Category Archives: Listen

The M20 Collective X-mas no. 1 competition with ALL.fm, is back!

Winter is here and Christmas is coming. As the dark winter evenings set in, we all find ourselves looking for things to do with our time (don’t we?). The festive season can often be repetitive; the annoying same ol’ same ol’ especially when it comes to crimbo tunes. So, we’d like to spark some creativity again this year in the name of original music and community collaboration.

We’re going to push a local X-mas no.1! All you need to do is create an original X-mas song and submit it to us for the chance to sing LIVE on local radio station All.fm. This can be comedic, cynical, jolly or otherwise as long as its to do with christmas. The more unique the better, but we’re also looking to make connections with some really great local talent with this opportunity.

Submissions open 21st November 2016 – so get writing!

Terms and conditions do apply as follows: Continue reading The M20 Collective X-mas no. 1 competition with ALL.fm, is back!

Pareidolia the Formative Years: Brave or Brash Confidence?

Recently I was interviewed about the formation of Pareidolia the band which I have been part of since, well, officially 2013.. Unfortunately, I found that there were simply too many words for an interview, so, it being the week of our first EP Release I thought I would share my story with you about our formation.

pareidlolia-ep-pic

Pareidolia the Formative Years

The formation of the band has been a continual process of serendepity really which dates back to when Andy, Matt and I met on our first day in University Halls back in 2010.

By some very lucky twist of fate we were all placed in the same flat, which was quite lucky as there were only four people known to us that played music in our Halls, and we started to jam on our guitars.   There definitely was no plan in place for a band, our music was instead our retreat from the pissed lad culture that surrounded us / pissed lads playing guitar.

me-and-the-lads

Skip forward to 2012, in a shitty, rodent ifested nine bedroom house in the midst of Fallowfield, the fertile ground for the blossoming of the band was established. In an upstairs room we setup a drumkit for the first time and took it turns to play rhythm. I think at first, if my memory serves me right and understandably it was hazy during this time, this is where the first discussion about setting up a band took place.

ratss

I believe it was at this point that Andy drew the short straw and bought himself a bass guitar. It was certainly a good move as neither me nor Matt could ever be arsed to play bass!

bassss-formation

However, despite a couple of appearances at Fuel Open Mic night under the alias of The High Commisioner, a name derived from a cheap bottle of whiskey widely available on the high street, we still didn’t resemble anything close to the band we are today.

fuelll

Skip forward to a cold and wet Tuesday February 2013. Matt and I were doing our standard thing of avoiding Uni work and hit Witho high street for a few drinks. This later as it transpired was the turning point for us believe it or not… stick with me. After a couple in the Vic and few pool games later we decided it would be a good idea to hit up the Solomon Grundy open mic, you know, as you do. If i remember right Matt hit the piano and I had a bash on the guitar.  It was here we met Eddie an edgy, ever so slightly dodgy but in a sense lovable local promoter.

pool

After a few more beers with Eddie and sloppy renditions of a couple of our classics we had agreed to play a headline slot in two weeks at a night he was promoting at Solomon Grundy’s. Call it brave or brash confidence we vowed to return with our full band, which I hasten to add did not exist at this point.

At this point we were still looking for a lead vocalist, drummer and a lead musician with some sass to pass us off as something accomplished. The morning after the night before we set about this mission and contacted Johannes a lad we had seen playing sax in Fuel a few weeks before who was far cooler than any of us.

joho

 

We then by fluke really found Yemi singing in the Ram and Shackle post happy hour.   Again we should have been at home studying really but luckily we were not. We definitely needed someone to sort us jokers out, and on refection she most definitely did a good job!

The final piece of the jigsaw was Marek a jazz drummer we had seen play over in Indigo at the weekly jazz night. We thought we needed some class so it seemed to make sense at the time. So we joined all the dots and arranged a practice in our humble abode on Rippingham road Saturday.

Unfortunately, Marek was not all that impressed with our group of happy go lukcy musicians plucked directly from the Withington / Fallowfield corridor and after about an hour of jamming and tuning instructions he decided to leave. At which point the remaining members Joho, Yemi , Matt , Andy and I had a good time and got some tunes together. However, we still were incomplete and in need of a drummer.

pareidolia-jam-2

Skip forward to the Tuesday four days before our first headline slot at Solomon Grundy’s and i receive a call from some far out dude from LA called Burleigh who had heard about our plight through a friend who worked in Fuel and came around Rippingham Road around two hours later.

far-out

The rest as we say is history!! 

solomon-grundy-gig

Since then we have adopted more reasoned recruitment processes, recruiting Jon on drums, Rhys on Percussion and of course Jack Davies on trumpet.

Special thanks to other temporary members John Manning (Drums), Stephen Hermitt (Drums) and Izz Karpel (Sax) for the special memories.

And here’s to Marek.. We made it you know 😉

 

Joel White

 

M20 Collective do Chorlton Arts Festival

Three years on wards and we’re still on the scene. Ever growing and meeting local artist and creatives to put fantastic events which showcase the talents Manchester has to offer. Our network is growing and the M20 Collective take over sees the coming together of all kinds of unique sounds and visuals in one place, Dulcimer. Manchester artists from musicians and writers to visual artists and crafts men and women. Free all day with a £4 entry for the evening of live music and soul, funk and 60′s music in to the night!
Find out more below about the acts and artists involved! See you there…
PAREIDOLIA
The line up so far includes contemporary fusion band Pareidolia, a melting pot of original sounds and genre styles from jazzy drum and bass to down-tempo soul grooves.
TANGERINECAT
We’re excited to have Tangerinecat a unique duo whose music combines hurdy-gurdy with electronics, keyboards, whistle, mesmerizing vocals and politically-charged lyrics – with a Ukrainian twist.
 
LYCHEE
Lychee is an 8 piece band fronted by Free Wize Men’s Blind MIC,Layfullstop and Mayo De Zulu, with influences ranging from grime and jungle to jazz and indian folk music all produced by Blind MIC, Red Eye HiFi and new up and coming Manchester producer Khadu. It is their first show ever having adapted a 5 piece live band with the existing material and will feature special guests the other 2 members from Free Wize MenAfro Sam and Kiva/KayBey as well as fellow collaborators Sangy and Ellen Lewis.
GOYCO
Ecuadorian duo of talent; think acoustic psychedelic rock influenced by latin american rhythms
AGBEKO
A high-octane afro-rock-funk-psych spectacular from Manchester. Drawing their inspiration and energy from the golden age of 1970s’ Nigerian, Ghanaian and Ethiopian dancefloors, this 7-piece diet-AGBEKO command a wealth of powerful sing-along originals and unique arrangements of afrobeat and ethiojazz rarities.
FOXTALES
Foxtales are a mostly girl band, made up of four girls, and one boy; Amy (guitar/vocals) Cassie (guitar/vocals) Angela (mandolin/vocals) Briony (bass) and The Scoon (drums). They create a dark psychedelic folk, woven with glittering harmonies that tell stories of lust, love and loss.
SLING
Sling blend Hooker-esque licks, stomping drums and meandering bass lines to create something akin to standing on the edge of blues, staring at krautrock and hiphop at the same time
NATALIE WARDLE from the The Beat Chics . Local visual artist and female selecta, will be spinning grooves into the night!
SHORT STORY WORK SHOP
Join writer, Danielle Jawando for a short story workshop 4.00pm- 5.00pm. The workshop is FREE (although participants are asked to make a small donation.) All money raised will be given to YoungMinds, a charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young adults. You can follow Danielle on: @DanielleJawando she also teaches writing workshops with Creative Writing North West
PLUS… a Laughing Yoga Class in the day to night switch over.
***ARTISTS & CREATIVES EXHIBITING ***
Elnaz Yazdani – Unique Textiles and Jewellery
Ella Blackmore – Handmade Hair Accessories and Vintage
Chan Yan Kim – Urban Photography
Manchester Craft Mafia – Crafts Accessories
Little Beasties – Handmade Headbands
Take a look at the shows we’ve done in the past:

Ask no questions tell no lies: An interview with Ask My Bull

Just ahead of their EP launch, in case you’re not yet convinced that you want to see, encounter or listen to these musicians, we asked their bull some questions and got some answers.

So where is the Bull I can direct the questions to lads?
Next question

 What was the decision behind the band name?
A friend of Fritz once misheard him and thought he was saying Ask My Bull, while he was actually referring to his uni tutor Mike Bull. Now we’re making up for that mistake and are again often mistaken for Ask My Ball while shouting our name to the audience during and after gigs.

So Ask My Bull, how did you get together as musicians?
We congealed in Fritz’ house one musician at a time. You know congealed, like when Mayonnaise has been left on a pizza box for a couple of weeks and it’s now gone hard rather than being soft.

Actually it was only Alex and Fritz in the beginning who had the idea of playing with different guest musicians for different songs. We got as far as Luc on saxophone and Tom on bass when we realised what this did for the overall sound of the band. Elliot filled in for Luc a couple of times when Luc was travelling. We ended up playing and writing a lot with Elliot and decided to have them both as soon as Luc was back. So we started out wanting guest musicians, but kept most of them in the lineup. That’s why Tom Moon on trumpet is appearing on the EP and there might be more collaborations in the future, though the core of Ask My Bull is pretty clear.

How do you go about composing music?
In the beginning Fritz had already written a lot of songs and often the guitar was used as the general foundation. Sometimes that can be a whole tune and sometimes the chords or a riff. That creates a certain mood and in the practice room evolves further and is strung together in interesting ways. It basically starts from one idea and is then free for everyone to play on top of using their imagination.

So far a big part of the writing process has been that all the musicians have joined Ask My Bull one by one, so that for most of the songs everyone has written their parts at different times. Powder Keg and Magpie Manoeuvre came from jams though, and jam definitely congeals. I guess we have a theme there. Congealing music.

 I am feeling some Punk influences in here and I hear some Eastern European/Gypsy Jazz influences too. If you had the choice of tight leather trousers and a gimp mask or an eccentric colourful jacket and silk scarf combo, what outfit would you go for and why?
The problem with gimp masks on stage is that it can often ruin communication and the saxophonists will have trouble playing. Except for Tom who hates communication and wants to be an anonymous machine who doesn’t have to look at any of his band mates who he doesn’t like to listen to anyway. Also no one would understand the emotion of the other musicians by looking at their faces which would result in less overall dynamic cohesion between them, except for Alex who registers emotions on peoples’ elbows.

 Your friend once described listening to your music as being like the mathematical mind of Mickey Mouse playing chess with a sledge hammer. What was he on and where can I get some?
That is our number one fan and cameraman Joao Meirinhos and the substance he was on is just his own genetic material. It’s a bit difficult to get you some, but he does donate his sperm on a regular basis. Which means you could make one that’s kind of like him, but you’d have to wait for it to congeal first.

                                      Above: Ask My Bull Teaser by Joao Merihnos

 No seriously, how do you like to describe your sound?
“Just don’t, we like other people to try. It’s certainly funny to ad up people’s weird attempts.”

“I like to describe it with my body rather than my mouth, because every time I describe it I come up with this boring list and in the act of describing, people lose all interest and I lose all interest in saying it.”

“Trying to find the middle ground between things that are not on the same scale.”

“Rock Fusion with a sense of humour.”

Ask My Bull started as a power duo which was loud and erratic. Once we expanded to the bigger lineup we wanted to keep this big Punk Rock energy, but were really interested in all other genres apart from Rock, like Jazz, Math, Prog, Video Game Soundtracks, Gypsy/Balkan, Afrobeat, Trip Hop and Breakbeats. So we basically try and bring a Punk energy to some of those genres and also blend them together, preferably in the same song.

ask my bull alex and fritz
What song were you humming in the shower this morning?
Powder Keg. 16 tons. Rolling Stones. Didn’t shower. Hyper Sweep. We actually try to stress the saxophonists out with the songs so much that they can never get them out of their heads. So it’s good to hear that this is working, as they were both humming Ask My Bull tunes.

 If you were to be eternally delayed on the M60 between Prestwich and Middleton and only had one cassette, what 10 tracks would you have on it?

Ask My Bull EP twice 😉

No, seriously.
Ask My Bull EP once normal and once reversed.

Okay, now for real.
1. Richard Wagner – Tristan und Isolde Prelude
2. Mr. Bungle – Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz
3. Tortoise – On the Chin

tortoise on the chin
4. Quantic – Time is the Enemy
5. Nobuo Uematsu – Cait Sith Theme
6. Madvillain – Rhinestone Cowboy
7. Glaxo Babies – Christine Keeler
8. Portico Quartet – Zavodovski Island


9. Venetian Snares – Hajnal
10. Too Many Zooz – F.W.S.

Who should we be checking out on the local Manchester scene?
Dirty Flowers
Luna Marada
Turf
Lucy Mae
Apes Grapes (who will be supporting at the EP launch)
Salutation Dub Collective
Henge
Shyfinger
Galivantes
The Peace Pipers
Psychedelic Pirates
Kalakuta
Esmegma Jazz
Salvador Dalai Lama Farmers

What can we expect from the EP launch?
We’re gonna play some songs and you will definitely get a definition of our sound that we might have failed to describe in question 7. And we’re gonna sell the EP. There will be Tom Moon on the trumpet. Live music that’s different. No vocals. Make sure to check out Apes Grapes, who are fucking awesome. Unusual stuff basically, that you wouldn’t find at every concert, like fortune tellers, face painters, visuals and performance of some sort. We wanted live bulls, but we can’t get them up the stairs, so we’ll have loads of invisible animals instead. There’s also a chance of the real Mike Bull turning up.

ask my bull EP artwork

                                Above: Real life, hard copies for purchase on Friday 4th March

What does the future have in store for Ask My Bull?
Eventually we’ll all die 🙂

We’ll have more band members and still be playing the same tunes as two years ago, but with more instruments and a greater arrangement. We basically intend to never play any more songs than we already do. We might have a DJ set and remixes of our tunes. An all acapella version with everyone humming their parts is feasible as well as a session with Ask My Bull songs arranged for five guitars. Some of this might be lies, some of it are definitely good ideas 🙂

We got invited to do a session with Samsara Sessions in February and will record a live video with them. Also, we’re on the list of The Sessions of March.

TSOM.jpg

An interview w/ Chris Knight aka Cervo: Inside Banana hill, the local scene and music

It’s always good to catch up with the purveyors of the left-field  and subcultural music scene to find out what’s happening in and around our town and this guy plays a hand in  pushing music of the world around the northwest and beyond. In a couple of week’s he’ll be gracing the Ask My Bull Ep launch with his vinyl collection, so we thought we’d get to know him that little bit more ahead of this.
So Chris (aka Cervo), what can you tell us about your music events career so far?
Well we started very small doing live music & trying to DJ in a tiny bar in Sheffield, and sort of developed it from there. It doesn’t really feel like career as such, more of a thing that we like to do in our spare time! None of us rely on it as an income so it gives us a bit of freedom to do interesting stuff without worrying about profit margins and things like that. We certainly didn’t set out with any notions of being able to run big warehouse parties in different cities and flying artists in from all over the world but somehow it’s turned out like that.
Any you DJ too? What kind of music styles
Yes, it took me a long time to learn the basics (shouts to everyone who came to early Banana Hill parties and endured the countless clangers) but it has become a big passion of mine. I really enjoy being able to develop different styles so it’s constantly changing but is broadly pinned down by a love of classic & contemporary African & Latin American music of varying styles, combined with soul, hip hop, disco, house & electronic music.
chrisknight
 
When and how did you start getting into music as something that you do in the public eye?
I was in a band for a few years from when I was around 16, so I guess it started around then that I began to ‘perform’ in front of other people and music became a big part of my life.
 
What can you tell us about Banana Hill? 
So Banana Hill was originally a music blog set up by Jack (JVC), named after a small grass verge near his house in South Manchester. We met in the first week of university in Sheffield, instantly found common ground with a lot of music and ended up doing a weekly show together on the student radio station – initially a pretty odd combination of both our tastes, ranging from hip hop, grime and bass music to post punk, garage rock and disco. The nights followed this pattern, so were at that time a little bit haphazard in terms of direction – which was totally fine, but it was during our 2nd year that we discovered what it was that we both felt massively passionate about and that kind of set out where Banana Hill has gone since then.
We were helping with a fundraiser club night for a hospital in the DRC, and set about finding Congolese music to play on the night – which is amazing it it’s own right – and this opened up doors to a load of music we’d never heard before. The stuff that caught our ears initially was the high tempo kuduro coming from Angola  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWr-sJDXbDghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpzzWukSNYw), afro-house and the crossover styles of producers such as Batida.
We started learning all we could & pushing those sounds, along with a whole load of other African music styles on the blog, in our DJ sets and at our parties, and that’s kind of carried on until now.  Alongside this we got heavily into the warehouse party scene in Sheffield that I feel is more prevalent than a lot of cities due to a huge number of disused industrial spaces – we wanted to combine those settings and the house & techno that you’d tend to find there with more wide-ranging sounds from around the globe.
bananahill
 
Who’s been integral to your progression in the events and music scene?
As with a lot of art & music scenes, the community that you become part of is so important. Sheffield is such a good place for that, and venues such as The Harley and the people working for them were really helpful and are still ace to work with. There’s a network of promoters, DJs and artists there that all help each other out – sharing advice is essential for events in particular, dealing with booking agents, what to do when stuff goes wrong etc. In Manchester working with Soup Kitchen has been amazing, and we’ve started to find a great set of people to work with over here.
 
Who’s been you favourite act that you’ve booked?
This is tricky…I don’t want to single anyone out as we have been lucky enough to meet so many artists who have become good friends. If I can dodge the question like a highly skilled politician, I can say the most interesting act (both in terms of music and looking after them) has to be Nozinja (Shangaan Electro) and his dancers. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHgBZ-60i7k)
 
Any one out there you’d like to virtually salute on their efforts in the scene?
Sorry if this a bit of a long list…
In Sheffield – The Harley, Hope Works, Bungalows & Bears, promoters & people like Lunar, Thrillhouse, NLR, Pretty Pretty Good, No Uniform, Bunga Bunga, Tramlines, Semi Detached, Huddle, TTC, SoulJam, Don’t Look Now, Funk Drunk etc.
In Manchester – Soup Kitchen & Dan Hampson, Hidden, promoters & people like So Flute, Heads Up, Hi Ku, Inside Out, John Loveless, Meat Free, Reform Radio, Zutekh, Contours & Werkha etc, and of course M20 Collective.
On a wider scale the crews who are doing amazing stuff include Mawimbi in Paris, No Globe in Glasgow, Samedia Shebeen in Edinburgh, Fiesta Bombarda, Kitchen Street, Africa Oye, No Fakin & Abandon Silence in Liverpool, Brotherhood Sound, Butter Side Up & KMAH Radio in Leeds, Highlife, Huntleys & Palmers, Wormfood, Turf, Tessellate, Lunatick Records and loads more in London. Sorry for everyone I’ve inevitably missed.
 
How do you think the visual arts and music scene can come together?
I think it is and will continue to do so – the two complement eachother so well. There are some artists such as Lone who insist on touring with a visual artist which I really like. We work with an artist called Bethany Porteous who does our poster art and decor on some of the bigger shows, and we’re currently looking at doing more projects to bring both elements together.
bethany.jpg
Above: Artwork by Bethany Porteous
What would you do next if you could do anything, either in the local community or for yourself?
Closer to home, I think something that everyone has noticed over the past year is the amount of homeless people on the streets in the UK – this stems from a whole host of cutbacks across social care and public services that are massively starting to bite. So I guess it would be to make everyone think about other people a bit more – particularly that waxy-faced bastard who calls the shots these days.
 
Anything exciting coming up?
We’ll be working with Thristian from the Boiler Room a lot more closely this year, and I have my first release coming in June. And plenty of shows in Manchester, Sheffield and London 🙂

Artist Review: Lucy Mae

We’re always looking to keep up to date with whats going on in the local scene, and picking up on original music cultivation in the area is very much on the top of our list of what we want to support. This originals projects has a sense of revival to it, jazzy blues and swing, and it’s definitely a good thing!

We first encountered these guys via the ol’ social media, whilst looking for acts for our canal street event Live in the Village. Lucy, Luc Phan and Alex Martin of Ask My Bull graced the audience with jazz almost year and a half ago, and even now these musicians who currently go under Lucy Mae and are still on our radar.

mudez2

The umbrella of projects is lead vocally by Lucy- Camba-Bermudez. Her voice has an air of arousal, with a rustic edge on a foundation of broken blues. She’s accompanied by a bountiful brass section, Soprano Saxophone (Ed Kainyek) Tenor Saxophone (Caitlin Laing) and Baritone Saxophone (Tom Harris). With Christian Van Fields (Keyboard/Organ), Luc Phan (Guitar), Joshua Cavanagh -Brierley on Bass, and Joe Wood on Drums . The potential of this outfit not to be doubted and we’re keen to see what 2016 will bring for them. The Mudez Project is the latest musical venture consisting of traditional jazz-swing in it’s more modern state; re-instilling the importance of classic musicality.

One track in particular ‘ State of denial‘ encompasses the sound at its most triumphant.

Another of the projects is a duet between Lucy and Luc (see image below), which sees the couple come together in a stripped back acoustic style, that silences crowds. Listen to more here: with this smooth rendition of Portis head’s ‘Give me a reason’.

lucy mand and luc phan.jpg

These guys have got to be some of the most dedicated and  active musicians in the area and you’re bound to see them on a live music line up in chorlton or the city centre whether its putting on their own music or providing a platform or house band for others. Revivalist, methodical and passionate Lucy Mae are doing what we (M20) like to see! Making music, movements and keeping the live music scene a-thrive!

Click here to watch their latest video “Through You” and check out more about this collage of musicians on their Facebook page.

You can also watch them for real! at their residency at The Lodge at Richmond Tea Rooms every Saturday, it’s an Alice In Wonderland themed bar that’s part of the Tea Room or experience the sound on Sunday 21st Feb at Hold Fast Northern Quarter and many other places for that matter! we’re spoilt for choice.

Catching up with Johnny Sly

Johnny Sly are one of the bands we (M20) have seen emerge and develop over the last two years – and not to sound biased, but we’re very fond of them! We worked with them in their earlier days when M20 were doing regular Solomon Grundy events and local gigs, and they just keep moving onwards, upwards and side ways (quite literally as they get bigger and bigger as an outfit)! It was great to catch up with them on their movements of the last year or so and the Sly journey, thus far.

Tell everyone a bit about yourselves, the story till now…

Jonny: I think the band grew like a plant in that it started with one seed and each new element was a natural progression but also an evolution, so it was organic and no-one feels responsible.

Jack: Jonny started playing and writing music in Brighton when he was lil, and then when he came up here he started playing open mics on his own. Me and Aeve joined three years ago – we used to practice in this little basement room in some upmarket uni halls we sneaked into. It was really echoey and we’d go there at night and get weird. We were a funny lil’ threesome, not quite sure what we were doing, but we managed to get some gigs like Antwerp mansion and open mics.

Aeve: We recorded a video for Mosaic Sessions on this really nice sunny, autumn weekend on Salford Quays. These guys on pit bikes kept appearing on the horizon every time we’d start a take and steadily get closer and louder until all you could hear was engine revs, and we’d have to start all over again. We all look really sad in the video because we were trying to look like serious musicians. But we loved it! Some people in a high rise flat clapped out of their window at the end.

Johnny: Although there are nine of us now it doesn’t feel like an ensemble – it still feels like a family – and that’s because we’ve never really sought out new members, they just seem to come along and it fits.

johnny sly2

 

You performed on BBC Radio 4, how was that?

Aeve: It was great because they gave us breakfast and I got to play a Steinway. We all got really pissed afterwards in the BBC bar and Jack was flirting with Joan Bakewell for ages. And we gave Jennifer Saunders a CD as a christmas present! It was all very surreal and giddy.

Jack: And we met duke from Tracy Beaker! He was a very flamboyant man, I never knew. I remember we watched back some footage that our friend Arthur had video’d from the sound booth and having this realisation that we sounded so much better than we’d heard ourselves before, recorded really clearly, and together and live. That was where the idea for our new EP came from.

What’s been your favourite gig to date, anywhere?

Jonny: We loved Berlin this summer because we were introduced to lots of interesting, creative people who showed us an inside view of the city. We were lucky enough to stay in a beautiful apartment and played a really nice set to an audience of mostly horizontal people. There’s a sense of freedom in Berlin which is inspiring musically. You can drink beer in the street and then put your bottles by the side of the road and people looking for pennies pick them up and recycle them for you. It’s better than some uniformed bruiser tipping your bottle down the drain just because you’re too poor to go to a pub. We saw a rainbow there in the sky with no clouds around it and it looked like the sky was smiling. I have no idea how it did that.

Jack: Also Amsterdam – we felt like we’d dropped into the coolest place to be with these great people that were all creative and cool and way more organised than us. It was inspiring. And sunny. It seems a long way away right now…..

Aeve: Special mention needs to go to Mischief Festival, who booked us way back when we were a three. It was a very strange vibe, really small and everyone looked like gangsters or pirates. At one point we played Deja Vu and the bass from the main stage was bouncing perfectly in time with us. It was a little adventure.

What about in Manchester?

Aeve: We’ve had some really special gigs in the last year or so, it’s so hard to pick a favourite! But one that really stands out is the gig we did at the Roadhouse [R.I.P] before it closed down last January. We put a lot of energy into promoting it, and had two of our favourite Manchester bands supporting us: Kolo Tamam and Oh Man, The Mountain. Loads of people came down and there was a really great vibe, and we all wore wacky hats on stage which is always a winner! We were all on a massive high after that gig, it was loads of fun.

Tell us about the New EP then

Jack: The EP we released last year, Lost Thoughts, was all recorded in my bedroom, with all the parts laid down one by one. It was a cool process, and one I’m really proud of in retrospect, but at the time it felt frustrating. Sometimes the parts just didn’t move together and mixing it all felt like tricks. That’s why we wanted to do this new one live. For me it’s a mystical thing – I just think you can feel the magic of it all being played together, in the pauses and the lifts. And this way we didn’t spend hours getting each take perfect, we had the weekend, and at the end of that weekend the product (and then Andrew Glassford spent two months mixing it… Thanks Andrew!)

johnny sly lost thoughts.jpg

(Artwork for the Lost Thoughts EP released Nov.2014)

https://johnnysly.bandcamp.com/album/lost-thoughts-ep

Jonny: We recorded videos of the live tracks, which we’re releasing one by one. They were stressful at the time but there was a real sense of focus and emotional energy, and although we were all worrying about the little details, I think we took for granted that we were playing a set that had been honed over many months of consistent gigging in Manchester. Our bodies knew what they were doing and the pressure just added to the ‘pizazz’….

Do you have a favourite Johnny Sly tune?

Aeve: I am really in love with White Light, White Lies from the new EP. It’s just got such a lovely groove and makes me go ‘mmmmm’ inside. I’ve always been drawn to chilled music though so I think the feeling of this one just connects with me more than some of the others.

Phil: Totally agree with Aeve. Also really digging our latest song ‘Tryer’ but it’s not yet on record, so you’ll have to join us for a gig to hear that.

Oli: My fav is probably Remember, from the new EP, cuz it’s f****** epic and ends with a bang and I like bangs because I’m a drummer!

How do you guys write your music?

Aeve: Jonny has always been the songwriter, because of the way the band has grown from his solo project. Essentially, he writes his guitar parts and vocals, and then we all mainly write our own parts. But there is always lots of collaboration and discussion: someone will have an idea for how I could play a part on the keyboard, or one of us will find a harmony for someone else, or Jonny will already have an idea of what he wants someone to do in a certain part of a song. So it starts with Jonny’s parts, then is just a process of trying out different things and sharing ideas for the rest of us!

Who are the biggest influences of the band?

Rosalie: Each other! We all have such varied influences and we share them all.

Any local inspirations, bands killing it in the scene (or off the scene)?

Jack: We’ve already mentioned our band brothers / sisters Kolo Tamam and Oh Man, The Mountain, they are both great in different ways. Pareidolia – they’re a bit like us if we were cooler and less weird. John Ainsworth and Rosalie 23 are honestly two of the best and most original musicians I’ve ever seen. And honey feet. I saw Honey Feet play after us at The Hotspur Press once and they were amazing, upbeat fun, with a mama-jama, diva of a front woman with an insane voice. Further afield Cousin Kula are releasing some insane live videos of their new material at the moment – its Snarky Puppy meet Syd Arthur meets Riot Jazz. And The Mouse Outfit, they have some freshhhhh hip hop sounds that I can’t quite believe are from where I’m from. Gigging and attending gigs can be exhausting and sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have seen and heard musicians like these guys. And Arctic Turn, our bassist Phil’s solo project. I feature on a track of his called Bait and he’s got it on the Tom Robinson playlist on 6 music. Great work Phil. We’re going to record a music video where we throw gross stuff at him in slo-mo and he plays the song. I’ve got a cameo in it but I don’t know what to wear… (video now released see below).

If you could describe Johnny sly as an animal what would you say?
Phil: Some kind of flying iguana mongoose. Next question.

See and hear more of Johnny sly on any of these below links

http://www.facebook.com/johnnyslymusic
BUY their new EP here: https://johnnysly.bandcamp.com/