Do you find yourself singing the same lyric over and over again? Whatever you are doing that line doesn’t leave your head and it literally feels like you are stuck in a song. Well, that is exactly what recently happened to me, I discovered Red Rum Club, a sextet from Liverpool. Ever since I listened to their music for the first time, the melody and their lyrics wouldn’t leave my head. Whatever I was doing, their sound was making its way to my mind and it wouldn’t leave it. Since they were invited at Summer Well, I really wanted to have a chat with Michael, Francis, Joe, Tom, Neil and Simon.
Before their first ever show in Europe, I had the honour to discover who Red Rum Club really are. I have to admit, I laughed a lot, each and every single one of them has a particular sens of humor. They are polite and can be serious as well, as for the rest of their qualities…I will let their answers speak for themselves.
My first question was related to the way they found out about Summer Well, and the fact that the organisers wanted them to attend the festival. It felt quite strange to me that their first european show was in Romania. Apparently they were just as surprised as I was “We got it on e-mail and Facebook message, we thought someone was messing about. We googled Summer Well and it came up, so we thought YES WE’RE GOING”. Maybe you ask yourself what is so special about Red Rum Club anyway or “The drunken uncles of the festival” (As they described themselves during the interview). Well, the answer came very easy and without any doubt “Joe, Joe the blow” said the members of the band in unison. The man with the trumpet makes their music stand out. “We’re very loud, we create a party atmosphere, a bit of a fiesta” adds Francis, the lead singer. Also as a listener, you might want to keep ”the smiles and happy times” from their music.
Since we are talking about music and concerts, let me introduce you to a few of their songs, their favourites to play live. Francis prefers Remedy (To Clean A Dirty Soul) “I don’t have to dance around too much and I’ve got the tambourine”. Calexico “It’s a groovy, groovy song” says Tom, one of the guitarists, being interrupted by one of his band mates “You like shaking your hips on that one”. The drummer, Neil, likes Remedy (To Clean A Dirty Soul) and the bassist, Simon, chose Honey as his favourite song to play live. Next we have Joe who says that Angeline always gets him in the mood for shows. Last but not least, Michael, the other guitarist likes Would You Rather Be Lonely?, because of the reaction they get from the crowds. He also added (and I can’t help but agree with him) “We are scared of becoming a one hit wonder, we’ve got some other great songs, please go and listen to them”. Even though his band mates were laughing at his answer, I am sure they feel the same way.
What are artists without their fans, right? With the music and the atmosphere that Red Rum Club create during the live shows anyone can join the party. “We played a gig and I looked in the crowd and there was a dog wearing one of our t-shirts” says the lead singer with a smile across his face, as if he was picturing the dog right in front of his eyes. “One of our fans made his own merch. At that point we realized we need to get some merch on sale. So we did! And it’s available now on our website.” said Michael (to make sure you don’t miss it I will leave here the link for you).
And now, the typical question, but definitely not with a typical answer. Of course I had to ask from where they got the inspiration for their band name. At first Francis said it all in two words “The movies”, while being surrounded by the laughs and impressions of himself made by his bandmates. I’ll tell you the long version of Francis’ answer, they are huge fans of horror movies. As you might already know there is a character in The Shining that is called Red Rum, I’m sure you can figure out where the rest of the name came from. Before the name, they only had the dark and harmonious sound so it made sense to find inspiration in horror films. They had a few more names on the list, one of them was Transylvania, there were also some not very original options such as Beach Boys.
At the beginning of this year, Red Rum Club released their debut album, Matador, named after the song with spanish vibes hidden in it. Apparently, it was the first song they wrote for the record. You can find on it a lot of catchy choruses and there is also a theme (I’ll let you discover it). Most of the band wouldn’t change anything on Matador, but Tom would. “I’d like it to be just me…just me reciting” said the guitarist with an ironic tone and a theathrical facial expression, while everyone was laughing. “When it comes to lyrics, Tom comes usually with the ideas, but everyone has his say” explains Francis. “We all help!” added Tom as if he didn’t get enough credit from his colleague.
I don’t want to influence you (too much), but this is my favourite part of the interview, this was the moment I realised how honest these guys are. It made me appreciate them even more. “Do you have moments when you feel like writing a certain lyric, but decide it’s better if you don’t?” that’s how my question sounded. Tom says that they are not too controversial, but they do have moments when they avoid writing what they have in mind. “so it’s not too sexy” adds Francis. Michael gets serious as he says the following “we don’t wanna be seen as too arrogant, which is easy when you are a group of six, straight, white males. We are careful in how we portray ourselves, we try our best to be respectful to everyone”. It’s obvious that the boys have a lot to say which would be relatable to a lot of people. But for now they said that they don’t feel educated enough to be as honest as possible, when it comes to the lyrical part of their music.
Another thing I really appreciate is that they are all making music out of pure passion. They don’t have any musicians in their families and they learned everything by themselves. It wasn’t easy for them to get to where they are now in their careers. Each member sacrificed a lot, there were times where they were playing anywhere, also moments when their crowds only consisted in 10-20 people.
Even though the beginning of their path wasn’t easy, it was worth it, Red Rum Club is the kind of band with big plans and a lot of potential. They are already working on their second album, and from what I heard, the new songs are so catchy, that even they find themselves dancing around the house, while listening to them. But that is not all, these six lads from Liverpool want to be the first band to play on the moon…interesting, right? Anyway, keep in mind the name Red Rum Club, I’m sure you will hear more about Michael, Francis, Joe, Neil, Tom and Simon. And one last thing, please listen to their other songs as well, not just Would You Rather Be Lonely? (you will thank me). By the way,a new song is being released on Friday, I guarantee it will make you dance and it won’t leave your head (typical for Red Rum Club songs).
Pictures by Shamrockraver: https://www.shamrockraver.com/
Romanian version available HERE
„You see us as you want to see us—in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.” – The Breakfast Club