Category Archives: Interviews

Dan Patlansky: Big things going down

(Photo credit: Peter Noble)

Dan Patlansky isn’t one for standing still.

“I’m always trying to further myself as a player and what I can do,” the South African guitarist reveals, “by putting in the hours and coming up with fresh ideas – be it in terms of note choice and phrasing, or musicality I’m trying to work on. And so in small ways I’m reinventing myself, by adding on to what I can already do.”

Reinvention is something Patlansky’s certainly familiar with – he’s been doing it for the past 20 years.

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Lonely The Brave: I want to know what it’s like

Lonely The Brave | KOKO | 5 April 2017

Playing half-empty venues, from the front of the stage, to people not even there to see you, support slots can be challenging. But, fresh off their own headline tour, Lonely The Brave are certainly up for the challenge.

Nestled between Fatherson and headliners Mallory Knox, the Cambridge five-piece stuff eight of their biggest songs into 40 sweaty minutes characterised by circle pits, headbanging, raised fists, and enthusiastic shouting along from the punters who’ve almost filled KOKO already.

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sir Was: Heaven is here

Joel Wästberg, known to his fans as sir Was, has just released his debut album, ‘Digging A Tunnel’. Written and performed entirely by the Gothenburg-based multi-instrumentalist, it’s a highly personal collection of songs blending hip-hop, soul, and electronica, drawing inspiration from the likes of Moondog, My Bloody Valentine, and D’Angelo via Sly and the Family Stone, The Beatles, and Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Ahead of his performance at Birthdays, he tells us about recording the LP, learning to play everything from sax to drums, the thrill of South Africa’s minibus taxis, having a machine gun pointed at him during a border crossing, playing in José González’ band, and the “zone” of live performance.

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Ash Wilson: The words tell a story

Having played in bands since the age of 16, Ash Wilson is now readying the release of his debut solo album, ‘Broken Machine’. He tells us about picking up his first guitar, the album that changed his life, why he had to learn The Shadows, the honesty of blues music, sharing too much of himself, working with his brother, life on the road, and his upcoming tour with Dan Patlansky.

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Susie Blue: Music with a message

Irish indie-rock band Susie Blue have over the course of their last two singles, ‘People Like Us’ and ‘Be A Lady’, sought to convey powerful messages of tolerance and equality.

The group’s lead singer and creative mastermind Susan Donaghy tells us about the importance of positive lyrics, impact of Sinead O’Connor and Joan Jett, gigs that changed her life, playing London, and touring with Glen Hansard and The Strypes.

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Ben Marwood: The devil makes work for jazz hands

Ben Marwood is on the brink of releasing the follow-up to 2013’s ‘Back Down’ and embarking on his first UK tour in three years. But it almost never was. A very intense year-long illness derailed not just his music career but his life.

Now that he’s returning with ‘Get Found’ (7 April), Marwood tells us about singing ‘Billie Jean’ as a child, facing his health challenges, overshare, “a breed of outspoken garbage humans who are just bullies”, and why jazz hands are the devil’s work.

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Tonstartssbandht: A plethora of mighty fine times

Tonstartssbandht, brothers Andy and Edwin White, are back with ‘Sorcerer’, their first full-length studio album in six years. Recorded live in their former Brooklyn apartment, its three expansive noise-rock tracks explore themes of relapse, recovery, and lost relationships through vocal loops, guitars, drums, distortion, and the sounds of the city that infiltrated the recording sessions.

Fresh off a UK tour, and now sitting in the rocking chair in his Orlando, Florida home, Edwin tells us about returning to Tonstartssbandht, making music with his brother, nailing the perfect take, being in Mac DeMarco’s backing band, dancing better and laughing harder, and “a very clean and finely tuned swimming pool of alkalised minerals and yonderness”.

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