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

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Those listening to the new EP from The Noise & The Naïve – a number which should include absolutely all of you – will be greeted with a fairly remarkable call to arms just seconds in. “Sodomites, lesbians, immodest rebellious women…” drawls vocalist/drummer Anne Langourieux in opener Damned, while guitarist Pauline Jacquey eases in to a suitably snarling riff. Shocking, rocking and very funny at once: it’s an ideal welcome to the world of The Noise & The Naïve.

“I stumbled upon this photo of a religious extremist holding a big sign which listed all the damned groups of people living in this world,” Langourieux explains. “You’re probably one of them, there weren’t many un-damned left. So much hatred inspired us. It’s a song we like to play at the start of our shows to welcome everyone.”

Having gained a cult following across Tyneside since they burst onto the scene in 2017, their new EP, Inside Me Ten Thousand Men Ten Filthy Curs, is a six-track burst of magnificently stripped-back, hook-heavy punk and power pop that also finds the duo expanding the sonic and emotional horizons of their work.

Discussing their latest songs, Jacquey notes “from a songwriting point of view, I feel we embrace more disparity between our songs. Our musical influences are various, and I happily steal, plagiarise and disguise everything we listen to. While sticking to simplicity and raw energy, we’re happy to sound like garage, metal, psych, punk or cheesy French pop. I’ve recently copy-pasted the main theme from one of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance, but chances are Anne won’t let me keep it!”

I stumbled upon this photo of a religious extremist holding a big sign which listed all the damned groups of people living in this world. You’re probably one of them, there weren’t many un-damned left

Lead single Mus Musculous is a fine summation both of the band’s intent and of their notoriously energetic live show, which comes accompanied with a pleasingly silly video in which a mysterious yeti-like figure overlooks the band. Langourieux tells me, “We wrote this song for a band we love: Mouses [Mus Musculus means mouse in Latin], so having Mouses’ singer Ste Bardgett shoot it was closing the loop in the best way we could have imagined. The creature is like the spirit of the song: weird and hairy. It’s our naïve take on the Bulgarian kukeri, a pagan ritual set to scare bad spirits away. It was made by our friend Helen from Valkyrie Creative who has a passion for faux fur. Fitting Duncan Lovatt inside it was the most hilarious experience.”

The closing track, Seek Solace, marks a significant departure from the duo’s sound – a raw, spectral ballad with violins providing the fireworks. Of it, Langourieux simple states: “This song came out dark and naked, after I lost someone I deeply loved. At the time of recording, Pauline played a violin part which sounded gentle and hurting and we kept it.”

To celebrate the EP’s launch, The Noise & The Naïve play Newcastle’s Cobalt Studios on Friday 29th March. “We usually don’t discuss politics through our music but we wanted to mark 29th March with something else than a downturn of a country. We decided to throw our EP out that day and party. Joining us on the bill we have Lonely Robot Inc., a real human playing a combo of sharp lyrics and acid riffs with dance backing tracks and Faithful Johannes, our favourite barely rapper, rhyming in style and in socks.”

The night will also be raising money for the Comfrey Project, who work with refugees and asylum seekers in Newcastle and Gateshead. “We met Craig Puranen-Wilson – a local activist and important figure for many of us – a short time after we had started the band. He was involved with the Comfrey Project and their work with refugees. The warmth and open arms you are welcomed with when you visit is invaluable and we simply want to support a cause and people we admire.”

 

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