Electronica band Delamere are slowly but surely gaining traction on the strength of a line of singles which together show the potential for an excellent debut. I sit down with them in Magnet’s bar to find out how they went from playing football together in Stoke to playing their first national tour.
How far are you into the tour?
Fitch (Lead Vocals/Guitar): Just coming to the end of the first week.
How are you holding up?
Fitch: We’re alright, not too bad.
Rich (Bassist): Got a bit boozy in Birmingham, but other than that…
Before or after the show?
Fitch: Always after.
Ash (Guitar/Vocals): No – earlier on, then again after.
Rich: If you get there early enough, before the sound check, you can get drunk, sober up, play, then get drunk again – “The Second Wave”.
How much longer have you got to go?
Fitch: This week’s been a bit hectic, but it’s staggered a little more afterwards. Next week we’re spread out a little more, and then we’ve got a break until the first week of November.
Ash: Although I’ve noticed Mark [I assume their promoter] keeps sneaking gigs in.
Fitch: They do keep creeping up.
Rich: What’s he put in?
Ash: Something in December, near… I want to say Whitchurch, but that’s a lie.
Rich: We’ve given Mark dates when we’re available, and he’s just trying to fill every single gap.
You think you’ll last it?
Rich: Yeah, we’ll last it.
Fitch: We work hard, so we’ll be alright.
So you’re from Stoke?
Ash: Well, me and Will are from a town called Leek.
Fitch: He doesn’t like to say he’s from Stoke, even though he is.
Ash: Leek isn’t Stoke! Leek’s up in the moorlands.
Rich: Leek is Staffordshire Moorlands, we’re from the City of Stoke.
Is that spelt like the vegetable?
[I make a note]
Rich: Just draw a leek.
Ash: That’s a Flying V Guitar!
Leek and Stoke, then.
Rich: Leek’s only like a 20 minute drive away, but that’s far enough that you’re not allowed to class yourself as a Stokie.
And you all met up in Stoke?
Ash: Yes, we used to play football.
Fitch: All the lads and dads and stuff, but not Ash. Ash reckons he was a footballer but he’s not a footballer’s cousin. He runs like a T-Rex.
How long have you been playing music together overall?
Rich: Three years?
Ash: Bit longer than that now, I think.
Fitch: A good three years.
And is this your first tour?
Fitch: We’ve done back-to-back gigs before.
Ash: This time last year we did a little tour, with Life and Storms. Like a mini-tour, something like four or five gigs.
Rich: We did three consecutive dates at Dot-to-Dot [a moving festival] as well, but I suppose this is our first proper tour. It’s good fun, we’re enjoying it.
Are there a lot of bands from Stoke?
Rich: Yeah, there’s loads.
Fitch: There are quite a few, aren’t there?
Rich: There’s a lot of bands, but it’s like – we played London last night, a Thursday, and a lot of people came out to watch, but we’ve supported national bands like Palma Violets midweek at one of the main venues in Stoke and no-one comes out. It’s quite hard to stir up a buzz in Stoke – there are a lot of bands, but there don’t seem to be that many people who are into it, and if they are it’s more like the Lad Rock, Courteeners style of things.
Ash: The Sugar Mill’s got a thing now where people go there after the bands have finished to get wasted, rather than paying like two or three pounds extra to go in at eight.
Fitch: There are quite a few good bands, but everyone has to go somewhere else to get a bit of buzz.
Your latest single, Heart, sounds much more electronic than the others I’ve heard. Do you think you’re going to head further down that route?
Rich: We’ve pushed for it before in some of the tracks, but it’s been a lot less obvious. Our producer, Rich Turvey, he’d go full-on electro if he could, so that’s always in there. It’s something we like doing – when we’ve done B-Sides, we’ve made them much more like house tracks and a lot less guitar-based.
Any plans for an album?
Rich: Not yet.
Fitch: This tour’s just for the single. We’re looking to release an album around next Spring, so we’ll be coming up here just to record a few more things.
Ash: We’re looking forward to getting some more tracks down, it’s been a while since we’ve done any proper recording. When did we record Heart?
Ash: So it’s been quite a while, probably the longest period we’ve been without getting into the studio.
Does it take a long time for you to record a track?
Fitch: We do a lot of background work prior to recording – we spend a lot of time demoing, so a lot of the stems are ready when we go, and a lot of the electronic stuff is already there, so we’re just doing all the live instruments in the studio.
Rich: We’ll do pre-production with Turvey, stuff like ironing out creases, shortening songs, and changing verses, so when we go into the studio everyone knows what we’re doing. We aim to get everything done in two days for each track, so we’re not sat in the studio going “Oh something doesn’t sound right there, should we try this, should we try this?”.
I was doing a bit of background reading on you before, and Foals came up quite a few times as a reference point. Would you say that’s an accurate comparison?
Fitch: Not massively, I think Foals are sort of away from Math Rock themselves, but the influences are there. I think the influences are more there in the live show. I think Will mentioned last night, in another interview –
Will (Drummer): What did I say?
Fitch: You were talking about the difference between the live performance and the actual recording – the live shows are more guitar-based, and can be classed a little bit more as Rock.
So you think electronics sound better in studio than on stage?
Fitch: It’s not so much better, we’ve got everything there, but I think the live shows add something more, a lot more depth to it.
Will: A lot more energy.
Fitch: Yeah, that’s it. I’ve watched bands where you listen to their albums then go to a gig and it’s just them sticking a CD on, but I think there’s a difference between listening to us and coming to watch. We’re all proud of our recordings and how we sound, but I think that adds something else to it.
I think that’s about everything I’ve got… Where do you see yourselves going in the future?
Ash: One more out the bag!
Rich: I don’t know – we’ll always be making music, so…
Will: We’ll just carry on.
Rich: Yeah, we enjoy what we’re doing, so if it takes us to headlining the Pyramid stage then Bingo, if it takes us to playing here next year then whatever – nothing derogatory to the Magnet, mind. It’s not like we’ve set out like Del Boy and Rodney, saying “this time next year we’ll be famous”, there’s no real agenda.
Will: Get on Jools Holland.
Ash: Jools Holland and Sunday Brunch.
Fitch: Then we’ll quit.
Ash: I’ll die happy.
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Image Credit: Leek Post & Times