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Interview: The Bleeding Knees Club

26 Mar

Far from boy scouts, it’s all rambunctious fun, frolics, and F-bombs when The Bleeding Knees Club are about.

Rahsian Taylor Parris for Music News

 

 

 

When Music News first laid ears on The Bleeding Knees Club we got a little excited, though somewhat confused by the young duo from Oz and their tempestuous, but appealingly brazen surf punk. Needless to say, we couldn’t go without a quick chat with the guys, whom with their puerile charm, got us that little bit more excited, and yes, a little bit more confused.
Music News: So you’re called The Bleeding Knees Club? That’s different, what’s the story behind your name?

The Bleeding Knees Club: We knew this kid once who was in a homosexual cult and he would tell us all these f****ed up stories about the rituals they had to do, and one of the rituals he explained was called ‘the bleeding knees club’, and we thought the name sounded cool.

MN: So how did you guys meet?

BKC: We have known each other since were like two-years-old, and then when we were about 19, we were both jobless and had nothing to do, so we decided to start a band to occupy some of the spare time.

MN: Great way to pass the time. Are there any artists or types of music that influence your sound?

BKC: Yeah, we like Garage bands, Punk bands, Blues bands and Doo-wop bands

MN: Is there anyone you really want to collaborate with?

BKC: Yes! Susan Boyle

MN: Sounds like a match made in heaven, we’ll look out for her on your next album. Speaking of which, your debut’s coming out early this year, what was it like recording your first album?

BKC: It was really rad! We were in NYC for five weeks just hanging out and stuff, and we had Dev Haynes as our producer, which was pretty cool.

MN: As we know, you’re from Australia, but you’ve been travelling quite a bit, where has been your favourite place so far?

BKC: We really like New York. We’ve been there a bunch of times now and we like it more and more every time we go back. There is so much to do and so many good bands playing all the time.

MN: Your music’s quite unruly, which member of the band is the worst behaved? What’s the most unruly thing you’ve done?

BKC: Haha, no idea. We both have our moments, but Jordan nearly killed someone once.

MN: Cults and killing people, this Bleeding Knees Club sounds a bit mad, what would we have to do to join?

BKC: No one can join our club.

MN: Oh…we’re a little sad, but okay.
Your live performances are quite renowned, what are you thinking when you’re on stage?

BKC: We’re usually thinking about what we had for dinner.

MN: We thought you’d be thinking about teenage girl. What’s the story behind that track anyways?

BKC: It’s kind of about when you’ve been hanging out with a girl for a while and they start to get annoying, but for some reason you can’t tell them to go away. Or it could be about being a paedophile…

MN: Wow! Hopefully it’s the first one.
You must party a lot, what happens if you’re out and your own song comes on, what do you do?

BKC: We’d leave the party.

MN: That sucks, we’d totally stay.
So, apart from the album, what are you guys up to next, and will we see you back in the UK?

BKC: Yeah! We’re planning on coming back to the UK to do some shows this year, and then we will hopefully go back to the USA to play the South By South West festival.

MN: Excellent! We’ll look forward to hearing from you again. In the mean time, try not to kill anyone.

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Tinie Tempah @ KoKo – Camden

8 Nov

 

Words by Rahsian Parris

It’s Wednesday night in Camden Town and the geek specs are out in full force. No prescription required. Hoards of Tinie Tempahs line the perimeter of London’s KoKo waiting to see their hero. Despite how slowly the line seems to be moving, there is still pushing and squeezing past bodies as 2,000 plus Tinie Tempah fans struggle to get into the venue. They must get in first, they must get a good view, lens-less 3D glasses or not. Screams of excitement fill the middle balcony as the crowd swim past presenter Reggie Yates who obligingly stops for a few photos (less obliging when asked for directions).

The first support act came and went in the blink of an eye, can anybody remember his name? Nope, didn’t think so. Second up was G-Fresh who obviously had a good time the night before as he could barely talk let alone rap. Disappointing to say the least. With intervals of Grime/Pop DJ-ing, the supporting gem of the night was stand-out R ‘n’ B act and Tinie BFF Bluey Robinson. Solid performance, fantastic vocals and generally great songs, notably his rendition of King’s Of Leon’s ‘Sex on Fire’ and Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’; crowd pleasers amongst the not so Grime inclined. When X Factor stars One Direction, Cher Lloyd and Mary Byrne decided to make their presence known within the crowd there were head turns and screams from most of the crowd. Though, when Bluey commented “Oh is Cher Lloyd here?” a wave boos swept through venue like a bad smell.

Last but not least was Philadelphia’s Chiddy Bang who trawled through a few songs before impressing with his crowd inspired ‘freestyle’. His drummer warned us that we would be converted, he was right. It felt like hours (it literally was) before Tinie Tempah finally arrived on stage to flashing lights and dramatic drums. Opening with ‘Simply Unstoppable’, Tempah emerged, energetic and sprightly, dressed in all black; gilet, T-shirt, shorts and trainers and of course Wayfarers.

One thing about Tinie Tempah is that he likes to talk. He made a point of chatting and introducing his songs. Though still humble since picking up several music awards this year, his talking became tiring, especially during his sermon-like speech about ‘letting go of your obsessions’. “You need to know when it’s time to let go of whatever it is you’re obsessed about” he preached, “whether it’s drugs, alcohol, sex…”, he went on before track ‘Obsession’. It would have been a touching moment of self-awareness for many had he not downed two shots of Jack Daniels straight after. Be that as it may, the show in general was one of class and high standards. Highlights included ‘Wonderman’ with superstar Ellie Goulding and P Diddy’s ‘Hello Goodmorning’ with Grime favourite Tinchy Stryder.

What is endearing about Tinie Tempah is his seemingly grounded nature despite his sudden rise from rags to riches. However, this felt threatened by what was almost the ‘Tinie Tempah and Friends Show’ when after star appeared either on stage or in the crowd. Bringing X Factor hopefuls One Direction, Cher Lloyd and Mary Byrne onto the stage during the finale was one big cheese fest; thankfully hidden in part by the excessive use of confetti. Though the fact remains that his ability to do such things whilst remaining highly respected within his genre is testament to his commercial potential. The question that now stands is can he put on consistently good shows minus the help of his celebrity friends?

 

 

Check out more from Tinie Tempah @ TaleTela.com

Backstage With: Ocean Colour Scene – Guitarist Steven Cradock talks turning 21

20 Oct

 

Words by Rahsian Parris

The Ocean Colour Scene story is the stuff of rock star dreams. A career spanning 21 years, nine studio albums including the 2010 release ‘Saturday’ and with a brand new greatest hits, aptly named ‘21’, out this week; it’s easy to think they would be the envy of every wannabe rocker this side of the Atlantic. However, though they were at the forefront of the 90s Britpop movement along with Oasis and Blur they never quite managed to have the chart success that their two counterparts had. Be that as it may, the band have always had a very loyal following and through Oasis’ tantrums and eventual disbandment and Blur’s in-house politics, OCS have consistently remained the last ones standing. We recently caught up with the band’s legendary guitarist Steven Craddock (also guitarist for Paul Weller’s band) backstage at the finale of the bands recent tour to talk about how Britain’s most undercover rockers have managed to stay in the game for 21 years and what’s really behind the magic of their ever popular tunes.

The OCS dressing room is sans glamour and sans ego with the band’s family, including a bundle of gorgeous children, scurrying around as everyone gets prepped for the groups impending show at the Royal Albert Hall. Steven walks in casually and slumps down in a chair, he looks tired. “I’m alright cheers, but I’ve got a bit of flu to be honest with you, I’ve been sweating and feeling horrible, but I’m on Lemsip” he says slightly snuffled, “I’m Lemsipped off my bollocks” he laughs and though visibly under the weather, still manages to be far more concerned with how I am and ordering bottles of water and tea for everyone in the room. You can tell he’s a family man, enjoys looking after people and has clearly mastered the art of balancing being a doting father backstage and an animated rocker on stage.

The band formed in 1989 and it seems as if it’s starting to show, “It’s strange, we’ve just seen the Universal boxsets [for the album] today for the first time and I suppose that’s how old we are. When you look at the pictures of you, you don’t think you’re ageing that much, but then when you look at the pictures from then you can’t really run away from it.” They have had more releases than most current bands have had hot meals, but has the band itself changed at all musically? “I don’t think we have really. I think we still play the same sort of folk music”, he pauses the mood changing ever so slightly “maybe that’s been a drawback for us, but we’ve not gone more radical and started using keyboards, we’ve not been changed by the fashion because we’re classic. People can also say we’re boring though, there’s always two sides to the story isn’t there? You can say we’re boring, that it’s the same old sound, but at the same time if a song’s classic it’s classic.”

There is an attraction to OCS songs that mean that even after a brief listen, they stay firmly in your mind. Whether it is something in the lyrics or something melodic, they always have the ability to pull you in, often, without you even knowing whom it is. This may be the reason why, although they have a large following, their actual releases haven’t made a dent in the charts since the 90s. Steven comments on this saying “We find it hard to get radio play, although having said that. We did get radio play on the last single, ‘Magic Carpet Days’, but I think you just have to go with what you believe in. It would have to be quite desperate for us to start writing outspoken pop songs.”

In terms of the actual writing process and the bands ability to churn out catchy hooks at every given opportunity, Steven says Simon, the bands front man, is where the magic is. “It’s because of his use of language, it sets the band aside from anyone else. The way he sings when he comes up with a good lyric, that makes it classic.” So the band’s success is all down to Simon’s magic words? He also quips that using the same chord progression in every song is helpful. “Using G D E minor for 21 years, it’s the same old shit everyone’s been using since guitars were played. You go to C for the middle eight, E minor for the outro” he says very matter-of-fact.

However, even a golden chord progression cannot make up for the pressures of trying to top the charts. Steven says that the band have always been up against chart failings and feelings that they were just not cutting it anymore, especially when Oasis were busy taking over the airwaves, but maintains that being more like Oasis was not their thing “they were so beautiful and gifted and gobby weren’t they? I don’t think we’ve ever been like that. There are lots of bands that have false attitudes but they never did.”

A combination of catchy songs and “not employing crazy PR people” means that Ocean Colour Scene have managed to build their name and stay in the consciousness of folk loving Brits for over two decades without succumbing to the woes of being ‘pop’, as Steven says “we do what we love doing, just not on a mainstream level”. So 21 years on, they are seemingly just as low key and quietly appreciative of their success and love of their fans as before, “we’re not doing anything big to celebrate, just playing this show and having a few beers after”. Modest and almost shy of the bands legendary status as always, it goes as no surprise that despite having played hundreds of shows to hundreds of thousands of people, playing the Royal Albert Hall 21 years down the line is the highlight of his career.

Ocean Colour Scene’s greatest hits ‘21’ is out NOW.

http://www.oceancolourscene.com/

 

Rahsian Parris for Music News

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