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Nottingham Castle

Preview: Admiral Fallow at Metronome

28 October 21 interview: Katie Lyle
photos: Beth Chalmers

Scottish musical group Admiral Fallow are coming to Metronome on Friday 26 November. We chat to band member Sarah Hayes ahead of the upcoming gig... 

Tell us a little bit about who you are and how you formed to become Admiral Fallow? 

We’ve been friends for about fifteen years. Most of us met while studying in Glasgow and we started the band pretty soon after that. We used to knock about at the same open mic nights and gigs in the city. Since then we’ve released three records and been fortunate enough to travel around a fair bit.

 

What inspires your music? 

Louis [Abbott] is the main songwriter for the band, and his lyrics often take real life events as a starting point. As individuals we’re all involved in a few different musical projects, and these experiences can inform what we do when we’re together. I think we’re at the stage now where we know each other’s playing really well – we generally understand each other when it comes to suggesting musical ideas to try out. Our music has been described as ‘orchestral-indie-pop’ which is probably as good a summary as any!

 

You have an album on the way… What can be expected? 

Our fourth album, The Idea Of You, is out on Friday 5 November on Glasgow’s legendary Chemikal Underground. It feels like a kind of consolidation of the various ways of working that we’ve tried over the years. Louis’ lyrics are at the heart of things and the rest of us bring our own musical identities into the mix. Paul Savage produced the record. We’ve worked with him on all our albums and as always he’s brought his outstanding ears and studio wizardry to proceedings. As well as crafting arrangements and production ideas, we’ve also tried to capture performance and personality, and worry less about imperfections than we might have in the past. We recorded more of it live than previously and ended up keeping a lot of those spontaneous moments and guide parts.

 

What has been your current writing process in the run up?

Louis usually sends a rough demo of a song or part-song and we take it from there. We spent a week away in the Highlands back in 2017, taking some concentrated time to play through the songs in the room together and seeing what appeared. We made some more live demos and worked on parts separately at home before meeting up again. Sometimes we’ll discuss a few key musical reference points, but that tends to happen more during the studio recording. 

We’re really looking forward to getting out and about and feeling that crackle of playing to people again.

What has the process of creating this album been like? 

We’ve taken our time with it. The bulk of the recording was done in 2019, with a few extra vocal and synth parts added last year during a brief window of opportunity between lockdowns, so we definitely feel ready to share the songs with people now. It’s also been a new chapter in the life of the band, with us taking on more of the day-to-day organising and managing. This album is our first time working with Chemikal Underground as a label and our first release in six years – a re-emergence of sorts.

 

Is this your first time in Nottingham or are you returning? 

We’ve visited Nottingham a few times before, playing our own shows and supporting other bands too. I remember one very sweaty gig as part of Dot To Dot back in 2012. We went onstage at 1am after Australian psych-rockers Pond had destroyed virtually everything in their path. 

 

Are you excited to be back on tour? How much have you missed live shows? 

It feels great to be able to play together – we certainly won’t take it for granted again. We’ve done a few live gigs so far since the summer and they’ve all been different. I think it’ll probably feel a bit strange to be back in a ‘normal’ gig setting, but we’re really looking forward to getting out and about and feeling that crackle of playing to people again.

 

What can be expected from your live show? 

We’ll be giving some new songs an outing – it’s been fun working out how to play them live! As it’s been a while since our last UK tour, we’ll be playing lots of old favourites, too. And Kev’s got a new synth.

 

Admiral Fallow perform at Metronome on Friday 26 November and you can buy tickets online.

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