Ten Fé Interview

Interviews, Uncategorized
ten fé 2018_credit abi raymaker-23

Ten Fé; Photo Credit; Abi Raymaker

Leo Duncan, who shares lead singer-songwriter duties with Ben Moorhouse of Ten Fé, spoke to us about the recording of their second album, the evolution of their sound, and positivity in the face of increasingly declining physical record sales.

It’s obvious when you speak to a musician that music goes beyond their occupation, or satisfying self indulgence of project ‘cool’. As Keith Richards once said: “Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” Discussing the bands origins almost feels an insult in the face of Ten Fé, who clearly have music in their “bones”.

The band wear hearts, not pride, on their sleeves. The follow up to their ‘Hit The Light’ debut, ‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’, that coincides it’s release (March 8 via Some Kinda Love) with a second American tour, certainly cements how they have really come into their own both personally, and musically.

Originally starting out as a busking duo, Duncan and Moorhouse naturally gravitated towards a five-piece to include childhood mates from Birmingham. And it’s on this second record that you will notice how they have really honed into their sound, doing away with the electronics stylistically, and recording the album mostly live as a five-piece band. Subsequently, the material is more raw and honest and was a reaction to the reception when touring their debut album. “Being honest as performers and the more we’ve cut down on, the backing track, the PA, the electronics, I feel the easier it’s got. And on this album, everyone is playing their instruments, we’ve harnessed raw energy – there’s a real magic passing from one another.”

The first album was not only recorded as a duo, with both Duncan and Moorhouse alternating instruments in the Berlin studio with Ewan Pearson (The Rapture, M83, Jagwar Ma) but had electronic leanings and 90s influence (Primal Scream, Happy Mondays). ‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’ ramps up the Americana elements coming through on the last record; Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and The War On Drugs. “Our listening became more concentrated and particularly The War on Drugs – but also Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’, R.E.M’s ‘Automatic For The People’ – we kept it pretty tight, it wasn’t a conscious thing, it’s just what we were listening to at the time. Obviously our beloved Stones and Beatles too and a touch of The Lighting Seeds at the end.”

Lyrically speaking, poetry retains a large component and privilege as the listener, almost as though the material wasn’t meant for prying ears. “In terms of this album, the lyrics are deeper, there’s less word play and wit in the lyric. It’s more concentrated on being honest – on speaking and not wanting to shout, there’s a softness to the lyrics.”

People may be keen to associate them with their hard grafting roots; London buskers on the District Line at 5:30pm, but it’s coming through that is more significant. Music is expression, an art that Duncan says they are fortunate to have avoided the down trodden routes for, and having been a musician over in Dublin, Ireland for a year in his early twenties this was where he learnt how to hold an audience.

When Duncan shares with me his stories of working over in Dublin, there’s an underling and unflinching self confidence to his worth as a performer that I cannot help but admire. “I would play lots of pretty tough pubs along East Wall and on the Northside, where I lived saying, ‘Listen do you mind if I play for you tonight, I’ll play for free, if you give me drinks all evening?’ ‘Right, well, we’ll put you in front of the TV and the football is on at the moment, but if you can distract the people from the football then we’ll let you have the gig.” And I loved that, because you know, if you can make people turn their attention from the football onto you, then you know you are onto something.”

It wasn’t just learning how to hold an audience, but the Irish culture and attitude towards music in turn, took a hold on Duncan: “There’s a very interesting attitude to music in Ireland, you know, there’s a very inclusive attitude to performance – if someone has a guitar, they’re expected to play, and that’s just the given.”

Ireland’s very different, inclusive attitude towards music is the mentality that continues to drive the band forward and is taking them places. Inclusivity is pivotal to their music. “In London the attitude is a stark contrast – if you have a guitar then you have to perform – it’s not an intimate or inclusive thing, because there’s so many people striving to do the same thing, it’s a lot harder. I’ve always connected more to the Irish ways. It happens in Birmingham too – it’s not about networking or showing off, everyone can enjoy these songs, that’s my mission. It’s got very clear roots for me with Birmingham and Dublin.”

While their attitude towards music is rooted in Ireland, they have a greater kinship with American music stylistically. “America is such an important place for us musically. Kurt Vile, War on Drugs, Mac De Marco, Twin Peaks, Whitney is the music that inspires us – when we get up in the mornings, that’s what we put on. Not British bands, apart from Idles and solo acts – I’m excited by Westerman and King Krule, but in terms of bands, America is where it’s at right now”.

When questioning his thoughts on the British music industry, Duncan is positively optimistic about the future of not only the industry itself, but the band’s ambition to sustain a positive headspace. “Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, it’s a struggle sometimes – but if you surround yourself with good people, its always positive. Not just between us as a band, but our management and label are our best mates and they’re always there to support us.”

“You really have to go for it as it’s so competitive right now, but at the same time, the quality of music isn’t dampening, people are making just as good of music as ever, and the people listening aren’t going deaf, shows are being attended and playing shows are as good as it’s ever been.”

Over the phone this afternoon, it seems only topical to bring into conversation todays closure of HMV. I question insofar how Spotify is helping bands, which Duncan enlightens me, helped fund Ten Fé’s last tour of America.  “Things are changing, yes, HMV shut down but when was the last time you bought something in there? (Very true). Lets work out the next way to ingest music – people don’t pay for music now, that’s just the reality – that’s had an enormous impact thing on music – the way to get around it is not to think about it too much. Make sure you’re singing songs you believe in and work with a team you believe and trust.”

There is no room to feel precious on the District Line, you have to hold your own, on a stage of your own making, there’s no gap between the audience and artist. So when it comes to their shows, that are growing in size, the last was in support of Adam Ant at Camden’s Roundhouse, it’s rewarding to see how deep their music is connecting with people.

Keen to learn of Ten Fe’s proudest moment to date, Duncan modestly responds. “I always try and avoid feeling proud, maybe its the Irish in me, but I’m always really happy when we finish a recording – finishing this album was the best feeling, it wasn’t easy to make either. When you play in a band, this might sound cheesy, I don’t care if it does – but if you have a connection when you’re playing with someone overtime you play, and we do, it feels wicked. There’s also a point where it feels amazing. We’ve all known each other for over 10 years and have a deep connection with one another so yeah it’s like being in a pub with your best mates and you’re drinking and you have this moment when you think “ahhh this is f***ing wicked” it only last five seconds when you’re in a pub at Christmas – or you’re at a gig and there’s a point where you just feel it. That’s why I know we’re on the right track – that’s all the Beatles had and that’s what the War On Drugs have, a chemistry on record.”

Chemistry is something you cannot forge, and just like music, you either have it “in the bones” or you don’t, and as more people are noticing, Ten Fé are gifted with both.

‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’ is released March 8 via Some Kinda Love Records

Follow Ten Fé on: Spotify // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

 

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The Great Escape 2018 Review

Live Reviews, The Great Escape 2018, Uncategorized

Brighton 2; Spiral Magazine

The UK’s biggest and brightest showcase of new alternative music was enhanced this year by the irrepressible rays of sunshine – Brighton was grinning from ear-to-ear; everyone was glowing, rooms were gold emblazoned and the streets were so chilled you had to pinch yourself to remind yourself of the time.

Meandering in and around the sun-kissed seaside streets to over 30 venues, from pubs, nightclubs, street stages and beach marquees to catch a glimpse of as many of the 450 bands across 3 days where there were natural challenges in deciding who not to miss and the unavoidable gamble of clashes.

By the Saturday afternoon we felt we let in as much magic as we could manage and set-off on the long voyage home, as to recover from pre-festival (ill-timed) viruses. Our highs however, were unforgettable and without doubt Ireland found it’s way to everyone’s heart by it’s peoples innate charisma, wry wit and warm spirits.

THURSDAY’S highlights…

Moncrieff 

Moncrieff 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

This Irish Singer-Songwriter took the theatre by storm. It’s no exaggeration that his raw and commanding stadium-sized vocals never mind filled, but could be heard outside, the Sallis Benney Theatre, and without a microphone on many occasions to boot too! We were drawn in from the first powerful note; with bluesy and effortless vocal ranges certainly giving Hozier a run for his money!

His heart- wrenching lyrics were delivered with so much punch, we felt the pangs to our gut, particularly on standout tracks: ‘Symptoms’ and ‘Serial Killer’. Suffice to say this Dublin artist is an emerging soul-pop artist to watch, in fact, you’ve got to join us in seeing him headline London in July!

George Taylor 

George Taylor; Elizabeth Andrade; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

This was one of those most tender and sensitive sets that you needed in-between some sketchy shows that afternoon. George’s soulful delivery was effortlessly supported by the tight band. The emotive energy combined was palpable in Jubilee Square – the frontman called to mind Tom Odell, particularly on ‘Come Follow Me Down’. Their set garnered the attention of every passing punter, we reckon these are serious contenders to watch in the upcoming months!

Riley Pearce 

Riley Pearce 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)This talented Perth-based singer-songwriter from the Melbourne-based management: Lemon Tree Music (which already boasts the likes of Tash Sultana, and Pierce Brothers) was everything we hoped for live – the guitar work was impressive to watch, let alone listen – picture Ben Howard in his early days!

He harnessed calming ambiance and had the ability to silence One Church very casually through voice and guitar alone. A slow burning musician that draws parallels to Jose Gonzalez. Playing his latest dreamy single ‘Elephants’ not forgetting his classic ‘Brave’ and ‘Misplaced’ that was every bit as moving in person.

Blanco White 

Blanco White; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpgThere was no disguising the momentum behind this gig, genuine panic was in the winding queues eyes around Unitarian Church that it was to much relief we were admitted a pew seat. Effortless sensitivity oozed from the strings of the guitars, violin and soft percussion. Every musician’s precision within the five piece intrigued and sent us to goosebumps.

All that was needed was the lead vocalist to provide us with the passionate literary lyrics to give us moments of reflection: “We’re confined to be apart, To take sides in divided cells. We collide when we depart, Don’t ask me what’s the cost, I don’t know myself”. It’s music to make you feel as though you’re the leading role in a romantic drama.

Frontman, Josh Edwards began as London-based solo musician before studying guitar in Spain and the Andean (mini-classical guitar) in Bolivia to bring home together authentic influences and elements of Andalusian and Latin music and is every bit the entrancing artist you imagine he would be live.

FRIDAY’S highlights…

Ten Fé 

Ten Fe 05; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

Generating an epic wave at TGE was the alternative London via Birmingham five-piece, Ten Fé, who have really come into their own and hinted to even greater things with their very subtle teases of new music – we cannot wait for them to drop their second album! At a capacity, Black Lion, these brought colour to everyones cheeks.

 

Clearly meant for bigger stages and with only a snapshot of set, it was moments like these where you could feel impressions were being made; turning heads as they glided from song-to-song seamlessly and between lead vocalists, framing their varied influences and styles, with hints of Americana (‘Elodie’), Gospel (‘Twist Your Arm’) even a Middle Eastern vibe (‘Make Me Better’).

Ten Fe 03; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

Get familiar with Ten Fé’s debut album: ‘Hit The Light’ this summer before you plunge into their much anticipated follow-up album released ahead of their biggest ever headlining UK tour this autumn.

Gengahr 

Gengahr 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

To see out the evening we caught the ‘special guests’ Gengahr steal the hearts of The Haunt. Everyone was webbed into a lair of dreamlike haziness of their sunshine soaked guitar-rock enhanced by Felix Bushe’s haunting falsetto vocals.

Their garage-rock anthems from 2014 album, The Dream Outside such as ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’ and ‘Heroine’ felt nostalgic and no doubt got the crowds joining in harmony. It was soothing lo-fuzz guitar-rock that reminded us of forgotten gems – their latest album of which, we’re currently tuning into!

Gengahr 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

 

SATURDAY’S highlights…

Marsicans 

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Never mind adjusting to the darkness of Komedia as the Marsicans were beaming, attracting the crowds with their vibrancy. This Leeds four-piece radiated with relentless energy and were so genuinely elated, bouncing about the stage that no-one could keep themselves from smiling and basking in this indoor sunshine. The kind of festival band that are aware of their power in projecting their buoyant chemistry onto crowds.

 

Marscians 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

Fontaines D.C 

Fontaines 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpg

The gnarly wit of this Dublin quintet livened everyones soul with their ferocious set at Marlborough Theatre! Their strong Dublin dialect and ode to the city ensures everything Irish runs through your blood (if it doesn’t already) twinned with the perfect amount of nonchalance akin to Shane MacGowan and Mark E.Smith.

Fontaines 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpg

The edgy, gritty drawl from lead-singer Grian provides hypnotic rhythm up against the kraut-rock influenced guitars and manic drumming creates infectious iridescence.

Having garnered early support from Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) and being the feature of every major Irish publication these have picked up real momentum in their very early days. News came in last week (24/05/18) that they have signed to Partisan Recordings – everyone can see these lads are on the up!

 

 

Joshua Burnside

Joshua Burnside 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)
The Belfast musician who recently released his debut album, Ephrata which sits somewhere between, as Joshua told the Irish Times: “…somewhere from Belfast to Chicago via Bogota” is able to transcend this interesting suffusion of styles live.

Burnside knows exactly how to constantly keep the listener on their toes with incredible textures and experimental folk paths with elements of Irish Country and Latin Folk. It was delicately dark and romantic, touching on deeper questions about time, love and death up against the modern age. Tipping on the poetic on our favourite track ‘Hologram’: “So love glows, like the moon, Swinging low above the Atlantic, Sparkles on the choppy days, I don’t care what they say, If I have to dance alone I will”.

Joshua Burnside 03; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

 

David Keenan 

David Keenan 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpgChurches are synominous with an serenity and when paired with the acoustic artists, whether that be solo or band, there is always a distinct feeling of privilege.

I hasten to use this hackneyed turn of phrase, but this very unassuming singer-songwriter from Dundalk, Ireland, is the finest example of a chap wiser beyond his years. We were completely taken in by Keenan’s worldly and poetic storytelling. His Dylan inspired socio-political commentary was no doubt enhanced by the lilt of his Irish tongue. So much maturity was expressed through the way Dublin was referenced, new and old, standing testament to his wisdom, hinting also towards a character born in another era altogther. The rising singer-songwriter shared with us a quiet understanding of the world, navigating us through the streets of Ireland’s capital “…meeting underneath the GPO tower at sunset”.

When Keenan entered the stage he began with a humble reference to that day’s gigs across Brighton’s churches; “I’m not sure what He’s trying to tell me up there..” glancing up wistfully to the heavens. Everything was very natural and wry, not least mature; referencing his travels across on the boat to live in Liverpool for some years, that taught him a lot; stories gained from busking shaped the man he inevitably is, whilst remaining distinctly and proudly Irish; “…Sorry there, just had me passport sticking in my backside…” as he patriotically hit it to the floor the golden harp gave him his spotlight.

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Photography: Rachael Crabtree and Elizabeth Andrade (@LizzyEA)

 

Ten Fé // Interview

Interviews, Uncategorized
Ten Fe; Press Shot; Abi Raymaker

Ten Fé; Photographer: Abi Raymaker

The thing with ‘new music’ is that there’s always ‘another’ band to discover (surprisingly) but like everything fresh, a new song begins with a wave of excitement, the thing is, you can often end up spiralling off from one artist to the next like a Radio DJ (forgetting a few along the way), it’s only the exceptional that stand testament to this, consistently nailing both that ‘excitement’ and ‘freshness’ with every listen – for us, over the past year now, Ten Fé have been that constant force. They play an unmissable homecoming show at Camden’s Dingwalls in less than a week (Thursday 23rd Nov).

Ahead of next weeks show we were keen to chat them on a personal level, discussing everything from living up to their namesake ‘to have faith’ (as it translates from Spanish), to conquering America this summer and capping off their manic year by recording their second album in depths of winter in (one hour of daylight) Norway next month. They stand true to themselves and are content from standing devoid from ‘coolness’ and ‘scenes’. These are romantics at heart, but in head, real, deep and inclusive – once you’re into Ten Fé, you’re in for good! 

We have an inkling that we’ve caught you at a very exciting time – not only have you just released a new song: ‘Single, No Return’ but ultimately, a teaser to your second album. To be honest, there is such an infectious buzz surrounding you at the minute, we’re literally counting the days until your London show next Thursday (23/11). Tell us more about recent events for you – what have you been up to as of late, festival-wise this summer, any touring stories to share from your experiences of Europe and America?

Yes, good times on Planet Fé at the moment. These last few months, and the whole of the last year really has been wicked. Things feel like they’ve been building and falling into place for a wee while now, so we’re just cracking on. The US tho – being able to go there and find people are into what we’re doing was a mad mad trip. We’re all hopeless romantics, so starting off the first US tour in Manhattan, and playing our way across the country and reaching the Golden Gate at sunset for the final show, was heavy.

You said in the past that you have a lot of strong American music in your veins, and that America remains a romantic place for you? Do you think there’s any fear we might loose you (hopefully not, please God) to the States one day?

Ha, well you can only go where you’re loved … so if they want us over there it’d be rude to say no! America is just mad fun really; and yeah, course, on a deeper level it’s a romantic place for us; all those artists and places that are so clear in your imagination when you’re sitting in a bedroom in Birmingham or London. But going there this year, it’s allowed us to see that there’s a reality behind that too. You get a tangible feeling that there’s an attitude towards music and playing live which is different to here – in some ways it feels a lot more solid, less ‘flavour of the month’ than it is England, or London in particular. That definitely chimes with us, and we want more of it!

Would everyone in Ten Fé associate London as home now or is there a closer bond to the north of England – Birmingham, where a few of you were born and reared?

Ah, if you’re not from London in the first place, it’s always hard to call it home. So, I’m not sure. We couldn’t have been born anywhere else as a band, we clearly ended up here cos we were hungry for something other than Brum, and we’ve got a lot of love for London. But there’s something pretty Midlands about us no doubt. No one in this band tries to sh*t higher than their own arse, which is a Brummie way of saying, everyone’s got their feet on the ground.

I have to ask – you mentioned you busked in Dublin via Twitter recently and I was intrigued – can you share with us details? What’s your thoughts on their approach to music over there? I love the city myself (Rachael) and go back and forth to family a lot. Have any of you any Irish relatives, possibly even involved in music back home?

Glad you asked 🙂 yeah I (Leo) have a lot of family over there – my dad’s from Dublin … I used to live in there myself for a time. It’s a deep, deep city. Especially the music side of things – like I was taking about with the US – there’s a tradition of music, performance, song which is just under the surface. It’s not necessarily a ‘folk music’ thing, but it just seems to be there – everyone has a song to sing, a poem to say. My family are no different to everyone else’s in that regard I guess – once the guitar comes out, everyone gets involved.

It’s funny, it’s not as though your music can be pinned to a particular country, I wouldn’t necessary say your music is distinctly English, (or Irish as it stands) – is it something that you’re proud to say doesn’t shoehorn into a particular style, scene or modern wave?

Yep, I think you’re right. We don’t come from a scene or a sound that could be associated with a particular place; and we try to ignore the pressure to fit in to one. Because that’s an outside pressure – from press, peer pressure, or social media. As a band, you shouldn’t be worrying about what scene you fit into, or band you sound like. You should just be making music you like the sound of. And we do; so in that sense we’re proud of not fitting in. That’s where you’ve gotta have your faith, stick to your guns.

You recently supported the Music Venue Trust campaign, performing a set for them for part of their series of gigs at the Ultralounge, Selfridges – the cause felt something close to your heart, can you explain why?

There’s a lot of pressure these days to appear as the finished article when you’re starting out as a band. And I’d say we just think that’s not very helpful: you need time to develop playing live, and being a bit sh*t for a while, and find things out about how you want to sound. The more small venues close, the less bands are able to do that; and the more you get these one-off, stacked, industry ‘events’ / showcases – which aren’t good for the music. Just makes everything tense and spontaneity gets swept under the carpet.

But ultimately, we’re not into fighting the rising tide on a point of principle; if venues are getting shut down, so be it, that’s the way of the world and it’s up to bands to put on their own shows in venues they’ve found. As we did.

For those unfamiliar with your music and background, can you take us way back in the day, where playing bongo’s at a house party spiralled off into this brotherly bond and busking duo – how much have you overcome to get to where you are today?

Yes, it’s fair to say much ball-ache has flowed under the bridge since that fateful Night of the Bongo. I’m not sure ‘overcome’ would be the right word tho; we’re no martyrs – we love what we do. For a long time we were just having fun, busking around the place before we decided to do this band. Since then, the things that have taken time and effort are the things every band has to do – writing good songs, finding good people to play them with and the money to record them with; and finding the right people to manage you and work with you on your dream. Like I’m saying above, plenty of people think you can short-cut those things – us included – but you can’t, dammit.

Busking has been an important element to your band right from the start. Has performing in this way helped build confidence in both your delivery and style of playing? It takes a lot of guts to put yourself on a stage of your own making, would you say that this has encouraged you to pursue/realise the potential between you, Ben and Leo?

Busking is very intense. Certainly the way we do it: jumping on the trains, playing to everyone sardine-d in a rush hour, and running from the BTP, and all that (not the CARLING sponsored, sanitised buskers-corner nonsense, with amps, lighting rig, etc) – so yeah, it’s gonna have an effect on how we perform in general. You get a good sense on how to hold someone’s attention with a song, and how you have to be inclusive – and that is definitely something we have in our live shows. We hate the way some of these style bands act like they’re cooler than the audience.

Busking is brutal though, and we’ve definitely paid our dues on the District Line, not to miss it if we never did it again. We’d have formed the band with or without busking, it was always a way to make money first and foremost…pimp or die.

As a five piece now the live shows have taken on a new dimension – you seem to understand each other live really well, like you’ve always been together. How long have you known Johnny, Alex and Rob, and at what point did you decide to pool them into the band (willingly or under duress, haha)?

Well, if we’ve learnt anything its that you CANNOT form a band with an iron rod – believe us – we’ve tried! We’ve know everyone in the band a long long time – either directly or through other people. And when it’s your best mates you can’t bullsh*t them, or start twisting arms – think everyone can see is that the five of us together has something deep going on, and long may that continue.

When you think you have a decent song what’s the process you go through in deciding if it’s recording material? Who’s opinion do you value the most, as individuals, and collectively as a band?

We play everything we write to our managers, Russ and Clare (Some Kinda Love – give me some looove) are the best in the biz. They’re f**king amazing and we sound everything off them.

A sublime and timeless album hits that perfect chiaroscuro of light and dark, it’s all about the emotion created, how did you go about achieving this with ‘Hit The Light’ – would you say the choice of songs was consciously crafted to deliver this bittersweet pathos, tell us more?

Kind words indeed, thank you. I think that light and dark you’re talking about comes from the way Ben and I are as songwriters. We’re really quite different from each other; definitely not in the way that one of us is ‘light’, and the other is ‘dark’ … more that we compliment each other – so when he’s light, I’m darker, and vice verse – we naturally balance each other. That’s not a conscious thing at all though, and if we started to try and engineer that we’d be curtains.

The way both the band’s name and music captures a mood, a feeling, almost a guiding light for us listeners, ‘to have faith’ as it translates from Spanish – how do you keep this binding and driving faith as musicians?

Tough question! Not too sure, how does anyone keep their faith? By not questioning it I guess. Surrounding yourself by good people; “be nice, not cool” is another old Brummie aphorism that can’t really be argued with. A bowl of porridge every morning certainly helps.

Instead of attempting to categorise your music, because to be honest, who likes being put in a box, reminds me of that scene in The Mighty Boosh, (are you fans?) that conversation between Howard and Vince: “People are always trying to put people in boxes”. (Haha, miss that show big time!) Instead, let’s talk about what musicians you look up to in terms of their style of playing and songwriting?

Ha – yes – love that show! The Moon has provided much spiritual guidance over the years.

Around now, we’ve lot of time for War on Drugs; saw them at Ally pally a couple nights ago. F**king Amazing. Feels like he doesn’t give a sh*t about what people think – just does his own thing. Others, for the same reason: Kurt Vile, Kevin Morby, Khruangbin, Twin Peaks, Mac D, Delicate Steve, Courtney Barnett, Angel O, King Krule …

So your debut album was recorded in Berlin and you’re heading off to Norway for the second album – do you choose to purposely record abroad, (escapism from home and routine) or does it just happen to be where the best producers reside?

Yes we do purposefully escape. We’ve noticed that we’re not really into how things end up sounding when we’ve recorded them in London. We are buzzin to get over to Norway too – there’s an hour of daylight there in December, so we shouldn’t get too distracted by whats going on outside the studio. We’ve heard its £15 for a 1/2 a shandy over there too, so light relief may be at a premium. Can’t wait.

Do you feel at peace with who you are as people and artists, content and know exactly what you want to achieve at this stage in your careers, if so what do you think has helped this?

 Ooof, too big. Ask us when we come back from Norway.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given, and also, if you was to give any advice to musicians starting out, what would it be?

‘Stick to thy guns, lad’…and I’d say the same to any wide eyed and bushy tailed ones starting out.

Not long now until you headline Dingwalls, Camden, have you thought through the set-list and any covers that you might play – you recorded (and often encore with) a sublime cover of Born Slippy (Underworld) – is there another cover that you feel as passionate about sharing with your fans?

Ah, cheers – yeah we loved doing that Born Slippy 🙂 I reckon we’ll be up to a few tricks at Dingwalls, but which ones, I don’t know – we’ll be in the lap of the Gods by then.

And finally, any updates that you can give us on your (hotly anticipated) second album?

We’re rehearsing the new tunes every night in bunker below Oxford Circus. They’re sounding goood: deep and upbeat.

Ten Fé headline Dingwalls,  Camden Thursday 23rd November // Tickets are available here – we’ll see you there!

In the meanwhile enjoy their debut album, ‘Hit The Light’ here (released Feb 2017) and their latest single, below.

Ten Fé  // Website // Twitter // Facebook

Words: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

 

Ten Fe // Live Review // The Great Escape

Live Reviews, The Great Escape 2017, Uncategorized

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At the stroke of midnight we were on countdown in the gardens of Wagner Hall, kicking back in the bar, preparing ourselves for our beach bound venture to Ten Fé, a band who one of the team hasn’t stopped rating since their recent sublime Hackney show. Since checking them out myself, they’ve literally been SoundClouding my life, so as you can imagine, I was fair to excited to catch them live.

DSCF0036newHitting the seafront at 1am, we bumped into the most friendliest drunks you could meet. It was at the point we mentioned “The Arch” to the flyer lady who attempted convincing us that Coalition was the place tonight for wristband holders to gain half price drinks the Swiss chap to much delight chanted “Yes, Ten Fé, Ten Fé!!” We were in mirrored excitement and between us, it felt so good to share this band love. As one friend apologised for the other’s drunkenness, the other began singing along to ‘Elodie’ as the accompanying YouTube video started…“So we’ll see you later, we’re just helping the lady hand out the leaflets”. We sadly never spotted them again, although we had an inkling they made it into the gig – as I filmed Ten Fé’s performance of ‘Elodie’ we could see Ben smiling as he sang: “…singing the lines that were meant for me”. There was so much love tonight amongst us in the tightly packed beach alcove, for a band very much on the rise, owing to the recent release of their stunning debut: ‘Hit The Light’ (February 2017).

 

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Possessing refreshing confidence without pretence and bravado and a sound that sites references from The Cure through to The War On Drugs whilst retaining that one of a kind sublimity achieved from the unique combination in having two very strong, and different, dual lead singer-songwriters, Leo Duncan and Ben Moorhouse, Ten Fé were all in all as engaging to watch, as to listen to; effortless guitar playing, expansive and harmonised vocals inhabiting an otherworldliness of high energy drama and contrasting poignant lyrics.

Often, when you build yourself up to see a band you almost lead yourself to a bit of a downfall for when that moment finally comes around, but I would be as bold to say Ten Fé were the band of the festival!

Despite delivering at least half their record, and it nearly hitting 3am, we were pumped for more; their high energy was palpable. But as we know, The Great Escape only permits a short lived showcase of each artist, providing no room for encores, so until next time, we’ll just be soaking up their LP: ‘Hit The Light’.

Discover our full photo gallery of Ten Fé via our Instagram: @spiral_magazine

In attempt to capture ‘Elodie’, here’s a video for you to enjoy/share, the sound isn’t as sharp because of my camera, but as you can see, these are exceptional live – go check them out this summer!

Ten Fé // Website //  Twitter // Facebook

Words and photography: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Ten Fé // Live Review // Oslo, London

Live Reviews, Uncategorized

Ten Fe (2); Oslo; Will Steadman

Ten Fé are named after the Spanish for ‘have faith’, so it’s no coincidence that as I rock up to a sold-out Oslo in Hackney tonight, I have almost irrefutable confidence that this is going to be an absolutely smashing gig.

Ten Fé are dual-lead singers Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan, and they’ve been hovering on my radar since The Great Escape festival back in May last year. In which time, they have recorded their debut album in Berlin with producer Ewan Pearson (who has worked with the likes of M83, Foals and Depeche Mode) and built a steadily expanding following of fresh-faced, fashionable fans (I would LOVE to fit this description but had to buy new jeans just to be allowed past the doorman).

Recent comparisons by some in the music press to the 1975 are, to be honest, wide of the mark, at best, and mildly insulting, at worst. Yes, they’ve got that atmospheric radio-friendly indie-pop down to a T, but what sets them apart is their approach to songwriting which has distinctly more maturity, authenticity and grace than most from that ilk. And what this translates to is an intelligent combination of pleasing piano hooks, majestic synths, and memorable melodies underpinned by lyrics that hold their own.

Ten Fe (3); Oslo; Will Steadman

Oslo, at 375 capacity and a new mainstay for bands on the rise, is the perfect venue for the duo, who cut an effortlessly cool stance on stage, and are joined tonight by a bassist, synth player, and a drummer reminiscent both in technique and aesthetics, of a young Mick Fleetwood. They are accomplished and natural live; providing dreamy harmonisations which combine Moorhouse’s rich baritone with Duncan’s floaty falsetto to create a sonic blend smoother than an artisan latte, and guitar riffs which are warmer and crunchier than most breakfast offerings.

Set stand-outs include single ‘Elodie’ and the absolutely sublime ‘Another Way’, and they finish with a shrewd cover of Underworld’s Born Slippy (NUXX) which, as one guy in the queue for the toilets afterwards put it they, “totally owned”.

Ten Fé are on a UK and European tour now, including Cardiff tonight  (11th) and Manchester on 17th. March.

‘Hit the Light’ is out now on Some Kinda Love.

Ten Fé // Website // Facebook // Twitter

Writer and Photographer: Will Steadman: @steadman_will