Regular readers will know that we loved The Dreaming Spires new single, ‘Not Every Song From The Sixties Is A Classic’. Having been given a sneak preview of the album, we are pleased to report that the single is far from a one-off. The LP is packed full of spikey pop tunes, perfect for the summer that seems to have arrived.
Fortuitously, it also turned out that our friends at Wildwood Promotions are bringing the band to Brighton, so we also get the chance to hear the new tunes live. One half of ‘the spires’, Robin, was kind enough to have a chat to someofitistrue about the new record, the Brighton show and how the band came to be!
Hi Gents, whereabouts are you enjoying the hot weather?
For those who know nothing about the genesis of the band, please tell us how The Dreaming Spires came into being.
My brother Joe and I have been playing music together for a long time. We were in the band Goldrush and toured the US with Mark Gardener of Ride, and on our own, in fact two members of that band ended up with American wives (including Joe). That band died off when we all got married. On a visit to our old drummer’s wedding, on Zuma beach (Los Angeles), we visited another friend who was not in the best situation and was selling all his stuff; I bought his Tom Petty box set, and throughout the road trip through California with our families we listened to it non stop. That might have been it. We also wanted some cool upbeat songs like that we could play alongside our favourite covers at pub gigs, for we were dipping our toes back into the music scene after a 5 year sabbatical (though we did play in Danny & the Champs for that time); on the same trip I wrote ‘Singing Sin City’ with another American friend, Cat Martino which described our experiences on the road and that set the tone for a lot of the other songs.
The single, ‘Not Every Song From The Sixties Is A Classic’ has just come out – what’s it all about?
It’s about a number of things colliding; the need to escape a claustrophobic city when things are going wrong- it was initially written about a particular situation in Los Angeles (though it could apply to any city), where we would always arrive and find K-Earth 101 on the stereo playing “Build me up Buttercup” and of course “California Dreaming”; our old guitar player used to hate that well-loved song, hence the references to it in the lyric, though of course there are a fair few dreadful songs from that era as well as the great ones.
What songs from the Sixties would you recommend to our readers?
Where to start? All or Nothing – Small Faces / Sympathy for the Devil – the Rolling Stones / Baby I Need Your Loving – Four Tops / For No One – The Beatles / Hot Burrito #1 – the Flying Burrito Bros / Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan. We could be here all day.
You’re playing Brighton soon, played any gigs here before?
We made a brief foray with Dreaming Spires last summer to the Prince Albert. We played here years ago with Goldrush a few times. Also played a weird wedding in a seafront hotel and cricketer Andrew Flintoff was there and insisted on playing my guitar. Brighton is a great place, looking forward to it.
What can we expect from The Dreaming Spires live experience?
We often play live now as a 3 piece, so it’s looser and places the focus on the Everleys-style harmony between Joe and I, and the bass plays lead on a lot of the songs live, while we do add some pyschedelic moments too. We have a great new drummer called Jamie and I believe we are hoping to add keys for the Brighton show!
I think I can hear the influences of great bands such as Teenage Fanclub, The Flying Burrito Bros, Big Star and The Byrds in your work. Is this a fair reference?
With the addition of Mr Petty, this band is more or less a celebration of those exact bands! We love them all.
Your album, ‘Brothers in Brooklyn’ is also out soon – did you have a good time making it? Any favourite tracks we should look out for?
It was pieced together over a long time and I really enjoyed all of the sessions, though because we were working day jobs and ran out of money, it took a long time! I was also obsessed with recreating the Petty/Jeff Lynne production style for a while, though gave up on that and put on some more raw recordings like ‘Laughing & Dancing”, recorded in a cabin in the woods in Ohio. Many friends from bands such as Ride (who were always very influenced by the Byrds), Danny & the Champs, Cat Martino, Ralfe Band and even a member of Mercury Rev helped us to put the album together, with production from Oxford music legend Sam Williams and Oxford University lecturer Duncan Williams (we sneaked into the music faculty at night to record in secret)… most of the instruments on it (though not drums!) are played by Joe and I.
What would be your dream festival line up – you can choose 5 bands.
I’ve been lucky to book many of my favourite acts at Truck festival; here are five I haven’t or bands I’ve never seen:
THE BAND / JONI MITCHELL / RIDE / OTIS REDDING / BIG STAR
It was Bob Dylan’s birthday last week. What are your top three Dylan albums?
This week- Bootleg Series Vol 1-3; Desire; Highway 61 Revisited
The Dreaming Spires play The Green Door Store in Brighton on Wednesday 6th June. someofitistrue look forward to seeing you there!