Focus: Pointy Features | 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 four-piece rock/psych band from County Durham. We are Dan Leak (guitar/keys), Kieran Johnson (vocals/guitar), Ben Johnson (bass) and John Timney (drums).

What is it you do?
We make tunes that fuse the sounds of British rock (Floyd / Zeppelin) with a modern flavour of Khruangbin & Tame Impala. 

How long have you been doing it?
Pointy Features started as a solo project in 2018 initially by creating bluesy guitar beats and distributing them online – this gained traction as the genres of lo-fi/chill-hop grew into the mainstream. These genres picked up traction through COVID and thankfully project has accumulated over 100 million streams on streaming services since then. While the world slowed down, musicians found themselves with the capability to record, collaborate and distribute efficiently from home – many scenes/labels began to grow. Durham barely has a music scene so this was something I found really exciting and got thoroughly stuck into. After collaboration with artists of similar mindset from around the world I wanted to work with mates/musos closer to home. This led to opening the project to a live output and a more traditional band sound – something of a collective of our influences and musical backgrounds. We’ve learned our craft playing around the doors over the last 10-15 years – I think we’ve played every dingy rock bar north and south of the Tyne. Writing and playing your own tunes is a different beast to playing covers in the regional locals but definitely more rewarding.

What inspires you?
When starting Pointy Features, I wanted to fuse a traditional guitar sound with electronic/downtempo influences like Bonobo. Having grown up on a diet of classic rock and blues, I love hearing modern takes on this style – something bands like Khruangbin and Tame Impala do so well in recent years. Other influences include Cream, Hendrix, Led Zep, Free & Rory Gallagher. If you’re a fan of these we hope you’ll enjoy the coming singles and album.

Tell us about your music.
Expect big riffs and strong vocals with a ‘vintage’ sound selection. Our upcoming album ‘Hill End’ was recorded at Blank Studios in Newcastle with local producer John Martindale. The album draws upon the influences mentioned above to blend rock with a touch of trip-hop and lo-fi – this is released in March.

What have you got coming up in the future?
We launch our latest project at Cluny 2 on Friday, 8th March. It marks the culmination of our debut album as a band in which we’ll be playing accompanied by a liquid lightshow – bringing some 60s flavour to the evening. 

Ahead of that we have a single dropping each month between December and March, starting with  ‘Sonder’ on December 22nd. A track where we tried to draw on the feel of Pink Floyd’s lyrics, acknowledging the untold stories that surround us.

Our second single ‘Old Coal Town’ is released 26th January – a slower track that reflects on Durham’s industrial history and the passage of time wearing away optimism or aspirations for those who live here.

Where can people find out more about you?
Instagram is the best place to keep up with us and all tunes can be found on Spotify, Apple music etc.

Thanks for reading & hopefully see you at the Cluny if it sounds like your kind of thing

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