Butcher Boy have had quite a year. Their second album React or Die received rave reviews across the board with the Times rock critic Pete Paphides declaring “Butcher Boy have set a standard against which every other release this year must surely be judged”. The band are set to fulfil a long-held ambition this month by performing a live film score to Cocozza film Chick’s Day at Glasgow Film Theatre. Songwriter and frontman John Blain Hunt kindly agreed to answer our questions…
Malcolm Middleton, once half of Arab Strap along with Aiden Moffat, denies being a grump, but his website is adorned with wee unhappy faces and he wants to start a miserabilist girl band in which “a bunch of young lookers with great voices sing all the black shit that comes out of me during my worst depression”. Sounds pretty good actually… here he answers our “above average bunch of questions”.
Jo Legg conducts a friendly interrogation of super busy genre-hoppers The Dø. This duo make fantastic pop songs, and here FFS finds out exactly how they do it.
Celtic darling Cara Dillon was barely out of her teens when she was invited to replace Kate Rusby in the Warner-backed folk supergroup Equation. Cara didn’t stay long with the group, preferring to breakaway with fellow band member Sam Lakeman whom she married and has recorded with ever since. After three albums on Rough Trade, Cara’s latest album Hill of Thieves was recorded at home, produced by Sam and put out on their own label. It finds the couple returned to their folk roots with simple acoustic versions of traditional songs. Cara talked to FFS about breaking free from major record labels and the challenges of touring while being a mum, but only after she had put the twins to bed.
Isobel Morris and Jim Kimberley began their music careers in folk clubs before meeting and forming alt-rock duo Bruise. After years of jamming folk songs with friends the couple have returned to their roots, teaming up with Nottingham based guitarist Gary Southwell to form A Murder of Rooks. FFS caught up with Jim and Isobel in The Pelton Arms in Greenwich at the monthly Sunday afternoon folk session which they host.
FFS’s Jess Powderly had an email chat with Poppy and the Jezebels about fashion, festivals and being the best Birmingham band since the Move…
“The thing that always interests me about writing songs is that they don’t have to make sense but they can still be about something, just by the way they make you feel when you listen to it. I think that’s why people dedicate their lives to records, because there’s always something else to wonder about.”
“There’s a difference between a Welsh band and a Wales-based band,” says Draw Me Stories singer, Carl Hodgetts. “Wales can be a bit insular and much of the music that comes out of here is pigeonholed. People are often surprised that we’re not Welsh.”
FFS contributor Anika (who runs music blog Anika in London) is one of St Vincent’s biggest fans so when FFS got the chance to interview the Oklahoma-born singer, it was only right that Anika should be the one to do the honours. When we received the transcript at FFS HQ we were so charmed we decided to put it up in full…
The first two times Ryan O’Reilly played his songs live, fights broke out. Both times he was 16 and both were in the usually sleepy county of Hampshire where he lived before moving to London to study.