We love Picture Book at Seven Streets and we’re also quite fond of the Shipping Forecast, so when we heard they were playing in The Hold to launch RESET, the new magazine from CALM naturally we were in attendance. Sharing the bill with Delphic and Kid British DJ sets (the latter dropping an ill advised Phats and Small track, a lesson in how to clear a dancefloor?) they didn’t disappoint.
Rattling through a set list that included favourites such as Sunshine and ended fittingly with Explosions, lead singer Greta’s melodic vocals juxtaposed over synths, drum beats and the occasional violin solo provided the folky electro pop they excel at. Add in a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” from the crowd to celebrate band member Dario’s bonne anniversaire and it adds up to a party atmosphere that meant we stayed out long after our curfew. Well it was a Saturday night…
Being the nosey parkers that we are, we caught up with the band afterwards to see how life was progressing since getting snapped up by a record label and what they had in the pipeline for 2011.
It all feels so long ago! Those artists that tell you that “it all happened so quickly” and “my feet never touched the floor” are completely lying. Its the slowest and most painful process in the universe. Blame the lawyers, god love them. They fight your corner as hard as possible, but formalities take a lot longer than saying, “lets make a record”.
Plus being signed actually means nothing really – selling records and making music that people want to listen to, means everything! Don’t get me wrong – its lovely being able to say ‘i’m in a signed band’ after what feels like 400 years of sacrifice, but there’s no glory in saying that unless you’re able to reach out and connect with the people that want to hear you. All that ‘being signed’ helps with is the ability to do that.
If it’s taught us anything, its to be more human. At shows and when people recognise you in the street, you have to break that barrier. We live in a totally different world now, Artist and Listener are no longer ‘Rock God’ and ‘Fanatic’. Everyone is in a band, everyone can make music in some form or another and every city has a million live venues with 3 or 4 gigs on a week, so we should all be coming together and use our music to create a respectful harmony and energy that will get us all past these horrendous cultural times in this country.
You’ve worked with Deadmau5 on his latest album, who is a huge name in dance music. How did that come about?
A publisher from Warner Chapel Music loved one of our songs, Sunshine, and tried to sell it to the mau5. Once again, a lengthy ‘music business’ procedure ensued. Eventually, that developed in to a whole different project which is the Skrillex written, Deadmau5 produced monster that is Raise Your Weapon.
As incredible as that was, the real highlight has been seeing more and more people getting funky at our gigs and singing along!
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
We have one EP recorded and waiting to be released with a second one on the way. No dates have been set, but they will soon. We’re always getting impatient and giving away loads of freebies on our Facebook – so keep an eye on that.
Our next Liverpool blow out will be at the WAXXX HOUSE PARTY on the 11th March at Wolstenholme Creative Space which we’re really excited to be involved with. I’ve just offered my services to them as a writer and promoter, and we really dig what they’re doing with their voice, so this gig is guaranteed to kick Liverpool wide awake. We’ll be debuting a new Picture Book DJ set there, we haven’t had a chance to unleash a set since NYE and its a beast, if I dare say so myself!
Waxxx House Party, 11 March
Wolstenholme Creative Space , £3
For more information on upcoming gigs and releases, check out www.picturebookmusic.com