The best bands have distinct personalities and the feel of a gang.
Even better, they feel like they’ve arrived that way by themselves rather than being put together by a manipulator, sorry, svengali. And that’s the feeling I get from Peter Parker, as I meet them at the Captain’s Rest in Glasgow, before they wander onstage for their single launch.
They are: Roz on vocals and guitar, English teacher by day and glam goddess 24-7; Jane on bass and vocals, sister of John McKeown from the 1990s and possessor of a wicked sense of humour; drummer Tori who has a mass of gorgeous red hair and is quite quiet in the interview, and guitarist Jeremy, who doesn’t turn up for the interview. They’re friendly and grateful for previous coverage I’ve given them, which is always nice.
We start by discussing the new single ‘Swallow The Rockets’ which is their first release as band, though they have all been involved with different acts before, most noticeably Lungleg and Josephine. It’s a classic-sounding debut, getting some great reviews, including The Daily Record. They say proudly that as well as being a download it’s is a limited edition of 500 7″s (and they give me one at the end of the interview. Lovely folks). The b-side ‘Temper Temper’ sounds like it could be an a-side in its’ own right, always the mark of a great singles band.
So, do they feel part of a scene in Glasgow?
” There’s lots of different scenes in Glasgow,” they point out quite reasonably. They mention a sort of scene around clubs like Stereo and Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s. They speak warmly of Steven McRobbie, the legendary frontman of The Pastels and proprietor of undoubtedly Glasgow’s finest record shop, Monorail. They’ve also been working closely with Erik Sandberg of Wake the President, who runs Lucky Number 9 Records and who have put out the debut single, in conjunction with Say Dirty Records, and Peter Parker have supported them.
Not only that, but for people who clearly acknowledge the importance of The Fire Engines (’there’d be no Franz Ferdinand without them!’) they’re thrilled that their next single ‘Get Over It’ will be a split single with the Sexual Objects, Chief Fire Engine Davey Henderson’s new band. This will be out before the end of the year.
Though the Glasgow music scenes have clearly helped nurture them, they don’t want to be playing Glasgow too much, and indeed they are due to play seminal London indie night Twee as Fuck before the end of the month. They’ll also be working on their debut album, chuffed to have found a twenty four track studio in Banchory “that’s digital but sounds like it’s analogue.”
On stage later they demonstrate a sense of pop fun, along with a glam sensibility. From my notes I’ve written down: Think the Fire Engines meets Sleater-Kinney (only even more fun). Think: how Kenickie might have turned out. ‘Swallow the Rockets’ packs an even mightier punch than it does on vinyl.
The aforementioned ‘Temper’ and ‘Black and Blue’ demonstrate that they have quite a few tricks up their sleeves. Most of all, it’s the sheer fun of it all.
Like Peter Parker’s alter ego, there’s something else lurking here. Let’s watch and find out.
* ‘Swallow The Rockets’ is out now on 7″ single and on download (on both iTunes and eMusic).
16 Aug 2009: with Wake the President and Silence DJ’s @ Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
September 24: The 13th Note, Glasgow with Le Reno Amps and Super Adventure Club.
15 Oct 2009 20:00
Scarce plus Days Like These (screening) plus Peter Parker @ Stereo – Glasgow