Friday, 11 May 2018

IPO Liverpool 2018 Preview : The Gold Needles

The Gold Needles are from Hull and the new album, Pearls, is one of the best things that I've heard this year. I'll not dwell on the album too much, because there's a lengthy review to appear here after the IPO Previews are done.

Although the band are well in with the Fruits de Mer crowd, they are definitely at the poppier end of that brigade. What The Gold Needles do is hard to pin down, equally comfortable with Psych as Pop, one minute they sound all latter day Be Bop Deluxe, the next it's reminiscent of The Cars.

That is what makes the album so good. It's incredibly varied, but at it's heart there are real pop sensibilities, no matter how left field it goes. I can't recommend Pearls highly enough. It's a corking 18 track ride.

Here I talk to Mark English about the band's past and future.

Pearls is so varied, who exactly are your influences?

"Anyone listening to our music will hear that our influences are wide and varied and this is reflected in the eclectic nature of our songs. We love melody and harmony, we love to hear the guitars jangle and we also love a bit of power.  The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Motors, Love, Gen X and Be Bop Deluxe all feature highly in our individual playlists.

Coming from Hull, we are all massive fans of Ziggy era David Bowie given that the Spiders all hailed from our hometown. Our lead guitarist, Dave, in particular, is a massive Mick Ronson fan."

So how did this love of music evolve?

"In early 1977 for some reason, local band, Dead Fingers Talk, were booked to play at my school disco.  Although I had no idea what was going on, I could feel that something was.  Being young and impressionable I quickly decided that I wanted to be in a band.

I used to daydream about playing All My Loving and other early Beatles stuff.  Coming to The Cavern to play at the most famous venue in the world is a dream come true. Music has the ability to move and inspire you, to energise and motivate you. There is nothing like being at a gig and feeling the air move. The rest of the band have similar stories as to why they wanted to play music."

How did the band come to be?

"We formed 3 years ago as a recording project.  Since then we have expanded the line up in order to play live, making our debut last year supporting Duncan Reid and The Big Heads.

In 2016 Fruits de Mer records released a limited edition 5 inch lathe cut single featuring First Sunrise and this sold out within an hour.  We also appeared on their festival compilation CDs for both 2016 and 2017.

Then we self released our own limited edition clear vinyl lathe cut single, Not Tonight Josephine, in 2017 and this received a glowing review in Record Collector magazine.We contributed a cover of The Poster to 7a Records who specialise in Monkees' related releases and this was included on their tribute album, Listen To The Bands.

In 2018 US label, Kool Kat  released Pearls, making it available on CD and download.  However, we have had considerable interest in this being released on vinyl and we are currently taking orders for this. The album received a very favourable review on May's Goldmine Site. Tracks from the album have received airplay in the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia."

What are your future plans?

"We welcome Duncan Reid And The Big Heads back to Hull on 29 June and we will be supporting them again.  In August we make an appearance at Fruits de Mer Records 16th Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival which is sponsored by Record Collector Magazine.

Our single on Fruits de Mer Records, Smell Of Incense, will be available exclusively at the festival.  This is a taster for a various artists triple album release on the same label in the Autumn. We are bringing The Darling Buds to Hull on 7 September and are excited to be supporting them on their first date in Hull for over 25 years.

We have also been asked to contribute to an Adrian Borland / The Sound tribute album which is to be released on TBM Records.  Our version of Counting The Days will be included on this. In the meantime we continue to write and record and we are actively looking for more opportunities to play live."

You can listen and buy the album here. The CD can be bought at Kool Kat here. The band play The Cavern Club and The Cavern Pub on Tuesday 22 May.

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