Bouquet of Dead Crows
Don’t Panic/Just A Little More
German Shepherd Records
28th August 2015
German Shepherd Records are not renowned for releases around the rock side of things, the policy is generally to operate around the “odder” end of the music business. So this release from Cambridge four piece Bouquet of Dead Crows is a slight break from the manifesto of the label. I first heard them on Dave Hammonds ever excellent Smelly Flowerpot Show on Cambridge 105, in acoustic session, and was impressed. Neil from the band had been on Dave’s show a few weeks before with his other band “All Whales Go To Heaven” when my Apocalyptic Jukebox selections got short shrift from the assembled musos, but not the lovely Mr Hammond I hasten to add. Although, to be fair, Neil was the most positive person in the room about my selections (The Fall, The Go-Betweens and Dave Graney in case you missed it). Anyhow I digress. following a bit of a chat with Dave on Facebook, Neil contacted me and asked me if would we be interested in releasing their stuff. The tracks he sent through, which comprise the single, both sounded great, so I checked things out with the Ashton Under Lyne judge and he gave the nod to proceed.
Working my way through a lot of hard rock/punk/metal each week for the Sonic Attack podcasts does tend to leave me a little jaded at times. There is a lot of music in those genre/sub genres to absorb, and the majority tends to fit a series of established formulae. Bouquet of Dead Crows immediately stand out as a band who are operating on their own terms with a willingness to try new ideas and approaches to this particular style of music.
It’s all about big riffs and big melodies for this band. Antoinette’s vocals add a much welcomed warmth and vibrancy to a genre of music that can often get mired in excess in the singing department. Neil’s guitar work reflects both mainstream rock, elements of progressive, and also an edgy blues feel. Graeme and Andrew provide a dynamic rhythmic base which shifts emphasis and direction and drives things on with a restless pulse. Both songs are strong, well played and have an immediacy which demands repeated listening.
The single will be available for free at the bands’ launch gig (see below for details) and in physical and digital format via the German Shepherd Bandcamp page from 28th August.
A quick virtual interview with the band reveals the following:
Antoinette Cooper : Vocals
Neil Bruce : Guitars
Graeme Clarke : Bass
Andrew Coxall : Drums
When did you form the band and how?
in late 2012/early 2013 Neil was in two bands, but the songs/ideas he was writing didn’t really fit either band, so he decided to start his own band. One of these bands also featured Graeme, who was also writing a lot of material that didn’t fit his current band. These ‘ideas’ became the first batch of BoDC songs, a lot of which ended up on their debut EP ‘Together We Fall’ (released Nov 2013). Neil and Antoinette met through work a few years prior to all this, but Neil didn’t know she was a singer until he mentioned that he was starting a band. The three then set out to find a drummer, and eventually found Andrew via an online ad in October 2013.
Former or current other bands that each member of the group has/is involved in?
Antoinette : N/A
Neil : Former – Pablo Zero, Stonesoul, Mammoth Penguins
Current : All Whales Go To Heaven
Graeme : Former – Stonesoul, Break The Leaf
Andrew : Former – Beguile, Luxembourg Reconstruction
Current – Golden Android Of The Potential Wednesday
Main musical influences? – collectively and individually
Antoinette : Jimmy Eat World, Michael Jackson, The Wildhearts, Paramore, Roxette, Pearl Jam
Neil : Pearl Jam, The Wildhearts, Manic Street Preachers, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth
Graeme : Sonic Youth, The Doors, The B52’s, Ali Farka Toure.
Andrew : Dave Mathews Band, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, Opeth, Riverside
Collectively, It’s kind of a cliché, but I guess we probably inspire each other. In that, we all write things that we hope each other will like and want to play, and add to.
Where was the single recorded and by who?
The Parlour Studios in Kettering by Neil Haynes
How many gigs to date, when are where have you played?
Too many to count…loads in and around Cambridge, but also a couple in London and Northampton
- Cambridge – Cornerhouse 28th of August (single launch)
- St Neots – Pig n Falcon 29th of August
we’re also currently booking dates for September/October
There seems to be a healthy music scene in Cambridge – what is it like? Easy to get gigs? Good promoters? Bands you would recommend
Cambridge has a fairly big indie and acoustic/folk scene, but there aren’t too many rock bands…in terms of promoters, we’ve worked with Green Mind Gigs and Facepalm a few times. There’s loads of great bands worth checking out;
-All We Earthlings
-Golden Android Of The Potential Wednesday (Andrew’s other band)
-All Whales Go To Heaven (Neil’s other band)
Current listening – for each band member?
Antoinette : Lots of 80s stuff at the moment!
Neil : Bleeder by Mutoid Man, Faith No More’s new album…I recent bought The Holy Bible by the Manics on Vinyl, so I’ve been revisiting that album a lot recently.
Graeme : Lots of 6 music, Gavin Chappell-Bates EP
Andrew : Lunatic Soul, Mew, Interpol, The Maccabees
The bands’ forthcoming album “Of The Night” is completed and sounding rather marvellous so get ready to wrap your ears around that in coming months. Pending that the band has received airplay already on Salford City Radio and VQS New Music Podcast and Mike Wright at Cambridge Music Reviews has given the single a glowing review. The bands first EP will be getting ample airplay on my Aural Delights Podcast over the next few weeks, as will the single.