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Posted at 11.33 AM
on Friday 7th April
by Rhys Buchanan
British Sea Power are a mighty force. Even from their spontaneous tuning up session here in the Rise stockroom, you can tell that they command such weighty industry attention for a reason.
The Brighton band are here today to promote their brand new record ‘Let The Dancers Inherit The Party’. It’s the first time we’ve heard anything from them in quite some time now, but it’s evident that they’ve sealed some kind of permanent legacy as the demand for this record has been huge. It’s an album that deals with escapism, something which reflects in its unrelenting energy.
They open with dynamic new track ‘Bad Bohemian’ which gets everyone in the packed cafe smiling. The new tracks stand up well against their steadily growing back catalogue, though a quick glance at the amount of old t-shirts in the crowd suggest that their fans are also here for the classics. They deliver big time though, the set went down so well that it left followers reliving it on their phones in the Friska cafe afterwards.
Despite the scale of the band, everything here feels personal and intimate despite the quick turnaround ahead of their sold out show at Trinity later this evening. It’s clear that the guys have a love affair with the city, they’re also set to open for The Manic Street Preachers at their Harbourside show this June.
Our next event is with The Big Moon this Saturday (8th April) at 6pm.
Posted at 9.14 AM
on Thursday 6th April
by Rhys Buchanan
Tall Ships make a kind of music that comforts the listener. During a sunny mid-week evening, the band stopped by Rise to play some stripped back tracks from their second album 'Impressions'. We caught up with singer Ric Phethean after the set.
It was really lovely to see so many people down for that - how did you feel it went?
Yeah it was great, it’s a bit scary for us because normally when we play it’s very loud and aggressive sounding so I feel really exposed stripping it right back. It’s really nice to have so many people come down and listen so intently. It was a very different atmosphere from our last Bristol show at The Louisiana.
We’re loving the new album - how does it feel to see it on the shelves after five years?
It did take a really long time due to a variety of things. The songs took a long time to come together and real life got in the way, boring things like work, ill health and all that sort of stuff. It took a little while to find a label to release it but then it’s out now and it feels fantastic.
The nature of the record is very intimate - does a lot of personal life affect your writing?
The lyrics on this album are pretty much purely drawn from personal experiences. That’s partly why it took so long. It was a five year accumulation of stuff that happened. Life is really difficult and horrible things happen to everybody. It was quite an intense period so a lot of that fed into the lyrics on the record.
It can be daunting opening up through your music - have you found that?
It’s pretty terrifying putting it out there and exposing yourself in a way. The response has been really positive overall though. It’s so nice to do these stripped back versions of the songs because it means people can really hear the lyrics. We’ve had people coming up after the shows and saying that they’ve experienced what we’re talking about.
You’re festival season is looking really good this year - excited for that?
We’re playing ArcTanGent and 2000 Trees which are both pretty close to hear. We’ve played both of those loads. We played the first ever ArcTanGent which was so great. We got to DJ in the silent disco which is still one of my favourite moments from being in this band. We opened the set with the Jurassic Park themetune. They’re both awesome festivals.
Stop by Rise to pick up your copy of 'Impressions' and check out all the other exciting instores we've got lined up.
Posted at 9.26 AM
on Thursday 30th March
by Rhys Buchanan
It's stage time and Johnny Flynn is still nowhere to be seen. The downstairs Friska cafe is packed to the very back in anticipation of one of the fastest rising folk troubadours around at the moment.
Just as we are starting to panick, a dischevelled looking Flynn arrives from the back and makes his way through the crowd. The beauty of his craft means that he can rock up anywhere, one man and a guitar with very little in the way of soundchecking duties.
You can't help but feel that this kind of spontanious nature is part of his charm with fans, he's a somewhat clumsy presence for the first song, stopping and starting throughout. This doesn't stop the dedicated bunch here at Rise mouthing along to the lyrics though. "It's an all request show", he proudly declares from the front, to which many suggestions come from the crowd.
A lot is said in the music industry these days about a lack of tribal followings. Although judging from the amount of cider consumed at this in-store and the wholesome nature of the crowd, Flynn definitely has his own unique fanbase, something which is overly charming to see.
We grabbed a quick word with Johnny after the set:
How did you think that went?
It was great, I love Bristol because I’ve got loads of friends here so I always get really excited about coming here. This was just so lovely. It was spontaneous, fresh and very nice.
It was so packed, what can be expected of your full shows?
Well we have a totally different sound with a full band. There’s some quite dynamic moments in the album, it’s been going down so well on the tour, the atmosphere has been truly great.
Remember to stop by Rise and pick up your copy of 'Sillion'.
Posted at 12.44 PM
on Tuesday 28th March
by Rhys Buchanan
Juggernauts of rock Pulled Apart By Horses stopped by Rise recently to promote their new album 'The Haze'. This was no stripped down affair though, it was loud, raucous and immense fun. We caught up with the guys before they took to the stage:
How did the record come together creatively?
Well this record all started in a little dairy farm in the countryside of South Wales. We went out there for about two weeks to start writing. The album was born there in a sense. We went out with our equipment, food, drink and that was it. There was no internet, phone reception or anything. We wanted to be disconnected from everything for a couple of weeks without distraction. We sat down and just had loads of fun.
Did that make you feel a bit more chilled out then?
Yeah because the third record was all done in Leeds and it was done around peoples personal lives and stuff. That was almost like job in the sense you had to get in at a certain time and leave at a certain time, it was very regimented. This time we wanted to have freedom. If you have an idea at three in the morning then you can just do it.
What impact did you think that had on the record sound-wise?
It’s not even an impact, it’s what ‘The Haze’ is. That’s literally the album that you can hear. What we did out there, the freedom, time and the fun. When you’re left you your own devices you have some great fun. I won’t go into detail. We started doing karaoke with the PA that was there. The album is a product of us enjoying ourselves though.
It’s been a while since we last saw you here in Bristol - what can we expect from Thekla?
We played there years and years ago from Dot To Dot but we did it upstairs in the bar. This time it’s the main room so we don’t know what to expect. We don’t know what’s going to happen until we get there and see what the crowd is like. It’s always exciting to do a new venue that you haven’t been to before. Bristol is Bristol and it’s amazing wherever you go. People are always up for it here. This is literally a gig on a boat with alcohol so it can’t really go wrong.
What’s it like to be here playing a full set in a record shop today?
It’s one of those things, if a band gets asked to do a record store tour then it’s generally acoustic or stripped back. I’m not sure about how acoustic this one will be! If there’s an opportunity for us to play then we’re going to try and play it full band basically. It’s the release week, it sounds weird doing it in a record shop but it won’t, it will be amazing. It’s not the usual thing, you’d expect acoustic guitars and some bongos perhaps. Bring it on.
Posted at 4.02 PM
on Sunday 26th February
Dutch Uncles stopped by the store for a big full band set earlier this week. We caught up with the guys to chat about the success of their new album 'Big Balloon'.
So how does it feel to see the record out there on the shelves?
It’s our fifth album and it’s still exciting every time. We haven’t actually been given copies of the album yet so today was the first time I’ve actually seen them physically. I’m going to buy one in a bit actually. The clear vinyl is very limited edition so our label has very little to spare. We get some normal ones I think.
How’s the response been to it so far then?
It’s been great. We’re BBC 6 Music album of the day today so the support we’ve had from them has been ideal. They’ve really backed the two singles we’ve put out so far. We’re playing their festival next month as well. Things have just fallen into place nicely around this week. It’s really encouraging for the rest go the year.
Was the process similar to your previous albums?
A little bit, we still work in the same way. I write the music and play the songs and then Duncan will write the lyrics and figure out the vocal melodies. The difference to the last record is that we’d go straight to production with ideas. We wanted to make everything was ready for touring before we went to the studio to record it. We wanted a live feel.
That comes through, it feels like a way more rocky sound…
Yeah definitely. In some ways it’s kind of harking back to our first two albums where we recorded a lot of the songs live and there wasn’t that much added afterwards. We went in with that ethos in mind, getting that live image to translate onto record is difficult but if you can play the songs well enough then that helps.
Was there any concern going into the process?
There’s always slight things that can go wrong. There’s always some hitch but everything has been smooth up until now. There’s little things but we’ve had time to be prepared. For example one of our session players couldn’t join us this week because he’s engineering a Billy Ocean album. We sort out these problems though.
Are you just looking forward to getting out and playing it live now then?
Absolutely, with the last album we maybe over-produced it and we found it difficult to play a lot of the songs live. We’re feeling confident enough about the ten songs from this one though. We can play of them and then we’ve got four other albums to pick and choose tracks from.
I guess the more established you become, the more danger there is at over-producing things?
It’s pretty easy to become over-indulgent in those kind of things. That being said there’s still a string-quarted on the record, there’s still a brass duo on there. We’ve still brought in people but it’s nothing too over the top.
How does it feel to be back at Rise today?
It’s great. The last two times we’ve been here have been really good gigs. It’s not just good for selling some records but we’ve actually had really good nights. It’s the only place where we’ve done an in-store gig and done an encore. We still want people to come down to our show next week though. There seems to be a lot of excitement here for it.
Lastly what are your plans before these dates?
Well we’re hoping for a very busy festival season! We’ve only announced a few so far but there should be many more on the way. Then maybe a European tour at the end of the year, that would be brilliant. Watch this space.
Keep up to date about the latest Rise instores via our Facebook and Twitter - or stop by the store to pick up a copy of 'Big Balloon'.
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