New band: Golden Fable
There’s an electronic rumbling emanating from the hills of North Wales. Accompanying this is a voice which is almost angelic in its delivery. Who is this sound? Where has it come from? There are certain pockets around the country who have fallen in love with this music…welcome to the music of Golden Fable… you will not be disappointed!
Rather than go into some mass diatribe about how good this band are and how they have changed my life (does music do this? Maybe in some small way perhaps) I’ll let Tim McIver tell you. As you read, click on the link and listen to their music…all will soon become clear that we may be in the presence of something really special.
Can you tell me about your background, how did you get together? what are your main influences?
“I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember, but only really started to take things seriously once I started university. I started writing acoustic guitar based instrumentals in my bedroom, recording on very basic equipment. Without much thought, I uploaded a couple of demos onto Myspace and before I knew it we were played by Steve Lamacq on his 6music show and getting offered gigs.
Unable to play the songs live on my own, I turned to my friends to do gigs and we became Tim and Sam’s Tim and the Sam Band with Tim and Sam. Sometimes there were seven of us, sometimes just two, but we all had lots of fun and had some amazing experiences. Highlights included touring with Cherry Ghost, 6music sessions, Latitude, Bestival and eventually the release of our debut album, Life Stream in 2010.
As time went on we started getting jobs and moving to different parts of the country so it became increasingly difficult to get together to write material. Becca (keyboard and clarinettist in Tim and Sam) and I therefore decided to create a side project. It initially startd as a way to experiment with different sounds, but we soon ended up writing lots of material and wanting to release what we’d created. So here we are!”
How has all this (influences and background) affected the type of music you make?
“Four years of being in a band has definitely had a big influence on Golden Fable. There’s a sense of having served an apprenticeship; we’re more mature, measured and focussed than we were in the early days of Tim and Sam, so the whole approach is more thought out.
We’ve always been very much influenced by our lifestyle. We’re not pretending to be mysterious rock stars – we like walking in the mountains and really soaked up the Welsh countryside when writing the album. A pastoral influence was always very apparent in Tim and Sam and it’s something we’ve tried to keep going with Golden Fable.
Our new line-up also had a real bearing on the sound. Neither of us play drums, or have the equipment to record them, so we used our knowledge picked up from recording Life Stream to create new sounds. Often we’d record individual parts of a drum kit, radiators, tables, ping pong balls etc and paste them together. We’d then manipulate them for hours to get the right sound. It was all very much learning and creating as we went along, but it was a hugely liberating experience.”
How does the music transform into the live arena? Being electronica style I’d imagine there are certain problems inherent in this? Do you concentrate solely on the electronica sound or mix it in with acoustic sessions?
“We use a laptop to play the drums, Becca sings/ plays piano/synth/organ and I play guitar and sing. We always try to include a couple of tracks without drums however, and play on tracks completely unplugged in the middle of the crowd, just with acoustic guitar and vocals. We’d love to have a drummer to trigger the samples live, but at the moment it just isn’t practical.”
Talking of acoustic sessions… Motorcycle Emptiness belies the chilled out music you make… was this on purpose or do you like to subvert music in this way… how about a version of You Love Us?
“We chose to do the cover as part of some acoustic sessions we recorded, which will be making their way on to Youtube over the coming weeks. We have a passion for music like James Yorkston/ Nick Drake/ Bert Jansch, so used the videos as an opportunity to show that side to our music. If we find time this year we’d like to record an album of material in a similar vein.
We love doing covers that are very different from the original, but as a rule we only cover one song per band. Therefore it’s unlikely we’ll do You Love Us, but who knows? The choice of cover is usually dictated by a particular chord sequence that lends itself to reinterpretation, so if a Manics song jumps out at us we’ll give it a go.”
Adam Walton is a big fan of your music… how as radio play affected your fortunes. Do you see this as a stepping stone to further success?
“Adam Walton, BBC Introducing and new music radio shows across the board have been so important to us. It has led to live sessions, festival appearances, gigs, interviews, meeting great people and a lot of new fans. Virtually every highlight of our history in both Tim and Sam and Golden Fable is thanks to radio, so we are always hugely grateful and appreciative of their support.”
What are your plans for 2012… upcoming gigs? New music?
“We’ve just announced the release of our new single, Always Golden. It’s out on March 5th, but you can get it right now from our Bandcamp:
We’re on tour in March and play the excellent Focus Wales event in Wrexham on April 21st.
We’re also hoping to release our album later in the year. It’s all recorded, we’re just in the process of finalizing the track listing. We’re extremely proud of it and can’t wait to release it. Keep your eyes peeled!”
And there we have it.. right in our midst we have a band who are not afraid to try something different and in doing so have created a sublime noise. Objectivity may dictate that as a writer I should keep a level head when introducing a band to a wider public but on this occasion maybe I am right in letting my heart rule my head. You’ve heard the music, you’ve listened to what they have to say… I’m sure you agree with me now.
Andrew is an editor and writer for wrexhammusic.co.uk and promotes the wrexhammusic.co.uk nights.