Songs To Learn And Sing – Exlovers, Emmy The Great And Tim Wheeler. Plus Scouse Gits and Action Aid.

“Starlight, Starlight” By Exlovers.

Almost time for us bloggers to start tipping who we hope will do well in 2012,  well here’s a spoiler, exlovers are definitely on our  list. They may not be new kids on the block but their debut album  ‘Moth’ is due in Spring next year and promises to be one of our (and hopefully your) major musical highlights in 2012. “Starlight, Starlight” is available as a free download (above) and hints at, rather like an elegantly flaunted stocking top,  the promise yet to come. We are excited !   With another single due early next year Exlovers will be rounding off 2011 with  a headline show at London’s XOYO on 16th December.

Here’s an interview we did earlier in the year

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Emmy The Great And Tim Wheeler Xmas Album.

Lets face it after pasty faced, unctuous, slug-man George Osborne’s latest gloomy economic  announcements we could do with something to cheer us up. So we have two suggestions, close your eyes and  picture George being dragged, cold, naked and sobbing along the south bank to be unceremoniously deposited in the Thames by an angry public, who have said “no more. ” Chortle as his shrill falsetto screams for clemency provoke nothing more than bitter but totally justified laughter and scorn from the angry mob. Ahem… or alternatively check out Emmy The Great  and Ash’s Tim Wheeler’s Christmas album ( more on this later in the week). They were apparently going to be called Sleigher at one stage , which of course would have left my love of woeful puns fully sated, anyway here’s a freebie to get you feeling a little bit festive.

Christmas Day (I Wish I Was Surfing)By Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler.

Ohhh and a video packed with festive cheesiness  in which, somewhat disturbingly, Tim manages to look 12 years old. I do hope the landlord of the hostelry in the video insisted on some form of appropriate ID, or it’s fizzy pop all the way for you young man.

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In Other news , watch out, it’s the Scouse GITS

Locally  we hear news of The GIT Awards, created by Liverpool music blog getintothis.co.uk,  aimed at celebrating and promoting Merseyside’s upcoming new musical talent. From the thriving hip hop scene to its electronica artists, from its long-established country and roots community to punk, folk and metal, the GIT Award is open to all. Peter Guy, Liverpool ECHO journalist and editor of Getintothis, says, ‘Think of it as the Scouse Mercury Prize – but, the only criteria being that it has a clear connection with Liverpool; ie: the record was made, produced or recorded by Liverpudlians. Prizes include   a day’s free recording time with a top producer, while the winners will play next year’s Liverpool Sound City and Liverpool Music Week. Vice Magazine, meanwhile, has asked Getintothis to promote an exclusive gig at their London-based bar, The Old Blue Last, featuring the winners.

On top of this, Skelmersdale film-maker Ian Gamester, who has been shortlisted for the prestigious Virgin Media Shorts film, will make the band’s video promo which will be screened at FACT’s boutique Box cinema

Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool Music Week, Cream, Creamfields, Vice Magazine, The Quietus, Liverpool Vision, ACME, It’s Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, Culture Liverpool, FACT Cinema and Art Gallery, Liverpool Museum, Probe Records, The Music Consortium, Bido Lito! Magazine, WAXXX Magazine, Sandhills Recording Studios, Elevator Studios, The Motor Museum Recording Studios, Dawsons, Resurrection, Lost Art, LIPA, Weavers Door, Bold Street Coffee, The Green Cauldron, Cains Brewery, The Bluecoat, Static Gallery, The Masque, Leaf, Sentric, CMU Daily, EVOL, Mellotone, Harvest Sun, Samizdat, Another Media, Obscenic, Mercy, Hive Collective, Jon Hillcock’s New Noise, UR BEATZ, Seven Streets and Liverpool Live. To apply send your four tracks to getintothis@gmail.com Or alternatively post to Peter Guy, The GIT Award, Liverpool Daily Post & ECHO, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L693EB. Closing date: Spring 2012. Exact date TBC

We applaud anything that promotes new music as undoubtedly times have never been tougher for musicians , hindered by an assemblage of philistine  fuckwits (ie the government) that places zero value on the arts. This, despite the fast that the arts  is a huge export earner for the UK economy,  worth around £16 billion.

Add in the fact that Liverpool 08 was the most successful European Capital of Culture ever, with 15 million cultural tourists and £800 million worth of local economic benefit and you can see why the Tories policies are loathed and despised here in scouseland ( and beyond.)

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Action Aid

We are not ones to generally cut and paste PR’s but this is a worthwhile cause. In fact to set the ball rolling I’ll donate to keep Everything Everything away from a recording studio for the next five years. But jesting aside….

The charity ActionAid today launches the world’s first ever emergency music network, backed by music stars including The Wombats, Everything Everything, Chapel Club, Cancer Bats and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. ActionAid Live is a nationwide network of bands, musicians, promoters and venues primed to spring into action and raise funds the next time a humanitarian emergency strikes in one of the world’s most vulnerable areas.

Radio 1 DJ and ActionAid ambassador Huw Stephens said: “When an emergency strikes – whether it’s an earthquake, flood or tsunami – we all want to do what we can to help. ActionAid Live brings together music fans, bands and promoters in a united effort to save lives both in those vital first few days following a disaster and in the long term.

“I’ve seen for myself the amazing work ActionAid does, and they’re one of the most inspiring charities out there – by raising money for them in an emergency, the money you raise will make the biggest difference possible.”

Bands, musicians and promoters can now sign up to ActionAid Live at www.actionaid.org.uk/live to support the humanitarian response during the next big emergency by putting on a fundraising gig – or donating money from an existing show they’re already involved with – creating a UK-wide network of events united to raise money and save lives.

ActionAid Live launches on 22 November as part of the charity’s wider emergency fundraising network, called the Global Emergencies Team. This is a way for every individual – whether they’re in a band or not – to get involved in an emergency response: hundreds of people around the country all set to fundraise, whether in their workplace or local community. To find out more about the wider emergency network, visit www.actionaid.org.uk/team.

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On Tour With Dum Dum Girls.

Dum Dum Girls Live  -Photo - Andy Von Pip - Fac251 Manchester

Ok  I will accept that the title of this post might be construed as a tad misleading and has perhaps strayed over into the more  deluded realms  of ‘optimistic,’ “on tour ,with Dum Dum Girls? ” Well one can dream.  For clarity what I actually mean is I caught them twice in as many days on the UK leg of their European tour,  first at FAC251 in Manchester, then  just over the Welsh border at Central Station in Wrexham. Two places whose musical heritage couldn’t be more antithetical, Manchester of course  has a fabulous musical legacy, giving the world The Smiths, Joy Division, The Stone Roses, The Fall, The Buzzcocks and New Order amongst others whilst Wrexham has  gifted us  erm, K-Klass….

Dum Dum Girls -Jules- Von Pip - Wrexham Central Station

Having caught Dum Dum Girls on a number of occasions over the past couple of years both performances demonstrated just how far they’ve evolved from what was essentially Dee Dee’s lofi bedroom project, into a fully fledged kiss-ass band of some distinction.  Sonically they have improved beyond measure expanding their musical palette whilst  still remaining faithful to their garagey roots, mixing 60’s girl group harmonies with the Ramones trademark head down full on speedball punk/pop fizz.  It goes without saying the band look stunning, hell, this is what a band SHOULD look like, all heartbreak n’ leathers and Dee Dee wearing her trademark “iconic look-in the making” stripped tights.  They rattle through songs from this year’s “He Gets Me High EP”, which in many ways acted as the bridge between their lo-fi debut album “I Will Be” to their second album “Only In Dreams.”  As with most groups the live sound is rawer and more jagged, lacking some of the studio polish and this fits in perfectly with the bands image and reputation, with guitarist Jules fusing a potent mixture of Johnny Marr ‘s chiming jangle, allied to twisted Mary Chain style guitar pedal distortion. Dee Dee’s vocals are pretty much bang on and she seems much more assured than on previous occasions, possibly the raw emotionally honesty of the songs allowing her to really let go, freeing her from the shyness which many have on occasion been misinterpreted as cool indifference. True, that during both gigs there is very little in the way of banter, but hey, if you want wise cracks go see a comedian; Dee Dee gives enough of herself musically, expressed through beautiful poignant poetic lyrics allied to the sort  perfect pop songs that exist “Only In Dreams” for many songwriters. The sort of songs written from the heart and  infused with a genuine emotion that  you simply can’t fake.   If that isn’t enough for you, why not fuck off to a corporate arena communal wank-a- long and listen to songs born at a record label focus group, for this is very much the real deal.

Dee Dee Dum Dum Girls -Photo By Andy Von Pip- Manchester.

Veronica Falls provided  support and played two sparkling sets which encompassed the majority of their superb debut album plus a couple of new tunes. Frenetically strummed guitars and melancholy appear to be Veronica Falls trade mark and they fuse classic pop,  a touch of 60’s doo-wop with late 80’s guitar jangle to concoct an intoxicating musical cocktail. I really hope this band become more widely known because the more I play this album the more I love it.  Great band and great performances.

A quick mention most be given to Retriever who were the first band on the bill at Manchester and Novelle in Wrexham. Newcastle’s  Retriever were  an  astonishing full on sonic ear shredding assault with driving beats, searing guitars, thundering bass all drawn together by  lead singer Jackie Miller’s strident, powerful vocals.  Novelle took the opening slot in Wrexham and performed a set shot through with frail melodies swimming under a wash of woozy shoegazy feedback . All in all a pretty perfect damn near perfect gig experience.

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The Von Pip Musical Express Podcast – Episode 7 – November 2011

The Von Pip Musical Express podcast featuring an eclectic mix of indie classics and the best new music around. This month we feature the awesomely excellent Two Wounded Birds, sure to be big in 2012 Beth Jeans Houghton, the dark majesty of The Bookhouse Boys, the frenetic sparkling beautiful melancholy of  Veronica Falls alongside indie gods such as  The Cure, The Jesus And Mary Chain And Magazine amongst others. Listen out for special guest appearances and maybe even a  Hollywood legend (or not!! 🙂 )

Listen below or via Mixcloud

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They Aint Heavy – Elephant Interview.

Elephant_theVonPipMusicalExpress

“Assembly” By Elephant.

Free Download over at Bandcamp!

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Memphis Industries are a record label I’ve admired for some time , a label that manages to pluck pearls from the raging sea of musical inanity and provide shelter and artistic succor  to a diverse mix of interesting artists ranging from the likes of Tokyo Police Club, The Pipettes, Frankie Rose and The Outs, Theoretical Girl, The Go Team right through to Dutch Uncles. One of their newest additions is electronic duo Elephant, consisting of Christian from Bristol and Amelia who is described as French-by-way-of-Pontefract (I think that sat nav may need fixing) and they certainly don’t disappoint.

They have just released their debut EP in the wake of a couple of well received 7”s which serves to consolidate the view that Elephant are a genuinely talented and beguiling proposition and really should be, in a sane world,  mentioned by many of the ubiquitous year end ‘ones to watch lists”  that bloggers and zines will soon be unleashing. Sounding  rather like a softer more emotionally connected Dubstar, or possibly a more carnal St Etienne the EP boasts a level of sophistication and lightness of touch that is a rare in a pop world that  thrives on “in your face” bombastic production, death by  Vocoder and OTT showboating. Elephant’s minimalist approach produces music that is full of languid, sensual beauty and haunting elegance proving that less is so often much, much more.

And Amelia not only posses one of those pure, crystalline voices to die for, she also has an uncommon talent in that she can keep singing whilst enjoying a full on snog with Christian as showcased on their previous video for ‘Allure’ (see below.)

So we grabbed the bull by the horns, or if you prefer, the Elephant by the tusks and chatted to the duo.

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VP:  Tell us some more about Elephant, who you are, what inspires you and what your hopes and dreams are?

Amelia: I’m Amelia Rivas my main hope is to clear my student debt. But my biggest dream is to be able to buy a huge house by the sea that I can have all my favourite people living in, where it is just footsteps away to catch my own squid. I will be the head chef of the house, and Jamie Oliver will be my assistant

Christian: I always thought the method behind making music was to be able to create the idealistic genre and sound that combined all sources of inspirations and emotions. I guess it’s almost like painting, a documentation of what I am getting my kicks off. My hope is to create a record that has longevity. My favourite records are those ones you didn’t grasp in the first few spins, but unravelled after persistence (Portishead, Dummy).

VP:  When you met did how long before you started talking music and how did the decision to create ‘Elephant’ come to pass?

Christian: Both of us have always been creating in one way or another, when we met we just needed some way to capture the sparks that were setting the bar on fire, and I guess Elephant was the medium we chose to express that emotion. Elephant seems almost like a very personal diary that is being thrown out for everyone to read.

Amelia: As soon as I met Christian, we agreed to meet up and make music, Elephant was immediately born. We had the same musical influences and work together so easily it was remarkable.

VP:  .Musically it would be fair to say it’s haunting, evocative somewhat ethereal, did you plan to make music that had this sort of vibe or did it happen ‘organically’ ( as they say these days?)

Christian: Everything we do happens organically. We start with a thought and build it up until it translates physically. Most of our songs are about escapism, realised through Amelia’s dreams. She sleeps with her notebook under her pillow these days.

Amelia:  Yes my lyrics are usually about my dreams. I have the most ridiculous, vivid, terrifying dreams so I think this most probably transpires into the music. This was never intentional; I wish my dreams would stop, especially when I wake up thinking my teeth have fallen out.

I think the music became quite eerie as a result of us having extremely long writing sessions. Our songs are usually made in the early hours of the morning, when the bad people of the world are just coming home.

VP: Your debut  EP Assembly contains four beautiful synth pop gems , are these an indication of what we can expect  on the album, which I’m believe you’re going to France soon to finish ?

Christian: We have a very strong idea of what the album is going to be, but it is very far away from any sort of written thing yet. We have hundred of sounds, concepts ideas and memories that need to be collated together. We’ve started writing the second album before the first, and now we need to go back and reassess. It’s a funny way of working.

Amelia: The album is a hurricane of new influences. We are really excited about the progress of it. Lots of 80’s synth solos with children’s screaming all over it. We are really hoping to be able to escape to France, I want to leave London and bury my head in a pile of cheese and pop music.

VP: Does Elephant still just consist of the two of you or have you expanded?

Christian: Just me and Amelia. We have other players and contributors, but we are a duo at heart

Amelia: The two of us still write the music, but live we have a new keyboard player Colin. He is tall and Swedish.

VP: You’re signed with Memphis Industries, how did that come about?

Christian: Memphis are like a family to us. They told us that they missed nurturing a London based band, as they had been dealing with a lot of American acts and I guess we fitted the bill.

Amelia: I knew Memphis from my last band UltCult. When I started Elephant I emailed Ollie our first demo, and foolishly he liked it. They are great; they get me really drunk for free.

VP: How do you rate 2011 for new music?  Good bad or meh . What have been your favourites?

Christian: Autumn has been amazing for releases, some of my favourites have been Active Child, Real Estate, Tom Waits, Twin Sister, Sleep Over, Future Islands. I think there is so much rivalry and competition now it just makes me even more ambitious to make an innovative record next year.

Amelia: I am not great explorer of new music. I don’t know how people go about finding it. I keep going back to golden oldie tracks, Earth Wind and Fire are my favourite at the minute. However, I do like a band called ‘Friends’. My mate played the track ‘I’m His Girl’ to me last night and I’ve been listening to it on repeat ever since.

VP: I always assume that people who are purveyors of electronica live a dazzlingly  futuristic existence serviced by a butler robot in a world  filled with all manner of amazing gadgets. I may of course be wrong, but what are your fave gadgets, musical or otherwise and what hasn’t been invented that would improve life immeasurably?? …..

Amelia: I am not good with technology. I have been a loyal Nokia owner all my life, it’s about all the technology I can handle. If I could acquire any musical instrument it would be a golden keytar, I haven’t persuaded the label to buy me one yet. 

Christian: I think the iPad is bullshit, well that’s my starting ground. I don’t believe in new technology or gadgets being that exciting, it’s reinventing old technologies that inspire me, and giving them a modernist twist. Of course the slow induction of cheaper home recording products has really influenced the music industry. Our advance with Memphis for the album was upgrading my home recording set up. I think that’s the way the industry is moving: independence.

VP:  How do you enjoy music, do you download , stream, prefer the physical aesthetic or is it a mixture of all.  How do you see the delivery of music evolving in the future? 

Amelia: I think live music has become the most important element of music. It is the only way artists can get any money, everyone is downloading left, right and centre (including me)

VP: Finally five words to describe Elephant would be……

Christian: Hypnotic, Fragile, Haunting, Dreamscape, Uplifting

Amelia: funky, tragic, bewildered, awesome, drunk.

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Songs To Learn And Sing – Retriever, The Jezabels and Lampchop.

Retriever, The Jezabels and Lampchop.

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Retriever.

Retriever

If you follow us on Facebook the eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted the occasional reference to Dum Dum Girls. And in something straight out of To Kill A Mocking Alan we’ve been following them around the north of England (more on that this week) 🙂 anyway Retriever were supporting the DD’s in Manchester and we were suitably impressed and here’s why.

Volcano” By Retriever

Their latest split single  is available from bandcamp

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The Jezabels Free Download.

The Jezabels will be releasing a new single “Trycolour” on Monday 12th December 2011 , but you can download it for free here. If you missed our interview with them go here to rectify the matter forthwith. 😉

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Lambchop Free Download.

“If Not I’ll Just Die” By Lambchop.

This could well be Lampchops last album entitled ‘Mr M’ there is a piece of art to accompany each track and its due for release in February 2012. It was written by Kurt Wagner who was working through with his grief at the loss of his freind Vic Chesnutt. Wagner explains. “As I worked, I was approached by Mark Nevers (former full time band member & producer for the likes of Andrew Bird and Will Oldham) with the idea of making another Lambchop record. He had a concept of a sound and a method that worked with the tone of my writing. His idea was a kind of ‘psycha-Sinatra’ sound, one that involved the arranging of strings and other sounds in a more open and yet complex way.

It was a studio creation, not a type of recording based on band performance, and this was a radical approach for us. I felt Lambchop had one more good record in us, and this time I was going to do things as directly and true to my desires as possible.”

Songs To Learn And Sing – Tashaki Miyaki, Loved Ones, The Raveonettes, Eugene McGuiness, Little Comets.

This Week Tashaki Miyaki, Loved Ones, The Raveonettes, Eugene McGuiness, Little Comets.

 

Just a quick one this week as I’m in the middle of decorating, getting a new PC built and  …zzzz…ok, ok on to the music…

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Tashaki Miyaki.

Tashaki Myaki - The Von Pip Musical Express

“Something Is Better Than Nothing” By Tashaki Miyaki

First up is Tashaki Miyaki who aren’t distant relatives of Keisuke Miyagi but are in fact a Californian collective who specialise in impeccable reverb soaked dream pop of the highest order. They’ve already been described as sounding like a female Jesus And Mary Chain (hang on wasn’t that Sister Vanilla ?) and their debut EP shows plenty of promise. It’s available now on bandcamp the tracklisting is as follows.

1. ‘Somethin’ Better Than Nothin”
2. ‘Happiness’
3. ‘Keep Me In Mind’
4. ‘Get It Right’

Bonus tracks available on Bandcamp
5. ‘Heartbeat’ (Buddy Holly Cover)
6. ‘Somethin’ Better Than Nothin” (Alt Version)
7. ‘Keep Me In Mind’ (Alt Version)
8. ‘Get It Right’ (Alt Version)

‘Heartbeat’ (Buddy Holly Cover) By Tashaki Miyaki.

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 Loved Ones.

Here’s a turn up! A band from my domicile of the Wirral. Even better a band from Merseyside who don’t attempt to play that god-awful faux Beatles/La’s/Cast shtick which is almost as tiresome as Micahel McIntyre’s ‘comedy’. This is fucking rather lovely, ethereal and hypnotic.  What with Adele from Bird, Liz  Green Nigel Blackwell and ahem, us, things on the this side of the water are looking up

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The Raveonettes.

The Raveonettes are not renown for being a band who happily march along path of least resistance and  release what they claim is the least commercial song off their recent “Raven In The Grave” album, in what they claim is an ‘anti-single’.  Whatever the politics behind it’s release it still manages to sound way better than 99% of big label releases! Long may they continue to rant and rave !

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Eugene McGuiness.

We’ve caught Eugene live on a number of occasions and he’s never failed to impress. Energetic, charismatic with a hint of a young Edwyn Collins about him. Well he’s back complete with a sharp suit, slicked back hair and dancers who could teach Thom Yorke what rhythm is all about. It’s quite a different sound from his earlier work and it’s as infectious as a Euro debt crisis but heaps more fun.  A big year in 2012 for Eugene we fancy! (and no that’s not “Yoda speak”  to say  we fancy Eugene what we mean is … ah forget it, enjoy the video below and grab a free download here

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Little Comets.

Worry’ By Little Comets.

Little Comets return with more of their danceable indie, This is the lead from their new Ep ‘Worry’ and after a slow start builds into the sort of tune that takes residence in your head and refuses to leave even if the mayor Of New York DEMANDS it ( democracy fail). But hey we like it so there will be no tear gas here.

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Dark Romance – The Jezabels Interview.

The Jezabels Interview Von Pip Express

“Endless Summer” By The Jezabels.

“Disco Biscuit Love” By The Jezabels.

Australian quartet The Jezabels are a band who readily admit they “love a bit of drama” and you half suspect that they could transform something as mundane as strolling to procure the Sunday morning newspaper into a soaring epic, angst ridden song about heartache, lost love, separation and redemption.  We’ve previously described them as  a band on the cusp of greatness in a  panel piece for Music Week  (HERE) and confidently expect them to be massive in 2012. However to really appreciate just how huge they sound, we’d suggest you catch them live at your earliest convenience as that’s where the band blow their audiences’ proverbial socks off.  The focal point is Hayley Mary’s astonishing voice (cue headlines such as “Hail Mary etc etc ”) which swoops and soars through an impressive array of vocal gymnastics whilst wringing pure emotion from every syllable. However unlike that other barrage balloon lunged chanteuse Florence Welch, she doesn’t resort to histrionic caterwauling or contrived mystical incense and candles new age wankery.

She can sound as dark and dramatic as Kate Bush in full on Brontë-esque gothic mode and as tender yet tough as Chrissie Hynde  with an added emo pop/rock sensibility that should guarantee airplay and mainstream success. Despite such comparisons there’s a unique quality to Hayley’s voice, when you hear her you know exactly who it is and let’s face it that’s not something you could say of the identikit reality show singers and sexless robotic RnB dry humpers that are dropped from betwixt the pallid buttocks of the big labels with depressing regularity.

However if it’s Hayley’s vocals that draw your enormous flapping moth like ears to the Jezabel flame you’ll soon discover that the band are also as tight Kylie’s hot pants replete with ominous thundering drums that sound like the presage to a great storm,( I’m not sure if Nik utilises the  traditional drumstick or  borrows a couple of ‘Thor’s Hammers,’ 😉 )  Heather’s expansive keyboard flourishes and Sam Lockwood’s immense guitar licks. They are indeed a formidable sonic unit and Hayley admits that despite their different musical backgrounds, unity is strength.

“Nik[drums] is obsessed with metal. He’s a perpetual ball of rhythm. Heather is a classical pianist who has the advantage of not really knowing the rules of rock. Sam is the earthing element. He likes organic country-folk so he balances that theatrical, over- the-top, almost ’80s thing we have…”

Their debut album, ‘Prisoner’ went straight in at No 2 in the Australian iTunes chart only being kept off the No1 spot by the seemingly immovable object that is Adele  and were also the only multiple winners at Australia’s recent Independent Music Awards in Melbourne.

The band return to the UK for a one-off show on at Heaven, London on Tuesday 29th November (For tickets visit: http://www.livenation.co.uk/artist/the-jezabels-tickets_) ahead of their UK album release in the New Year.  We spoke to keyboard player Heather Shannon about, amongst other things, the prospect of ‘going global.’

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VP: Hello!  Your debut album was gone to the top of the charts in Australia, you regularly sell sold out shows, and now you’re getting recognition around the world.  Have you come to terms with the fact that the Jezabels are now being recognised and appreciated globally?

HEATHER :  It is quite hard to comes to terms with. The more we travel though, the more you get used to it. We are so lucky to be able to play our music almost anywhere in the world….The internet is a wonderful thing. I don’t think you could have done what we have done in such a short amount of time 10-15 years ago.

VP: .I first saw you live during Liverpool’s Soundcity  at the Aussie showcase BBQ, and within minutes everybody was transfixed- a kind of  collective “wow” moment.  As a band are you aware of the kind of effect you can have on an audience? Which live shows have really stood out for you this year?

HEATHER :  I think you definitely know when you have had a magical show. It’s something that you can feel in the room. Although, in bigger venues it is harder to discern how the show is going as you are so far away from the audience. In those circumstances you just have to put your head down and enjoy it, and hope that everyone else is too. We are just coming to the end of our Australian tour and it has been the biggest one we have done. I think coming from Sydney, playing at the Enmore Theatre there meant a lot to us.

VP: You’re  touring the US and Canada with just one UK at London’s Heaven on 29th November- Will you be back in the UK in the year on the back of the album release over here ?

HEATHER :  Yes we will be back over there to tour hopefully early next year. We are going to spend a lot of time over there!! Very exciting….

VP:  You’ve said previously that since you came together as a band you’ve spent a lot of time reconciling your musical differences – Does this musical tension add to the drama of the music The Jezabels produce? Because let’s face it is pretty dramatic.

HEATHER :   Yes, I guess it does subconsciously. We have to be able to satisfy each and every one of us creatively, so sometimes things get over the top….but individually we are quite dramatic people. We like to be entertained and affected emotionally, so we endeavour to produce that effect ourselves in our audiences.

VP:  Is it difficult , as you’ve done in 2011, to get used to playing smaller venues in Europe after playing the bigger ones back in Oz? What’s been the strangest small gig you’ve ever played?

HEATHER :  It has been a little difficult. It’s also a nice experience though, because its more intimate. It’s kind of sad when the intimate shows turn into great big performances, exciting, but also a little sad. A connection with the audience is felt more keenly in smaller rooms. I think one of the weirdest was when we were starting out in Australia we played in the corner of an Irish pub to about seven people. That was pretty funny.

VP: With regard to ‘Prisoner’ , I heard  that you had some pretty tight time constraints and that your producer  Lachlan Mitchell would love you to go full on  ‘black metal’  🙂  Was the recording process enjoyable, stressful, both?

HEATHER :  It was both. I think time constraints are good in a way, because it forces you to make decisions and not over think. Although, it does create high levels of stress. Lachlan has a band called Nazxul which is a black metal band. I think his black metal influences rubbed off on us in some ways, especially when we were recording and writing tracks such as ‘Nobody Nowhere’ and ‘Prisoner’

VP: What’s the album cover all about?  🙂

HEATHER :  We had previously released a trilogy of ep’s and Chris Doyle – the man responsible for the beautiful artwork – created three different portraits for the covers. We wanted to try something quite different for the album artwork so we went for the slightly disrupted in some way landscape pictures. I think this suited the wider and more diverse feeling of our new music. The Australian landscape is so diverse that we felt it important to identify our music with it.

VP:  Song writing?  All bands/artists work differently so how about The Jezabels? Do you all write songs separately and then present them to be fleshed out as a band?

HEATHER :  We all write the songs all together from the start basically. There is a lot of back and forth-ing between the four of us. If someone is stuck on an idea, then someone else is there to offer up something new. At first it was a very slow process for us. But as time has gone on, we have become better and more efficient at it. It seems as though the basis of the song comes first – structure, harmony, melody, rhythmic ideas etc, and then Hayley will write the lyrics much later. The lyrics along with the tonal qualities of the music seem to be the uniting element in the songs.

VP:  Has the whole social media/networking scene been a huge help to the band, . Is the ripple effect of the net somewhat overstated or has it been a major factor in getting your music out into the world?

HEATHER :  I don’ think it has been overstated. Is there any other way to get stuff out there to unknown places so quickly??? It has had a huge effect on out touring. We have been able to sell out shows all over the world because of it. (Thanks Danny Macaskill!) Things like Facebook and our band email account are really valuable to us too. We stay very much in touch with our fans.

VP: The best and worst things about touring are….?

HEATHER :  -Worst – lack of sleep

 Best – too many to really say……the travelling in general, writing, meeting people…..

VP:  We, along with others have been predicting huge success for you in the UK for a while now, and 2012 should see it happen…sooo – if we spoke in a year’s time what would you have liked to have achieved musically?

HEATHER :  Hmmmmm……musically….. I will like to have learnt all our new songs off the album and be able to play them REALLY WELL!!! Hahaha…and hopefully have some new material brewing. I hope we can satisfy UK crowds and make them feel good when they watch us play.

VP:  Five words to describe ‘Prisoner’

HEATHER :  I always feel like a wanker when I have to describe our music, but I’ll try…..this is what it sounds like to me – exciting, disruptive, emotional, genuine, dark.

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