INTERVIEW: Mechanical Mouse Organ | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Not many bands get two chances to court music biz success, but Dave Curle, Liam Gilfellon and George Kitching are poised to unleash their new project this month. You’d be forgiven for thinking that after being burned in the nineties by their brush with success as NME-lauded indie darlings HUG (together with vocalist Gemma Wilson Pitt), that they’d had enough of The Industry, but a youthful injection in the form of Liam’s nephew Darryl Todd, who takes on vocal duties, has provided the lads with something of a renaissance.

Their new project, Mechanical Mouse Organ (a Bagpuss reference, if you’re wondering), is pretty far removed from the indie dance loveliness of HUG. On their debut album, Get Over It, released this month, they’ve given reign to their heavier side.

After reforming for a handful of shows in 2011, the original HUG threesome realised they’d considerably honed their crafts in the intervening years, not least Dave ‘First Avenue’ Curle, whose talents can often be heard in many a local band’s release. Stepping out from behind his sound technician’s desk, he led the production of the new record. “The album is really an attempt to capture our live sound.” George explains, and it’s certain that the record showcases a vibrant fusion of rough and ready rock and roll, bursts of punky energy and a layered and visceral edge. The tracks tell the tale of a band with their feet firmly rooted in the reliable expertise of acts like the Who, the Beatles and Small Faces, but with a contemporary twist, most likely thanks to Darryl’s vocals which are faintly reminiscent of Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones.

“They’re all the product of low self-esteem, high levels of self-loathing combined with a massive ego that needs massaging”

“The early HUG stuff was groove-based indie dance, but the later stuff was moving in a much more alt. rock direction, so it’s an evolution really.” George suggests. “With MMO, those original influences are back to the fore again, maybe a little bolder than previously. These days I don’t think we’d see any contradiction in mixing up elements of Led Zep and The Buzzcocks.”

Many of the songs follow a similar path, with themes of unrequited love and brooding regrets coming to the fore on tracks like the rollicking Ill-Judged Text; It’s Just Love (Get Over It), with its sing-along chorus and wandering bass line; I Know I’m Not The One’s dream-like, disjointed guitars, splashes of hypnotic percussion and satisfyingly heavy breakdown and the plaintive Call Me Up, which has a particularly personal undercurrent for the band. “Call Me Up comes across as a love song from someone longing to rekindle a relationship that ran its course but still trumps anything that has happened since. But it was actually inspired by the HUG reunion.”

“They’re all the product of low self-esteem, high levels of self-loathing combined with a massive ego that needs massaging.” Says Liam. “A pre-requisite list of must-haves for any song writers.”

What’s certain within the band’s output is a barely restrained energy that has obviously been long overdue in finding an outlet, and it’s in the live arena that they’re determined to make their mark. “Playing live is what we love most, so you can expect warmth, energy and commitment.” Says George, of their forthcoming album launch. “If you want a more ringing endorsement, after our first gig Darryl’s girlfriend Jess said ‘you were a lot louder than I expected, but not nearly as shit!’”

Mechanical Mouse Organ launch Get Over It at The Cluny, Newcastle on Friday 3rd July, with support from The Smokin’ Coconuts and The Exes.

 

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