Tag Archives: Tall Ships

Time On Their Side: Tall Ships Interview

9 Nov

Norwich Sound & Vision was not the first time Tall Ships had visited our fine city, not even the first time they had come to play at what they called ”possibly the best small venue in the country. None of their previous appearances are likely to have been so anticipated mind you, coming just five days after the release of their long-awaited and near universally acclaimed debut album, Everything Touching, they are on almost everyone’s must see list for the festival.

”We thought we’d written a good record so I guess we were quietly confident but the reaction’s been incredible”, explains Jamie Bush (drums and designated primary spokesman). “It’s been slightly overwhelming to be honest”.

They are warmly welcomed by fans and friends alike and seem in good spirits but the day has not run smoothly so far. Their arrival in Norwich was delayed and soundcheck too ran late, thanks in part to a monitor blowing before they even got to start. The venue bar is quickly filling up with eager fans while the guys are still on stage and to top it all off, when we catch up with them they still don’t have anywhere to stay in the city once the show is over. Sitting down with us then, in a room stacked high with more chairs than is strictly necessary, is probably the last thing they want to do at that moment.

Collectively they are considered and intelligent, almost reserved, with Jamie and Ric (Phethean, guitar and vocals) interchanging their responses. Answers are not just thrown out and you can tell they prefer to take their time to say the right thing than to just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. It’s a trait that is found in Everything Touching, which was originally planned for a much earlier release, but as Jamie notes, “We didn’t wanna rush the songs or how we could approach them live, we wanted to make the best we could”. Ric elucidates further. “It took as long as it needed to really cause the writing process is very very slow and we did a lot of work on the songs in the studio”.

We experimented a lot

Indeed this is the first time the band has recorded in a studio, their second EP was recorded in a shack on a sand dune, and they admit it did take them a while to get settled in this new environment. Once comfortable, they found more benefits than just the set-up. “It was lovely having the luxury of time which was something we hadn’t had on the previous records,” says Jamie. ”We’ve chosen to take two songs off the previous two EPs and actually expand them to what we originally would of liked them to sound like due to the fact we had all this time and time in the studio to really play”.

With time came freedom to play how they wanted and try sounds out. It is something the band has been blessed with throughout their career so far and Ric acknowledges how fortunate they have been. ”We’re lucky ‘cause we’ve always been able to do what we want to do really. In fact there were no expectations of what it would sound like you know? We’re not just a straight up guitar band, we can kind of do what we wanted. Yeah, we experimented a lot”.

Jamie agrees, “No-one’s ever told us what to do. Our record label, the guy who runs it, he’s great. When we went in, he was like ‘can you record 10 songs?’. That was the only quota we had, so it was great”.

Though it took a long time, they give no indication that recording was in anyway stressful, which may explain their eagerness to return to the studio. With the tour in full swing and plenty of hullaballoo surrounding the release of the album, you’d expect them to want to take some time to soak it all in and relax. Not so Jamie says, a fire has been lit within them and they want to crack on. ”We’re quite hungry to write our second record cause we’ve been sat on this for almost [all] of this year. So I think we’re really ready to write, and after being in the studio for so long I think we’re gonna be a lot more comfortable going back in. We’re really excited about writing some really massive songs”.

Time is a luxury they have been afforded throughout their career but for now, following a day of delays and mishaps, it has run out. Elsewhere in the venue sets are starting and the guys must leave the room of chairs behind them and prepare for their own. As they rush off to get ready we are minded of their apparent rush to get on with recording new material as well as the rapidity with which their debut has been embraced and championed by fans. Maybe, just maybe, this is the start of things speeding up for Tall Ships.


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Summing up the City – Our Closing Thoughts on Norwich Sound & Vision 2012

20 Oct

This time last week, the Norwich Sound & Vision Festival was preparing for its final day of conference panels and night of gigs across the city. In its third year, and its first to incorporate the John Peel name into its music element, the festival was bigger and more successful than ever before.

Our personal experience was almost entirely positive as we enjoyed interesting panel discussions (particularly on the role of the critic and opportunities for artists to get their music on the radio) and amazing gigs (as we outlined in our day by day reviews). Yes there was the odd bump in the road but it was a three day festival and conference across multiple venues with around 100 artists performing and countless panellists speaking, that there were so few bumps was a testament to the team involved.

But what makes a festival such as NSV so important to the city and its residents? It was heartening to see so many different people in attendance, particularly during the day for the conference. College kids, musicians, video makers, PR reps, managers and music fans alike came to learn and hear the opinions of some significant players within the industry. It gave them the kind of exposure to, and opportunity to interact with, people who would otherwise be out of their and our reach. Opportunities that are, unfortunately, few and far between in our fine city.

As positive as that was though, for us as music lovers and advocates of new music, it was the gigs that were the major draw. We’d not attended the festival previously but had heard good things about last year so bought our full delegate pass as a super early bird with no indication at all of who would be playing. When the initial line-up announcement was made, we were ecstatic for amongst the list of performers nestled two bands we’d been getting very excited about all year and never thought would come to Norwich, Vuvuvultures and Public Service Broadcasting. And that for us, was the point. A good number of bands do come to Norwich but given its relatively remote location, out here in the east, often the closest bands come is Cambridge, sometimes even just to London. Too often we would get excited by a forthcoming tour announcement only to be disappointed when Norwich wasn’t listed against the dates.

Norwich Sound & Vision has changed that and the new partnership with the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts has brought more and more bands to the city. Something that has excited Festival Director Adrian Cooke, as he explained to the Eastern Daily Press recently. ”I think people were really amazed at the quality of the bands they hadn’t heard of previously and that’s what we wanted.
“We had people from Norwich, records companies, people that travelled and it all worked. I think people who may have heard of Norwich Sound & Vision and didn’t know what it was are finally getting it – and how big and important it could become”.

Punters such as ourselves are the obvious beneficiaries of events such as NSV, with such a wide range of music available in fairly close proximity to one another. As Tall Ships quipped to us, ” It’s like a musical buffet”, and indeed it is. The freedom for people with festival passes to go to almost any show at any time is a massive draw and one that Public Service Broadcasting’s J. Willgoose Esq, picked up on, ” I think if somebody’s got a wristband for the whole thing, I think it’s nice to just waltz in and you know, listen to ten seconds and naff off when they realise it’s not for them!” Of course, with the ability to pootle down the road to try something else without having to spend any more money.

Not that there were many instances of people naffing off from gigs early. Adrian Cooke noted to the EDP that the response to the performers had been overwhelmingly positive. “ We’ve had lots of emails, tweets, Facebook messages and all from people saying they had a good time. I think people were really amazed at the quality of the bands they hadn’t heard of previously and that’s what we wanted”.

It is not only the punters who have a positive experience, it is of benefit to the artists as well. Every band we spoke to over the three days agreed that festivals such as NSV are important to them. Harmony of Vuvuvultures told us, ”It’s good because you get to be shown to everyone in one go. Whereas if you’re in London you’re constantly trying to get people to come down to gigs and it can be quite hard and you end up doing 5 gigs for the amount of people you might get to one gig here”. Laurie from Hey Sholay agreed, ”[Some] people aren’t aware of a lot of bands at our level because you don’t necessarily get the coverage that other bands get and people always need to be aware that there is a kind of a DIY sub-culture going on, and that there’s people who are kind of at an intermediate level, of a self-funded, enjoying music kind of thing. So it’s perfect for us, it gives us a platform”.

Of course, the bands can often be punters too and many did take time to watch other shows before or after their own and that is probably the most significant reason why festivals such as NSV are important and successful. It affords music lovers of all kinds, be they artists themselves, PR, A&R, Managers, Bloggers, Critics, or just casual listeners, the opportunity to come together and share their mutual passion. Everyone we spoke to over the three days was extremely friendly and enjoying themselves. All the volunteers and organisers were extremely helpful and accommodating to all enquiries and requests and the city could not have had a better three days of music.

They have set the bar extremely high but work has already started on next year’s festival and we can’t wait. Roll on 2013.

Sights of the City – Norwich Sound & Vision In Pictures

19 Oct

First we previewed Norwich Sound & Vision then, having enjoyed a fabulous three days of music, we gave a quick review of all the shows we were able to take in (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). Now it is time to share some of the sights.

We were lucky to have two extremely talented photographers in attendance over the course of the festival, and below are 22 of the amazing shots that they took. Enjoy!

Thursday

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Eugene McGuinnes

Grasshouse

Friday

Cold Specks
Cold Specks

Nobis
Nobis

Palma Violets
Palma Violets

DSC_0470

Paws
Paws

Paws

Bwani Junction
Bwani Junction

Vuvuvultures
Vuvuvultures

Vuvuvultures

Saturday

Public Service Broadcasting
Public Service Broadcast

Public Service Broadcast

Dad Rocks!
Dad Rocks!

Dad Rocks!

Tall Ships
Tall Ships

Tall Ships

Neutrinos
The Neutrinos+

Common Tongue
Common Tongue

Photo Credits:
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Eugene McGuinnes, Grasshouse – Sarah Ann Corlett
Cold Specks, Nobis, Palma Violets, Paws, Bwani Junction, Vuvuvultures, Public Service Broadcasting, Dad Rocks!, Tall Ships, The Neutrinos, Common Tongue – Adam Shoesmith

Sounds of the City: Norwich Sound & Vision – Saturday 13 October Review

18 Oct

Here we all are then, at the last of our three posts on the gigs of Norwich Sound and Vision 2012. We do have more to say and share about the festival (more on that below) but for now, let’s just reminisce together about another day of blinding music.

God Damn
The evening began as it would end, with us atop the balcony in the Arts Centre, a band playing in the bar below. It wouldn’t end with our bones shaking and ears near bleeding though, which is where we started with God Damn. By jingo this lot are rawkus. This kind of metal doesn’t really do anything for us truth be told but there can be no denying their presence and that amongst the shredding riffs, cacophonous drums and screaming vocals, there were some pretty solid tunes to be found.



Tall Ships
The Arts Centre was packed for the return of Tall Ships to Norwich. Following the release of their debut album, to universal acclaim, at the start of the week, the crowd had flocked in for the show. They didn’t leave disappointed as, sounding tighter than a pair of cycling shorts on a 30-stone man, the three-piece rattled through tracks to the delight of friends, peers and punters.


HIGHLIGHT – Public Service Broadcasting
Our personal highlight of the festival, the boys from PSB put on a storming set of audio-visual delight. Wrigglesworth sounded immense as he pounded the skins to the side of the stage, while J. Willgoose, Esq. noodled and rocked on laptop and all manner of stringed instrument. Betwixt the two, a screen played clips that bore the now famous propaganda samples and more. Old favourite “Signal 30” made an appearance as did “ROYGBIV”, but it was the triumvirate of “Spitfire”, “London Can Take It” and set closer, “Everest” that really set pulses racing and got feet moving. The pair even managed a little digital banter with the crowd which went down a storm. A truly fantastic set that, we are pleased to say, impressed friends who had never heard the pair (don’t they read this blog??) so much they were straight in the merch queue at the end to buy The War Room.


Dad Rocks!
And so to close the festival, for us anyway – there were later gigs but after three days of rocking out, interviewing and filming sessions, these oldies were spent. We spent our last moments of Norwich Sound & Vision 2012 in the company of Dad Rocks! and we couldn’t think of a better finish. Led by the warm and engaging Snævar Albertsson, who dedicated tracks at will to friends and colleagues, the band guided us off on a charming bed of strings, horns and wonderful lyrics. Not even a broken guitar string could prevent Snævar from performing and sending us all home happy. It was the perfect end to a wonderful three days. Roll on NSV2013.


So that was our experience of the gigs of Norwich Sound & Vision 2012, if you missed them, you can click to read about Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned as well as we will soon be showing off some amazing gig photography from two extremely talented young photographers, as well as sharing a wonderful session we filmed with Dad Rocks!. Then of course there will be all the interviews we did with artists over the three days.

Live photo credit – Adam Shoesmith