New Noise is a segment on Far Out that shines a light on some of the best artists currently making waves underground, and this edition sees us turn our attention to Humberside with Fever. The Hull quintet formed in 2018 and only got the chance to play a smattering of gigs before the pandemic struck. However, that hasn’t stopped them from creating a chasm of euphoric anthems that are screaming out to be played live.
2020 couldn’t have started in more emphatic fashion for the band, which began with a string of dates supporting Blossoms, allowing Fever to step on stage every night and win over the audience. Blossoms have been a huge help to the band, and when touring resumes, they are
to reconvene the tour with dates in Leicester, Cambridge and London on the horizon this summer.
Being in the position to lean on the shoulder of a band like Blossoms, with the opportunity to ask for advice from a group that has been the very same position, has been a priceless aid to Fever, who are even on signed to Blossom’s Very Clever Records. That said, the band explain that it’s more of a partnership rather than a signed deal in the traditional sense: “It’s not so much of a ‘deal’ in all honesty,” Fever’s Joe Gray tells Far Out.
“We still pay for all aspects of recording and releases, it’s more that they’re then kind enough to share some of our stuff when it comes out, which allows us to reach a wider audience than we would do on our own,” he added. “They’ve been great with us from day one, to be fair, particularly Joe (Donovan) and Charlie (Salt) from the band who’ve been really supportive of what we’re doing.”
The support from Blossoms came from before they’d released a note of music, and having their nod of approval was a reassurance for Fever that they were onto something special. “I know it was Joe who gave James the encouragement to form the band and get a ‘proper’ recording of ‘Jungle Man’ just off of hearing a GarageBand demo,” Gray said. “They also offered us the support tour with them before we’d put out a proper release or even played a gig, which is a bit mad. We shouldn’t have even been there really.”
Being thrown in at the deep end was an exhilarating experience for Fever, who are still in their infancy. In fact, their debut single, ‘Jungle Man’, was not released until the end of 2019. Lockdown dealt the band with some creative blows, but they soon found their feet and recently released the feel-good firecracker, ‘International Dream’.
Making sure they still created upbeat music in such dreary times was essential to Fever. Their latest single is an instant serotonin booster that is needed now more than ever. “I know James struggled a little bit at first with writing during the initial lockdown,” Gray notes. “That’s probably why we started producing the lockdown covers that we did. It kept us being creative and working together, but without the pressure of it being new songs or whatever. Plus, no one wants to hear ‘lockdown blues’ do they.”
As Gray states, the band kept themselves busy with covers, and one was extra poignant when they covered ‘Happy Hour’ by The Housemartins in the very house which Paul Heaton used to live, where Fever’s Sam Howell made his home last year. “We found an old Paul Heaton Facebook post where he mentioned writing ‘Me and The Farmer’ and ‘Happy Hour’ in that very house on Grafton Street,” Gray explains. “We sort of jokingly suggested it could be good to do a cover of ‘Happy Hour‘ in Sam’s place to sort of come full circle and round off the covers we’d been doing in the previous lockdowns. The only issue was that Sam was moving out at the end of the month, so we had to very quickly scramble it together.”
Heaton even got in touch following the cover to say that he was a fan of their rendition, and the local legend passed the proverbial baton onto Hull’s brightest new band. There must be something special in the walls at 70 Grafton Street, having played a pivotal part in the city’s musical heritage.
While Heaton represents the past when it comes to Hull’s cultural legacy, there’s no reason why in 30 years time there won’t be residents at 70 Grafton Street who are belting out a cover of ‘Jungle Man’. Keep your eyes peeled for a new single from the band this summer, before their debut EP later in the year.