Exposed is seated in the beautifully quaint Montgomery Theatre – which has faithfully served the arts community of Sheffield since the 1930s. Over the years, the red curtain drawn across the stage has opened to present enactments of pretty much every play or performance you could think of.
Providing the drama today are Faerground Accidents: a psychotic pop-punk band creating a sound which many have compared to the infectious catchiness of early Pulp, narrated by lead singer Bomar Faery, complete with Smiths-style lamentations on life, love and relationships.
Certainly, it is easy to draw comparisons between the gritty, resentful romanticisations present during ‘Back in Town’ and Cocker’s own brand of tales depicting awkward skirmishes with love and sex. Of course, Bomar also made an appearance in the recent Pulp documentary, which has possibly served to exaggerate links between the two. The band also have qualities which feature in the early Arctic Monkeys school of thought, i.e. writing music about what you know, i.e.i.e. Sheffield and – usually drunken – experiences of the city and the people that reside in it.
With a fine musical heritage at their very core, it’s no surprise that the band have formed a sound which instantly pricks up the ears of Sheffielders. Murray Fenton (guitarist) played for Artery back in the day; Michael ‘Breezie’ Breeze (drums) was in The Dodgems; and Dan Botterill (bass guitar) has also seen his fair share of band action with acts such as Loveboat and SWON. This leaves original members Bomar and Henrietta Rowlatt (keyboards) to complete the wonderfully distinctive looking line up.
Great to have you in for the January live session, guys. Have you decided which tracks you’ll be playing for us?
Michael: We’ll definitely be playing our next single, ‘She Makes me Want to Die’, which comes out on February 9.
Bomar: We’re not quite sure about the other one, but I think we’ll choose ‘We Hate the Same things’ as our second track – it’s fairly new and gets a good reception when we play it.
Tell me a bit about the next single?
Bomar: It’s a song about the conflicts which come about when you have two people who drive each other absolutely insane. It just describes that situation in detail, basically. Even though it’s a bit dark, it’s still a pop song. We like to make songs that people can still dance to – regardless of the topic.
Dan: It’s not metaphorical is it, really?
Bomar: No, it’s not. It’s quite literally about somebody almost driving you to suicide. *Laughs*
Is there a bit of a skill involved in writing songs with angry, emotive content, but making them enjoyable to listen to?
Bomar: The skill is simply to get really drunk while you’re performing. Just get drunk and pissed off – then have a little outburst when you play it. It also helps to have a really good band that knows what to do with the songs you write.
‘We Hate the Same Things’ came out in November, and you’ve had a great reaction since. Have you been listening to the positive feedback citing you as the “next big thing”, or do you not pay much attention to that?
Murray: To be honest, everything has been happening really fast. We’ve been doing plenty of gigging, and when you’re in the moment you’ve not got much of a chance to take a step back and realise that people are starting to take a bit of notice. It’s been difficult to gauge the opinion and – this might be the wrong word but – “hype” around the band.
Bomar: It seemed to come out of nowhere, to be honest. We’d had a couple of decent reviews, some airplay and the gigs were great, but recently I’ve had a few people coming up to me in pubs and stuff.
As a band, you’ve got quite a distinctive look which you seem to relish. Is this a way of saying that there’s not enough interesting looking bands out there today?
Murray: In all honesty, there’s been no thought process put into how we look. None whatsoever.
Dan: We’re not paying any attention to what anyone else is doing; we’ve got enough inspiration and creativity between all of us in this band. I genuinely think that we are just a bunch of f*cking weirdos. For some crazy reason it just works.
Is there a style over substance issue in younger bands today?
Dan: I have actually heard stories of bands forming because they admired each other’s haircuts.
Murray: We’ve all got our own sense of flamboyance, and we’re obviously very well led with Bomar at the front of it all. Crucially though, we’ve all got a sense of who we are and how to express it.
A lot of people have latched onto your music having a ‘sound of Sheffield’ which hasn’t been heard since the Pulp days; I guess it’s to do with the ways your music deals with the awkwardness of love and relationships. It stands out because a lot of modern day musicians dress up such topics to be something beautiful and dramatic, but sometimes, as you say in your music, it can just be a case of getting depressed at buying a value meal for one at the supermarket.
Bomar: I think the Arctic Monkeys did similar sort of things, to be honest. I reckon a lot of the Pulp comparisons are drawn from the fact that I was part of the documentary and I don’t think they’re always completely accurate. As for other artists dressing up love songs, the way we write tends to be about more common experiences than happy endings. And, let’s be honest, the others just aren’t realistic.
Bo, I’ve also noticed from your live gigs that you tend to favour a bottle of Blossom Hill Rose. Is that a communal drink or just your own?
Bomar: *Laughs* Mostly just mine. Actually, I share it out with Henrietta every now and again. You see, I like to lose control a bit whenever I go on stage – and usually a bottle of wine does the trick.
Dan: I don’t think I’ve ever been on a stage completely sober. It’s nice to lose your inhibitions every now and again.
Right. Let’s talk New Year’s resolutions. What have we got?
Dan: I’m going to get fatter and older, drink more and be ruder to people. I can’t fail.
Bomar: I don’t like making promises I can’t keep. So mine is always to persevere with smoking.
Michael: I’m just gonna carry on being f*cking me.
Henrietta: I agree with Bo; why make them if you’re not going to keep them? Erm, so I guess mine will be to drink more beer.
Other than being yourselves, what else is on the horizon for 2015?
Michael: We’ve got a music video in the pipeline – and plenty of gigs, of course. Oh, and we’re also going over to France because we’ve been chosen to feature on an album put together about the miners’ strike. This fella has got a load of bands from Sheffield doing covers and they’ll get released over there.
Bomar: Yeah, we’ve done a cover of ‘A Stones Throw Away’ by The Style Council. It’s a bit random, but we’re looking forward to it. Other than that, we’re just carrying on with more of the same, I suppose. We’ve built up a solid foundation of fans we call ‘The Faeries’ and they seem to follow us wherever we go. We love gigging for them.
Michael: Having played in other bands which have done relatively well, it’s struck me how easy everything has fallen together with us. The image, music and everything has just naturally come into place; collectively all of our attributes have come together and created what we are: Faergound Accidents.
Special thanks to the lovely staff at Montgomery Theatre for providing the photoshoot location and Phil Robins of Abbeydale Picture House for providing access to the filming location.