Hello, I’m back, did you miss me? Be honest, you didn’t realise there wasn’t a No Surprises… last weekend, did you?
I know, it’s all getting too political, so I promise (yet again) no politics until we receive reply from our local MP; the questions I fired over are getting dated due to the fast-paced political world, may as well have asked if Neville Chamberlain has secured a peace deal with Hitler.
So, I’ve sent another email, congratulating Claire Perry on her new role and asking how much fracking we can expect in our area now Theresa May is hell-bent on proceeding to poison the water. Still holding my breath for this apt question, giving her new ministerial post is environmental; watch this space!
Why is this important you ask, if you want to read of Claire’s affairs there’s her own column in a very prominent publication? A column which this week claimed the Government have done wonders for our environment but failed to mention fracking, and in a week where 10 London fire stations areclose due to cuts, she offered us assurance they’re responding positively to the Grenfell Tower atrocity.
London has certainly been through it recently but in no comparison our own humble town reported its usual senseless incidents of violence; one 27-year-old beaten up outside Spoons and a teenage boy punched in the face near Subway. It’s a pitiful display people, encouraging the elder generation, the majority here, to think the young are nothing but violent yobs; let’s set that record straight.
So, breath deep, no politics, this week’s subject musical; pop these days doesn’t dare do political opinion as charts of yore did, imagine Ed Sheeran covering the Clash’s Guns of Brixton; it’s like Captain Ska is in undiscovered territory.
I asked Sam Bishop about writing on current affairs, a young Devizes vocalist and keyboardist who with guitarist Finley Trusler has formed the vocal duo Larkin from the ashes of the group 98 Reasons.
“Some of our lyrics do have a serious side,” he told me, “like everyone interprets our lines differently – related to love, to politics, to grief.”
Entertaining the crowd at HFT’s mini-festival in Rowde last weekend, Larkin have performed their singles twice on BBC Wiltshire and now have a Crowdfunder campaign to produce an album called Set You Free.
Watching their YouTube channel, seems Larkin pleases the crowd covering fun classics such as I’m a Believer and 500 Miles, “Usually we do an hour and half set, the first half is more modern artists we like, such as Shawn Mendes or Kings of Leon, and the second half is old classics to get people singing; like Neil Diamond and The Monkees,” he stated, “I’d say our songbook is a real mixture.”
I asked Sam if, despite these covers, they’ve been writing songs themselves.
“The crowd-funded album will be full of original songs,” he explained, “we’ve over 20 written, but we have to narrow down to the best eight or nine to really make this album the best it can be.”
“Do you write together or separate?” I asked.
“The writing process usually consists of ideas for song names and tunes flooding my head and I record the tune or lyrics, or even both on my phone,” Sam replied enthusiastically, “and then collaboratively we make the songs suitable for drums, bass, keys, guitar etc.”
Claiming their influences are between Simon and Garfunkel and Bastille seems broad to an oldie like me; while the first I can appreciate, the latter those ones I turn all dad-like with and shout up the stairs to turn it down! I tried adding emojis into our chat to appear as if I’m not past it.
“I’d say that our sound is very much influenced by S&G,” Sam continued unperturbed by my senior moment, “careful harmonies and a different vibe to other bands! But our writing style is like Bastille- deep lyrics with positive chords.
“Our songs are of no particular genre, one song is pop, the next is indie, or alternative.”
Are Simon and Garfunkel not deep enough I pondered? Still, I hand it to Sam, the style is fresh with subtle hints of yore and the sound is sublime. Have they considered entering the TV talents shows I asked.
“We were thinking BGT but not sure,” he told me.
Here then is a shining example which blows this yob-culture label out of the water, you should be supporting the enthusiasm and brilliance of Larkin, who rather than be eaten up by a money-making Simon Cowell industry, are DIYing and having fun doing it their way.
“The money raised will fund the recording and mastering of all the tracks for the album, and the production of CDs for distribution,” Sam informed me.
“Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to have an album of my own and I finally have the chance to make it possible!”
Please help this inspiring local project, “every penny helps get us closer to our goal,” he assured me.
“Donations towards this project will pay towards the production and recording of eight tracks at a local recording studio, the mixing, as well as the creation of CDs to be able to sell online and at our gigs.”
So best of luck to Larkin; now, what one is the happy emoji again?