Interview | Introducing…Keston Cobblers’ Club

Keston Cobblers’ Club are on a self-appointed mission to ‘heel your soles’. Luckily they’re a great deal better at music than puns, combining truly lovely old-school folk with their classical training, trad jazz and a modern-day quirkiness. FFS has been lucky enough to snaffle a sneak preview of forthcoming album ‘One, For Words’ and can confirm that it is indeed a humdinger –  there’s the elegiac   brass of Beirut, the beautiful male-female vocal harmonies of Admiral Fallow and the joy and optimism of Fred’s House.  More than anything it makes us want to get our dancing shoes on and cavort around FFS HQ. Maybe not such a bad pun after all….

Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated.

Hi, I’m Matt from the band Keston Cobblers’ Club.  We’re a 4-piece (sometimes 6-piece, sometimes 60-piece!) band who fuse folk with elements of indie, pop and orchestral music to create songs that we love to perform and record for others to hear.  We comprise of myself, my sister Julia and our friends…who grew up and went to primary school in Keston.  We formed on a hot summer’s day in 2009, and starting performing in 2010.

Tell us a bit about your next release?

On the 27th August 2012 we are releasing our debut album ‘One, For Words’.  It will consist of 13 tracks that we’ve written and recorded over the past year and a half.  We’ve been crafting this album for a while now… we decided not to rush it and have allowed time to let our sound grow over two years – I think you can see this in our album, with a strong tie between all the songs. We’ve tried to create a bit of a journey through the album and not just chuck 13 favourite tracks together. We’re really excited for everyone to hear it.

What was your best ever gig?

Our best gig has to be when we supported the amazing Seth Lakeman. We played our first ever ‘proper’ gig as a band on February the 14th 2010, and a month later we got asked if we’d like to be main support for Seth Lakeman at the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks in July. Obviously we jumped at the chance and it was such an amazing experience after only 6 months of playing together to be part of a sold out tour, supporting an artist we all admired.

What’s the worst thing about being a musician?

I think the ‘hardest’ thing for us at the moment is fitting being a musician around our 9-5 jobs; we all work full time on top of being in Keston Cobblers’ Club. As any musician knows, it can be hard to muster up energy every week to go home after work and record an album, or go straight to a gig in your work clothes, but we love it and wouldn’t change it for anything!

What inspires you?

We draw inspiration from many sources. Myself and my sister Julia were taken to folk clubs with our parents from an early age, every year – and with our parents were involved with Scottish and English folk musicians; we definitely see the genre of folk as our key introduction to music at an early age. Along with Bethan and Tom, we all went on to perform in classical orchestras, specialising in the brass section, and I think it’s incredibly easy to see this in our album and performances. On top of being surrounded by music as children, we’ve also discovered it for ourselves through many different genres and styles,  all of which we draw inspiration from as musicians.

If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?

First of all, Harry (our drummer) and I have always planned to buy jet-packs – this materialised from the misery of the commute to Camberwell College of Arts together every day, but has now just become a dream!  As a band though – I think it’d be amazing to finance a round-the-world tour, build a ‘proper’ recording studio in our garden, buy some new instruments and equipment and live as musicians.  However I doubt that’d require 1 billion, and I guess it would rather be cheating just to throw 1 billion pounds at becoming a full time musician anyhow. So… an Island or something?!

Which of your songs is your favourite and why?

This is a hard one as most of the songs I write have a story to them and so mean a lot to me, but speaking for myself; my favourite has to be ‘For Words’. Just because it was the most fun writing a song I’ve ever had. Without creating too many clichés – I sat out in my garden on a sunny day last year and wrote the whole song in about 10 minutes as a sequel to ‘Giraffe Junkie’. I still get a lot of joy listening to it, because it captures the day for me. My sister then wrote and directed a beautiful music video to go with it which made it even better for me! It has some dark undertones of separation etc… But in the end is simply meant to be about smiling and being happy – a theme I often refer to.

Speaking for the fans however, I think everyone’s firm favourite is still ‘You-Go’, even after almost 3 years! We made a bizarre, sellotape, upside down video for it at the end of 2009 – check it out!

What are you plans for the future?

We’ve got a lot planned over the next couple of months leading up to our album launch.  We’re currently working on a spectacular music video for our first single from the album entitled ‘Your Mother’.  The video will be filmed in one continuous shot with no cuts, set in a children’s jungle gym.  Then we’re keen to start spreading the word about the album, we’ll be recording some live sessions and playing gigs far and wide.  In the long term we would love to continue making nutty films, throwing events, and getting everyone together.  The Cobblers’ story is all about involvement…making music, art, design, and of course, dancing until your shoes wear thin!  We will heel your soles!

Here’s a free download of ‘For Words’ for your listening pleasure – don’t say we never give you anything… 

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