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

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Some things, as the old expression suggests, really are worth waiting for; particularly when the ‘thing’ in question relates to the reformation of one of your favourite bands. Barely a year since I got the can’t-sleep-until-I-see-them news of Guns N’ Roses getting back together, I’ve now been given a second gift with the return of Sefelt, surely one of the North East’s most underrated collectives.

Multi-limbed, original and deeply interesting, Sefelt blazed a trail at the turn of the decade with their Gemini-like musical blend of post-rock, a Kid A-era Radiohead-styled take on traditional ‘rock’ structures (see The Last Pylon and Owa There) and cut ‘n’ paste, beats-driven electronica (see Righteous or Beautiful Beans). Warm, intelligent and highly contemplative, the Felter’s became as well respected for their live shows as they were for their studio work, evidenced by their growing following and national press coverage.

Stalling to a hiatus with the emigration of core member Dave Fysh, and re-emerging with his return to our shores earlier this year, Sefelt remain in possession of a considerable back catalogue and musical prowess.

“When Dave came back to the UK the band decided to all meet back up and just play for the love of making music,” says band member Andrew Mahon, “we wanted to play just for the satisfaction of it without any pressure. As it happened, once we’d played together twice we felt that we were on good form and wanted to share the music with other people. It was the fact that we sounded good that helped us all agree to get Sefelt back together; if we hadn’t played well we would have probably never even told anyone we had tried.”

Removing the band from its stasis has not been easy though, given that the band’s members are now spread out geographically across the country. If anything though, it’s the distance which has made the band more focused and productive. “Getting us together is pretty tricky, but when we do meet it’s got a purpose and we practice for seven hours. In some ways the limitation has helped us to keep focused.”

And with the focus, it seems, comes results. There will be a one-off reunion show at Head of Steam in Newcastle on Saturday 14th July, followed shortly afterwards by new material. “We’ve got one track finished and ready to go,” says Mahon. “It’s very driven and sounding like a blend of Krautrock with the melody and soul of something like Caribou.

It’s hard to describe the sound of the track but we’re very happy with it and it tries to balance hard sounds with a gentle soul.” Pushed further Mahon admits that there are “other pieces in development” at the moment and that they plan to record and release something soon. “Part of my agreement to come back into Sefelt was that we wouldn’t just play the music we played 15 years ago. We’ve all come back with different sounds and influences and we wanted to see how we could build something out of those new ideas.”

New music aside though, for the moment the band are focused on their live show. “It’s nice just to be excited to play music with my friends again.” It sounds like Andrew’s wait has been worth it.

Sefelt play Head of Steam, Newcastle on Saturday 14th July.

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