Isn’t is fantastic when you discover a great new band totally by accident? This is exactly what happened to a couple of us wizards recently when we witnessed the Merseyside band Oranj Son supporting The Saints at The Kazimier last month.
(pic courtesy of Cath Bore)
So impressed were we that ever since the gig we have been hounding them to answer some of our intrusive questions. Finally, Kieran Linford of the band relented and told us all this…
The band Oranj Son is a four piece. Can you tell us who is in the band and how you started to make music together?
There is me and my brother Matt, Lew Yii on drums and Brad Welch Harley on bass. Ellesmere Port is quite a small place so we kind of sniffed each other out because we had similar music tastes. The band just sort of evolved out of nothing really; it wasn’t a decision – it just happened.
We saw you play what I believe was your second only gig supporting The Saints, how did that come about and what was Chris Bailey like? He seems fairly intimidating.
Chris was great, as were the other two lads. They seemed to like our stuff. The gig came off the back of people liking us at our first gig at Sound City, which Carl Hunter (bass player for The Farm) sorted for us. Carl has been very supportive, he knows his stuff and people know that. It seems mad that our first ever gigs were Liverpool’s premier festival and then supporting total punk legends.
sound city (pic courtesy of Nadine Shanahan)
The band name and sound clearly show you are fans of the Fall – what are your three favourite Fall songs?
I reckon the DJ playing the Fall all night at the Kazimier may have clouded your perception a bit there! However, I’d go for their cover of Lost In Music, Lie Dream of a Casino Soul and I Am Damo Suzuki. (We apologise for the gratuitous use of Gary Rowley in the following video – TTW Ed.)
You are obviously more than just Fall copyists – how would you describe the band’s sound?
Loud, tuney and twisted.
Who else has influenced you musically?
We’re all into different things. Krautrock is something I like, Lew’s a big punk head, Brad is into his folk and Matt is a real ‘Soul Man’. Everyone brings their own dimension to the band. For reasons I won’t go into here(!) I spent a day with George Clinton and his band recently and that was a big buzz. But we listen to anything and everything and play the same. Velvets, Pink Floyd, Jesus and Mary Chain, Chic, Massive Attack, The Clash, Walker Brothers. There is so much that you hear that is good that is bound to influence what you write. Brad and Lew are like chameleons when it comes to music – they can switch on to absolutely anything.
You played a song rather brilliantly entitled Psycho Disco Face that we really liked. Can you describe your own psycho disco face for our listener.
It’s hard to say… Brad’s is like the drill sergeant on Full Metal Jacket.
We also really liked the song you opened your set with – what was it called? Do you think Rebel Rikkit was right in describing it as ‘tuney’ (I think he meant tuneful)?
It’s called “Who needs the meaning. Yeah?” Yeah, it’s one of our more melodic songs.
The song we played on our podcast #44 was another standout from your live set called Tape Deck. Can you tell us a bit about it?
This is the one you think sounds like the Fall isn’t it! It’s been around for a while and has changed ‘shape’ a bit but it never used to sound like Big New Prinz (in the same way Start never sounded originally like Taxman) but because there’s very little ‘new’ in the world then eventually all good stuff gets done again. Everytime we write something new my arl fella says ‘that sounds like….’ and it will be something we’ve never heard of.
It borrows quite clearly from Big New Prinz – do your fear retribution from Mark E Smith?
No – I met him at Sound City. He’s a pussycat.
When will we see any Oranj Son records for sale?
As soon as anyone wants to put them out there! (Get ’em signed up! Boys, if you’re reading, we need to talk! – TTW Records Ed.)
As a band breaking into the live circuit, what are the biggest challenges?
There aren’t enough venues and the media’s obsession with ‘established’ acts can be damaging.
Who would you ideally like to play with in the future?
I’ve got George Clinton’s number so the pestering in that direction will be starting very shortly! I also saw the reformed Ride recently and that long break seemed to have done something good.
Which band would you have liked to have been a part of? Why?
The Beach Boys. They lived on a beach!
life’s a beach
Which other current bands should we be listening to?
In terms of global artists, I think Father John Misty is well worth listening to. I also think Liverpool-based Bathymetry are a real class act worth getting into.
Cricket – cool as fuck or a load of old bollocks?
Cool as fuck – I love Lancs and Ashwell Prince is my hero.
officially cool as fuck
Can you tell our listener where he/she might be able to catch you playing live next?
We are on at the ‘Liverpool Loves…’ Festival, August 8th at the Pier Head. Hopefully we will sort something before then as well- we will keep you posted.
Thanks very much for talking to us. What are you off to do now?
We’re off to Glastonbury and Barcelona…
oranj son over barcelona
You can hear more Oranj Son tracks on their soundcloud page and we suggest you do.
Special thanks for that Fall clip – really makes it look like keyboardist Dave Bush has just wandered in from a completely different band… and some wonderfully out-of-tune vocals on Grudgeful
Indeed. I note the lack of pissed pants, which clearly dates the clip.