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Stereoboard Talk To Delphic Ahead Of Their Relentless House Party Show In Manchester (Interview)

Monday, 13 May 2013 Written by Emma Dodds

You perhaps may not have heard of Delphic, but I’ll be surprised if you haven’t heard their music. Although not hugely well-known, they have a rather extensive fan base. The band is made up of Matt Cocksedge on guitar, Dan Hadley on the drums, Richard Boardman working the synthesiser and James Cook on bass and vocals. Next week they’re playing a massive gig in their hometown of Manchester, so I caught up with James to find out what it was all about.

So you’re headlining a massive gig in your hometown – how do you feel about that?
Pretty good! We haven’t done a gig here for quite a while. The last one was in Night and Day over in Rusholme which is where we rehearse in Manchester, and that was back in November or December. It’s been quite a while and it’s long overdue. It’s gonna be great. There’s a few rooms there, and it will offer a completely different side to music in Manchester. For example, we’ve got Egyptian Hip Hop and Bipolar Sunshine, who used to be in Kid British. People too often associate Manchester with indie music, but there’s a much bigger scene going on here.

There’s a big urban scene and garage scene and new house kind of stuff. It’s really exciting, because not a lot of people associate Manchester with those genres so it’ll be good to give them a different taste.

Pretty awesome! How did it come about?
The people at Relentless got in touch and said they had this space if we wanted to create a gig or night there, and we just jumped at the chance because the chance to put on some of our favourite artists and show a different angle to Manchester was something that really appealed to us. I went to look around the venue about 2 months ago and it’s just unreal. It’s an old Victorian house with a warren of different rooms which is really cool. It’s quite dingy inside, but I think that only adds to the atmosphere. It’ll be a real house party; if you imagine like a Victorian masquerade ball type thing. We’ll be encouraging everyone to get up on the tables and chairs and dance.

That’s amazing! Who else that is playing the night are you excited to see perform?
I’m really looking forward to seeing Bipolar Sunshine – Adio from Kid British. He’s really interesting. I always quite liked Kid British because they were kind of… almost reggae or ska, but he’s gone completely the other way it would seem. He’s gone to almost Paul Simon territory but with a new dance angle which is really interesting.

We also love Stay Plus. Or is it Stay Positive? I never know because it’s just a plus symbol! We saw him play recently and he really gets the room going so I definitely want to see those two. I also want to check out the other rooms as well with Zed Bias and DRS because some of this garage and urban stuff that is coming out of Manchester is really exciting. It’s kind of breaking into the mainstream as well, especially the label Black Butter who release things from Lulu James and Rudimental.

Sounds immense. Is there anything else this summer that you’re excited about?
Aside from the house party, we have a gig in Manchester again at the end of July which is at the festival pavilion. We’re playing three nights there. It’s going to be a kind of reworking of our latest album from start to finish with about 15 different musicians on stage, and there’s going to be a cross-between African and Asian rhythms and dance music. It’s going to be really interesting!

You’re also playing the Parklife Weekender – are you excited for that?
Yeah absolutely. We love our set, we work hard on it. To us it’s kind of like it’s a piece of art in as much as an album is for us. We don’t stop between any of the songs, we mix everything together and create new bits of music to go in between the songs. We have these big, long, extended… basically what you might call jams in between, even though they’re very pre calculated, and we know what we’re doing. That’s the heavy dance element that we bring to our live set. If you let yourself go whilst watching the set it’ll just go off and you’ll have a great time. That’s the one thing that I regret about being in this band is that I can’t see us live, because I know that I’d really enjoy it. So I’m really looking forward to that. There’s a lot playing around us as well, I think Rudimental are playing.

Everything Everything I think?
Everything Everything as well who are good friends of ours!

I thought that might be the case!
Yeah! I actually just got a text from one of them, asking if we want to go over to theirs on Tuesday night for a mixed grill! It’s basically a conceptual mixed grill party. Apparently each one of us brings a different slice of meat and we have it in different courses. So yeah! This is just the crazy sort of thing that Manchester bands get up to.

Crazy. Your new album is less electronic than Acolyte. Was this a natural progression or was it a pre-determined decision that you came to beforehand?
I think what we’re trying to do is to try and change people’s perceptions of what is possible within music. So, if you use the term electronic, a lot of people think that it has to be mainly synthesisers. If you look at someone like Kraftwerk or New Order, they’re the kind of godfathers of electronic music in terms of bands.

We made our first album, and we really enjoyed making it, but it then felt like the next year after that there was this influx of Calvin Harris and David Guetta types. Then Rihanna started sounding like electronic music and Lady Gaga as well. Everyone was doing the same thing and it just got really boring, so we thought what is there within electronic music that we can still do? We basically looked over the channel, looked at hip hop. It still uses electronic music, they’re still making electronic music, but it’s more beat driven rather than synthesiser driven.

So we ditched our synthesisers for samplers, which is still electronic, and based the album around that instead. That was important for us, because it gave us a little niche that we could fit in amongst that wasn’t doing the same sort of thing as what’s happening in the charts over here. So we kind of feel it’s more producer driven, but just not in the way that maybe people would expect.

Which bands that are just starting out are you looking forward to seeing more of?
I really love Haim. I know they’re not just starting out, but they haven’t released an album yet. I think that they’ve got something really special. I love the way that the singer, Danielle, grunts and does little pops almost like Michael Jackson would. It’s brilliant, I really like that. She’s got something really great about her.

The Jai Paul album which everyone has been waiting 6 years for is still not out, but he’s really good and I can probably see him changing the face of music production in dance music. I also love Laura Mvula I think she’s really good. That’s basically it.

I love music, but I listen to a lot of old music. I listen to a lot of things to try and get inspiration, because I kind of feel in a way that a lot of new music coming out is on a bit of a carousel. It almost feels like everything is being regurgitated and you’re hearing the same thing again, and it feels like a lot of people, a lot of press and a lot of music fans have a lot more faith in artists that haven’t released anything than artists that have. I mean, I think Azealia Banks is brilliant, but when you see for example on Instagram getting given like Prada bags having not released an album, something’s a little bit wrong there. You should surely have to prove your worth in the music industry rather than kind of being given everything under the sun in the hope that you’ll release something good.

So I’m a bit concerned about music at the moment in terms of where it’s going; apart from those few people there’s not a great deal of hope in the new acts that are coming out in my opinion, but yeah maybe give it a couple of years and things might change.

Delphic UK Tour Dates are as follows

Thu May 16th 2013 - Relentless House Party, Antwerp Manson, Manchester
Fri June 7th 2013 - York Duchess, York
Thu July 18th 2013 - Festival Pavilion, Manchester
Fri July 19th 2013 - Festival Pavilion, Manchester
Sat July 20th 2013 - Festival Pavilion, Manchester
Fri August 9th 2013 - Fleece, Bristol

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