INTERVIEW: THE SONS OF BIDO LITO | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It appears that the sounds of the sixties are alive and well in Sunderland. Quintet The Sons of Bido Lito (say ‘bee-doe lee-toe’) are gearing up to release their debut album this month, and it’s been a mighty long time coming. The band have been plying their trade since 2011, performing alongside the likes of Primal Scream, James Skelly and Jacco Gardener, and this month their excitable psych-driven sounds are finally being cut to wax thanks to new local label Pink Lane Records (run by Holy Moly & The Crackers’ Conrad Bird).

The psych genre is a broad one, and the band’s lead singer Phill Houghton explains that the band are keen to cast their net wide. “We try to incorporate as many different influences as possible. There are things on the record from monks chanting to [American professional wrestler] Ric Flair impressions to things we’ve lifted from The Everly Brothers. The more influences the better really; as Joe Meek said ‘if it sounds right, then it is right’.”

Call it what you will, the multifarious strands of psych are present and correct, from the swirling organ and fast and furious outro of opener Coco Bongo, which blurs into a mash of guitar licks, racing bass lines and tumultuous percussion; to the happy clappy 10 Pence Party; Ennio Morricone-esque instrumental Navajoa; the galloping rhythms of The Virus and Gamma Ray’s trippy guitars. Phill confirms they’re fans of the up-tempo sounds of bands like The Seeds and The Coral, but it’s the variation and atmosphere of the psych genre that endures for them. “It’s authentic. It makes you feel class! We’re not totally psych heads though. We love 50’s rock ‘n’ roll, surf, ska, all sorts really. If it’s decent it’ll stand the test of time. There’s a reason no one listens to Wet Wet Wet anymore.”

We love 50’s rock ‘n’ roll, surf, ska, all sorts really. If it’s decent it’ll stand the test of time. There’s a reason no one listens to Wet Wet Wet anymore

While their sounds may be rooted in other decades, some of their songwriting stays true to the psychedelic tendency towards, shall we say, more ‘out there’ subjects? Phill explains: “Holy Ghost was written after I’d watched a documentary on Quest about UFOs manipulating the Pharaohs of Egypt with telepathy in order to build structures.” As you do.

The album is clearly the product of considerable care and attention. Having been recorded at Newcastle’s Blast Studios with Shields’ John Martindale on engineering duties, and mixed over the road at Blank, the band did pretty much everything else by themselves. “It was a dream come true being in an amazing studio like Blast, unsupervised with your best mates making an album, we had a right laugh! We sourced loads of old vintage gear from the 50s and 60s and experimented with them all night. We had the time of our lives making it and I think that comes across on the recording.”

It’s a joyous record, encapsulating the heady spirit of 60s psych but stamped with their own powerful pop personalities. Live, their effervescent energy and hypnotically addictive sounds contribute to a show that’s fun, unpretentious and cinematic. Phill puts it succinctly: “[People can expect] a set full of honest songs that won’t bore the tits off you, played by people who aren’t technically brilliant but absolutely love what they do.”

The Sons of Bido Lito’s self-titled debut album is released on 3rd November via Pink Lane Records. The band play Tynemouth’s Surf Café on Saturday 25th November, Stockton’s Musiclounge on Friday 1st December and Pop Recs Ltd. in Sunderland on Saturday 2nd December.

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