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Glastonbury 2005: Turncoat interview

24 June 2005

Brighton five-piece Turncoat won Glasto's unsigned bands competition to play the Leftfield stage on the Saturday. With a unique blend of atmospheric indie, they're definitely one to watch.

Virtual Festivals: How are you all doing today?
Al: Itís nice to be clean.
Dominic: We got here Wednesday afternoon, so weíve been here with the rest of the festival-goers.
Luke: We havenít seen that many bands, actually, weíve confined ourselves to our tents  because itís been so muddy
Aidrian: Weíve done some wandering about, on Wednesday and Thursday we had a wander round just to soak up the atmosphere, really. Itís been a good opportunity for us to have a couple of days off, to be honest, because weíve been pretty busy recently, so itís having a break.

VF: So how does it feel to be playing Glastonbury?
J: It feels great.
Aidrian: Yeah it does, I only started to get excited when we arrived, even though we knew we were confirmed. Today seeing other bands play made me really wanna go up onstage as well, so weíre really looking forward to it. It should be really good.

VF: Who are you excited about seeing at the festival, or whoís been good so far that youíve seen?
Luke: Popped in and saw a bit of The Rakes, theyíre excellent, theyíre two softbreak brothers also from Brighton, who else? Ozric Tentacles! Excellent!
Al: We went to see the Ozric Tentacles today, which was really good. Brian Wilson I wanna see tomorrow.
Aidrian: Thereís so many that you wanna see that you kind of get overwhelmed by it all, you have to spend five minutes just sitting down with your programme working it out.
Dom: I went to see Ceefax today, I was hoping Aphex Twin would be playing but heís not. 

VF: Tell me the craziest thing that youíve done at Glastonbury so far.
Dominic: We pee in our tents a lot. Thatís about it!
Luke: Weíve got bottles and bottles of piss in the corner of our tent, cos itís too muddy to go to the loo. Although we have got nice facilities where we are, showers and toilets, cheap bar.
Dominic: Donít tell them that, they wonít let us come back!

VF: Sounds a bit like a Dumb and Dumber moment with all the piss.
Aidrian: Yeah, thatís exactly it! Weíve had a few of those. ďI need another bottle, I need another bottle!Ē
VF: How did you guys get together?
J: Three of us have been playing instruments together for a very long time, since we were about 12 years old, and then when we got to college we got our second guitarist and bassist, and started taking things a bit more seriously. So weíve been playing together a long time, I guess thatís nine years or something.
Al: But at the end of the day, weíve been working together in this line-up with Turncoat for two years.

VF: So for people who havenít actually heard your music, could you give me some kind of description?
J: Well, the short answer would be kind of English-sounding progressive indie with keyboards and guitars. But if you want a longer description, itís about trying to carve out soundscapes, create contrast, really make use of the possibility of dynamics, whilst at the same time keeping the songs so that people can understand them quickly and not get bogged down in long songs that are a bit too sprawling or anything like that. So yeah, weíre doing alright so far.

VF: Have you been touring recently?
J: Not touring, we toured in May, but weíre doing a lot of gigs, a lot of rehearsing, working on some new material. Weíre touring again in September, so weíre kind of preparing ourselves for that, working hard and getting ready for that, so this has been a relaxing couple of days, itís been nice just to enjoy a beer in the Ďsuní [everyone laughs]

VF: You have a single out in July, donít you?
All: Yeah.
J: 25th July.
A: In fact, itís 25th June today, isnít it, so itís a month today. Itís the first thing weíve ever released properly, so I donít know how Iíll feel until I actually see the vinyl in my hand, itíll probably feel pretty good, but then weíve just got to keep our fingers crossed and hope that other people buy it and pick up some new fans.
L: Itís very exciting having something actually put on vinyl.

VF: Did you ever expect it to get this far?
D: No, probably not this far. Weíve always had high hopes, but you never know whatís going to happen really, this business is so touch-and-go that you have to be an eternal pessimist and then just be quite excited by anything that comes along, really.

VF: You guys are from Brighton.  There seems to be quite a few bands coming out of Brighton at the moment, is there a scene going on there, do you think?
J: I think lots of bands have come out of Brighton steadily over the last decade, but generally itís started to snowball after a couple of acts did really well, then there was more interest in what was going on in Brighton. I think there are a couple of other bands playing tonight on this stage that come from Brighton and we know both of them, and a couple of bands yesterday that played the Leftfield stage are from Brighton, so itís really good. Brightonís always been a nice place to live. We canít appreciate enough that we live there until we go somewhere else, really.

VF: Is there anything else that youíd like to add?
D: Yeah, buy the single!
Click here for more on Turncoat at their official site.


- Click here to discuss this on the Festival Forums!
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Article by: Laura Foster

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