The first to take on our 2021 Q&A challenge are an intriguing, innovative band from Manchester, signed to 42s Records, narcissus.
Ben Guy – Vocals
Chris James – Beats & programming
Lee Mulvey – Bass & guitar
2021 will hopefully be better than 2020. What are your hopes and ambitions for the band this year?
Nothing too grand given the circumstances, just little victories like keeping creative – writing, recording & releasing new material. We’re fortunate to be on a great new indie label in 42’s Records who are really supportive about what we do and our future plans so we’re looking forward to working with them to get more of our music out into the world.
What can fans expect from you this year, assuming things get back to some kind of normality?
New music with a run of singles before the release of our album which is shaping up very nicely, complete with a number of great guest collaborators. We’d love to put a couple of gigs on too but realistically with many dates already being bounced into 2022 we’re not sure that’s going to happen just yet unfortunately so are being patient on that front. We’ll also continue to champion the causes we feel strongly about too like supporting the music industry as it contends with the multiple impacts of the pandemic, the nonsense of Brexit & the broken remuneration models for artists being highlighted by the broken record campaign.
If you could have written any song in history, which would it be and why?
So many but we’ll go with Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack. As a band it’s collectively our favourite song and they are such an inspiration to us. It’s an absolute gold standard for us as a tune – a great song and vocal sat across this amazing blend of cross-genre sounds creating a very special, timeless record.
The year is 2031, what would you like to have said you’d achieved by then?
To have finally got our album out!! Seriously it’d be ace in 10 years time to be looking back over a body of work and some special gig nights. Despite such difficult circumstances we have been really fortunate over the last 12 months in being part of a number of amazing projects like the charity album we curated and contributed to last year – MANCMADE /// ACTS OF HOPE followed by our last single ‘lost causes’ where we got to work with one of our musical heroes – Donald Johnson of A Certain Ratio. Both were such amazing experiences so we hope the next decade has more diverse projects like that in store for us.
You can collaborate with any international artist, who is it and why?
Where to start! So many artists we’d love to collaborate with but we have a long held ambition to work with the Hallè Orchestra. We’re proud Mancs and the Hallè is one of our city’s greatest institutions so to work with them in a similar way to how Portishead did with the New York Philharmonic on their NYC live album would be an absolute dream come true.
The Ultimate Tour – which venues feature if you have to tour the following criteria
Date 1: The venue of the best show you’ve played so far
King George’s Hall in Blackburn supporting the mighty Suede.
Date 2: Your bucket list venue
It would probably have been the Roseland Ballroom in New York, site of that incredible Portishead Live album but alas it’s no longer with us as a venue so we’ll go with Manchester’s very own and equally brilliant, Bridgewater Hall.
Date 3: The venue of the best show you’ve ever seen live
Manchester Apollo. It’s our favourite venue and has been host to so many great gigs we’ve had the good fortune of attending. To pick one out is difficult but we’ll go with Leftfield playing their seminal album Leftism there in its entirety in 2017 which was completely off the scale.
Date 4: Any global festival
Benicassim – always seems to have a great line up in such an amazing setting. The weather probably wouldn’t be too shabby either.
Date 5: A hometown show –
Albert Hall, Manchester. Great venue.
In one sentence, why should people check out your music?
We’re known to hop genre with our material so if your taste in music is eclectic and takes in artists like The Chemical Brothers, Radiohead and Primal Scream then we could be the band for you.
Q8: What’s your favourite song you’ve recorded so far and your favourite to play live?
It’s difficult to choose a favourite as they all bring different colours to the palette but if we had to choose at the moment, it’s probably one that we haven’t actually released yet so is sworn to secrecy but is a killer collaboration that will see the light of day later this year. Needless to say we are really excited about it. Our favourite song to play live is probably our new single ‘cuttin thru red tape’ that features the incredible vocals of Becki Fishwick. It’s such a big tune that always closes our sets to a great reaction…….presumably the response is for the song & not that our set will soon be over!!
Q9: Someone’s writing a book/film about your band, what’s the title?
All fur coat & no knickers.
Q10: If we were to play your Spotify Wrapped from last year, who would we be listening to?
A heady mix of artists like Bowie (always!), A Certain Ratio, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Sault, The Chemical Brothers, Sink Ya Teeth, Billy No Mates and Young Fathers to name but a few.
Salt or pepper – Salt
Fries or crisps – Crisps
ACDC or ABBA – ABBA
Tea or Coffee – Tea
Beach holiday or city break – City break