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“If you want to have a good time, come down to one of our gigs” – interview with Galloping Dick

Galloping Dick are a three-piece genre-defying rock band based in Sheffield. Their upcoming EP, The Terror of the Road, includes the well-received  ‘Werewolf Song’, a track showcased in their debut music video. Maisie Hon-Jacobs met Andy (double bass), Craig (vocals) and Joe (drums) in The Cremorne last weekend to talk about influences, the new EP and chaotic hometown shows.  

Can I ask, first and foremost, about the name of your band?

Andy: Like so many things about the band, it was hatched outside the back of Shakespeare’s after a few pints. I had good luck with highway-related band names in the past, delving back into that source for inspiration, I found out about the character Richard Ferguson, a London highwayman with the slightly funny nickname ‘Galloping Dick’.

We kicked about various names, it’s fair to say, from the sublime to the ridiculous to the downright offensive, ending up giving ‘Galloping Dick’ a go. Some people said it was a really good idea and some said it was a really bad idea. It’s nice seeing it now in things, normalised, people don’t laugh at us anymore.

“Like so many things about the band, it was hatched outside the back of Shakespeare’s after a few pints.”

What kind of genre, if any, would you put yourselves under?  From what I have heard it seems sort of bluesy gothic rock?

Craig: Well, all of those things really; it’s a bit rockabilly, it’s a bit garage rock, there’s some heavier stuff in there as well as some dark, melancholy slightly bluesy bits. A mismatch of all those sort of things really.

Joe: Some of the places we played were for the blues crowd, and we’ve done that to some extent but never fully submerged into it. Same with the rockabilly crowd, and we have played with some much more modern and abstract bands as well. So we are kind of a mix.

“We are consciously trying to carve something else out. Even if it makes our lives quite significantly harder.’

Craig: Yeah, we like to think we have a lot of cross-overs.  We don’t really want to be pigeonholed as X Y or Z. It’s music isn’t it? It’s art.

Andy: And it’s worth saying, of course, that a lot of bands say they don’t want to be pigeonholed: “We’re a bit different,” etc. But we really genuinely believe it. We could just do a rockabilly thing, or bluesy thing, and it would be a hell of a lot easier to be popular. So yeah, we are consciously trying to carve something else out. Even if it makes our lives quite significantly harder.

Any favourite influences? I see you covered the Cramps, and you seem to have a similar sound to them?

Craig: Yeah, in a lot of ways we do. In our own sort of surreally sophisticated manner, we’ve got our own eccentricities in there that I’m sure Lux Interior would approve of. Our musical influences are pretty broad, so yeah, I wouldn’t want to pigeonhole it. I’m big into Nick Cave and Joes’ a big Dolly Parton fan.

Joe: Absolutely. But I think we’ve got a lot of shared interests, but we all pull in different directions. Like, weirdly from my perspective, a lot of what I seem to play is 70s disco beats. I used to listen to a lot of 70s funk, and that just seems to work well. I guess that’s creative collaboration.

“… we’ve got a lot of shared interests, but we all pull in different directions.”

To focus on your track ‘Don’t Like Your City’: can you tell me a little about it stylistically and lyrically?  I really liked it, it reminded me a bit of Iggy Pop vocally!

Craig: Yeah, it was a bit of a social commentary on some contention you see walking about through city centres, you’ll see very smartly dressed people working in offices and what not, casually walking past homeless people as if they’re not there. I find it quite surreal that that can happen and offensive at the same time, so hence the lyrics.

But yeah, stylistically, I’ll take Iggy Pop. I like that, it starts off a good octave lower than it ends, which is pretty Iggy Pop. I like The Growlers and Tom Waits and stuff like that. And the screamers, so there’s a bit of both, something for everybody.

“The important thing for us with this band is to enjoy what we’re doing.”

And what can we expect from your upcoming EP?

Craig: We are all very proud of it, and it’s a good representation of what we are doing musically. It’s very well recorded by a lovely guy called Dave Sanderson, who did a fantastic Job.

Joe: I think he really captured what we are going for.

Craig: He sort of got it straight away. Immediately we thought, this is going to be good, and it was; it didn’t disappoint.

Andy: We’ve got one side that’s slightly fast bangers, then the other side that’s a bit slower and more melancholy, jangly and atmospheric. It’s a bit of a mix.

Your brand new ‘Were Wolf Song’ along with a music video is out. It looked like a lot of fun to make, how did you find the creative process?

Craig: We had a really good time making it, the important thing for us with this band is to enjoy what we’re doing. There isn’t really any pressure on us to do this or do that. We just want to make music that we like. And make it how we want to do it. So it can be a bit weird and not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think we’ve all got a pretty strange sense of humour too. You can see that watching the music video. Especially when Andy’s writing the script, who’s the real mastermind behind it.

Andy: Yeah it was great fun making it. There was a point where we were all in full-on werewolf masks rolling around on the floor and stuff, covered in fake blood. I think we gave passersby a bit of a shock. It came out really well though. Well produced but consciously a bit crap.

That sounds great. Can you tell me a bit about your favourite gigs so far and any you have coming up?

Joe: Those Church House shows for Tramlines were good fun. A very drunken audience, chaotic, hot and sweaty venue. That worked very well. The Yellow Arch gigs supporting Femur were great, they get a really nice crowd. Shows in Leeds, Rock Against Racism at The Grove was very fun. We want to do lots more gigs. We have something coming up at Sidney & Matilda in March, and we are playing at the cider and beer festival, which will be great. Recording has taken up a lot of our time at the moment, but now we are done with that we are hoping to gig around Sheffield and the U.K. Get down south and expand our horizons a little.

Craig: Yeah, if you want to have a good time, come down to one of our gigs. We will just go nuts for you. If you’re stood there on your own, or if there’s 2000 people, or just one dog or one cat, we will give it our all. We are having fun ourselves, you see, so we always give it our all. That’s what it’s all about.

“..if you want to have a good time, come down to one of our gigs. We will just go nuts for you.”

Galloping Dick’s EP ‘The Terror of the Road’ is out on 3rd December




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