‘Tis the month of February in the fine, if not slightly nesh, city of Sheffield – and what better way to wave goodbye to those pesky January blues than by becoming acquainted with the infectiously catchy, swinging sixties rock and roll vibes of local lads, RedFaces.
RedFaces meet Exposed readers. Exposed readers meet RedFaces. There you are – done. Now introductions are over, and pleasantries exchanged, it’s time to really get the party swinging and give the Exposed In Session treatment to one of Sheffield’s most promising guitar bands.
Hi gents! It’s great to have you on board with Exposed In Session. The big question is: have you chosen what tracks you’ll be showcasing in the videos?
Harry: I don’t know… have we?
Isaac: Yeah, we said that we’ll be going for Katie Come Home and Office Girl.
Harry: Suits me!
Tell me a bit about Office Girl; I assume it to be quite self-explanatory in terms of song topic.
Isaac: Surprisingly not!
Charlie: We didn’t really decide what it was going to be about until we were halfway through writing the song.
Isaac: It ended up being about lads – well, idiots – who get themselves into relationships too early and don’t do anything about them. That’s what we settled for in the end.
Ok, I’ll steer clear of asking about personal experiences this early in the interview! Let’s move on to Katie Come Home, which received airplay from John Kennedy of XFM earlier this month.
Isaac: It’s about Harry’s mum.
You cool with that, Harry?
Charlie: Ha, well, it’s not that sort of song.
Isaac: Basically, we wanted to write a song with a bit of country-rock feel to it. We were putting it together back at Harry’s house and his mum – who’s incidentally called Katie – came home.
Harry: It’s literally that boring.
Isaac: Of course, none of the lyrics refer to Harry’s mother at all. I’d like to reiterate that point.
Harry: Yes, can you put that in.
Doom and Gloom was another track of yours which received great reviews; BBC Introducing Sheff listed it as one of their best tracks from 2014, and it received plenty of kudos from the Exposed team when we played it on our radio show. Are you starting to feel a bit of pressure to live up to expectations now?
Charlie: Honestly, we’re just here to play and enjoy ourselves. We can be a bit oblivious to such expectations at times.
Isaac: If people like us, then that’s absolutely great, and we’re happy to take things one step at a time. However, we’re not looking to try and make people adore us – well, Charlie is.
Charlie: I like being adored.
Issac: But, first and foremost, we’re just a band that loves playing music. That’s it.
I must say, it’s quite refreshing to meet an indie-rock band that’s made the effort to look slightly dapper. Not interested in the leather jacket/skinny jeans look, then?
Isaac: To be honest, I’ve always liked the early Beatles/Shea Stadium sort of look. I don’t why; I think it just looks a bit better than the usual band attire.
Harry: Yeah, we just thought it was something a bit different. I think it’s good to look slightly dapper and make a bit of an effort when you go on stage.
There are a lot of nods to late 50s/early 60s style rock and roll in your music. In fact, it pretty much encapsulates the sound. I assume this is a conscious decision?
Harry: Yeah, I mean, our parents brought us up on a diet of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks etc.
Charlie: It’s a bit coincidental that we all grew up listening to that music, but I think that’s why our sound comes together so naturally.
Isaac: It’s not a bad diet to be brought up on, really.
Plenty of people who’ve seen you live say that you’re very much a band that needs to be seen live to be appreciated. Is that where you feel most at home – onstage?
Harry: Yes, I’d definitely say so. I think it’s harder nowadays to get a really good live band, and it’s important that younger bands really work at their live shows.
Charlie: Any band can sound good in a studio, but live is a completely different matter.
Agreed; and 2014 was a big year for the band in terms of some of the live gigs you played. Do you have any particular highlights?
Isaac: Going down to London and playing was a mad experience.
Andy: Yeah, playing Camden Barfly back in October was amazing.
Isaac: It was our first real out of town gig, and to play it in such a legendary venue was brilliant. We went down on this packed bus – it was an interesting journey, put it that way.
Do tell more…
Isaac: We were on this packed, sweaty bus, and all we had was coke and crisps…
Charlie: …Or should that be cigarettes and alcohol? Does that sound cooler?
Isaac: Anyway, we ended up getting off outside this service station and decided to play an impromptu gig. Unfortunately, nobody paid much attention to us and they drove off. It was a bit of a let-down. *Laughs* Harry and Charlie had a bit of an intimate moment when they fell asleep on each other’s shoulders back on the bus.
Harry: Can we move on from this?
Good idea. So what’s the plan for 2015?
Harry: Carry on making music and play it by ear, I suppose.
Charlie: We don’t really have a clue what we’re doing, so a plan’s out of the window! But we love playing live, which hopefully means there will be plenty more gigs.
Isaac: Organised chaos is a perfect word for it.
I confess that I had a nosey at your Facebook interests t’other day, and they were listed as ‘music, playing music, and… pandas’. Care to explain?
Harry: Simply because we were idiots when we first started out.
Andy: Charlie just randomly had a panda. Not a real one, obviously.
Issac: Oh yeah! He had this soft toy panda in his garage when we used to go round and practice, and it kind of became our mascot for a bit. So that’s why the band has an interest in pandas.