Friday, 25 May 2012

Meet The Band: Paper Aeroplanes

West Wales duo Paper Aeroplanes are gaining a huge following as they tour the UK. Andy Howells catches up with lead vocalist Sarah Howells...

WHO are you and where do you originate from?
We’re Paper Aeroplanes, Sarah Howells and Richard Llewellyn and we come from Milford Haven and Aberporth.

How long have you been together as a band?
We’ve been playing music together for ages but Paper Aeroplanes has been a band since 2008.

How would you describe your style of music?
With great difficulty. Folk Emo is my favourite at the moment. I think describing music is about as easy and useful as describing food. It’s best to try it for yourself.

What’s your best live experience so far?
Probably supporting Ron Sexsmith in a packed Cathedral gig in Cologne. That was pretty special, playing and watching Ron. But sometimes our most intimate gigs in tiny spaces can have a really amazing atmosphere. It’s all about connecting with the audience so whenever that really happens it makes for an awesome gig.

What are you working on at the moment?
We’re writing and getting ideas together for our next album. We’re very excited about it. It feels like our most complete and representative collection of songs we’ve written so far.

Where can we catch you live?
We’re on a bit of an epic tour of the UK in May and June. In Wales you can catch us at:
● Mon June 4 – Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye
● Weds June 6 – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
● Fri June 8 – Arts Studio, Swansea˚ Grand Theatre
● Sat June 9 – Torch Theatre, Milford Haven Keep

  • A version of this Q&A by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment section The Guide on May 25, 2012.

The Christians Celebrating 25 Years In Music - Garry Christian Interview

Ahead of tonight’s gig at The Globe, Cardiff, The Christians front man Garry Christian talks to Andy Howells about their 25th year in music.

The Christians soulful pop harmonies and intricate synth sounds were a mainstay of the British pop chart during 1987 and 1988. The Liverpool ensemble’s hits Forgotten Town, Ideal World, Words and Harvest For The World set them apart from the manufactured pop and soft rock acts of the era.

Garry Christian the lead singer of the band believes their individual music style helped give them an appeal that has spanned 25 years. “That’s why it stands up today,” he says. “That’s why people come and see us –because in a way we’re timeless. If you listen to Forgotten Town it’s got that big snare and reverb you don’t hear on today’s records.It is of its time, but the actual songs when we do them live, they just stand up today they’re great.”

Garry, his brothers Russell and Roger and It’s Immaterial Keyboardist Henry Priestman united in the mid 80s to “get a tape together” before signing to Island records. The band took its name from Garry and his brothers’ surname as well as Henry’s middle name. Their self titled debut album reached number two in the album chart and was followed up a year later with their second album Colour, both of which have just been reissued to mark the bands 25th anniversary.

Fans can expect to hear these classics as well as their version of The Isley Brothers Harvest for the World when they play The Globe in Cardiff tonight. “I really kind of sweated over doing that,” confesses Garry about Harvest for the World. “The Isley's? How do you take it away from THEM? But we did and I’m really glad we did it really.”

Garry is looking forward to a return visit to Wales. He said: “Me and Wales are kind of connected, because when I was a kid my mum had a kind of caravan bungalow in Blaenau in North Wales. I love Wales.”

The UK tour will culminate with an appearance at The Isle of Wight festival and the release of a new album Speed of Light. “It’s all sounding great and I’m really proud of it,” said Garry, who is still passionate about music and excited about the festival. He said: “We’re looking forward to that and not only just to see Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen. “There are a few acts I want to see, so we’ll do our gig and get off to see them.”

  • This interview by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on May 25, 2012.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Meet The Band: Manhattan Coast

AHEAD of their May 18 gig at Le Pub, Newport, South Wales band Manhattan Coast chat to Andy Howells about their new EP.

Who are you and where do you originate from?
We are Manhattan Coast, an alternative rock band coming from Bridgend/Llantwit Major.

How did you come together as a band?
A few of the current members were in a previous band together called Death Quit Dancing. When new members joined, we began writing new material that was taking a different musical direction towards what that band was, so we decided on a name change and started from scratch.

How would you describe your style of music?
We would describe ourselves as alternative rock, influenced by bands such as Deaf Havana. As much as we like to write heavy riffs and catchy hooks, we also like to write melodic music as well. If we feel inspired to write something that appeals to us, then we’ll go ahead and write it and hope other people dig it, too.

What’s your best live experience so far?
Best live experience would be playing with great local bands such as Straight Lines and The Guns. To be on the same bill as bands who are putting their own stamp on South Wales and its music scene is something we’re proud to be a part of.

What are your plans for the next few months?
We have our Never Tell Me The Odds single EP, which will be available to download from May 14, and the video is already on our Manhattan Coast YouTube channel. Also on our YouTube channel is a cover of Dedication To My Ex that we’ve just recorded. We also plan on recording our first EP in the summer and releasing it in July/August.

Where can we catch you live?
You can catch us at our own single launch on May 18 at Le Pub, Newport, which is a free show and consists of some of South Wales’ best live bands around at the moment. There are also plans to play more shows towards the end of the summer around the South Wales area.

  • A version of this Q&A by Andy Howells, appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment section The Guide on May 12, 2012.