Interviews

 

We are honoured to publish this interview with Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies otherwise known, as the Smoke Fairies.
 
RCUK: Congratulations on a brilliant debut album, what was the biggest motivation for both of you to make music a career?
J- We will always enjoy writing songs so there is a motivation to get your songs heard but I think we are also stubborn. When we were teenagers we decided music was what we wanted to do. As kids feeling trapped in a small town the idea of touring and travelling was very appealing.  It’s an ambition that is often met with negativity. You just get laughed at when you tell the school career's adviser and your family that that is what you are going to do. After dedicating so many years to music it gets to the point where there isn't an option to stop and do anything else.
 
 RCUK: What were the major influences on the style of your music and song narrations?
K- when we were growing up, Jessica's mum's record collection was full of classic 70s albums like Crosby Stills and Nash, Grateful Dead, America, then acoustic blues guitar players started to appeal to us. Later we worked as car park attendants so we could get into the Sidmouth Folk Festival that was really inspiring in a more English folk orientated way.Most of what we do now I think came originally from watching and learning from folk and blues players.
Then when we got older, we moved away from the UK for a couple of years, living in New Orleans for a year and later Vancouver, drawing off the swampy vibes of the former and the space and beauty of the latter. Nowadays, we are more settled but with touring there are still a lot of opportunities for drawing off the experience of feeling somewhat transient. There is a lot of loss and nostalgia that still creeps into the lyrics. We like to create an atmosphere whenever possible, draw the listener into a strange place that might be unfamiliar and mysterious. The narrations are often quite personal, but sometimes veiled slightly under the guise of a certain scene, I think it’s just drawn from times when we have felt unsettled and slightly lost ourselves. Life can be chaotic and that always comes out it the songs.
 
 

Currently on tour in the U.S. and Canada, we caught up with Patrick Park after the release of his new album,  ‘Come What Will’ 

 

1. Was your approach to this album any different from your previous records? 

 
PP- It was different in that the songs were very fresh when I recorded them. Usually it seems like you have songs that have been finished for a while before you record them. But in the case of "Come What Will" I would finish a song one day, and then go in and record it the next day. Or in some cases that night.
 
 
2. The new album is delightful for a sunny day or Sunday morning, When writing material do you ever think about where/when people will be listening to your songs?
 
 
PP- No, I don't ever think about how people will react or where they'll listen to my songs. I just try to focus on what I'm doing, everything else is out of my control.
 
 
3. The album would fit nicely on to a vinyl LP but the CD has more space. Was it that 10 songs was the end of the cycle for this album?
 
 
PP- I always try to think of the album as a whole, so there were songs that were left over, but these 10 were the ones that went best together. I pretty much listen to only vinyl if I have a choice, so maybe that was subconscious.
 
 
4. We love the Banjo? Is there one on the album?
 
 
PP- There sure is, but it is low and more of a layering thing. It's on Silence and Storm. Maybe on the next record which I'm already working on, will have more banjo songs. I love playing the banjo.
 
 
 

The Rock Club is absolutely delighted to have an interview with Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub as, our very first interviewee on the site.

 

We asked everyone on our mail list for their questions and Norman’s replies are below. Teenage Fanclub kick off a U.K. tour on 1st May at the Camden Crawl and release their latest album ‘Shadows’ on 31st May.

 

Thanks to Jim in our Toronto office for putting the interview together.

 

The Interview

 

Pete:

 

You played Bandwagonesque at the Forum a few years’ back as part of the ATP Don't Look Back series. How was that? Can you see the Band doing something similar with other albums?

 

 

NB: It was fun. Brendan O'Hare who played drums on the album rejoined for the shows, of which we did three in total. Would we do it again? Really not sure to be honest.

 

 

When on tour, where is the nearest thing to the best home cooked food? I'm told the Colchester Arts Centre supplies a mean curry.

 

NB: Local knowledge is where it's at and very often the promoter will take you somewhere good.

 

 

Are the Band playing Glastonbury or any festivals this year?

 

NB: Nothing planned so far. I think we may be a little too late with our release to have a realistic chance of playing at any festivals this year. Big Day Out perhaps?

 

 

Any thoughts about writing the story of the band so far?

 

NB: We had a potted history on our website at one point. The Wikipedia is wildly inaccurate.