Wednesday, 10 December 2014

SPARK TO START: The Spitfires brought their Standdown 2014 Tour to Edinburgh last month, we give the show a little review and catch up with frontman Billy!

The Spitfires brought their Standdown Tour to Edinburgh's Citrus Club last month. Support on the night came from Glasgow's very own Holy Pistol Club who brought with them their anthemic indie rock and roll. The Spitfires meanwhile played with a confidence and swagger that proves all too irresistible, the set itself was a mix of the old stuff and some mind-blowing new stuff that is expected to be on their debut studio album, out next year.
In this blog feature we catch up with Spitfires frontman Billy to chat about the debut album, the tour and some other stuff as well. We also give the Citrus Club show a review as well.
Hi Billy, thanks for chatting to me. You are currently in the middle of a nationwide tour, how is it going and how has the reaction been?
Billy: "It's been going great. The band have really gelled with these last few gigs and the reaction from the audiences has been brilliant."
Lots of bands highlight Scottish audiences as some of the best in the world. What did you think of your Edinburgh and Glasgow shows over the weekend?
Billy: "Scottish crowds are very passionate about music I think - they don't just like something, they love it. And Glasgow was a fantastic example of that for us. A very enjoyable weekend for all involved."
You also have played a show supporting The Specials quite recently. I know that you are a big fan of the band so how was it supporting them?
Billy: "That was brilliant for me as The Specials are one of my favourite bands of all time."
I've also heard that there is an album on the way. How is this coming along?
Billy: "The album is coming on nicely. We're about 3/4 finished at the moment."
What can the fans be expecting from the album?
Billy: "I don't think anyone is going to expect what the album is going to sound like - it's definitely a progression from anything we've done before."
What does the rest of the year hold for The Spitfires?
Billy: "We're touring right through till the end of December and finishing off the album in between."
When can we expect you back gigging in Scotland?
Billy: "Hopefully be back early next year!"
Final question for this part of the interview - who would be in your dream supergroup?
Billy: "The Small Faces are my dream supergroup!"
Favourite Beatle?
Billy: "Lennon."
Favourite band or singer?
Billy: "The Jam."
Favourite new band or singer?
Billy: "New Street Adventure."
Favourite song?
Billy: "At the moment, Gil Scott-Heron - The Needle's Eye."
Favourite album?
Billy: "All Mod Cons."
Dream collaboration?
Billy: "George Martin."
Vinyl, CD or download?
Billy: "Vinyl."
When you press shuffle on your iPod, what is the first track that comes on?
Billy: "The Clash - Clash City Rockers."
Style icon?
Billy: "Steve Marriott."
Favourite film?
Billy: "A Clockwork Orange."
Favourite TV show?
Billy: "Peaky Blinders."
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Billy: "I hope they never make a film about my life."
Favourite food?
Billy: "Indian."
Football team?
Billy: "The Style Council."
The Spitfires brought their Standdown Tour to Scotland just last month. First up was the Citrus Club in Edinburgh on a Saturday night.
Support was home-grown talent Holy Pistol Club who ripped through an eight song set with a certain confidence and Oasis-esque swagger. Set opener "Give Me Your Hands" was nothing short of magnificent and great to witness live, as was the superb "Get Off Your Boots". Despite some pretty extreme sound problems towards the end of the set and a less than lively crowd the Holy Pistol Club gave a good show which showcased their natural talent at what they do.
The Spitfires then took their places on the stage and went off with a bang with "From Cradle To Grave!". Despite being a brand new song it certainly got everyone in the mood for more mod-based punk rock and roll which The Spitfires do so well. "Tell Me" took things to an all new level and with Billy and Sam's shout of "now!" they blistered through, quite possibly, one of the best punk tunes of recent years with a menacing proficiency. The set continued in this vein - the full on, in your face,rock and roll approach with tracks including "2014", recent single "I'm Holdin' On", "Spark To Start" and the encore of "Escape Me".
The band also showcased a different side to their sound with the much slower "Spoke Too Soon", which features a bass line that could rival the one from "My Generation" or "Town Called Malice".
Throughout the night Billy showed all the signs of a natural born frontman and guitar player; he had the coolness of Paul Weller, combined with the mannerisms of Wilko Johnson, combined with the kicks and jumps of Miles Kane. Bassist Sam Long was much more restrained but still retained that coolness and confidence that signifies The Spitfires and drummer Matt Johnson was nothing less than exceptional with a style that come alternate between punk, rock and roll and ska with ease. A special mention must also go to the new addition to the band - keys player Chris Chanell who brings a whole new aspect to the sound and will be sure to add a unique twist to the upcoming debut album.
This band are definitely ones to watch in 2015!
Holy Pistol Club Setlist
Give Me Your Hands
Pray For The Stars
Get Your Boots Off
Big Bad World
By Your Side
Shake It
The Spitfires Setlist
From Cradle To Grave!
Tell Me
Words To Say
Stand Down
Spoke Too Soon
I'm Holdin' On
Spark To Start
Escape Me
Hope you enjoyed this feature on The Spitfires and the Holy Pistol Club! Be sure to check out our previous feature on Jeye T!
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Sunday, 7 December 2014

LAUGHING AT MIDNIGHT: We have a chat to indie rock and roller Jeye T about his career to date and his most recent single "Laughing At Midnight"!

Jeye T is fast becoming a legend on the underground indie rock scene. He has a had a huge 2014 which has seen him play the iconic T In The Park and release two singles, most recently "Laughing At Midnight". On top of this Jeye T can count Alan McGee, Bonehead and Gary Powell amongst his fan base. Surely the only way is up for this rock 'n' rolla!

Below we catch up with Jeye and discuss everything from his latest single to his dream supergroup! We also write up a review of "Laughing At Midnight"!



Hi Jeye, thanks for taking the time to chat to us. The first question we ask all bands is what was your first musical memory and what kind of records were on around the house when you were younger?

Jeye: "Hi Tom, how you doing? My first musical memory was growing up and watching Elvis in concert on VHS along with my dad who was a massive Elvis fan. Elvis was a true performer and a joy to watch. So to answer your question there was plenty of Elvis growing up."

For some of our readers that are unfamiliar with you and your music, can you give us a quick outline of your career to date?

Jeye: "I decided to get back into playing guitar and writing songs about 2010. After returning from holiday I was inspired to pick up the guitar and do it again after having not done anything since school. I wrote a few songs and went into the studio and demoed them. I then sent them to Alan McGee from Creation Records who was a big hero of mine in the music industry with the bands he signed, especially Oasis who were a great band. Then Alan booked me up to play his club Death Disco in London. So I played quite a few gigs as an acoustic artist in Alan's club and we got to know each other and became good friends and Alan introduced me to Gary of The Libertines who signed me to his label 25 Hour Convenience Store and we put out my debut EP 'Telescope Eye' with Gary on drums. I then got a backing band together up in Scotland and put out some singles and luckily enough I was spotted and invited to play T In The Park this year as well as the Commonwealth Games. So it's been a big year! The focus this year was more about the recording and putting songs out but I have been rewarded with the calibre of the gigs I've been invited to do this year. It's great to have influential friends in the industry like Alan and Gary who I still send my songs to before putting them out."

How would you describe your sound?

Jeye: "I used to wear my influences on my sleeve so I would say I used to sound like Nirvana and Oasis although this year I have decided to go a different direction and challenge myself to right a different type of tune. More of a tried and tested sound, more 50's, 60's, 70's sort of vibes which has been interesting."
You've received praise off many high profile figures in the music industry including Alan McGee and Gary Powell. How does it feel when people like this take notice?

Jeye: "It feels great when guys like Alan and Gary take notice and I can't thank Alan enough for his input and help by introducing me to Gary and the many influential people I have met over the years."
You've had a huge 2014 in which you've gigged regularly. One of the highlights must have been playing T In The Park. How was this?

Jeye: "When I heard I was playing T In The Park this year I found out two days before the show, so I wasn't really expecting it so I was buzzing. I always wanted to play T In The Park and I always believed I would play it one day. It's the UK's top festival in my opinion and to get a taster of it last year was phenomenal and I want more, but I need to keep writing and keep putting out songs and proving myself."

Your latest single is entitled "Laughing At Midnight". What influenced it and what is the song itself about?

Jeye: "The new single was written in five minutes. I wanted to write an old fashioned, 50's style, catchy, simplified song. Lyrically it's gibberish, it doesn't really mean anything to be honest. Though one thing's for sure, it has the groove."

What about the b-side "Saturday"?

Jeye: "The b-side 'Saturday' was influenced by the early Beatles. I was listening to 'The Red Album' and picked up the guitar after doing so and wrote 'Saturday'. Again it was written in five minutes with feel good simplified pop lyrics. I put a bit of distortion on the guitar at the end to stamp my own sound on it and give it a Beatles/punk sound and that was it really. Sent Alan McGee it, he loved it and appeared on the video which was shot on the iPhone and there you go, the b-side was made."

What is next for Jeye T?

Jeye: "Next for myself is to keep on writing songs and putting them out there and if people like them and buy them then that's a bonus."

Final question for the interview - who would be in your dream supergroup?

Jeye: "I could probably make loads of variations of dream groups but today my dream supergroup would be Kurt Cobain on vocals, Noel Gallagher on guitar, Slash on lead guitar, Dave Grohl on drums and Paul McCartney on bass guitar."


Favourite Beatle?

Jeye: "John Lennon."

Favourite band or singer?

Jeye: "Nirvana."

Favourite new band or singer?

Jeye: "Not really into new music so I'll go for One Direction!"

Favourite song?

Jeye: "My favourite song today would be Slide Away by Oasis."

Favourite album?

Jeye: "Oasis, (What's The Story) Morning Glory."

Dream collaboration?

Jeye: "My dream collaboration would be I'd write the songs, Liam Gallagher would sing them."

Vinyl, CD or download?

Jeye: "Would be cool to say vinyl but it's CD for me."

When you press shuffle on your iPod, what is the first track that comes on?

Jeye: "John Lennon - Imagine."

Style icon?

Jeye: "James Dean."

Favourite film?

Jeye: "Fight Club."

Favourite TV show?

Jeye: "EastEnders."

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Jeye: "Brad Pitt if he was younger."

Favourite food?

Jeye: "Econia extra hot sauce, I use it with anything; from curries to steak pie."

Football team?

Jeye: "Barcelona."


Jeye T's brand new single, entitled "Laughing At Midnight", is a strong indie rock and roll tune with a very pop sensibility. It is upbeat, infectiously catchy and effortlessly joyous. The tune has a very British feel too and could be seen as following in the legacy of The Kinks and Oasis to name just two. It certainly has a danceability to it also that would go down well within and outwith the mod subculture.

The b-side, "Saturday", is no filler and is certainly not a weak point at all. In fact it may be a stronger tune that the a-side! And, it may just be me, but the track seems to have a slight Buddy Holly feel to it - there's a simplicity in the lyrics and it has a feel of a modernised rock and roller. The melody also achieves an approach of simplicity whilst at the same time being soaring and breathtaking.

It is also good to see that Jeye T is not getting bogged down in the complexities and intricacies of a modern 'rock' song. That is, a four/five minute number, written with the vision of commercial success but failing to appeal to the mainstream or indeed the artist's fan base. Instead, Jeye T has stayed honest and true to himself. He has gone for the tried and test method - a two to three minute slice of infectiously catchy rock and roll. And after all, we cannot ask for more than that!

Hope you enjoyed this feature on Jeye T, be sure to check out our previous feature on The Duke, Detroit!

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