INTERVIEW: CVC | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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To keep my life interesting, when the NARC. interviews are getting dished out, I often just wait until the end to see what’s left and pick an artist with an intriguing name. This month saw me pairing up with Cardiff psych-rockers CVC, a band I had never heard before and had few expectations about. However, once I listened to their melodious, beautifully crafted songs I realised I was in for an absolute treat.

For those who are curious about the name, it stands for Church Village Collective, as this is where the band took shape, though originally it was not all about the music. “Most of us grew up together in Church Village and back then skateboarding was the primary objective. There were always guitars around and a few of us knew how to play so we’d just be playing songs here and there. And as soon as we discovered Francesco had a voice, we were like, what are we going to call the band then?”

The band have garnered plenty of attention since the release of their EP Real to Reel in 2022 and their stunning debut album, Get Real, in January this year. Producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys) has wonderfully weaved the various instrumentation together to capture their warm and expansive Laurel Canyon flavour with hints of bands such as Wings, ELO and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Despite this classic influence the band also cite more contemporary influences such as Snoop Dogg and Red Hot Chili Peppers. “When it comes to Snoop and RHCP, we take inspiration from the camaraderie of their music… Whereas bands like Crosby Stills & Nash have a more obvious influence on the songwriting and general musical outlook. Strong choruses, vocal harmony and the universal message of peace and love are things we all align with.”

Strong choruses, vocal harmony and the universal message of peace and love are things we all align with

The vocal harmonies in CVC’s music are a thing of beauty, a skill that the band believe is down to the length of time they’ve been together. “Well Cesco (vocals) and Dave (guitar/keyboard) have been singing harmony together for nearly ten years and they kinda know how the other works and it’s almost natural now, and when Elliot (guitar/saxophone) joined he was the perfect missing piece of the puzzle adding that high harmony much like Nash does for Crosby, Stills & Nash, so now that we’ve kinda established our roles in harmony world it feels very natural.”

Speaking of harmony, there’s an organic solidarity in the band’s approach to songwriting and in true communal fashion everyone puts a shift in. “Well in the band all six of us write. Some of us write fully-fledged songs and some of us write riffs or lyrics or ideas. So usually somebody will come in with 70% of a song completed, and the rest of us will fill in the gaps. But there’s not much writing together from scratch, it’s definitely more ‘my song your song’ kind of deal.”

As part of their UK tour, CVC find themselves doing two dates in the North East in April, with the band stopping off at both KU Stockton and The Cluny, Newcastle. And if you think you’re gonna get more of the same of what’s on the record, then think again. “There’s always lots of improvisation so every show is different, but the VIBEZ always remain the same.”

CVC perform at The Cluny, Newcastle on Friday 14th April and KU Stockton on Saturday 22nd April


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