LIVE & INTERVIEW: The Family Rain, The Garage

We were lucky enough last week to be invited to hear two rising starlets of the British rock scene; Darlia and The Family Rain. Performing on one of the grottiest stages in London and  making the crowd feel even grottier is no mean feat, but both bands managed to do this with aplomb.

Darlia were first on to welcome a crowd of sardonic scenesters drawn to the gig by the illustrious(?) tagline of NME Awards show. Darlia are in a slight niche of their own at the moment, one of the only bands to truly embody the 90’s grunge spirit with full force.

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They smashed through their set with minimal audience movement, something which clearly didn’t bother the band from Blackpool as tey bounded around the stage with apathetic angst. Queen Of Hearts closed the set and went further to affirm the band’s potential, even if it somewhat landed on deafened ears. With such a great band being given little to nothing from an extremely drunk crowd, I started to worry for the headliners The Family Rain. I needn’t of.

The Family Rain swagger on to the stage, 3 shangri-la brothers from Bath. They launch in to a fantastic blues-drenched set full of blood, sweat and beers. Quilted lad rock with heartfelt moments of lyrical subtlety compounded by heavy drums and furious fuzzy guitars.

The fantastic Carnival then leads to the uplifting Feel Better (FRANK). Such a range of blues/rock/pop and soulful suggestions truly show the bands range as performers and lovers of music. They flit between tracks from Under The Volcano then end the night with the song which pushed them over the top: Trust Me … I’m a Genius with this rapturous riff driven barnstormer the night ends, and The Family Rain mark themselves as bigger and better than ever.

Before the gig however, I caught up with the band of brothers from Bath; Ollie, Timothy and Will and we talked about the album, influences and that Rolling Stones support slot.

 

Hi guys, hope you’re all well. So, the album Under The Volcano is out now (Virgin/EMI) and it seems relatively quick since you broke last year, has it felt a long time coming for you?

Ollie: Yeh, it has. We had most of it recorded last year. 

Will: We wanted it to feel quick, it’s been hanging around with us for a while. So quick is good. 

Parents must be proud then?

Will: Of course, they’re our biggest fans. They went slightly mad during the recording. 

Being in a band with your brothers, is that conjusive to the writing process?

Will: We like to think so 

Ollie: It allows us to be incredibly honest. We aren’t scared to say “That’s shit!” 

Will: We have always been in bands together so that is the only way we have ever known. We have always had others around us though, so this was nice to get down to just the three of us where we can really express ourselves.

Have you been touring a lot to promote the album?

Will: We have been lucky enough to have January off. So now we want to concentrate on writing some new material within the next few months before festival season kicks off.

Some people have described the UK festival scene as the rock and roll Ibiza, does that ring true?

Tim: Yeh, it’s just like one big cruise. 

Ollie: We see alot of English artists in different countries and it brings a little piece of home with them and makes you feel more like you are on holiday. You go to these festivals and it’s like you, Kasabian, Miles Kane and then Ben Howard thought he’d come along as well. Why not? Get the drinks in. 

You mention Miles Kane, you recently did a support slot with him and Jake Bugg, is there a lot of ego with those guys?

Will: No, not that we’ve experienced, though I’m sure there are some different levels.

Ollie: It’s different with rock and roll now. There a lot more hard work and not such a chance for excess. Rock stars aren’t superstars anymore, that’s for the Hip-Hop artists. 

Tim: There’s a lot of respect between bands. 

Ollie: We all know we worked hard to get here and really we are all just doing it for the pure love of it.  

With the support slots for such fantastic artists, do you guys take pride in being picked by these artists to tour with them?

Will: Of course! We were in Ibiza at a party with Biffy Clyro and they made time to come up to us and tell us “we went through a lot of choices but we picked you’. Stuff like that is just fucking awesome. 

You supported the Rolling Stones as well, which must’ve been incredible. Do you think there will ever be rock stars like them again?

Will: I think they need to die first. Then a new generation of icons like Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher will replace them. But until they die they will always be the pinnacle. 

Ollie: So we’ve got about 40 years til we are there. 

In the current states of Spotify and other file sharing sites is it harder to make an impact with an album? Does it make touring more important?

Ollie: Well it has got to a point now where that is the only thing left in music. Just standing their playing to them. That’s how we discover bands and sounds so I like to think that it’s the best form. 

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You guys have quite an eclectic sound is it annoying to be continually pigeon-holed as a Blues/Rock band?

Ollie: I think when a band comes out, they need to be compared to some entity or sound to accept them or understand them. But as time goes on you hope they accept you as you and realise you have a broader reach. 

Tim: Then people will be saying you sound like The Family Rain. 

Will: We don’t take it badly, by any means. We are a guitar band and we love that kind of music, so it’s cool.  

You say ‘Guitar band’ there, do you think their is a big guitar revival?

Ollie: Well we are obviously guitar fans and a guitar band, but no there aren’t any guitar heroes anymore. Think about it, who is there? Jack White? Maybe? But he’s knocking on a bit. 

Will: Name a current song with a guitar solo, it just doesn’t happen anymore. 

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I heard somewhere, that the end-goal of the band was to be lying on a beach in Mexico and smoking Peyote, is that still true?

All: Yeah. 

Ollie: That’s has to be the dream, doesn’t it? That’s the only reason we are doing this (laughs) to buy a house in Mexico and say goodbye. 

Will: Just buy as much Peyote and Corona as possible and get brown leathery skin. 

Do you get more satisfaction from the smaller gigs like this or the masses you find at festivals and what must’ve faced you at Hyde Park?

Will: I think at this stage we prefer to have a smaller gig with our own crowd, at this stage only a certain amount of people will know you in a festival crowd. 

Ollie: It’s a harder sell to play a gig when you are just trying to win people over, so whatever scale that is be it 700 or 70,000. 

Like I said, it seems as though the album Under The Volcano has come out of nowhere, with such an impressive debut LP achieved do you ever have a time when you think “We’ve done it”?

Ollie: We spent a long time banging our heads against the wall, so you learn to not take things for granted. We’re not being complacent.

Will: We have by no means acheieved all we set out to do. Of course to release an LP helps us to the end, but we are a long way enough. We have been extremely hungry for this; we’ve had the starter but now we want the main! 

With masses of tours, festivals, more writing and a shed load of bluesy fuzz filled riffs and heavy rhtyhm we have a long time until this rain dries up on these isles.

 

Jack Whatley

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