Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Live Review & Interview: AVALANCHE PARTY @ The Rocking Chair, Sheffield ~ 17.02.17

Let me begin by stating the obvious; Avalanche Party are a very exciting band. The five-piece (made up of brothers Jordan and Joe Bell, Jared Thorpe, Kane Waterfield and Glen Adkins) describe themselves as "garage rock from the wild North Yorkshire Moors," and throughout the course of 2016 have become renowned for their irascible and intensifying live performances. Since they exploded on to the scene with debut single 'Money', they have received radio airplay from the likes of Huw Stevens and the legendary Steve Lamacq, and their self-titled debut EP was released to wide acclaim in July. Summer saw them secure a euphonious slot on the BBC Introducing stage of Reading and Leeds festivals', as well as a trip to Europe which saw them playing to crowds of over 6000. Follow up single 'Solid Gold' premiered in 2016, and proved to be yet another stunning display of this bands' ferocious flair for producing trenchant and searingly explosive rock music.

Nothing beats that indescribable flush of euphoric excitement when you see a band live for the very first time and walk away feeling as if you've witnessed a spectacle of the highest calibre. Admittedly, friends have been urging me to seek out Avalanche Party for the best part of a year now but their headline show at The Rocking Chair in Sheffield in association with Aggressive Management was to be my first time seeing them perform... and what an introduction it proved to be. From the very first note, they barely came up for air and had their sold out audience in the very palm of their hands. Frontman Jordan hung menacingly over the edge of the stage, often vacating it entirely to weave through the crowd. From start to finish, the performance was a vehement whirlwind of fervid guitars and audacious vocals. It all seemed to happen so quickly and was inexplicably otherworldly, to the point where I felt almost entranced. Having now seen them live, I completely understand why this band inspire such fanatical respect, love and loyalty from their ever growing fanbase; this is what live music should be... powerful, emphatic and exhilerating.

I was able to speak with Jordan, Joe and Kane prior to their performance, thus finding out a little more about their background and experiences in the industry... 

How and when did you first come together as a band?
Joe: It's been about a year with the current line up.
Jordan: It was in April. To cut a long story short, me and Joe are brothers and we were in a band with Kane before. The other two were in bands previously as well.
Kane: It was all us three, really... the other two are useless!

What did you grow up listening to, and was any of that what inspired you to want to pursue music?
Jordan: Kane listened to a load of shit.
Kane: I'm a massive fan of Wham! Nah, not really... I listened to like Oasis and stuff like that. I liked going to festivals, so I listened to all of that indie stuff!
Jordan: I was a big fan of Eminem! But we did listen to cool stuff as well... Nick Cave and Iggy Pop
Kane: He called one of his cats Stan!

You're on quite an extensive tour at the moment... is there anywhere in particular that you always look forward to playing when you're on the road?
Kane: Brudenell in Leeds was good.
Jordan: We've been to lots of new places on this tour, which has been good. Scotland was great. We've never been up there before. Glasgow was fucking brilliant.
Joe: London as well. That was great. Probably more chaotic than Glasgow, actually! Hull is always a good one for us. All of it has been great so far!

How do you like to fill your time between shows? Do you get to be tourists?
Joe: In between shows is generally work. If we have a couple of days off, we go back to work to earn some proper money before we go back on the road and earn no money!
Jordan: We don't get to see anything, really.
Kane: We went out to Europe and we still didn't get to see anything. It was all just driving!
Joe: We played a gig in Edinburgh which is a lovely city, and we saw none of it.
Kane: We saw Wetherspoons and that was good! I had a cracking burger in there!
Jordan: We had planned to make a day of it, but it didn't quite happen.
Kane: The night before was quite chaotic...
Joe: We were suffering the next day, which is why we went to Wetherspoons.
Kane: Beer and burgers!

You played the BBC Introcucing stage at last years' Reading and Leeds festivals'. What was that experience like?
Jordan: It was good fun.
Joe: Leeds was the first festival we all went to as kids, so that was kind of like a homecoming gig in a way. That was always going to be fun. I've never been to Reading before though, that was great.
Jordan: We hadn't really thought about it that much but then when we turned up we had to get our passes from right behind the main stage, and Skepta was playing... he was playing Shutdown!
Kane: Yannis from Foals was walking around, the little midget... he's about 3ft tall! He wears platforms!
Jordan: He's got a cracking beard.
Kane: But no legs! We met Dynamo as well which was pretty cool. He did a magic trick on me.
Joe: In the guest parking bit, Dynamo was parked next to us and Kane basically bullied him into doing some magic.
Kane: He's a midget as well, so that's why I could bully him.
Joe: His magic trick, which he was really reluctant to do, ended up lasting about half an hour. It was good though.
Kane: You know when you're watching him and he does a trick that makes everyone go 'OH!' It was like that. He drew an X on the back of my hand, and then he blew it, rubbed it and it disappeared... then when I turned my hand around it was there. It was mental.
Jordan: It was pretty impressive.
Kane: And then he drove off...
Jordan: Yeah, he drove about 5 yards to a different parking space away from us...

You also played a festival show over in Germany, didn't you? How do they differ from UK festivals?
Jordan: We got to do a much bigger stage.
Joe: It was actually probably the biggest gig we've ever played.
Kane: Big crowd as well, probably about 7000.
Joe: We did a mini tour, and the first night was in Brussells to about 60 people in this cafe with another 30 or so outside. It was mental. Then the next day we went to play this festival and there was about 6000. It was a big rock festival.
Jordan: The band on before us had cheerleaders!
Joe: It was the German equivalent of Steel Panther, and then afterwards it was like the German Bring Me The Horizon... and then it was us! It was great though. We go back out to Europe again in May. Girls started crying over Jordan... crying!
Jordan: It was a nice experience.

Music aside, does anyone in the band have any quirky hobbies or strange talents?
Kane: Jared has really long hair. Glen is really good at fixing everything. Anything that's broke, he can fix it. His organ has broke a good seven times when we've been on this tour and he just fixes it.
Jordan: He's a very handy man.
Kane: Jordan is good at chucking stuff in peoples' mouths.

Is there anything that you've done so far, whether that's a certain song that you've written, a particular show that you've played... or perhaps something else entirely, that you're either especially proud of or feel has been integral in getting you to where you are today?
Kane: For me, it was 'Porcelain'. Whenever we do a gig now, everyone is stood dancing or screaming along to the words. When we were in Scotland, we were playing and looking out at all these people who were going mental and singing it word for word. They're all nuts! At the first show in Glasgow, they ripped the stage down.
Jordan: It was quite a late gig, we were on at about half 1. It was like a cellar venue with low ceilings, and as soon as we started playing they were ripping the barriers out and throwing the foam everywhere.

What are you all listening to at the moment?
Kane: You. I'm listening to a band called Plaza...
(One half of supporting band Plaza were present for the interview)
Joe: Plaza, Fat White Family, Plaza...
Kane: Spring King, they're pretty good. Stuff like that.
Joe: The Blinders from Donny. I'm listening to quite a lot but mainly bands like them. I've mainly been listening to a lot of the bands that we've been playing with on tour who we're friends with.
Kane: Just to see whether they're good or not... That Plaza are shit!

Finally, what's next for Avalanche Party?
Joe: Once we've finished this tour we'll be writing and recording. We go to Europe in May.
Jordan: We've got 2 new singles coming out as well.
Kane: I'm having a baby, so that's what's next for me!
Joe: Yeah, Kane is having a kid, so that's a big thing! But yeah... two new singles, a European tour and then back for a few festivals and plan for another UK stint I think.

With Glen and Jared of Avalanche Party absent... William and Matt of Plaza stepped in!


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