LOCAL INTERVIEW: Peculiar Disco Moves | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Sometimes our relatively close-knit local music scene can be a bit, dare I say, chin-strokey. You know what I mean – gigs filled with audiences too cool to break into anything more than an appreciative head-bob, over-the-top applause for in-jokes, nary a grin or a foot shuffle between them. Peculiar Disco Moves offer the antidote to this hipster posturing; a band who – with their eye-catching wardrobe and catchy songs – add a sense of fun to any line-up they’re a part of. But there’s much more to the Newcastle-based quintet than quirky upbeat pop; break beneath the surface and you’ll find a band who often utilise unusual themes with storytelling-style songs covering all manner of subjects.

“Lyrically I like to think we write about things that people can identify with, or at least create an element of surprise, because they didn’t think certain subjects would be covered in a pop song.” Says lead singer Alix Shepherd. “A pet hate of mine is bad lyrics, or song subjects about love that feature poor, unimaginative rhymes that don’t provide a sense of story or descriptive element to the theme they are supposed to be based upon.”

“I like to promote the humanistic elements to life, and look for all the little oddities and foibles that others can often overlook in certain situations”

There’s no fear of that with the band’s latest EP, Hot Of The Press. Offering a glimpse into the life of a celebrity, lead track Breaking News’ bouncy rhythms complement handclaps and harmonies aplenty, while The American Way – a tongue-in-cheek comment on the invasion of American culture on British society – with its distorted background vocal, clever lyrics, interweaving piano and guitar lines culminating in a surfy breakdown, manages to be both cheeky and slightly sinister. “The songs are slightly dark, spiralling situations, but characterised by quirky musical overtones that serve to offer a modicum of light in an otherwise hopeless realm of dreary existence. I like to promote the humanistic elements to life, and look for all the little oddities and foibles that others can often overlook in certain situations.”

When quizzed over the band’s predilection for unusual videos (their video for recent single When Your Mother Goes Home – which also features on the NARC. Compilation – depicts a Dragons Den scenario complete with gender swapping) he admits they like to stand out. “We like to set the quirk factor to overdrive, although sometimes we have to tame our ideas down slightly as they are a little bit too grandiose for our budget!”

It’s this sense of fun that runs through the band’s creative output that really endears them; Alix freely admits that the band may have been “overlooked on occasion”, but their willingness not to try to fit into a box or be part of a particular movement is also what sets them apart. They cite other acts including ICENI, Yellow Creatures and The Shooting Of… as artists they admire and who offer something different to the more publicised acts in the region right now. “’Catchy’ and ‘memorable’ is what we get from a lot of people when they describe us as a band, which I think (and hope) incorporates our visual image and stage performance as well as our sound.”

It’s clear that Peculiar Disco Moves are a band confident and proud of their sound. An intelligent, often complex and engaging live act, given half a chance they’d encourage even the chin-strokers to set down their craft beer and have a little fun.

Peculiar Disco Moves play the NARC. stage at The Green Room at Stockton Calling on Saturday 4th April and officially launch Hot Off The Press at Newcastle’s Mining Institute on Friday 17th April.

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