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Interview

Bricolage

Article written by Ged M - Jul 10, 2006

bricolage_new_site.jpg

Bricolage are a Glasgow band made up of Wallace Meek (guitar, bass, vocals), Graham Wann (guitar, vocals), Darren Cameron (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Colin Kearney (drums). Their first single, ‘Footsteps’/ ‘Flowers of Deceit’ was released on 10 July on white vinyl 7” by the Creeping Bent Organisation. They tap into the rich musical tradition of Glasgow, drawing on the Postcard sounds of Orange Juice and Josef K but with a contemporary edge, mixing indiepop with classic dance touches to infectious effect. They’re the most exciting post-Franz band, with wit, style and memorable tunes, and are an awesome live act. Their next few gigs are:

22 July: Barfly, London (Kill Em All Let God Sort It Out night)
30 July: Mono, Glasgow (Hey You Get Off My Pavement night)
4 August: Barfly London (Adventures Close To Home night)

The bandwagon’s being drawn up and the NME is strapping on its jumping shoes – but you can be there first. We talked to Graham through the magic of the interweb in June 2006.

SXP: First things first, how did the band form? Were you in bands before Bricolage?

Graham: We've all played with different people in the past. Bands naturally form when a bunch of musicians hang about with each other, so we just found the right mix with Bricolage. Darren, Colin and I actually played in a Devo tribute band called Duty Now! for friends' parties and stuff, which was fun.

SXP: The name Bricolage has a meaning of “do it yourself” in French. As an indie band you're pretty much operating on a DIY basis. Was the name chosen because of that?

Graham: Darren suggested the name and we all thought, yeah, that sounds cool. We were aware of the word's meaning in French and the artier end of English, but it wasn't that much of a deciding factor. What matters most is that it sounds good and it's memorable.

SXP: You’ll probably get fed up very quickly of the Franz questions but I’ll ask them anyway: how helpful was it to have Franz Ferdinand’s endorsement of Bricolage at an early stage (they played your demo on 6 Music at the end of last year)?

Graham: It was great to have Franz mention us in the NME and play us on 6music, and I guess it must have turned a few people on to us who wouldn't have heard about us so easily. I think things have taken their natural course though, and it's a result of gigging and of course the internet that people continue to get into our music.

SXP: There are lots of great bands coming from Glasgow at the moment – is there a good scene there? Do bands mix and are there good clubs?

Graham: There are various different scenes in Glasgow as a result of there being so many venues and all tastes are catered for, I suppose. Most of our friends here are people in bands although none of them sound particularly alike. We're friends with people from Shitdisco, no-wavey noisey assailants Park Attack, the 11-piece band How to Swim who sound like something between Nick Cave and the Arcade Fire, and more, and you can often see these folk at the same shows.

There is a big metal scene and a big mod scene here, but the thing about those lot is they don't like to stray from that style. Our group of friends, and the bands we like, are typified by an attitude of non-conformity in a city that has way too many bands that keep going over way too familiar styles and that cling to the very idea of a 'scene'.

SXP: There’s a strong Postcard – and especially Orange Juice – feel about your music. What are your feelings about the label and that band? And (if you accept that comparison), with so many bands influenced by the post-punk era these days, how do you keep your sound fresh and not old-fashioned?

Graham: We love Postcard records and all the bands Alan Horne put out on his imprint, so of course we see it as a compliment when comparisons like that are made.

I'm sure people will start finding other reference points when they hear more of our music though, and the Orange Juice thing won’t stick for very long.

As regards keeping our sound fresh, I guess it's just a matter of loving what we do and getting off on a lot of different music. It can't be very interesting to be in a band that just wants to sound like a carbon copy of Gang of Four or the Fire Engines or anyone else for that matter. It'd just be too limiting.

SXP: When I saw you in Hackney, you had a fantastic look: Darren especially looked the early 80s part with his cardy and quiff. How serious do you take the look?

Graham: Thanks! We love hunting out bargain-price secondhand gear wherever we go, and that's just an aspect of our personalities. It's nothing we take too seriously, clothes are just fun. We're not sloppy dressers on the street, and we're exactly the same on stage.

SXP: Your single is about to come out on Creeping Bent. What else can we expect from Bricolage – more singles and then an album?

Graham: It was a one-off single on Creeping Bent. There's talk of a US tour later on in the year or early next year with our friends Voxtrot from Texas, and we are doing a mini-tour of well, London, with one show in Nottingham very soon (please check myspace for details). There will be plenty other British shows coming up after that, and we plan to record an album very soon.

SXP: Every band has a guilty secret (fave band Dire Straits, first gig attended Westlife sort of thing). What is Bricolage's guiltiest secret?

Graham: Colin had a theme tune of sorts bestowed upon him when he worked in a bar in Glasgow. The song was Atomic Kitten's very first single, Right Now, back before they became famous. He insists that the original early version is a raunchy pop classic.

Links:
http://www.myspace.com/bricolagetheband

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