Why don’t we start off with introducing yourself to our readers, tell us a bit about where you're from and what you do?
We are a four piece, acoustic-leaning group with members from Wigan and Southport, consisting of female and male vocals, violin, acoustic guitar and bass guitar. We perform self-written songs and some covers (when we can all agree on which covers to do!) Whilst we could not be said to be in the first flush of youth, we describe ourselves tongue-in-cheek as “just a bunch of kids with a crazy dream”, but really we just love to write, record and perform music.
Tell us a little bit about your recent/previous work?
Most recently we have recorded an eleven song album “When We Were Astronauts and Other Stories”, produced by Merry Hell’s John Kettle at The Music Projects in Wigan. We are very proud of the album, which has had great reviews on respected sites like FATEA and Folking.com, and has received airplay on many acoustic music shows throughout the UK and overseas. We have played some great gigs, large and small, and had a good time doing it. Some standouts for us are playing on the main stage twice at the marvellous Wigan Diggers Festival, St Helens Citadel, Liverpool Folk On The Dock and two really enjoyable gigs at Hebden Bridge Folk Festival in 2018. We also did two sessions for Liverpool based TV music show Made in Liverpool, which was great fun.
What influences or who influences your work?
We each have different and varied musical tastes - Of our main songwriters, Singer/guitarist Pete would say people like Roy Harper, Glen Hansard, Josh Ritter and XTC are favourites, Cherlene says “Joan Osbourne, Alanis Morissette (Jagged Little Pill was the soundtrack to my teenage years, as was Hole’s Live through this), Traditional folk music, Kate Rusby and I love love love Alison Kraus”. Violinist Dave is a fan of The Men They Couldn’t Hang and The Wonderstuff, while Bassist Paul is currently into Fairport Convention and Afro Celt Sound System… But we also are regular visitors to local folk clubs and Open Mics, and constantly on the lookout for interesting music. As far as song subjects go, it’s anything that interests us. We have songs about trees (The Trysting Tree, about a traditional meeting place in the days before facebook) and herring fishing in Northern Scotland (Silver Darlings, about a small fishing community facing an uncertain future). But the occasional simple love song will appear too.
Do you have any upcoming projects or things you would like to do?
We are currently writing new material and lining up gigs for the coming year. We would like to play more cafés and intimate venues where people come to listen to original music and a few covers, so if you know of anywhere let us know! Some of our most enjoyable gigs have been in these kind of places. And we’re always happy to return to the Old Courts, we have played in every live room there and always love it.
What does your usual Sunday look like?
Not very rock and roll to be honest! We tend to spend time with our families on Sunday, with the odd trip out to an Open Mic session if we are available.
What are your views on the music scene in Wigan?
It’s very healthy. There are a lot of great venues hosting music - The Old Courts of course, but also places like Wigan Central, Tap and Barrel, and there is a great monthly “Snug Session” at the Old Pear Tree. It’s great that people of all ages can go out and play or enjoy lots of music in the town. There’s something happening somewhere almost every night, from singarounds at The Bowling Green and Springfield to major bands visiting The Old Courts and Boulevard.
What is your fondest memory of The Old Courts?
Ah, well now… Being the first band to perform on the new theatre stage (supporting Simply Dylan) was a great night, but I think what we remember most fondly is when singer Pete and violinist Dave turned up to one of the first Friday Night Live sessions in the old Bailiff Bar back when the Old Courts was just opened, we asked Michelle if we could play a few songs (she said yes) and we found the venue to be really welcoming and supportive, we also met Lindsey and Rob that night, and have returned many times since.
Is there anything you would like our readers to know?
Probably that if you are a musician at any stage of your development and any age, you should go to one of the events in Wigan and get yourself heard. The encouragement and support you will receive can only help you to progress. We love this town!
We would like to thank Vision Thing for joining us today and also for their continued involvement with The Old Courts.