Tuesday, 28 January 2014

PENTAGRAM MAN: Our feature on DC Fontana's 2012 EP 'Pentagram Man'! Featuring reviews and interviews!

Photo: We will be bringing you an exclusive feature on DC Fontana's 2012 EP 'Pentagram Man' very, very shortly! Stay tuned! AB Records
Below if our feature on DC Fontana's 2012 EP 'Pentagram Man'! The feature includes a review of the EP from AB Records, a track by track in which bassist Mark Mortimer talks us through each track from the EP and some excerpts from our interview with Mark from last year!
To stay up to date with future interviews like our facebook page at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords
PART 1 - "AB SAYS..."
"DC Fontana's 'Pentagram Man' EP is a superb collection of six songs that leaves the listener wanting more. The tone of the EP shifts from psychedelia, to funk, to pop, to rock 'n' roll and back to psychedelia again. However, it also has a mysterious undercurrent to it as well. It sets this feeling out effectively with the mysterious sampling of the spoken word vocals on the opening two tracks and it does not stop there! The eponymous opening track is a masterpiece with a catchy, almost funky chorus and exceptional instrumentation from the band. 'DevilAngel' features a well conducted brass ensemble and the song has anthemic tones throughout with hints at the band's more psychedelic edge. The chorus itself will surely bring a new highlight to DC Fontana's live show and will surely entail huge singalongs. This is followed by 'What Would It Take?' - a folk ballad with heartfelt vocals set to some John Martyn/Bert Jansch-esque acoustic guitar picking. A definite highlight. Meanwhile, 'Satisfied (Part One)' seems to shift between DC at their most psychedelic and progressive and DC at their most funky, featuring some bongos and congas for percussion. This combination is no bad thing at all and when the percussion kicks in it sounds not too dissimilar from madchester legends The Stone Roses or The Rolling Stones a la 'Sympathy For The Devil'. The atmospheric 'Sighed DC' follows featuring a reprisal of the mysterious spoken word vocal. The EP is then concluded with a re-recording of the title track in which they recruit in Sorrows legend Don Fardon to sing lead. Overall, a really top notch collection of songs and one that leaves us impatient for the new album in 2014. Rock on DC Fontana!"
PART 2 - "DC SAYS..."
Here, bass player Mark Mortimer talks us through the 'Pentagram Man' EP track by track!
"Pentagram Man"
"The song came to me while I was sat in a traffic jam on the M40 motorway en route to a London gig! Funny how songs come to you when you’re least expecting them. It’s about an imaginary character from Birmingham who’s fooled himself into thinking he’s a serious magus of consequence. He wrongly thinks he’s related to the occultist Aleister Crowley, is convinced he fought in the Vietnam War and lives his life at a frenetic pace because he’s terrified that if he slows down someone will laugh in his face but no one likes to be humiliated do they? This delusional loner, whose interest in black magic stems more from reading Dennis Wheatley novels than any real esoteric knowledge, is ostracised from his neighbourhood because he doesn’t fit the bill, has no friends, no money, lives on the outer periphery of society and is sad when people take the piss out of him. He could be your uncle or old school teacher or the sad, silent drunk who sits in the corner of your local boozer. He might even be you. The song was allegorical, lamenting humanity’s ability to fool ourselves about all manners of things while also celebrating eccentricity and sticking up for those who live and turn far from the mainstream of society’s usual orbit. It was recorded in Balsall Heath, a suburb of Birmingham where you can see lots of pentagram men wandering the streets in this former red light district. On the main version of the song we decided to leave the horn parts out, partly as a conscious signpost that our sound is evolving and partly so we could use them on the alternative version featuring Don Fardon on vocals. To promote the song we shot one of our allegorical short films using a number of actors and it was filmed at Tamworth’s ancient Norman Castle, out in a field in Leicestershire and also in and around the Custard Factory arts quarter in Birmingham."
"This track seems to gain a lot of attention as it has its own sound really. On one level it’s a twisted love song while on the other it’s about the paradoxes within us all: good and bad, the dark and light, the yin and yang I suppose. It’s about dealing with those contradictory forces and the interconnecting and interdependence of them with everything around us. I wrote ‘DevilAngel’ about personal matters of the heart as well as another means of plugging myself into the ancient grid and feeding off it. I am wary of talking about this because I don’t want to sound like a fool but there’s something of a heathen element, underpinned by the chant in the middle of the track which name checks some of the old deities, namely Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali and Inanna. Sonically, I am always curious to use different sounds - it’s no different to an artist wanting to mix and match colours and collide ideas. We used a really unusual collection of instruments on ‘DevilAngel’ so you get the usual guitars, drums, retro organ and horns plus a cimbalom which is a Hungarian hammered dulcimer famous for the theme tune of “The Ipcress File”, a Chinese yangqin, autoharp plus orchestral reeds like cor anglais, oboe and flute. This desire to keep using different instruments and textures was something I picked up at an early age from listening to the Beatles among others. We filmed a fairly 'straight' promo video by our usual cinematic standards and did a performance shoot inside a studio with the only acting involved from two performance artists, one who dressed up as an angelic figure and the other as a demonic figure."
"What Would It Take?"
"This was a lovely skeletal acoustic tune which in many respects is a modern day anti war protest song and it’s centred around some beautiful finger picked guitar. We added some accordion, flute and even used a saw being played with a violin bow! It was another unexpected musical turn from us and I have to be honest I enjoyed the fact the song was so sparse and stripped back compared to some of our much bigger productions."
"Satisfied (Part One)"
"This was written and sung by our keyboard player Scott Riley and in fact was the first version of this song, a live favourite with our followers. But the second version we recorded (i.e. 'Part 2') came out first when it appeared on our debut album ‘Six Against Eight’. The one on the first album was all about dynamics with dirty hammond, thundering horns, a screaming guitar solo and lots of quieter moments but this first version is a much more stripped back and organic affair. In fact when we came to mix it I suggested we remove the drum kit, electric guitars and most of the organ parts so we could de-clutter and give it a more vibey feel. There is some beautiful piano on there played by our good friend, the incredible Italian jazz musician Oscar Marchioni and his partner and regular DC collaborator, Kicca Andriollo also added some haunting vocals. I love the doomy cellos that add lovely drones to the tune and there are some lovely congas played by Nigel Horton while Scott plays the acoustic guitar parts as well as the remaining hammond and accordion part. There is an overall lazy jazz element and I really like that."
"Sighed DC"
"This is our 'Revolution No 9' moment! It is DC Fontana at our most experimental so far and it is an abstract piece of lysergic musical sound scaping. Part ambient and part twisted, the track was pretty much a collaboration between myself and our producer Donald Skinner and Scott. Actually the idea for this came from a friend of mine Rob Cross who was a member of nineties indie band Mr. Ray’s Wig World - he was messing about doing a sort of remix using some elements of piano and guitar parts from our first album. Donald then did a 'bubble and squeak' thing and introduced some unused orchestral string parts that were left over from the album and we built it up from there. The clock effect that lasts through most of the tune was actually Donald tapping his autoharp and the lovely trippy wah-wah guitars were played by Scott. We added some mellotron and celeste and our video director friend Martin Copland-Gray recited a mediaeval magic spell from the Galicia region of Spain relating to the queimada drink and that sounded suitably odd. Donald and I chose random words from a dictionary to add further idiosyncratic vocal snatches and he sculpted the tune into three distinct sections giving you the sensation that the song is moving forward always. I wrote another very experimental piece for our French and Italian sung album ‘La Contessa’ called ‘Les Fantômes du Père Lachaise’ so ‘Sighed DC’ is another in this tradition and provides more evidence that we are never content with writing and recording the obvious. As for the title, that was Rob Cross’ idea and a fun play on words - obviously referencing Arthur Lee and Love’s 'Signed DC' song!"
"Pentagram Man (Don Fardon Vocal Version)"
"It’s been great performing live with Don Fardon, the former Sorrows singer and I was very pleased when he happily agreed to record an alternative version of the title track. He is still a superb singer and the finished vocal is pretty much a full live take two...his first take was sung an octave lower because the key is quite high for his voice and the second one was a 'let’s go for it and see what happens' effort and that was the one we used. Working with him in the studio was great - he hadn’t recorded for a while but got straight into the vibe..."
Below you can read some excerpts of an interview we did with Mark last year!
What was your earliest musical memory and what pushed you towards pursuing a career in the music industry?
"Earliest musical memory would be hearing my mum’s Everly Brothers and Jim Reeves records then getting into the Beatles aged ten and totally immersing myself in the outbreak of punk a year later! No one but myself pushed me towards the music industry - my parents had a typically old fashioned view and actively discouraged me from making a racket which of course only served to make me more determined to make a bigger, louder racket."
 Had you been involved in any other band prior to DC Fontana?
"Sure did - most of my earliest bands were just group names and make-believe...most were just band names and never even met but in the eighties I was in The Dream Factory who had a minor flirtations with the charts when we signed to northern soul label Inferno, run by Neil Rushton. I have never been outside of a music-making project in my adult years. Scott Riley, who is the DC organ player, was a member of Spectrum and E.A.R., the offshoot projects of Pete Kember’s Spacemen 3, whereas Donald Ross Skinner was Julian Cope’s long term right hand man, guitarist and producer."
 How did DC Fontana begin?
"The band evolved from a previous one called The Lovebirds in the nineties and was initially just an excuse to socialise, write songs and have some fun with my hometown mates. In fact our story doesn’t follow the norm and it took quite a while before it really became a serious band. We have continually evolved and enjoyed different line ups which have helped keep the project totally viable, fresh and ever moving forward. The blueprint remains constant but it is constantly and freely re-designed."
 Where did the name DC Fontana come from?
"Our original guitarist Neil Jones came up with the idea to name ourselves after Dorothy Fontana, the “Star Trek” script writer from Hollywood and she recently contacted us to say she is honoured we did so - in fact she lectures at the American Film Institute these days and often wears her DC Fontana shirt which is great!"
 How would you describe the sound of DC Fontana?
"It’s turned-on music to shake your hips and pluck your heartstrings but I don’t see it as being any particular genre really or allied to any kind of movement. We filter the joy and pain of everyday life through a kaleidoscope of an ever-changing sonic arsenal and the music is as urban as Harry Palmer and as pagan and hallucinatory as Lord Summerisle."
The interview excerpts in Part 3 are taken from an interview conducted with Mark Mortimer last year! To read the full interview click here - http://aldorabritainrecords.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/devilangel-our-interview-with-amazing.html
All images and photographs were provided by DC Fontana.

Hope you enjoyed this feature on DC Fontana! Check out our previous feature on Kartica!

Check out DC Fontana here - http://www.dcfontana.com/

Get your copy of 'Pentagram Man' here - http://www.dcfontana.com/shop.html
You can also like our facebook page to keep up to date with all future interviews at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords

Monday, 27 January 2014

JUST THE WAY WE LIKE IT: Our feature on Kartica's new EP 'Last Gang In Town'! Features a review and band member Joe talks us through the EP track by track!

Below is our feature on Kartica's superb EP 'Last Gang In Town'! You can see our review of the EP in Part 1 and in Part 2 you can see band member Joe Troughton talk us through the EP track by track!
To stay up to date with future interviews like our facebook page at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords

PART 1 - "AB SAYS..."
"To fill stadiums the eighties had U2, the nineties had Oasis, the noughties had Kasabian and the 2010's will have Kartica. This six-song EP entitled 'Last Gang In Town' backs this up perfectly as the band unleash their arena rock sound on our hears in a beautifully crafted set of songs that clocks in at just under half an hour. You can hear it all - soaring vocals, roaring guitars and a driving rhythm section. It may be easy for reviewers to pigeon hole this band as 'the new Oasis' but we truly do believe there is something more to them than this which is perhaps best demonstrated in the anthemic tones of lead track 'Hard To Find'. Other highlights include the opening combo of 'Where It All Begins' and 'Lonely When It's Gone' which truly do set the tone for anthemic rock with the swagger of the britpop movement of the nineties. However, Kartica are not all flat out rock and roll as they demonstrate well on the acoustic guitar driven 'Fortnight From Now' and the much more laidback 'Dare To Dream'. The EP finishes with a bang with perhaps the strongest song of the lot in the form of the superb 'Just The Way We Like It'. This has perhaps the strongest chorus and will surely be a huge sing-along moment live. Overall, an exceptional EP by a band that will surely be filling the stadiums one day soon."
Band member Joe Troughton talks us through the EP track by track!
"Where It All Begins"
"This is an upbeat & catchy song with a weird chord in it that I don't even know the name of! I think it's Bsus98add7A. Lyrically, and the last thing I want to do is sound political in any way, it is basically about the contradictions and hypocritical nature of today's society. It drives me mad and it upsets me that it leaves so many people confused at the thought of what to do to 'fit in'. Think 'Daily Mail'. Everyone should just feel free to be their self!"
"Lonely When It's Gone"
"Sing-along chorus! I love the simplicity of this song in terms of chords, riff and structure. It's basically about fighting to keep hold of something that has meant a lot to you for a number of years (not necessarily your missus!) It's immense to play live with the tempo changes etcetera - the crowd go mental! I love how it's recorded which is amazing really considering we'd gigged the night before, been blind drunk and the bass player had had zero sleep!"
"Hard To Find"
"One of my very favourite Kartica songs. To me, musically, it sums up everything about what Kartica should be and are. The lyrics are about keeping things simple and not having your thoughts clouded by surrounding nonsense. It's about perspective; most things are sorted pretty easily if you take a step back. 'It's getting hard to find, but it's easy to see'."
"Fortnight From Now"
"I love this one although I would say that because I sing it! Recorded in five hours from start to finish in what was meant to be the first of two studio sessions; it came out so well I didn't want to change anything about it. Lyrically, it's basically about not being afraid to make decisions; sometimes you've gotta make your mind up and embrace change. Positivity all the way. There's also a touch of sentiment in there which I'm a sucker for, to be honest."
"Dare To Dream"
 "Written by Hooky so you'd have to speak to him about the lyrical content. My take on it is that it's about sticking together, not worrying too much and looking forwards; telling someone close to you that you've got their back no matter what. The riff is beyond epic in my opinion."
"Just The Way We Like It"
"Again, an absolute live winner. It's just catchy rock and roll with a massive, uplifting chorus. That's what music is all about as far as I'm concerned. It's about unity, hope and belief."
Be sure to bag yourself a copy of this EP it's going to be a rare gem one day! Also, if you happen to be in Sheffield on the 29th March be sure to get along to the Bar Abbey on Abbeydale Road to see Kartica perform live as part of 'The Underground Gig'! It promises to be a good night and the performance is being filmed!
Hope you enjoyed this feature on Kartica! Check out our previous feature on The  Most!
Check out Kartica here - https://www.facebook.com/Karticamusic

Get your copy of 'Last Gang In Town' here - http://kartica.bandcamp.com/
You can also like our facebook page to keep up to date with all future interviews at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords

Saturday, 25 January 2014

AUTO-DESTRUCTIVE ART: A little review of Swedish beat band The Most's debut album "Auto-Destructive Art"!

Below is our review of The Most's brilliant debut album 'Auto-Destructive Art'! There are also some excerpts from out interview with Magnus and Frans from last year for you to enjoy!
To stay up to date with future interviews like our facebook page at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords
"If you're a fan of all things sixties then this one's for you. Swedish beat band The Most have steadily been increasing their fan base and garnering acclaim for over a decade before the release of the piece of art that is their debut album, 'Auto-Destructive Art'. From start to finish, the album is high-energy, adrenaline-fuelled rock and roll. The opening track, 'Problems', demonstrates the sixties influence straight away as the catchy track dissolves into a reprise of the Small Faces' 'What'cha Gonna Do About It'. It only gets better from there as the lead single, 'So Wrong', demonstrates some fine jangling guitar a la Byrds with some superb harmonising vocals. Meanwhile, 'Spiderman' brings back memories of the 'Batman Theme' as covered by bands such as The Who, The Jam and the brilliant Link Wray, however, it still retains the uniqueness of any track by The Most. The album continues on the same course with the vicious, aggressive vocals that 'She's A Sensation' is set to. This track also features the fine backdrop of some Little Richard-esque rock and roll piano which is never a bad thing. 'Do You Wanna Know' sounds seductive and charming with rumbling bass and infection guitar hooks while 'Beat Girl' revives the jangly Byrds guitar that was heard earlier and also features some percussion reminiscent of The Byrds too. The album concludes with the exceptional combo that is 'Blow Your Mind' and 'Stickin' Out With You'. Bring on the second album!"
1 - "So Wrong"
2 - "Really Good"
3 - "Blow Your Mind"
4 - "Problems"
How would you describe the sound of The Most?

Magnus: "Beat music."

You have a very retro look about you as a band and your music also harks back to the sixties beat boom. Do you consider yourself to be a retro band and what do you find so inspirational about the sixties?
Frans: "First of all, what we do comes absolutely naturally. Subconsciously we draw inspiration from what we like but most of the time it might be from the same roots as most sixties bands, that is, delta blues, bluegrass, black soul and R&B."
Magnus: "There are three things that make a good song: melody, groove and energy." 
Your latest single is called 'So Wrong'. What is the song itself about and what influenced it?
Frans: "The vulnerability of human nature...sounds pretentious doesn't it! And that it's OK to be wrong, we love you anyway...haha."

Excepts of interview taken from our interview with Frans and Magnus from last year!
Hope you enjoyed this feature on The Most! Check out our previous feature on Moon Party!
Check out The Most here - https://www.facebook.com/FaceTheMost

You can also like our facebook page to keep up to date with all future interviews at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords


Friday, 24 January 2014

YOUNG LOVE: We review Moon Party's brilliant new single "Caught Up"!

Below is our feature on Moon Party's brand new single "Caught Up". It features a review and some excerpts from an interview that we did with them earlier this month. To see the full interview click here - http://aldorabritainrecords.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/below-is-our-superb-rocksynthpop-duo.html
To stay up to date with future interviews like our facebook page at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords
"So, here it is, the triumphant return of Glasgow's very own Moon Party. After the release of an EP last year, the duo have kicked off 2014 with a bang in the form of a brand new single entitled 'Caught Up'. The song itself introduces itself with infection synths backed by a rattling hi-hat. This is then complimented with a Brandon Flowers-esque vocal. The song itself is about the love hate relationship that band member Tom Kearns has with Glasgow's nightlife and judging by the upbeat nature of the track it seems to be more about the 'love' than the 'hate'! The tune grows and builds with a catchy chorus that will surly be electric live. Overall, a brilliant synthpop tune with tinges of rock and roll - what more can we ask for."
The new single is called ‘Caught Up’. The song is reminiscent of some of The Killers’ recordings. Was this the direction you were trying to go in?
Tom: "Not particularly. We get compared to them a lot which is cool of course but I think there's more to us than that."
Lee: "They do tend to find their way into a lot of our stuff as they are huge for both of us."
Tom: "The band that got me into writing music, really."
Lee: "But in the studio the influences being banded about were M83, Phoenix, A Flock Of Seagulls, New Order and other eighties stuff. We're both eighties daft."
What is the song about and what influenced it?
Tom: "It's half about the love/hate relationship I have with the Glasgow nightlife, and half about girls. Those two things go hand in hand I suppose. I'd say at least half of our songs are at least half about girls."
Hope you enjoyed this feature on Moon Party! Check out our previous feature on The Ragamuffins!
Listen to and download "Caught Up" for free here - https://soundcloud.com/moon-party/caught-up
You can also like our facebook page to keep up to date with all future interviews at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

THE BENEFITS OF A DOWNHILL PAPER ROUND: A review and a track by track of The Ragamuffins' latest offering!

The Ragamuffins’s avatar
Below is our review of The Ragamuffins' EP 'The Benefits Of A Downhill Paper Round'. In the second half of the feature you can also find a 'track by track' from The Ragamuffins' very own David Jaggs. 
To stay up to date with future interviews and reviews like our facebook page at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords
PART 1 - "AB SAYS..."
Below we review The Ragamuffins exceptional EP 'The Benefits Of A Downhill Paper Round'!
"The Ragamuffins latest EP 'The Benefits Of A Downhill Paper Round' is a fine outing all together. Everything from the packaging (see picture above), to the artwork, to the tile, to the most important part, the music, is exceptional. Upon receiving the CD package you will be immediately blown away by the amount of time that The Ragamuffins spend in making sure that their fans have a proper little present instead of just a plain old EP. The CD is packaged within an envelope with logo and title featured upon. Within the envelope, is the beautifully presented artwork of the EP itself along with a small Ragamuffins badge. The CD itself has a vinyl effect to it getting across the band's retro side. Anyway, the EP itself makes an impressive entrance with a Coral-like riff on 'Shoegazing'. Driving drums and rollicking bass then come into the frame as the song makes its way to the 'kids on the war path chorus' which will surely be a sing-a-long point in live shows. The backing vocals are spot on in this opening track as well. Following 'Shoegazing' is the EP's two finest tracks in the form of 'Fingernails & Fairytales' and 'Declan, Put Your Dancing Shoes On'. The former again can draw comparisons to The Coral whilst still retaining a certain 'uniqueness' while the latter is much more of a rocker which sounds reminiscent of a fellow up and coming band, Cheap Cuts (now renamed Man And The Echo). On the remaining two tracks The Ragamuffins explore a slightly more Latin, jazz style which is no bad thing! The closing track, 'Something To Shout About', is another highlight and certainty has the catchiest chorus on the EP. Overall, a fine mix of rock, soul and jazz. Definitely a band to keep an eye on!"
Below David Jaggs talks us through each track on the EP!
"This song had a comparatively huge gestation period which began when I was at the Liverpool vs. Napoli game at Anfield in 2010, specifically after seeing a group of about three or four very young Napoli lads surrounded by police outside the Albert pub and thinking how utterly terrified they looked. There'd been trouble in Naples a few weeks before the match at the away leg with some Liverpool lads being attacked in a restaurant I think by Italian ultras and so the atmosphere wasn't very hospitable around the ground to say the least. Just a few little words and phrases popped into my head when trying to keep my head down and get to the bus without any trouble, being a lover not a fighter and all that... Anyway, I was revisiting some lyric notebooks and found the ideas I'd jotted down and remembered this slightly chaotic guitar riff I'd written when getting my acoustic out on the top deck of a completely empty bus home after a night out which fitted in. When Florin started doubling the riff in practices and Xav had the drums rattling along with that almost Johnny Cash (or more recently Jake Bugg I suppose!) train rhythm and Alex added that utterly hypnotic bassline everything just seemed to fit together nicely so we went from there! It also made sense to call it 'Shoegazing', not to do with the eighties indie sub genre, but given most of the band's slight obsession with footwear, whether it's my stupid numbers of trainers, Sam and his hi-tops or Xav blowing a fortune on Oliver Sweeney shoes!"
Fingernails & Fairytales
"'Fingernails & Fairytales' is a re-recording of an older song that I'd demoed a few years ago and abandoned somewhat because the vocal never really managed to span that balance of fragility and tenderness it needed with the heartbroken subject matter, yet still sung 'well' enough with it being quite a high note in the choruses to lift the tune to make it work properly on record. In all honesty I don't think I was a good enough singer when I wrote the song but have got better vocally and as a musician and we worked out the harmonies better to give it an extra dimension. The solo started sounding really nice with the 12-string style guitar line going on. In terms of writing the song itself, it was the classic songwriter's thing of finding a new chord out and then straight away wanting to use it in a song with the menacing sounding diminished progression and melody in the verses."
Declan, Put Your Dancing Shoes On
"'Declan, Put Your Dancing Shoes On' is sort of a response song (in terms of the title at least) to Elvis Costello's 'Tramp The Dirt Down' that I wrote in the weeks after Margaret Thatcher's death, but more specifically after her actual funeral. The news was awash with sound bytes and anger and you couldn't help but come up with ideas off the back of that, especially when so many of the unsavoury things she did during her time as Prime Minister seemed to be getting glossed over. It's sort of meant to imagine some bizarre, trans-existential funeral service and wake with people both alive and dead, friend and foe turning up and offering their two-penneth to what's going on, and name-checks everyone from Bernard Ingham to Judy Garland. I put some mad synthesiser arpeggios and 'swooshes' on this because there was so much space without the bass in the verses it just felt like we COULD do something like that, and this immediately made me go back and do some similar sonic things on 'Shoegazing' because I was worried that it'd make 'Declan' sound a little musically isolated on the record if there weren't some similar musical themes!"
Eleven In The Afternoon
"'Eleven In The Afternoon' was trickier to record than it probably should have been. It's inception was a result of our former bassist and my good mate Paul dropping a wonderful 'Ringo-ism' (a la 'Hard Days Night' and 'Eight Days A Week') when attempting to organise meeting up, but is more about feeling guilty when wasting a day recovering from a night out and absolutely everything seems to wind you up. The opening ninth chord was another 'songwriter learns new chord' situation but the almost Latin, bossa feel was a bit of a joke originally and just the way I finger-plucked the chords when messing around in our practice room. I think Florin was initially impressed with the melody and chorus lyric which spurred me on to have a go at writing the whole thing but I thought it'd end up as a straighter, faster song. When we tried to do this however it sounded RUBBISH; it was very amateurish and had the teenage band sort of quiet/loud verse/chorus contrast thing you do when you first buy a distortion pedal and an electric guitar and form a band with your mates as a sixteen year old. I knew we could do much better and with a few breakbeat ideas from Xav the first bossa idea I had morphed into something that sounded like 'us'."
Something To Shout About
"'Something To Shout About' is a song about the perils of over-doing it on social media, but I was extremely conscious of how it'd look written down if I called it 'Nothing Much To Shout About' so changed the name accordingly. I wrote it all around that slightly odd chord pattern in the verses and the chiming post-chorus guitar and it just all seemed to make sense with Sam, our keys player firing out a Cuban style piano line in the intro. The tumbling trumpet line at the end seemed as good a way to close the EP as any as well! We were really, really happy with how the 'ah' backing vocals came out as an overdub in the last chorus as, sadly, we can't do them to quite that extent live (yet!) without audience participation, but it made sense and gave that bit of the song a massive lift."
Hope you enjoyed this feature on The Ragamuffins! Check out our previous feature on Dan Poole!
Check out The Ragamuffins here - https://www.facebook.com/theragamuffinsuk
You can also like our facebook page to keep up to date with all future interviews at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords

Monday, 20 January 2014

YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE: An exclusive interview with folk singer-songwriter Dan Poole!

Below is our interview with Dan Poole.
To stay up to date with future interviews and reviews like our facebook page at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords
What was your first musical memory and what pushed you towards pursuing a career in the record industry?
"I suppose my first musical memory consisted of mum and dad putting on a Stereophonics record, my little brother would grab the toy guitar, my big brother would turn the potty upside down to create a drum and I would grab the hair brush and then we’d jam out to 'More Life In A Tramps Vest'; but I suppose I didn’t really start to learn how to play until I found an old 25 key piano in my dads room that I sat and played all day long, teaching myself a new song every day."
What kind of records were on around the house when you were younger and would you say that these records still have an influence on your music today?
"My parents always put on original doo wop bands such as The Clovers, The Crests, The Penguins and a lot of rock 'n' roll stuff like The Beatles and Elvis. This music definitely taught me a lot about music, probably the same knowledge that I use today when I write songs."
Had you been involved with any other bands or projects prior to becoming a solo artist as Dan Poole?
"I was the bass player in a covers band called Hometown Heroes that was very different to what I actually do but it was all good fun."
Why did you choose to become a solo artist instead of forming a band?
"I have no friends to form a band with! I suppose I loved writing my own material and trying to empathize that with other band mates is a very hard thing to do, especially when you want the music to sound a certain way."
How would you describe the sound of Dan Poole?
"I suppose I would call my music folk with a sense of realism. There's a story behind every song, there's no sense of wonder about my songs, they say it how it is, whether it's offensive or polite, you’ll understand what it means."
What instruments do you play when performing your music?
"Acoustic guitar, although I would like to start playing a little bit of piano in the future."
You take pride in the fact that you are a completely DIY artist. Why have you chosen to do everything yourself instead of getting in professional photographers to take shots or producers to record with?
"Mainly, it’s cheaper! I know my way around a good recording and what will sound good in the studio, so why not save myself some money and record it myself. There’s no shame in starting out all by yourself, every band has been there."
Do you find that this approach makes the music making process easier and less pressurised?
"It can become hard organizing your own gigs and trying to send out emails to absolutely everyone asking for support slots but it can also be very rewarding when you get up on stage and there’s a crowd that have come especially to see you; it pays off."
You have made a number of your songs available online. One of these is ‘You Are Who You Are'. What is this song about and what influenced it?
"There seems to be an evidential growth of vintage fashion in the last few years, some I can accept, some I can’t. Fashion and pop culture has always been around, but there seems to be an incredible irony about taking a picture on an iPhone (a piece of technology far beyond the technology of the seventies or eighties) of yourself wearing some vintage jeans that you bought from a charity shop and adding a filter to it to make it seem like it belonged in the past. The song is basically ripping into every single person that has ever existed; it's not saying “don’t wear these clothes because I don’t like it,’ it’s saying that everyone is hipster, whether you like it or not."
Your debut EP is called ‘Anger’. Why did you choose this title?
"For the fact every song on the EP is a about a hate for something; a hate for pop culture, nights out, love songs and a girl called Caitlyn."
Do you have any 'rituals' before going on stage?
"I always like to listen to some good music, just on my own without any distractions. It’s usually my favourite song at the time."
Any live dates coming up?
"Yes playing live is my favourite thing to do so all my dates can be found on my facebook page."
Any new songs in the pipeline?
"I’m on a writing streak at the moment, so a few final touches to some songs and they’ll be available soon."
When can fans be expecting the next release?
"I’m full of surprises so you’ll have to wait and see."
Who would be your dream collaboration?
"The Lumineers (feat Dan Poole)."
Who would be in your dream super group?
"Tim Minchin on piano, John Mayer on guitar, Nate Reuss on vocals, Animal (The Muppets) on drums and Tupac Shakur on tuba."
Favourite Beatle?
"Stuart Sutcliffe."
Favourite band?
"Four Year Strong."
Favourite new band?
"The Lumineers."
Favourite song?
"Sigh No More, Mumford & Sons."
Favourite album?
"Love Ire and Song, Frank Turner."
Vinyl, CD or download?
Style icon?
"Boy George."
Favourite clothing brand?
"Whatever fits me."
Favourite film?
"It's A Wonderful Life."
Favourite TV show?
Who would play you in a film of your life?
"John Hurt."
Favourite food?
Football team?
Hope you enjoyed this feature on Dan Poole! Check out our previous feature on Vincent Vocoder Voice!
Check out Dan Poole here - https://www.facebook.com/TheDanielPoole
You can also like our facebook page to keep up to date with all future interviews at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/aldorabritainrecords