DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: The Great Curve | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists that we have right here in the north east. This time, Mick Rolfe from The Great Curve tells us about their aggressive live shows, his side project in Last Waltz and much more.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

We are The Great Curve. Mick Rolfe: Vocals. Chris Wallace: Guitar. Alistair Mack: Guitar. Jim Bowmaker: Bass. Dave Musgrave: Drums. We’re from all over the North East but are based in Newcastle.

What inspired you to first start making music? 

I can’t speak for the rest of the band but I think it was probably Queen and Freddie Mercury for me! Me, my brother and cousin used to pretend to be them in my cousins garage, with them banging on pots and pans and the like while I pranced about using my uncle’s putter as a mic stand like Freddie!

Nothing’s changed really…

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

Our individual tastes and influences are pretty wide and varied to be honest, for instance Jim’s really into prog stuff such as Yes and Rush, which in the main the rest of us aren’t and I DJ and make mainly instrumental electronic music with Last Waltz which isn’t really the sort of stuff the rest of the band are that into either…

But collectively, among many others, Radiohead, The National, Grizzly Bear and Wild Beasts are bands we all like (or most of us anyway) and I can hear their influence in our sound…

How would you describe your sound?

I wouldn’t… Nobody likes that question do they! NARC.’s very own Claire Dupree recently described us as expansive indie rock so we’ll go with that eh?

Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene?

Who knows, wherever anyone will have us! I’m not sure what a “local music scene” is to be honest, or if there is one, but there does seem to be quite a lot of good bands and artists around at the minute and also a lot of people who are working together and helping each other out, and it genuinely feels like a really good time to be in a band in the North East at the moment… It’s really good to see bands knocking about together, sharing members and going to each other’s shows etc…

“it genuinely feels like a really good time to be in a band in the North East at the moment”

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by The Great Curve?

They’re generally absolutely shit and riddled with mistakes! Nah, joking aside, I think there’s quite a bit of energy there. I’ve been told the songs come across as more aggressive live, which I guess I agree with… I think pretty much every gig we’ve played we’ve debuted a new song too, so there’s generally still something fresh for those who’ve seen us a few times before.

Also, I occasionally put on club nights/ parties called Dada, which we do in unusual or underused spaces so I quite like the idea of trying to do the same with gigs… We had our EP launch last month and that was on a film set which was a living room, which was reached by a little tunnel. It was great seeing people’s reactions as they walked in!

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

We’re playing with Shields at The Head of Steam on Thursday 18th June. We’ve been trying to arrange a gig together for ages as we’re mates and Luke from Shields was actually in The Great Curve for a short period (he plays bass on Carried Away on the EP), but for various reasons we’ve not managed to sort one out, then they were wanting to do a warm-up gig for Glastonbury so this seemed like an ideal opportunity and it should be quite a busy one! We’re playing in Stockton with Grandfather Birds on Friday 17th July too and there’s also a few gigs going to be happening in and outside of Newcastle that are just in the planning stages at the moment but I’m pretty excited about them if they come off…

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a band?

I suppose doing Evo Emerging was a pretty big achievement considering we’ve only really done a handful of gigs and haven’t been together as a band for very long. And obviously getting our EP out, which has been a long drawn out process as some of the songs on there were recorded about a year ago with Jack, our original bass player, who moved away. That felt like an achievement just to get it out and be able to kind of draw a line under it as it had been all ready to go but for a long time we didn’t have a full band to support the release so we just shelved it and spent that time working on new stuff, which is great really as it means we’ve ended up with tonnes of material…

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

Just keeping the band together long enough to do anything of note has been quite a challenge! We’ve had numerous false starts due to band members leaving, I think there are three different bassists on our debut EP (out now via iTunes etc. or our Bandcamp for a physical copy!) and Chris and myself are the only remaining original members!

What else have you got planned for the future?

We’ve recently been back in with Sam Grant at Blank Studios to begin work on a second self-released EP and there’s also been talk of someone putting a single out for us, maybe a split one with another band who we have close ties with but nothing’s been confirmed yet. I’m also friends with a number of “electronic” artists via my work with Last Waltz so there are going to be a few remixes coming out too…

Then after that I’m not sure, we’ve talked about maybe recording an album pretty soon but we’ll see… It would be nice if someone other than us wanted to finance that happening.

The Great Curve play alongside Shields at the Head of Steam, Newcastle on Thursday 18th June.

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