I found out the other day, by way of twitter, that one of my favourite bands from the West Country are coming out of a prolonged hibernation...
Gentlemen's Relish are a two piece from Devizes... I love them. Warm n weird fuzzy charm and lyrics that make me smile delivered in a way that makes me weak, they played at Sonic Sanctuary probably more times than any other band ever did and their album "An Early Bath For Gentlemen's Relish" is still a fast favourite in my home.
I was so excited by this news that I had to find out what the hell was going on, so I spoke to Oli (the man behind the guitar and those indescribable vocals)
"I thought I was done with GR. The Sonic Sanctuary shows were great, but nobody else seemed to get it. We ended up playing these terrible gigs in community centres to bewildered locals, under strip lights. Whenever we got a half decent gig, I'd sabotage it… pretend the mics were broken and play the show lying down, stupid self-indulgent behaviour. Horribly disrespectful really since a few of the people at these shows had probably come to see us.
So anyway, I stopped doing music for a while and then, a year or so ago I started writing songs for Bobby Grindrod (singer from the Fog Band). He started a band called Flamingo Drive. I played some guitar for them for a while, and we did some London gigs and recorded an EP. They've since imploded in a mess of egos and flares, but I'd left by then. And then I listened to the old GR stuff again (I hadn't heard it in years) and felt really happy with the recordings, but sad that we'd never found a way to make it work live.
We've now got a brand new set of songs that we're really excited about. Last time, we had things back to front, really. I'd make these intricate recordings at home, spending months on them, and then try to translate them to a gig situation. All the subtlety of the recordings was lost. This time we've gone really primitive.
We've got a whole list of stipulations:
no solos, no intros, no outros, no songs over 3 minutes. And we're holding off on recording until we've road tested the songs.
When it's time we'll go to a proper studio and hopefully record live, to 2 inch tape. We are looking for gigs at the moment. We don't have anything booked yet. We're going to try to play on bills where we think the audience will be receptive, with similar bands. Last time played almost any show we were offered, and I think I'm still traumatised by some of the solo gigs I did in small-town pubs, to pissed up locals. "
I can't wait to see them play again. Here's a brand new track! Blood On Chrome :