Recommended gig

Sion Russell Jones, Brigyn & Little Arrow at St John's Church, Canton, Cardiff on Saturday 10th November 7.30pm. Tickets available from: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/189421.











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Islet

(photo by Francis Brown)

Every so often a band comes along that does things a bit differently i.e. avoiding the myspace, media route and as a result attract attention. In the case of Islet it has also helped produce interest in their live work simply because until the release of 'Celebrate This Place' seeing the band live was the only way to hear their music. The band now has a website, an album and are about to embark on a UK tour. As for their music it is complex, constantly shifting and in its own way quite funky. A kind of kraut space rock funk freak out. It is a glorious sound. We asked Mark from the band about what makes Islet one of THE new Welsh bands of 2010.

Your music is very different to most other bands. Do you feel you are pretty much on your own in making the music you do, almost as though on an island and acting as pioneers? Has that anything to do with why the band called itself Islet.

I like the theory! The name just seemed to work really. We do like the fact it is our own little place in the world.

Islet seem to have already prompted quite a lot of obsession with some people. Has this made the band feel flattered, worried, scared or intrigued?

We all feel flattered by things like that. It doesn't really affect us as a unit as we just get on with being in the band.

(photo by Ed Waring- http://www.flickr.com/people/edwaring )

Much has been made about your lack of internet presence until recently.

Now you are being more 'out there' with tracks on iTunes, doing interviews etc what do you think will be the impact on the mystique or mystery that surrounds the band?

We've just tried to do things at a natural rate. In actual fact, we had a website for a lot longer than anyone noticed for!! It's funny because we don't feel very mysterious, I don't think we are particularly mysterious when we play live!

Your music is quite complex with lots of layers and time signature changes etc how do these tracks evolve? How do you know what to keep and what to discard?

Mainly through the generally very fun system of 'jammin' it out'.

If there are people who want to make music that goes beyond 3 chords and the traditional formats, as your does, what would you recommend? Study music i.e. get their grades and go to music college or can it be done from instinct and inspiration?

Instinct and inspiration most definitely, just do what feels right. I think the most important thing is feeling comfortable in front of your own bandmates to express yourself. I think a lot of bands feel uncomfortable in front of each other let alone an audience. That said, I don't think music should be over complicated and if three chords or two chords or one chord works then do that.

A lot of the music you make as a band seems to have more in common with the likes of gong, can and henry cow than the prevailing trends of 2010. What sort of music does the band listen to and get inspired by?

A lot of our inspiration isn't just other people's music, we inspire each other a lot of the time, on the spot. One of the main things we wanted to do was make music that suited a range of our emotions and moods, sad, happy, angry, fun etc.

(photo by Ed Waring- http://www.flickr.com/people/edwaring )

Your live gigs are very passionate with the band jumping around the stage and into the audience. What sort of reaction have you got so far? What impact does audience reaction have on your performance?

We love playing live and it's fun the more we've played the more we've gained confidence and trust in each other. The audience is important but it doesn't effect how we play as we play like we do live when we rehearse, it's just what happens!

You recently supported Gruff Rhys and Tony da Gatorra. What was that experience like? Did you get to try out Tony's Gatorra?

It was a great experience as Gruff has been a, dare I say it, hero of mine since I was a teen. Tony explained his Gatorra to me (via an interpreter) and it is very technical and interesting machine. The fact that he built it himself is incredible.

You are heading out on tour in September/October thoughts on this venture and plans for the shows?

Get there on time, snack, sound check, be nice to each other, enjoy it.

What can we expect from Islet in 2011?

More gigs, music and dancing.

http://isletislet.com/home.html

http://thisisislet.com/

Discography:

Celebrate This Place (2010)

Live Dates:

SEPTEMBER

18   SOUTHSEA FESTIVAL, HAMPSHIRE

24   WINCHESTER, RAILWAY

25   SOUTHAMPTON, LENNONS

26   UNDERGROUND FESTIVAL, GLOUCESTERSHIRE

27   SHEFFIELD, FORUM

28   MANCHESTER, ISLINGTON MILL

29   LEEDS, NATION OF SHOPKEEPERS

30   LIVERPOOL, SHIPPING FORECAST

OCTOBER

01   STOCKTON, GEORGIAN THEATRE

02   BIRMINGHAM, FLAPPER

03   BRISTOL, LOUISIANA

05   NOTTINGHAM, BODEGA SOCIAL

07   CAMBRIDGE, PORTLAND ARMS

08   NORWICH, ARTS CENTRE

09   BRIGHTON, THE HOPE

14   FIFE, GREENSIDE HOTEL

15   GLASGOW, CAPTAINS REST

16   EDINBURGH, SNEAKY PETES

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Archive

Islet
The Keys
Jimi Alexander
Misty's Big Adventure
Devon Sproule
9Bach
Delucci
Lightning Dust
Frank Turner
Jam with RoBina
The Rumble Strips interview
Heather Jones
Battle of Land and Sea
Peter Broderick
Cakehole Presley


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