Bandwagon noun (pl. bandwagons) 1. A large wagon used to carry a band of musicians in a parade.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

In the Portacabin with Mystery Jets

The Bubble gets to grips with Mystery Jets backstage

After a short and sweet set on RockNess’s main stage we (Melissa and I) pace it like there’s no tomorrow backstage to snag Mystery Jets for a quick interview.

The boys released their fourth album Radlands in April with immediately gripping lyrics (I heard there’s a place where we go to die/ It’s a terribly overrated horse-shit shaped hole in the sky). Bassist Fish left the group just before its release to be replaced by Pete Cochrane but speaking to them in their ‘cosy’ portcabin leaves us with optimism for the band’s future!

What brought you all the way to Inverness? And RockNess is not an appropriate answer…

Oh, ok…Well we heard it was quite beautiful up here, heard there was this festival up here. And Nessy of course!

Have you ever seen a monster?

William (to Blaine): I have to look at one every day

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

Smash it with a sledgehammer. Break it down into smaller manageable chunks and deal with each one at a time.

If Mystery Jets were a colour what would it be?

A lighter shade of pale.

Where do you think the future of popular music is going?

If I knew that I’d be a very rich man. Maybe you should ask Simon Cowell.

Do you like Simon Cowell?

I’ve never met him…He tried to sign us once and we said no!

If you could go back to one era of time anywhere, where would it be?

Kapil: The 50s might be nice.  (To William) Oh you’re thinking much more prehistoric, like Stone Age. You wana ride on a brontosaurus.

William: Or maybe before dinosaurs and we’d just be nutrients…

But you wouldn’t have the brain to know what was going on!

Maybe that’s a good thing.

What do you think the meaning of life is…?

I’ve got a great quote for this, a Henry Miller quote. He’s a surrealist writer. His quote is ‘Obviously life has no meaning ‘cos it’s your job to give it a meaning’.

Interview with Mystery Jets by Sophie Ellis & Melissa Layton at RockNess Festival, 8th June 2012.

Article previously seen on The Bubble:

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Shining the Limelight on Lucy Rose

At Dot To Dot Manchester in June

She’s cute. She’s blonde. She loves Downton Abbey. The teeny-framed Lucy Rose is finally getting the support she deserves. She’s currently on Radio 1’s B-list for new single ‘Lines’ and we’ll need a large abacus to count the number of festival stages she’ll have stepped foot on by the end of this Summer. I joined her on a promenade towards RockNess’s main stage where the Olympic torch was about to be waved and managed to ask her a few questions along the way…

You’ve done lots of singing and playing on YouTube, but how do you find performing on a much bigger stage?

It’s completely different. Luckily I’ve had some really good support, some nice support slots with Noah and the Whale and Bombay Bicycle Club. I think it’s really helped me and the band get used to not being too over-whelmed if we are playing a big stage. Whether it’s someone’s sitting room or a huge stage I’m just constantly a wreck of nerves.

What ‘s your favourite item of clothing?

Ooh…I just wear comfort clothing. A jumper or some trainers.

What’s your favourite Bombay Bicycle Club song?

Lights Out, Words Gone.

Favourite town to play in?

Rio de Janeiro. Never played it but I’d like to.

If you could be at one food van right now what would it be?

Ice cream van because I can’t have dairy before I sing and now I’ve finished so I’m on a dairy binge!

What other things do you need to do to keep your voice in shape?

Drink lots of water, sleep.

Favourite band ever?

Oh my god… Big question. Err Neil Young is probably my all time musician.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at RockNess purely in a physical sense?

Just ‘cos I fancy them you mean?! (laughs) Ooh God I don’t know who’s on the bill! I’ll go with the whole of Noah and The Whale, they're a fit band.

If you could dye your hair one colour what would it be?

 Oh my god! Black.


I think I would be funny. Imagine me with really black hair! If I just went complete goth. A bit like Kate Nash, she’s gone all goth hasn’t she!

Are you going to celebrate the Olympics in any way?

I’m not a big partyer myself but I’m guna embrace it as much as I can and be proud. 

Here's Lucy Rose's single form earlier this year, Red Face. 


Interview with Lucy Rose at RockNess Festival by Sophie Ellis on Saturday 9th June 2012. 
Photography by Sophie Ellis at Dot To Dot Manchester on Monday 4th June 2012.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Interview Time with the Talented Seye

Seye supporting Bastille at New Slang

Tonight will be a good night, I’m thinking as I slurp on the first of four Sex on the Beach cocktails at New Slang in Kingston. The DJ is playing some truly refreshing tunes - I head to a speaker to Shazam one I’m especially keen on. I feel a little put-out when the blue-tinted tablet screen staring up at me informs me ‘a match couldn’t be found’. But to my delight the music I sought to note down is coming from the fingers and lips of 24-year-old Seye (pronounced Cher). 

He’s playing stripped down versions of his afro-pop songs and the few who have turned up this early on are loving up his silky smooth voice and kittenish demeanour. A highlight of his set is a cover of Bombay Bicycle Club’s ‘Shuffle’ – he’s really made it his own. I catch up with him afterwards…

You played a little bit of Diamonds On The Souls Of Her Shoes (Paul Simon). You seem to be slightly influenced by him?

I’m a massive, massive fan. I’m half Nigerian, half Kenyan but I’ve been raised in a lot of places. I’m mainly British, I’ve lived here the most so I’ve got my English pop influences and also American pop culture influences. But I still have the African influences as well and Graceland is one of my top five albums of all time so he’s instilled in me and my fingers. I love the high life guitar stuff and the way he writes. My song Two Hours definitely harps back to that.

What about your vocal? In parts it seems to reflect what Paul Simon does. How did you learn to sing?

At home. I’m the youngest of six kids. And my whole family is Christian so we grew up singing songs at home all the time, anything Christian. But we’d also perform at the local church, all eight of us with my mum and dad like a sort of Von Trap family.

Have you had a musical education?

I played the flute for a bit from Year 6 ‘til about Year 9 but then I discovered the guitar and I was like "Yeh, See ya later!" I taught myself. I was always singing in all the choirs at school and was in the music department all the time. I did Music GCSE but I didn’t do it at A Level or at university. I didn’t go to university.

What have you done since school?

I finished high school at 18. Came back here. My brother Benga is a bass player and he’s in a band called Metronomy. I was on a gap year. I told my folks I was guna go to uni but I wasn’t really intending to. I was trying to wangle my way in so I was just sleeping on his couch and he was playing bass for a guy called Jeremy Warmsley who’s now one half of Summer Camp. He was like "Dude, I can’t do this tour, have a crack – you need to do something! Play and see if you can do it." So I picked up the bass and I ended up playing with him for a while and that snowballed into sessioning with loads of people.

The biggest person who I worked with for the longest time was a girl called Paloma Faith. I was with her for like four years. I love her. I left her when I started doing my stuff.

When did you decide that you wanted to do your own thing?

I’d always wanted to but I didn’t know how to do it. I was happy playing music to make money but it took a while and eventually I met the chap who’s managing me now, a guy called Will Gresford. It’s his management company, Triptik Management. We just reconnected. He actually played in a band I played in a while ago and he found me on YouTube. I did a Michael Buble cover of something and he was like "I need to get back in contact with this kid".

Where do you get your style from?

I’ve always liked to do something unusual. Not in a (puts on American accent) "I’m just so weiiird, Oh my god I’m so alternative" way. But it sort of irks me when I see kids dressed like manikins in TopMan. I love TopMan, it’s one of my favourite shops in the world but I just think everybody has their own personality. Everybody should not be afraid to pick and choose the stuff that they like. Even if it’s like “Ooh, I really like that pink wig.” Wear the pink wig!

Would you ever wear drag?


Have you ever worn drag?

No I don’t think so. I’ve worn make up. Face makeup, eyes, eye-lashes… It was cool. It was at a weird Paloma show that we did in the Black Gardenia. Randomly she knows loads of drag artists and we were just messing about.

One of your songs is about Beyonce and Rihanna. Who’s your all-time favourite celebrity babe?

Katy Perry. Big time. I don’t care about the music, I just fancy her, man!

So if you could say anything to Russell Brand what would it be?

Two things – (a) You’re an idiot and (b) Thank You.  It’s open season again!

I see you have a tattoo behind your left ear…­

It’s Paloma Faith’s artwork dove. It’s a homage cos that was my live music education. She’s got three big doves on her back.

Here's Seye's video of Mexicana Bounce. Digging it. 

Interview with Seye on Thursday 5th July, 2012 by Sophie Ellis. Photography by Sophie Ellis.