Focus: Feeble Strength | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name’s David and I’m from Herra in Sunderland, down the road from where Jordan Henderson grew up, behind the old open cast pit that was turned into Herrington park.

What is it you do?
I write songs on the guitar and piano exploring what it’s like to be a downwardly mobile, geriatric millennial. But in an obtuse way, so that nobody ever knows what I’m going on about.

How long have you been doing it?
So long that it’s become a self-conscious part of the writing process, in the sense that I’ve had to ask myself ‘did this really mean anything’.

I’m 35 and I’ve been playing in bands since I was 16. Among those, Mean Caesar, O’Messy Life, Withered Hand. Feeble Strength is a new band.

I love making music and I’m always incredibly grateful for anyone who pays attention, but you also get to an age where everyone you know has a family and you’re the only one left. So I’m often asking myself ‘how much time do I have left?’.  I just thought it’s worth being honest about that in case anyone relates. It can feel like you’ve worked most of your life for something, then it’s gone.

What inspires you?
Right now: early Christian martyrdoms and failed socialist New Jerusalems. People who stood up for their beliefs and died on their feet demanding to be worth more than society told them they were. Stories of people who help me imagine that we lived in a world where people had more consistent integrity and cared for one another more. I’ve also not always had the healthiest self esteem and I feel inspired by people who wouldn’t accept feeling shit about themselves.

Harmonised guitars of the kind you hear in Thin Lizzy songs. The band ‘The Blue Nile’.
Punk! Punk has been my life raft a number of times and made me feel like I had something worth offering the world. Being involved in the punk scene has given me so many incredible memories. My friends who are wonderful parents and their instagram accounts that are full of their kids’ lives.  The people I’ve worked with in my years as a frontline homeless worker and the grace they’ve shown fighting through shit circumstances in a society that treated them like municipal waste.

Tell us about your music.
With Feeble Strength I’ve written a record mostly of guitar jams that I like to think is an amalgam of Replacements, The Thermals, Lemonheads and Weakerthans. The guitar music of the 90s I suppose. I try to put a lot of thought into lyrics too. The song ‘The Children’s Crusade’ is sort of an attempt to draw a line from my life back to the Jarrow March to the Children’s Crusade. I wanted to put the Karl Marx quote about working people ‘selling their birthright for a mess of pottage’ to riffs.

What have you got coming up in the future?
We’re currently recording with Joe Watson of Apologies, I Have None. In the meantime we have an EP worth of tracks that I’m hoping to Kickstart a release of, of which the song Various Martyrs is one. These were recorded with Chris and Sam at Blank and Mick and Nick at Blast/Mono Studios. Then I’m opening my rolodex and begging people to let us go on tour with them. 

Where can people find out more about you?
At www.instagram.com/feeblestrengthrock and www.twitter.com/feeblestrength

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