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

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Promising Sunderland band Roxy Girls put the ‘punk’ into post-punk with the release of their debut EP on 16th February. They certainly give gravitas to the saying ‘quality over quantity’, with the release barely cracking eight minutes. Despite the short running time, Roxy Girls’ EP features four tracks dripping in the energy and confidence usually reserved for much more established bands.

Despite being relative bairns on the region’s music scene, it seems they’ve gone through some changes already. “[We first started] playing together purely out of boredom and a complete lack of anything better to do,” they tell me. “The first day we ever played together, we recorded an awful dream pop song in a damp basement. Our sound has changed a fair bit over the last two years and we’ve ended up drawing a lot from bands like Gang of Four and The Yummy Fur. I guess we try to emulate the ‘Sunderland sound’ cemented by fellow Mackems Field Music and The Futureheads.”

EP opener Straddling The Canon is in particular reminiscent of Wearside’s favourite spiky rock sons; undisguised Wearside accents accompany sharp guitar riffs and are intersected by punchy drum beats. It might serve as some comfort to North East punk fans that the local music scene is still producing contributors to the genre, and it isn’t just their music which borrows from their influences. “The Yummy Fur have a song called Roxy Girls. We weren’t creative enough/too lazy to come up with a completely original name.”

we have a straight-to-the-point approach to songwriting, avoiding hiding behind effects and complex song structures

The band’s debut may be a short, sharp jolt of fuzzed-up punk and riotous intent, but there’s no feeling of laziness, rushing or incompletion. This in part appears to be down to their writing styles, “we have a straight-to-the-point approach to songwriting, avoiding hiding behind effects and complex song structures.” Case in point is Dangerous Driving, the lead single from the EP, which sounds like a public service announcement in song format (a move I can always respect if it means spreading awareness about safety). Singer and guitarist Tom explains part of the motivation behind the track: “When I was in secondary school, a lad in the year below was involved in a pretty serious accident. Aidan [drums] was also once driven towards at speed by an old woman. As a result of our experiences, we pay quite a lot of attention to the roads when jaywalking.” Considering a lot of the stereotypes behind punk music are of rule-breaking and devil-may-care attitudes, it’s nice to see some space being made for common sense.

For a band in its early days, Roxy Girls display a skill and maturity which will hopefully have them reaping the rewards in no time. At the very least, their efforts shouldn’t be in vain: “After two years of sitting in the aforementioned damp basement, it feels class to actually have something to show for the hours of putting our bodies at risk of pneumonia.”

Roxy Girls’ EP is released on 16th February 16th. Keep an eye out for local show announcements on their social media pages.



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