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rock-city.co.uk (12/07/2006)

Larrikin Love - The Keep Foolish Interview!
Posted by AlMachine on Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Larrikin Love who have been on tour together since Mid February and are set to release their new single Downing St. Kindling. While the World Cup is in full swing we take a break from all of that and get back to the music side of things. We have a chance to talk about the never-ending tour, new album and Top Of The Pops.

So then you looking forward to tonight then lads?
(Coz): Yeah !
(Alfie): Oh Yeah!
First night of the tour is it?
(The Band): No, no ha ha
(Coz): Towards the end now?
(Edward): No I would say about halfway, em it’s been a permanent one since February 17th.
So what was supporting The Zutons like then?
(Coz): Yeah it was good, they are like really nice
(Edward): Yeah it was fantastic, really nice guys
(Alfie): A really good set up
(Edward): And like they are like music people real musicians who take it really serious, which is nice.
So I have noticed that you are doing every festival under the sun!
(The Band): Yes We Are
Which one are you looking forward to most?
(Edward): The Latitude festival, have you heard of it?
(Me): No not really!!!##!!
(Edward): Yeah it’s amazing, Patty Smith is playing and its in Suffolk Tom Verlain is Playing
(Alfie): Erm I think The Zutons are as well
(Edward): Anthony And The Johnsons, Mystery Jets.
So obviously you should get some time to see some of the over artists, who would you most like to see?
(Edward): eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
(Coz): Anthony And The Johnsons
(Edward): I wanna see Tom Verlain he should be nice, should play some classics and I would like to see errrm Giant Drag, I would like to see Gullimots and I would like to see Rumble Strips (Hmmm Supporting them at this who were fab actually!!!!!) I would like to see Jamie T
So who wouldn’t you like to see (followed by a nerves laugh)?
(Edward): Oh no don’t know
Obviouslly you have got the single out Monday
(The Band): Yes!
How do you think that it will fair in the midst of the World Cup Craze?
(Edward): It will, oh, er I don’t know it probably won’t even make the charts we don’t know; we don’t really care do we (Looking at the rest of the band for back up)
(Edward): We don’t know how popular anything in at the moment so I don’t know
(Alfie): yeah don’t know much about life outside the band
I’ve seen the video.
(Coz): Oh yeah, oh it was awful!
Who was the input in that?
(Edward):Oh it’s along story, really actually I really don’t want to go into it
(Alfie): Frustrating
(Coz): Loads of rows
(Edward): Yeah shitty
So you don’t like the video then?
(The Band): No
So you have got the album, out, no sorry coming out, where did you get the title name from?
Errm, we wanted to go with this under lining theme, like err err ya know FREEDOM and errm and there is something about the word spark that I really like!
(Coz): It’ look good down on paper
(Edward): Oh yeah it does I didn’t realise that until I actually wrote it down, and emm it sounds good, yeah and should spark something off
So if you were to describe the album, how would you describe it?
At this point Edward is pointing a plunger at me!!!!
Getting worried now, if you were asked to describe the album how would you describe it?
(Edward): Emmm shit on the radio
(Alfie): It’s gonna shit on your head
Band laugh
(Coz): and Edward): Yeah shit on ya head
(Edward): I don’t know, but we are really happy with it. until it’s out, I don’t think we can describe it
(Alfie): The sound we got I really like it
(Coz and Micko): Nod in agreement
(Edward): Yeah and it sounds really nice and it’s got some good songs on it and emm each song connects with the other and it all makes sense. Well we hope it makes sense.yeah.
Can we… expect to see Raggedy Anne, or Six Queens on the album?
(Edward): No
(Alfie): Six Queens, yeah!
(Edward): Lets not tell lets not tell
But I know Six Queens is on I know that much (laughing)
(Edward) Yeah Yeah!
(Alfie): That’s the least of your worries
So emm when you were supporting The Zutons, do you think that you got a good reaction from the crowed?
(Micko): Yeah, we got quite a surprise on that
(Coz): Loads of feedback
(Alfie): Yeah it’s great
(Edward): Yeah I think that we picked up quite a lot of fans on that tour, people coming up to us saying love you guys, got all your CDs and T-Shirts and stuff like that
So anyway let me just ask the metal thing with the arm hanging on the end of it, what is that all about then?
(Edward): It’s a cow bell, the arm is my grandmothers and when she passed we kind of got it stuffed and em we keep there for sentimental value (A look of disbelief on my face!!!)
(Micko): She was an amazing woman
(Alfie): Nods in agreement
(Edward): Amazing, and she was a professional cowbell player, so it was we all like to support
(Alfie): British cowbell player
(Coz) yeah, international cowbell player
So how would you consider yourself a Singles or an Albums band?
(Edward): Albums band
(Coz): Albums
(Alfie): Definitely albums
(Micko): Albums band totally
Cause you know, you have some really strong singles and some great tracks on myspace, do you think the album is gonna surprise people?
(Edward): Definitely yeah, there’s em after releasing the singles which are kind of poppy there a lot more depth to the songs on the album a lot more thinking behind them and they have been constructed differently
What sort of direction have you gone with it, cause let’s face it you can’t nail down your style?
(Edward): Emm there are some songs that are kind of folky
(Edward):…and emm some Russian gypsy element to it, we have got horns on it. There is a lot going on on it.
So do you think by album three that we will see a post rock album with massive instrumentals?
(Edward): You never know,
(Micko): I think we will have a full orchestra by then
(Edward): You never know, I quite like the idea of like each album going into a different direction, which may not fall into what the fans want us to do, but that’s not what we set out to do is it.
So what do think to things like myspace, you know your guys have 15,000 friends and if that was transferred to record sales?
(Coz): Yeah would be nice if they all went out and brought the record?
What do think to sites like myspace, with Top Of The Pops announcing it is stopping because of sites like this?
(Edward): I know can you believe that (More or less shouting it)
(Micko): What?
(Edward): Top Of The Pops is finishing!!
(Micko) When, why are fuck!
(Alfie): It speaks!!!
(Edward): yeah it’s finished it recording, its like an institution
(Micko): No more Top Of The Pops!!!!! When the fuck did this happen? (With a very confused and shocked look on his face)
(Alfie): Yeah
(Edward): I don’t think it has a direct affect. So there is nothing now really only Jules Holland, and that is not really Poppy.

I would like to thank the guys for being a great bunch of people, and on behalf of Rock City wish them the best of luck in the future. Hopefully we will be hearing a lot more from the boys from the South.

Mark Moore
by scummy | 2007-04-13 13:36

Time Out London (Sep 18 2006)

Larrikin Love: interview
Eddy Lawrence

Forget Britpop’s ’60s revival, today’s coolest bands are looking further back. No one does it better than London skiffle-klezmer-polka-punks Larrikin Love

Maybe it’s something to do with the success of the revamped ‘Doctor Who’, or some kind of fashion variant of the Millennium Bug, but the vogueish era for today’s hip young instrument slingers is the noughties – the nineteen-noughties. Indie bands now profess to love skiffle, klezmer, polka and folk, and all the other kinds of music that would normally have got their heads kicked in.

Larrikin Love are one such band – you may already be familiar with their raggle-taggle-tastic single ‘Edwould’ or the folksy, maidens-a-roving-in-the-dales-isms of latest single ‘Happy As Annie’. Their sound, a collage of sonically, geographically and temporally disparate styles worked together without fear or favour, takes in reggae, calypso, folk, bluegrass and even some good old-fashioned punk. It’s a peculiar mix of things ancient and modern. Take the track ‘Downing Street Kindling’ from the band’s debut album ‘The Freedom Spark’, for example, which boasts the chorus ‘Everything I adore came before 1984’. A statement of retro intent, surely?

‘It’s more of a bookish reference, really,’ says LL singer Edward Larrikin. ‘It’s a nod to the state that some people think we’re in at the moment, that Big Brother world. But also musically, I haven’t really been into anything since then. The Smiths were all right, but…’

Culturally speaking, over the last decade, history has been repeating itself. Britpop devoured the ’60s, nu-disco consumed the ’70s, electroclash gorged on the ’80s. Recently, bands like Kaiser Chiefs’ reanimation of Britpop mean we’ve had to go through the whole sorry cycle all over again, and suffer through a ’60s revival revival. But now something intriguing seems to have happened. History has clocked itself. Rather than pilfer from their parents’ or elder siblings’ (practically interchangeable) record collections, a new generation of bands are looking to distant eras and faraway places for inspiration.

‘They come from everywhere,’ says Edward of his cohorts’ influences. ‘[Guitarist] Micko [Larkin] and [drummer] Coz [Kerrigan] are both from very strong Irish backgrounds. They’ve both been born and bred on old jigs and ceilidh and salmon and potatoes. Also Coz’s father is a jazz drummer so Coz does this crazy drumming which is very improvised and exciting. [Bassist] Alfie [Ambrose]’s big influence is Motown and ’60s pop. With me, I’m a bit of a folkie.’There’s a definite folk influence to the band’s storytelling, such as the twisted reveal at the end of ‘Happy As Annie’.

Edward’s musical palette was broadened by exposure to music that your average teenager just doesn’t get to hear. It certainly helped that his family are all heavily involved in the trade.‘I’m reading this book about Richard Farina,’ muses Edward, ‘who was married to Mimi Baez, who was Joan Baez’s sister. He was amazing because he was a poet, and then he started putting poems to music and he was of Cuban and Irish origin, so he had this mad concoction of sounds going on, it was just crazy, and I think that’s like me. My Auntie Jodie was the tour manager for [Zimbabwean jit-jivers] the Bhundu Boys, and their music always had an influence on me. Also my Uncle Jacub is a saxophonist who lives in Paris but is originally from Cameroon, and my uncle Herman’s also a musician… there’s a lot of musicians in my family.’

It would be a mistake to think of Larrikin Love as aural Amish, railing against musical progress. The album features guest appearances from some very ‘now’ names, including Time Out favourite (and long-time friend of Ed’s) Jamie T, pure rocker Vincent Vincent (of …And The Villains) fame, former Villains The Rumblestrips, avant-garde vaudevillian Patrick Wolf and electro-folkstress Mechanical Bride. This revolving cast of characters reflects the Larrikins’ often chaotic live shows, during which numerous guest musicans are often invited up on stage to perform their party piece.

‘I like people to come and play their thing,’ says Edward. ‘There’ll be a part which I hear and I go: “Gosh, wouldn’t it be fantastic to get Patrick to play a bit of viola on that, or get Lauren to sing a bit of harmony on that?” I have a really close circle of a few friends but they’re all very talented at what they do. It’s nice to involve them in things. They’re a clever old bunch.’

Despite this pan-generational cultural melting pot, Larrikin Love used to be most commonly compared to The Libertines, thanks to their louche skiffly bits, but these days they are more often lumped in with their friends and neighbours Mystery Jets as part of the non-existent ‘Thamesbeat’ scene (actually a joke cracked by Larrikin drummer Coz). Their closest contemporaries, however, are probably Gogol Bordello, who opened the floodgates for this sort of thing with their raucous gypsy-punk and noticeable facial hair, and ‘boozy Balkan wedding band’ The Mules. Gogol Bordello are now able to sell out Brixton Academy, while The Mules’s gigs are notable for their uninhibited party atmosphere and displays of carefree oompah dancing from people otherwise fashionable enough to know better.

Whether this becomes a sustained trend remains to be seen. We can’t even be sure if Larrikin Love will be doing it in a year’s time. ‘I’m happy with it as a debut album,’ says Edward. ‘Now I’m looking forward to moving on. We’re already writing music for a film, and hopefully I’m publishing a small anthology of poetry in the new year, when I’ve got time to concentrate.’ But for now it’s fun to head to a rock venue to watch a rock band who don’t use rock music as the template for their sound. Of course, there’s the chance it could become a new form of world fusion prog, which would be even worse than tribal techno. But hey, by that time we’ll all have moved on to the monochord revival.

‘The Freedom Spark’ is released on Transgressive on Monday
by scummy | 2007-04-13 13:34


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