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

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They may not be a familiar name to NARC. readers yet, but Transfigure – the duo of Grace Miré and Lewis Norvid – stand out as one of the most exciting acts currently working in the region. Mixing old school synth pop melodies with a taste for house beats and dark glamour, they boast a sound unlike anything else going on in the city. Talking to me ahead of an upcoming single launch and set of live shows, they outline their peculiar situation of being a band with a devoted fanbase that remains largely unknown at home.

Speaking to them, it’s evident that they thrive on an independent-minded do-it-yourself spirit, but one very different from the shambling indie rock normally associated with those terms, having run their own club nights (including the popular Forbidden Pleasures club) to bring like-minded bands and fans to the city. “We had to create it for ourselves. There wasn’t anything there for us to latch on to: we had to make a scene ourselves. But the reason nobody else puts on those nights is that it’s not something this country’s ever interested in. Just look at Depeche Mode – they’re much bigger in Europe. A lot of bands are much bigger in Europe.”

Mixing old school synth pop melodies with a taste for house beats and dark glamour, they boast a sound unlike anything else going on in the city

Including, in fact, Transfigure themselves, who have toured the continent and played several high-profile festivals slots abroad. As Lewis notes, “When I started putting on bands, the first one I put on was Lebanon Hanover. They’d played a few shows here, but they realised that what they were doing wasn’t working over here. But after that, I struck up a relationship with them and they said they had a friend in Bochum in the Ruhr Valley, which is a bit of a centre for that minimal synth scene. It was all the old crowd and all the new kids as well – there’s a huge demand for that music there. We were meeting people who came from other countries, people who were in old synth bands, and the passion for it was amazing.”

From that first gig, word of mouth spread across the European synth scene, with a cassette EP released through Wool-E Tapes in Gent, touring across Germany and Denmark and an offer to play a festival in Sweden: as Lewis jokes, “the flight connections were ridiculous, we had to go to Copenhagen and then the train across the bridge to Malmö with ten cases of our gear and two other people, it was like having our own entourage!”

Now though, their sights are set on their debut album, with single Fields coming out in February alongside a remix from Brooklyn electronic lynchpin Martial Canteral. “We’ve just put our heads down and done some recording: we’re putting out a single to drum up interest while we work out what to with the album. But we want to tour more later in the year to get it to the people who will be interested.”

Hopefully before long the people of Newcastle will match the enthusiasm that Transfigure have generated across the continent.

Transfigure play The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle on Friday 19th February. They release Fields on 1st February.

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