Sunday, 6 February 2011

Watch out for Pirouettes


The quartet that is Pirouettes aren’t quite what they seem...

Their low key math rock may suggest a moody exterior and a vulnerable heart but as the band relax with a post show drink in Sheffield’s Bowery bar they’re chatty as they smile and joke with each other, relaxed in their surroundings.

Over the last two years they’ve been quietly brewing a storm and since they put the finishing touches to their line up in August 2009, they’ve never looked back.

Currently pushing their recent debut release, ‘The Water Or The Wave’, the band have crept their way into some attention, leading to the EP being released by Manchester’s Hairy Wolf Records.

There is a rich connection between the band’s lyrics and their music, a chemistry that leads to supernatural soundscapes with far out guitars, pounding drums and understated bass accompanying Thomas Bower’s emotional vocals.

With a fusion of meaning and emotion that flows seamlessly into their songs, ‘The Water Or The Wave’ is a collection of four tunes predominately written about John Fowles’ book, ‘The Magus’, as Bower begins to explain:  “It’s basically a concept EP, substance over action, a paradox for the nature of existence. Our sound has developed and the band has come to life since the line up was finalised, there wasn’t really a conscious change about what we wanted to do, we just write what we write.”

The band have strong Sheffield roots and with three of them coming from the Steel City, they speak fondly of their hometown but worry for the city’s musical heritage as drummer Billy Ridge points out: “Sheffield has lost the Boardwalk, Grapes and Stockroom in a matter of months, it’s such a shame. There are very few places for unsigned bands to play now. And there are a lot of unsigned bands, including some really good ones like the Wet Nuns, Skeletons [and the Empty Pockets] and The Salvo.”

Pirouettes are a hard working band, spending up to four nights a week in the practice studio while playing as many gigs as they can, something which can be arduous.  Bassist Matt Cooper also runs the live PR company Uneven Blonde and reckons it’s getting harder for unsigned bands: “It’s difficult to get people into gigs these days and agents would prefer one of their bands to play rather than a local support.”

As far as the future goes Pirouettes want to get the band more widely known as Cooper adds: “We want to focus on getting the EP out there, we also want to write more and hopefully we can play some festivals in the summer. We missed Tramlines last year because I was away so that would be good,” as Bower interjects: “We’ve been playing music for years and we just want to keep on going, it’s the only reason I get out of bed in the morning, we just love playing live music.”

Catch them:

February 18 – The Bowery – Sheffield

March 5 – The Castle – Manchester

March 12 – The Harley – Sheffield

March 28 – SoYo - Sheffield

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