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Young Rebel Set: 'Crocodile', Festival Season And 'Idea Referees'

Thursday, 05 June 2014 Written by Katie Territt

Young Rebel Set have been steadily making a name for themselves in that most competitive of fields: English indie-rock. Duly, the five-piece, who hail from Stockton-on-Tees, were classed as "life affirming graft rock" by the NME back in their early days.

Their debut album, ‘Curse Our Love’, was released in 2011 and followed up by support slots with the Coral, Cage The Elephant and the Courteeners, while its confident follow up, ‘Crocodile’, bit hard last autumn.

Young Rebel Set recently completed a run of headline shows in both the UK and Europe, including a string of dates in front of their growing German fanbase and support slots with Embrace.

“Life on the road has been treating us very well,” Andrew Parmley, the band’s guitarist, said. “The gigs have been going great. Every gig is important. Support slots are always harder as you’re constantly trying to prove yourself to the audience of another band. You’re willing them to become fans of your own band.

“Headline shows are easy. The crowd are having it, you can feel that warm reception and you play off it, but supports aren’t like that. At the end of the day though, it doesn’t matter what gig we’re playing and who we’re playing to, we just do what we normally do and smash it.”

‘Crocodile’ was recorded in Glasgow at Chem19 Studios with producer Paul Savage, former drummer of the Delgado’s and a collaborator with Mogwai, the Phantom Band and Arab Strap in the past. The decision to head north followed an aborted attempt to track the album in London, where the band had been “drinking too much and sitting around doing fuck all” according to guitarist Mark Evans.

“While creating ‘Crocodile’ we really spent a lot of time on making sure every part, from the guitar lines to the drum beat to the vocal melody, sounded the way we wanted it to sound, which didn’t really happen so much on our debut album,” Parmley said. “We had much more creative freedom on ‘Crocodile’ and I think that’s more apparent in the music. A lot more thought went in to it.

“There were certain aspects of making the album that were difficult, like scrapping month long recording sessions and wasting time investigating musical cul-de-sacs. When we actually took a step back, evaluated every detail and realised what was working and what wasn’t, we then knew we had to change certain things which meant when we then got back into it, the actual process became easier and a lot more enjoyable, especially working with Paul Savage.

“He acted like a kind of ‘idea referee’ because everyone had very strong thoughts of how they wanted different aspects of the album to be like. That could sometimes be completely different to someone else’s, so Paul would pick the best bits from everyone and then we’d all work on it together which meant that everyone’s creativity was playing a part, as opposed to one person writing a song, bringing it to the band and dictating how it should sound. It was a different process which has worked completely in our favour.”

With summer slowly creeping up on us, every band is looking to festival season. Young Rebel Set are no different. The band have dates confirmed in both the UK and Europe, including a slot at the legendary Isle of Wight Festival later this month.

“We always look forward to playing festivals, there’s that ‘buzz’ about a festival gig which you don’t get with any other kind of show,” Parmley said. “Everyone’s up for it, probably because most people are out their heads. It’s all part of the fun. It’s also a chance to catch up with some bands you haven't seen in a while, as well as discovering your next favourite band.” 

“As for the rest of the year, we’re keeping our cards close to our chest about a number of things going on behind the scenes but rest assured there will be some very thrilling announcements from the Young Rebel Set HQ very soon.”

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