’s actually a scene- a bunch of people who go to each show, and go to each other’s shows…If there’s only enough bands in the collective to form one show, then what have you accomplished? Nothing! No expansion, no growth, nothing. The scene stagnates.

The hardcore scene is thriving here in Tulsa. Bands are coming out of my freakin ears, all playing metalcore/hardcore. The scene supports it- everyone goes to shows, people get inspired, bands are formed, new bands are accepted by older bands, given a leg up with a show or two, and off they go. The new band has collected some fans from the established band to build a base of, and they now have the confidence to play shows on their own. Those new recruits are now pulling up more up-and-coming bands, resulting in a tree effect for the scene. If I liked hardcore as much as I liked art-rock, I’d be in heaven in this town. But no one in any other scene, whether it be art-rock or rock or punk or grunge or mellow or any other genre, is putting that formula to work. It’s tried and true- it works. But no one wants to stretch themselves. No one will put their arm out and say, “Here- I know you aren’t as good as we are yet, but I hear some promise in you guys. Play a show with us.” No one.

This isn’t directed at any one band, nor even at the collective that inspired this rant. This is fired directly at the scene en masse- the entire formula, top-to-bottom. All bands in any genre should be actively searching out other bands of their sound and talking to them. Whether you’re in the little band or the big band, you should be talking to your scene and building it. No one goes anywhere unless someone does something- outsiders like us can comment and complain all we want, but until the bands start sticking their necks out, nothing new happens. Cause what’s a scene without bands? Nothing. But what’s a band without a scene? Unhappy, undiscovered, and unused. This is not to be tolerated. If you’re in a band, there’s no excuse not to be actively networking. You never know who knows the A&R man who will make you famous. It might be that one band that you know has one good song amongst 20 piles of musical rubbish- and if you ignore the one good song and don’t start a friendship, you may not ‘make it’. Think about it.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

Acoustica at the Guildhall

Acoustica at the Guildhall

George Moorey: Ghosting collaborator, excellent songwriter, and hardworking promoter of independent mellow music. We were able to catch up with him for a few questions and were amused and pleased with the results. We think you will be too.

1. So, how’s life been treating you?

My life is good, got a lovely wife, 3 cats, a roof above my head, plenty of

food to eat, some nice musical instruments, a recording studio in the cellar

and a large CD collection. I could do with a holiday and my best friend is

in Australia for 12 months so there’s room for improvement too. I’m 30 this

year so I grumble now and again but I really shouldn’t!

2. What’s the main idea behind this ‘Gigs at the Guildhall’ Series? Why did

you set out to book a bunch of shows that could be alternately set at a

coffeeshop?

The Guildhall is a fantastic venue. There’s a bar, cinema room, gallery,

dark rooms and meeting rooms and the main theatre is an old ballroom with a

high plaster ceiling, a wicked sound system, good lighting, sprung floor and

a standing capacity of 360 – right in the middle of Gloucester.

The Guildhall’s got a good tradition of putting on emerging bands. In the

past we’ve had Oasis, Radiohead, Supergrass, Muse to name some, but the

industry’s seems to be in a permanent state of change in the UK and in the

past 10 years I would say that record companies have been responsible for

bands taking short cuts to bigger venues. It seemed for a while that the

Guildhall (and other similar size venues) couldn’t attract bands because it

jeopardised any hype that marketing people put out to sell product. Acts

would stay in the rehearsal rooms until they were famous then go on to 1000

minimum venues. There must be a cycle because some of the more popular

bands have started paying attention to smaller audiences in provincial towns

and cities like Gloucester. In the past 12 months we’ve hosted The Delays

and Hope of The States and this month Rooster is playing. So we have been

reminding the public that the Guildhall is a top quality live music venue by

catering for all groups of music lovers, not just young people.

I’m getting older and going to a standing only gig has started to wipe out

my back and leave my ears ringing a bit much so I proposed a live music

night which was all seated, but still very laidback, with low ticket prices

and comfortable that is just right for listening with a pint of beer in

hand.

As a result the Guildhall team are supporting us in our efforts as we book

mellower acts that can be tagged loosely as “Acoustic”. We’re targetting a

more discerning audience and fairy lights and candles have been making an

appearance as well. The series is called “Acoustica”.

3. How many shows do you plan on having? How many have you had already?

We started out with a pilot night in November 2004 where my band Ghosting

opened the night (our last live set for a year while Dan’s in Australia) and

The Beauty Shop from Illinois, USA headlined as part of their UK tour. That

went nicely so in January 2005 we launched “Acoustica” with

London/Gloucester hybrid band Earnest Cox and support from Vince Freeman and

The Family Machine. Last Friday was Juliet Turner with special

guest Duke Special. This month we’ve got Amy Wadge, April is bluegrass

outfit The Barker Band, May is Snow Patrol collaborator Iain Archer and his

band. June is empty, but we’re hoping to get Pierce Pettis and Julie Lee.

For September I would love to see Scottish band Trashcan Sinatras headlining

and I’m waiting to hear back from them and for October we’ve booked Boo

Hewerdine, one of the UK’s best songwriters. I’ve not booked anything for

November or December because my co-promoter Al is back from New Zealand and

he’ll want to get his teeth stuck into booking some bands. I’ve also been

talking to the Guildhall team about doing an Acoustica night at the

Gloucester Festival in a big top tent in Gloucester Park in August. The

Guildhall programmer wants Acoustica to become a regular part of the live

music programme at the Guildhall so we’ll be carrying on indefinitely which

is good news.

4. How have those gone? Which one stands out most in your mind?

The pilot was good for me because I played the support with Dan as Ghosting,

sad thought because until Dan gets back and tells me what he wants to do

there’s always the possibility of it being our last ever gig together. The

Beauty Shop were an amazing way to try out the format and they delivered a

brilliant set. Duke Special was fantastic the other night as support for

Juliet Turner. He’s one of my favourite live acts and he managed to shift

60 CDs from an audience of 185 during the interval so that gives you an idea

of how moving his performance is.

5. How has the turnout to the concerts been?

The first gig we got in about 80 people. The second one we counted about

120 heads. At the Juliet Turner gig last Friday there were 185 tickets

sold.

6. Which upcoming show are you most excited about?

The Iain Archer show in May is the one I’m particularly excited about as

he’s a Snow Patrol collaborator and an amazing songwriter and performer in

his own right. He’s had success on the folk circuit, but never really

set-out to be a folk performer so took some time out to take stock and

returned as co-writer on Snow Patrol’s platinum selling Final Straw album.

Having got the confidence back to do what he wants artistically he’s gone

out as himself again, but with a band and a determination to play music that

he wants to play rather than catering for a circuit like before. My

friend’s band Bell Jar are playing as well so that’s a bonus.

7. Is there signifigant interest in this type of music already, or are you

trying to drum up interest in the scene?

There is a lot of interest from people around my age for which music is very

important still, but perhaps have become a bit disillusioned with new big

bands and their inability to play intimate shows because of their fame. I

also run an open stage every month during the week and have been

co-ordinating a young bands project in the city for the past 3 years and

there’s a lot of younger people from those things showing up to discover

something different at Acoustica. There’s been some oldies show up as well.

Hopefully we’ll generate a core audience for the night and Acoustica will

gain a reputation for being a good night out whatever your preference.

Hopefully we’ll be known for putting on good live acts irrespective of the

categorisation and style.

9. And just because it’s an obligatory question- who are you listening to?

I’m trying to put my entire CD collection onto iTunes at the moment which is

taking me a while, but it does mean I’ve been checking out parts of my music

collection that haven’t been visited for a while.

Incognito, Julie Lee, Prefab Sprout, Fat Boy Slim, Jim White, Royksopp,

Kings Of Convenience, old U2, Nitin Sawhney, Amy Wadge, Deacon Blue and Iain

Archer all seem to be dominating at the moment.

For more information on the Acoustica concert series, go to www.acoustica-guildhall.co.uk.

-Interview conducted by Stephen Carradini by E-mail in the month of March. Photo by Tom Oldham.

independentclauses@hotmail.com

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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