Friday, 5 June 2009

Cherbourg Interview

London folksters Cherbourg played the Royal Park Cellars on Thursday. I had a quick chat before the show with Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones from the band about their new EP 'Into The Dark', an upcoming album and the 'London Folk Scene'.

How did you get together as a band?

Kevin Jones: Well, Davie (singer/guitar) went to school with Phil (fiddle/guitar) and they played together in a band called Davie Fiddle And The Lucky Egg for a while. Me and Chris (drums) were playing in a separate band at the time. We all became friends, then Chris's and my band split up. We wanted to keep playing together and then, well I'm not sure how it happened really, but [Cherbourg] happened.

Did you have an idea of the kind of music you wanted to play when you started out or did it take a while to find your 'sound'?

Andrew Davie: I think when we first started [what we were playing] was really quite folky. We would have a song and everything else would just sit behind it. There would be standard bass parts, standard drumming, the song was what mattered; nothing else did. Now, we seem to have moved quite a long way from that; we're going into rockier pastures at the moment. We're writing now to be able to record an album in September and, to be honest, it's quite hard to tell now what that's even going to sound like.

KJ: It's still evolving, I guess. Although I think we are starting to get a fairly clear idea now of what we're trying to achieve.

You released your first EP "Last Chapter of Dreaming" in February and your new EP "Into the Dark" was out on Monday. Do you see the second record as a continuation of the first or do you see it taking a new direction?

AD: I think [the new EP] is a continuation; six of the eight songs - that span across the two EPs - were written in the same two week period. There's continuation lyrically, definitely. We even use the same line on both EPs. I think [the sound] has evolved; we've moved slightly more towards electric guitars, the violin is still there but it's not quite as prominent as it was on the first record.

What is the song writing process like for you? Do you write collaboratively or does one person write everything? How does it work?

KJ: Normally Davie writes the main body of a song. Not always though, sometimes Phil writes songs. Some songs come together in two minutes but with some we have to really work on to make them feel right. It really depends on the song.

AD: Also, I think we're not necessarily trying to do the obvious thing. We want to serve the song and make it sound as good as possible by highlighting its good bits. We're also keen to keep it interesting; as much for ourselves as much as for the listener. I'm quite interested in 'tension and release' in songs.

It seems that you are often compared to the likes of Mumford & Sons and Noah And The Whale. I wondered how you felt about being placed in that "London folk scene"? Do you like that label or is it just a pain now?

AD: It's really nice in some ways but its, well it's not irritating, but I just don't think it's quite correct.

KJ: Its confusing because we are really good friends with those people - Mumford & Son, Alessi's Ark, Laura Marling – and when we started out, it made sense to make those comparisons more. But where we are now; not so much. But it's an honour, nevertheless, to be compared to bands like that because they're all fantastic.

AD: We were all friends quite a while ago. There was a place called the Bosun's Locker where people used to hang out and write songs, everyone knew everyone. At that point it was just singer-songwriters going down to a pub for a laugh and showing each other what they were doing. All the bands have shot out from that and are doing their own different things and the comparisons were made all the time. I always think it's quite weird that people talk about a London 'folk scene'; it should be labelled that after its really established. I don't feel like it's quite there yet, to be honest. Only two bands at the moment – Laura Marling and Noah And The Whale – are the only ones anyone has heard on a really wide scale; on a Radio 1 type level.

Is it encouraging though to see that those two bands have 'made it'?

KJ: Yeah, very much so.

You're on a fairly lengthy tour at the moment. How's it going?

AD: Pretty good.

KJ: Yeah, it's been really fun.

Have you played much outside of London before?

KJ: No, we've done a couple of supports before but there are a lot of places on the tour that we're playing for the first time. So it's quite exciting to play new places.

How are the shows going, do people seem receptive to the music?

AD: Yeah, definitely. People are a lot nicer outside of London [laughs].

Finally, what have you got planned for the next few months. Are you playing any festivals over the summer?

KJ: Yeah, we're playing Bloom Festival, Blissfields Festival and Lounge on the Farm. But we didn't want to overdo the festivals because of the album; we want to get really stuck in and involved with that. We're having a summer of working and writing, I guess.

AD: Album, album, album!

1 comment:

  1. What's up it's me, I am also visiting this website regularly, this site is truly nice
    and the users are genuinely sharing nice thoughts.

    Also visit my web site; Zahngold Rechner


Site Meter