Focus: Fortitude Valley | 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?
We are a band called Fortitude Valley.  We are based in Durham and London. I’m Laura, I write the songs, play guitar and sing, and I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia. Greg, who plays bass, is from Hull. Our lead guitarist, Daniel, and drummer, Nathan, are both from Durham. 

What is it you do?
We play a sort of melodic, energetic blend of indie-rock, power pop and punk. Sound wise, we draw influence from bands like the Beths, Weezer, Belle & Sebastian and the Weakerthans. If you like any/all of those bands, you will hopefully also like what we do?

How long have you been doing it?
Fortitude Valley itself is only a tiny baby – probably late 2018 / early 2019 is when we started making proper plans as a band.  We started recording our album in 2019, and were booked to finish it over Easter 2020, but the old pando really threw a spanner in the works.  As a result we only finished recording it in May this year.  We had also only played 2 shows before Covid hit and then we had to cancel the rest.  Individually, we have all been making music or playing in bands since we were kids. Other bands we also play in include Tigercats, Martha and Night Flowers. 

What inspires you?
On this record I was inspired by a doomed spacecraft, my rescue cat, love, different kinds of relationships and lockdown (though I tried really hard to resist writing about that last one). Sometimes it can just be a passing thought or feeling that sparks something in me, other times the song falls out and I’m not consciously aware of what it means. It hasn’t been the most inspiring time, but things are starting to feel a little bit brighter, so we’re excited to get out and play shows and be more inspired in the near future! 

Tell us about your music.
When I’m writing songs by myself, and recording my demos on GarageBand with digital instruments, I’m always just so eager to hear what Daniel, Greg and Nathan will do with them.  I think we complement each other stylistically and we all have slightly different tastes, but agree on the fundamentals.  

Our new single is called Cassini and it’s loosely based on the story of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft.  I had been meaning to write a song about it after reading a National Geographic article about its demise in 2017 and feeling weirdly emotional.  

What have you got coming up in the future?
We’ve just released our second single (Cassini), a long-time-coming follow up to our first single, Wreck, which came out just before everything went bad. Our debut album is coming out in September 2021 and we’re also due to play End of the Road in September, and Twisterella in the North East in October.  

Where can people find out more about you?
You can find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  Warning: I post a lot of pictures of my cat.

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