Sunday, 11 October 2009
In Conversation with SoPhIe'S pIgEoNs’ (Originally done 25/05/07 - updated 11th October 2009)
In Conversation with
(Recorded lived 25th May 2007
in Cornerhouse Bar, Manchester.
Transcribed by Andy N
A little background:
(25th May 2007)
As much as I love doing interviews viva email
There is a strange sort of buzz that can only
Come from doing a interview live.
To date over my travels as ‘Rising Sun’
And ‘Setting Sun’ – I have done four live
Interviews – the first was a unpublished interview
With ‘George’ which came just as ‘Rising Sun’
Folded in the summer off 2001 and by the time
I got going again as ‘Setting Sun’ in 2003
Two more interviews followed with ‘Octave
Sounds’ and ‘Laymar’ over the next few
Years – both of which I had a great laugh
Doing and in the Laymar case resulted
In a stinking hardover the next morning.
Sophie’s Pigeon who are the band in question
Are very different from any of the three previous
Acts interviewed live, although perhaps akin
To ‘George’ in the sense of they throw everything
Into the mix.
On their myspace.com page they are described
By Mitten Records as a ‘genre busting musical
Collective revolving around pianist and singer
According to their press notes they were hatched in
Moss Side Manchester, in a dusty loft space.
Their notes also advise their ‘is one of an great tale.
One became two, then three and then the fourth came
swooping down to form this feathered collective.
This collection of musicians created a sound thats
toe tapping, fingerclicking, erratic rocking - wearing
down the rocking chair. Hands clapping, feet a stomping,
new voices filling up the smoky air. ‘
I stumbled onto them through one of my annual
Journeys through myspace.com and was spellbound
By what I heard.
This really was something cool.
So of course I dropped them a line and when I discovered
They were a local band, this live interview came about.
Update 11th October 2009
Reading up on the band, they are very very active indeed
and am regularly still doing gigs etc.
I know they have a EP called 'SayPlaySway Ep'
out which I will ordering when I can...
Pop over to their myspace page for more details..
Thanks to all of them for the interview.
First of all, can you all introduce yourselves?
I'm Sophie, I write the songs and play the piano
Hi, I'm Sam I backing sing and try to keep
in time and play the frog.
My name is Phil and I play the Melodian and the Harmonium ,
Drums and Percussion.and Sometimes I play rap too...
I’m Marie, play Violin and also Percussion. ,
Can you next tell us a little bit about the history
of SP? What started you off?
Or as I like to say ‘who fired the starting pistol?’
I was doing it solo for a bit, I did a demo
recording in the Zion centre and I did a gig at
the green room and my friends came along,
I got introduced to Sam who was in another
band and she said,"I'm a backing singer, can
I sing with you" and that was it,
jamming in Moss Side! Classic!!
Weird story Phil was living next door to Sophie and when
Phil moved out I moved in Phil’s room and we both lived
near Sophie, so we all say we are from Moss Side?
Can you next us what are your musical influences and
what are you listening to at the moment?
I have fell back in love with Tori Amos again! She
understands everything I go through – she get’s it!
I love her too!:
We got a lot of comparisons with Tori Amos and Regina Speckor….
I think we get compared to it because Sophie’s song writing is
quite of that ilk… I think we try and add a bit of a handmade
feel to it by swapping around instruments and it’s more like of
an experimental feel on that place.
I can certainly see that in your recording
In particular on your two songs on myspace.com.
It was to jam in, I just play my songs and everybody
just comes up with little bits and bobs.
It is good to see you play regular gigs.. How does
gigging compare to your recordings – is their one you
prefer over the other?
Giggings’ better but recording is fun.
We have lots of fun with both. Recording is
I must , if we had to record it in a studio
it would take so long because nothing has
it’s set time. It would be a nightmare
for a producer.
It would also be a nightmare for sound
We’re very relaxed because we’re all mates.
Do you have a mixing desk at home or an eight
track or do it do it live?
Gawd, we don’t do it live.
We all record it in our bedroom.
So you have your own little studio?
Tiny little bedroom. Soundproof fibres and
mattress on the walls.
Gaffe Tape and microphones to the bed.
There’s some air on the CD is the heating boiler.
I play the Bass with a bit of clean fill tube.
You play the Box don’t you?
Yeah I do… Personal project
We like to play a variety of instruments.
Can you next tell us a little bit about
‘She Sucks Lemons’?
It’s about one of my friends where I am
originally from it’s basically about being
emotionally dependent on the male species
being romantically linked.
It’s not about being a Lesbian isn’t it?
No, its not.
The Song name has that kind of
Can you next tell us a bit more about ‘Naked Bitch’
is about also?
Naked Bitch is about another err.. friend who is
also dependent on men and flirts her body and
talks about herself a lot and changes herself a
lot for men.
We tell them. We don’t think they realise though
this song is about them.. We see them dancing them a
lot at our gigs – ooh I love this one, oh dear…
What’s the inspiration behind your name as a band?
I don’t know where it came from but it sounded
brilliant, it seemed really original at the moment, but
there are a lot of bands with similar names like the
Pigeons but we were first – Sophie’s Pigeons. I did
find out there was a song wrote called by Cyndi Lauper
called ‘Sally’s Pigeons’ so some people may think we
took it from that but we didn’t.
What’s next for you all? I notice you are always gigging
which is always good to see but you have any more
releases planned etc?
We are really working hard to get our name out –
We have really being only together since June / July last year.
We are playing a gig soon with Ivan Campo,
who are an amazing band.. We really compliant
each other’s sound really well and one of our big
aims are to go on tour together…
We are next playing In a Crypt under a church –
supporting Anni Rossi In Skipton.
We think we would live to get gigs in
Liverpool and Brighton and maybe London
and start getting ourselves out of Manchester.
We are just hammering Manchester to get a
base as a good start before spreading our wings..
We do want to write new stuff, but there is no point
in writing new material in going to different places
playing new stuff when the new place doesn’t
know your old stuff…
Good to see you also from reading your press
releases, you also like doing cover versions?
We do ‘The Smiths’ – ‘There is a light that
never goes out’ that’s really good and Justin
Timberlake ‘Sexy Back’ that goes down
well which Phil sings.
We played a indie kind of venues in
Leeds and we found either play love
it or hate it (The Smiths’s song) in
those kind of venues, and there was
these two guys who were dancing and
just didn’t get it we had made it ours.
Did you change the chord progression?
No the chord progression is the same, we
slowed it down and it is a bit different in the vocals,
the harmonies, the violin, the harmonium and
there was no drums.
I think some people were expecting a
football chorus – it’s one of those sorts of
songs – our version is a bit more delicate.
Couple of daft questions, to finish off with..
What do you all do when you are not in
I direct films.
I teach one day a week and I am also
part of a 20 strong arts collective.
I am a producer of live art and
Two jokey questions to finish off,
what would you like to be doing when
you are 60?
I would be dead.
Hopefully I will have trapped somebody
into a marriage.
I will be the crazy lady who goes to all
of the open mikes with all of my demos.
What will you be doing when you are 60?
The Pigeon’s will still be going!
We’ll still be caning those open
I’ll still be a musician!