Giving the reason of “three great up and coming bands” being on the bill for the excellent turn out for support sets, it is clear why The Shimmer Band are high in confidence. Declaring the tour as “probably the best of 2017 in terms of new music,” it is hard to disagree (so far, of course) with that claim having seen all three bands at Newcastle’s intimate Think Tank?
The Shimmer Band are no strangers to intimate crowds, though. Nor are they unfamiliar with Newcastle. In October last year, the Bristol five-piece played a “really small and cosy” set at Jumpin’ Jacks. They will return again in April to pack out Think Tank? Underground (formerly Head of Steam). “We have a lot of time for Newcastle,” Tom explains. “People seem to appreciate good music and in particular they love bands more up here. In Bristol everyone is into dance music and hip-hop so bands don’t really get a look in. As soon as you get north of Birmingham people are into good music, which works well for us!”
Support comes from the biggest names in music, which is obviously a massive boost for a band on the verge of breaking through. BBC 6 Music, Huw Stephens and Gigwise have all given The Shimmer Band a hand up during the early stages of their career. Tom appreciates this, explaining: “It can only mean good things! Steve Lamacq has been around for years and he supported and pushed the bands we loved back in the nineties so it means a lot that he digs our music!”
Having released latest single Jackknife and the Death Call last month, it has been an important few weeks trying to plug it to a live crowd. How has this boosted their presence in the scene? “We are just taking it one step at a time really.” A very modest answer, but their method seems confusing at first. Naturally, though, there is method in their madness.
“We have been putting one song out at a time and finding out what people like then doing the opposite. Before Jackknife and the Death Call we put out Sunkick and Sunkick is a big, euphoric ballad and it went down really well. After that, we thought ‘let’s do something different!’ We didn’t want to back ourselves into a corner when it comes to genre.”
Their genre is a quality blend of Britpop, psych with a hint of electronica. Their influences of Primal Scream and Chemical Brothers and their use of “dance and rock crossovers” are exactly what The Shimmer Band are all about. Everything from their on-stage outfits to their single artwork gives off a well-rounded vibe. The artwork especially is something Tom is passionate about.
“It is a bit psych and swirly and it is by an American lass called Destiny Womack. We messaged her asking if she would do our art and she replied saying she would! She has done all of our singles and I am really happy how they have come out. Using her has turned them into a bit of a collection.
The future is bright for the Bristolians – keeping it real and planning to just keep doing what they are doing, the short term plan is festival season. “We have a lot of city festivals in summer such as Kendal Calling, Truck and Sound City.
“There are loads of them now so we are trying to do as many as we can. It is a great way to play to a shitload of people!”
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Jackknife and the Death Call is available to download and stream now.
Catch The Shimmer Band on tour this spring. Tickets here.