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

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Image by Claudia Degg

Some of the most significant meetings occur in the most unlikely places. “I was in the queue for the toilets!” recalls Clarions bassist and frontwoman Claire Delamore, on her first encounter with the group’s newest member, Adam Clarke. “We’d been trying to find a drummer for ages…We’d tried being a two-piece, but we always felt like there was something lacking. We used a drum machine and tried out a few drummers, but it just never seemed to gel.

“I was singing for another band at the Surf Café in Tynemouth around Christmas 2015. It was quite a busy night and I was in the queue, Adam was next to me and said something about how the drummer in one of the bands had quite an unusual kit. I looked over and said ‘AH! Are you a drummer?!’”

The pair clicked instantaneously, with Clarke eventually invited to complete a band whose genesis had lain some three years previously. “I’d had singing lessons, but I’d never sung in front of people before. I was terrified but it was always something that I wanted to do, so I put an advert out for a guitarist.” That speculative call was answered by Scott Gartshore, an experienced musician who’d recently relocated to the North East from Glasgow. “He was like, ‘what kind of person puts an ad on Gumtree?’ I replied, ‘what kind of person answers it?!’”

The pair bonded over a mutual love of Patti Smith and, having established a musical chemistry, recorded an EP of demos with the help of a session drummer. Now, however, they’re gearing up to introduce their new, improved line-up with the Could Rise EP; a sterling three-track snapshot characterised by Claire’s rousing vocals and themes centred around overcoming life’s mental blocks. This is particularly true of lead track What Then, a Gartshore-penned number whose ingredients had been in the pan for some time, but only came to the boil once the group expanded to a trio.

What Then is about how much our lives are defined by fear and trying to overcome those inner demons. Everybody has a darkness inside – why not just let it out?

“We’re all quite insecure,” Claire explains. “We’re constantly frightened – mostly by our own minds – about doing things we really want to. What would happen if we didn’t limit ourselves with thoughts of the safe, practical or ‘right’ thing to do? What Then is about how much our lives are defined by fear and trying to overcome those inner demons. Everybody has a darkness inside – why not just let it out?”

This, along with fellow newbies Candid and Walking With Your Head Down, will be showcased at the EP launch at Newcastle’s Jumpin’ Jacks on Saturday 3rd March, with support from Old Stick labelmates Camens and Chris Wise & The Hidden Revolution. Beyond that, the group have few plans set in stone, but one thing they’re certainly not lacking is further material. “We’ve reams of unfinished stuff, it’s just a case of working out the financial side. We have enough for an album – probably two – but for now we’re just working our way through recording. It’s really exciting, so expect more to come!”

The Clarions launch Could Rise at Jumpin’ Jacks, Newcastle on Saturday 3rd March.

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