I often get the chance to work with unsigned bands, often during their first time in a conventional studio. So I’ll most likely be focusing on those groups in this column. Most likely, at a later point, I’ll run out of unsigned groups to talk about and will mention some of my (very talented) friends bands (By The Sea, Stealing Sheep, Hooton Tennis Club, MiNNETONKA etc).
Anyway… one group I’m particularly excited about are Trudy. Trudy are three friends (two from Chesterfield and one from Bolton) who play very stylised music in, at certain times, a very aggressive way. At first they reminded me of Larrikin Love (whom I loved at the time). They’re exactly what a young band should be – completely lost in the world they’re creating for each other, obsessed with great music and utterly daft in each others company. Song wise it’s hard to relate them to any ‘group’ really. Olly (the singer) has this incredible style of voice, and it’s his playing and writing that sets the group apart from the rest (although also they said they wanted to sound like Disney).
Immix Ensemble is a collection of musicians headed up by a wonderful writer and musician called Daniel Thorne and managed by one of Merseyside’s unsung hero’s of the arts and funding, Andrew Ellis. A couple of weeks ago I was commissioned by Ellis to write and perform with Immix for a one off show. Immix is all about getting classical trained and minded musicians together with musicians who are perhaps slightly more bedroom schooled. For me, it should really be the pride of Liverpool’s incredibly progressive and under recognised (I’m looking at you Liverpool City Council) art scene. The city is full of people, art lovers who work their arses off IN SPITE of the lack of support for them. So Immix is exactly what I think when I think of the arts in Liverpool.
And if that wasn’t enough, they recently collaborated with another group I hold in similar regard, called Ex-Easter Island Head. You kind of have to see/hear this group to get it, really. I know that’s safe of most groups but with EXEIH I really don’t know where to start. Ok… I’ll give it a go. They basically hit guitars with different things and that sounds pretty cool. Obviously there’s much more to it than that, but it’s incredibly structured and thought out, heavily conceptual and certainly more for the esoteric. Jon Herring from them is currently jostling with Dan Thorne (IMMIX) for the “nicest man in town” title too.
Right about now I think it’s worth me mentioning the equally ace Liverpool natives RongoRongo – smarmy history nerds like myself will make the connection there…
I don’t have much in the way of words left, so I’m gonna blast through some cool groups I’ve either worked with or am hoping to. We’ll kick off with Seawitches, who are another great group set to release something on Carl Hunter’s increasingly important Label Recordings.
There’s also Sundogs – the drummer from Trudy has his own thing happening and it’s pretty ace. The first word in this here song is “Shiit”.
And finally, it’s worth people having a nose over at the recently set up War Room Records page on Bandcamp. They’re all doing great things with love. My end of the country is certainly pulling its weight at the minute x