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

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Newcastle alt. rock four-piece Coquin Migale have been garnering copious amounts of buzz over the past three months. Their EP FEEL, which contains some of the most infectious and blistering indie rock to emerge in recent years, was released late last year to great acclaim. Since its release, they’ve played numerous blinding gigs across the region and beyond, been championed by Huw Stephens and Tom Robinson, been played on Radio 1 and have featured in the NME. There’s also been talk of interest from some major labels. They’re now gearing up to release their latest single GOLD, undoubtedly the highlight of the four-track EP. The single perfectly encapsulates the band’s sound: an urgently strummed guitar intro explodes into heavy layers of riffage. Although tinged with a touch of psychedelia, especially in the dreamy, wistful vocals and the sometimes melodic, math-rock segues, the band build themselves on a strong foundation of raw rock motifs.

When I met up with them, Alex Soper and Stevie Kane are understandably in high spirits about how the band’s career is progressing. But there was one question I couldn’t help but begin by asking: how do you actually pronounce their rather unusual name? The pair help me to spell it out phonetically. “It’s Coke-win Migg-ale,” they inform me. “The words aren’t even in the same language,” they admit, which has caused some problems in the past. “We were being played on Tom Robinson’s show,” Alex says, “and the producer had to try and translate it in case it meant something rude.”

“we want to play the first ever gig on Mars. We don’t want to limit ourselves!”

Getting on to a more serious note, it transpires that the aforementioned ‘label interest’ isn’t a mere indie label, oh no… “we’re talking about Pharrell Williams’ record label.” Wary of being complacent, they both know that the attention shouldn’t be taken for granted. “Now it’s just about keeping the momentum that we’ve built up over the past few months going,” Stevie explains.

The band aren’t shy about their ambitions – “we want to play the first ever gig on Mars. We don’t want to limit ourselves!” says Stevie – but in all seriousness they have some thoroughly achievable short-term goals. “We realise it’s quite late but we’re looking to get on a few festivals and there’s a strong possibility of recording more,” Stevie says. Alex chips in: “People are scared or a bit snobbish sometimes but I’d love us to be Track of the Week on Radio 1.”

It’s all part of the inclusive, open nature of the band. Throughout the hour we spent together they made it clear that Coquin Migale’s music wasn’t exclusive and anyone could enjoy it. “You don’t have to be or look a certain way,” they explained. With a thoroughly likeable persona and truly invigorating sound, it’s hard to believe anyone could dislike Coquin Migale. World domination? Don’t rule it out.

Coquin Migale release their single GOLD on Monday 20th April. They play at The Cluny, Newcastle as part of the MIND all dayer on Saturday 18th April.

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