INTERVIEW: Pulled Apart By Horses | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It’s a sad time on Wearside as Frankie & The Heartstrings are preparing to close Pop Recs – in its current form – this week. The record shop-come-venue has hosted some amazing gigs over the past two years, including sets by Franz Ferdinand, The Charlatans, Gruff Rhys, The Vaccines and Dutch Uncles just to name a few. It’s only right that the shop’s current location on Fawcett Street should get a proper send-off, so the Heartstrings have arranged a massive, final blow-out gig to celebrate the past and the future, featuring Drifts, Shades, Mansions of Glory and a headline set by Leeds rock band Pulled Apart By Horses.

Ahead of the gig, I talked to PABH guitarist James Brown about playing Pop Recs’ last gig (for now), independent record shops and their return to Sunderland.

Are you all excited to be venturing back to Sunderland? 

Yes we certainly are! Last time we played in Sunderland was back in 2012 when we came up north for Split Festival. We had a total storm playing that event so fingers crossed we’ll have a repeat of that gig. My wife and her family are from Sunderland so I’m looking forward to it especially.

How does it feel to be headlining the last ever gig in this current form of Pop Recs?

Quite an honour and a privilege to be honest. We know the Frankie & The Heartstrings guys really well and previously we’ve never been able to find the time to come up and play the store. It’s a really integral part of the music scene in Sunderland so anything we can do to support the cause, name and future of the store is really important to us. Independent music is so important in this day and age. I’m confident that this isn’t the end for Pop Recs.

What can we expect from the gig, considering it’s a fairly intimate venue?

We’ve a played a few in-store shows before around new record campaigns, they can be pretty hairy and quite up close and personal. PABH has always been about the audience when we play live, so I expect this to be pretty fun and friendly as far as shows go.

“Independent music is so important in this day and age. I’m confident that this isn’t the end for Pop Recs”

I’m assuming you’re chock full of support for independent record shops? What do they mean to you?

They mean the world to us. We all still shop in them and it still feels like the most heart-warming way to discover, purchase and learn about music. As a band, seeing your album on a shelf in a record store will always be more exciting than seeing an iTunes link or Spotify playlist.

Do you feel like independent record shops are on the decline at all?

Not at all no. Pop Recs has a hit a wall with its current property which is nothing but a logistical hiccup for them, a brand new Rough Trade has just opened in Nottingham, in Leeds we have Crash & Jumbo Records which have been going strong for years now and sales of vinyl are still on the up in the UK each year. If anything it’s steadily building and getting stronger.

Have you ever considered starting your own record shop, as a band? What would it be called?

I’d absolutely love to do that, but I’d never want to step on the toes of the guys that are already doing an incredible job of it here in Leeds. But if I did it would probably be called Hot Records and we’d serve mugs of tea and coffee and hot buns and pies.

Anything exciting us fans can keep our eyes peeled for in the future?

At the moment we’ve just kicked off festival season so we’re pretty busy almost every weekend this summer playing shows, but during the week we’ve been pretty hard at work writing the next record which is actually starting to pick up some pace now quite quickly. Who knows, we might have a couple of new tunes to play live soon!

Pulled Apart By Horses play at Pop Recs, Sunderland on Saturday 27th June.

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