The Clameens

We talk Van and The Libertines with The Clameens

The Clameens have been steadily rising within the music scene for quite some time now and show no signs of stopping any time soon.

The four piece from Derry were signed to Gary Powell’s ’25 Hour Convenience Store’ record label in May of this year having grabbed the attention of music lovers right across the UK and Ireland.

Best known as drummer of iconic rock bands ‘The Libertines’ and the ’Dirty Pretty Things’, Powell formed the small independent label in 2010 along with music industry guru Wayne Clarke with the aim of “serving up something fresh to music lovers tired of being dished out music they didn’t ask for by a record business that didn’t understand them”.

Their music has been infectious wherever they go, whether it be BBC Radio 1, 6 Music or appearing on Other Voices and were selected as one of MTV’s Unsigned bands of 2014.
Their gigs to date are equally as impressive having supported such acts as The Strypes, Professor Green and Pete Doherty, as well as appearing the 2014 The Great Escape Festival, Liverpool SoundCity, MTV Crashes and Electric Picnic.

With an EP due for release soon, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to check in with the guys and get the low down of what’s been happening, and what’s still to come...

How did you come to be signed by 25 Hour Convenience Store?
Well it’s actually a very strange story. We have been working on the contract a very long while; we have been chatting with the label for ages. I think some people think the days of a shifty old A&R guy coming to your gig and signing the band in the toilets of a shitty bathroom are gone.

It takes a lot of meetings and working on finding the best deal for the band. Luckily enough we have Mark (Holden) our manager who has been with us from the start. Mark was instrumental in securing the contract for us. Finding the best deal for us was so important for him. We have a great team of people around the band and especially with the label. They are a great house to be a part off and they are growing each day.

We just work on writing as many good songs as we can for them. But to answer your question how did it come about ­ It involved a taxi journey with Mark in Belfast from a hotel to bar, with a very lovely lady who is now working closely with the band. Fate as one would say.

The Clameens

The Clameens perform Burns classic 'My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose' on the BBC

It must be pretty insightful to have Gary Powell as your boss, a guy who’s got insider knowledge of the industry having been in two of the most iconic bands in recent decades…
Gary is amazing, he is a true rockstar and a gentleman. He has been in this game a long time his knowledge is so valuable to us, creatively and on

a business sense. He would regularly call us on a weekly basis through his busy schedule. He finds time for his bands. Gone are the days when the artist can actually call up the Label boss and talk about some business or creative input to the band, but in our case we can.

When will the new EP be out and have you a title for it yet?
The EP will be released in September 11th and we’re really, really buzzed about it. We have shows to be announced too and some tour dates so we are excited about the lot. The EP is titled after our lead single “TECHNO”

What would you say have been the main influence for the EP?
This is a great question. We had many previous approaches to predeceasing EP demos for example we would collectively listen to influence of many other artists. When coming to the developing process of this EP we actually were inspired about what was happening within the band personally rather than listening to a track from Nirvana and going what that guitar sound etc etc. But we wrote and were inspired by each other.

We had some personal issues in the band and we had a line-up change too. It was a period that actually made us stronger and in this period we actually became better writers and musicians. If anything else, in this EP you can actually hear the influence of ourselves if that makes any sense. It’s a strong EP, we talk about things we see around us and we wrote about things what was happening to us.

You are due to perform for the BBC as part of Van Morrison’s 70th birthday celebrations on the eve of Cyprus Hill show later this month, how much are you looking forward to that gig?”
Yes, really looking forward to this show. To be a part of the celebration of the king of the Irish song book Van Morrison is amazing. We were contacted about the show a few weeks ago and the gig is been held in Vans Hotel with special guests performing some of the Catalogue from Van Morrison’s bounty of hits. It’s an honour for us really to be a part of it.

You have been flat out gigging, but what’s been your favourite gig this year so far?
We have been busy enough over the last 3 years. We have had some stomper shows and some of the worst venues we have played have turned out to be the best shows. Highlight this year was Liverpool Sound City. We filled the tent and went completely mad on stage. The crowd was amazing! We had so many technical problems on stage but it made the show.

Ethan our guitarist stood on an AMP mid set and slipped off breaking his Jack. He called Mark, our manager, and we saw him run through the crowd to the side of the stage and literally swiping an entire back line of drum gear and flight cases off the side stage, pulling cables from this box to get Ethan a jack lead. Hilarious

Any other NI or Derry gigs planned?
We do but it’s a secret! Keep an eye for this on our Socials. It will be a special night indeed.

 

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