5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT… Grandfather Birds | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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With their brand of autumnal indie, Matt, Jim, Stu and Mark – better known as Grandfather Birds – have won a huge legion of fans. Their latest song Shoes is a raw and mostly stripped-back slice of indie-folk filled with tender lyricism and a haunting melody. It’s no surprise, then, that the band’s return saw something of a frenzied scramble for tickets to their cosy gig at the Tynemouth Surf Café on Saturday 12th June; the event sold better than hot cakes.

Ahead of the gig at the intimate Tynemouth venue and in anticipation of more releases in the near future, the foursome let us in on some of their (sometimes darkest) secrets…

1. The name Grandfather Birds comes from a book written by Terry Pratchett called Nation. They are a type of bird that nest near the cave of the Grandfathers. They eat too much and are cowardly, and are also known as Pantaloon Birds because of how their feathers lie. We receive Google alerts when someone mentions the book or if someone is talking about their Grandfather’s pigeon-racing hobby.

2. When Jim was 18 he auditioned to be in Will Young’s backing band. He didn’t get in, but shortly after that he was successful in auditioning for Lemar’s touring band in 2005. Lemar didn’t speak to Jim for the entire tour, apart from on the final night when he had to apologise for getting his name wrong on stage. He introduced him as John Bowman.

“We receive Google alerts when someone mentions the book or if someone is talking about their Grandfather’s pigeon-racing hobby”

3. Matt can complete a Rubik’s Cube in less than one and a half minutes.

4. We are on the committee of RAFA Club in Stanley, to which we wear identical shoes for club meetings called committee shoes. We host the pub quiz and the bingo as well as running the Dancing in the Dark night where we play music and let people dance how they want without feeling conscious about how they look. It’s been 57 days since the last accident.

5. Mark is terrified of dead birds. Once when leaving his house for the bus he saw a dead bird. Devastated. Then while looking out the window of the bus he saw a dead cat. It was a dark day for Mark.

Grandfather Birds play at the Tynemouth Surf Café on Friday 12th June.

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