They may be fresh out of the blocks, but Liverpool’s Bicycle Thieves have already got the national media interested. Fresh from exploits at Dubai Sound City and high profile gigs in the capital, the lads tell Getintothis about their plans for 2010.
Getintothis: So, 2010 is officially Bicycle Thieves‘ ‘on it’ year. You’ve gone from just another name round town to BBC Introducing tips, NME Radar features and oddly Ricky Wilson big ups? You must be chomping at the bit?
James Feltham (guitar): Absolutely, I can’t wait for it to get started. The January lull is on at the moment so not lot is happening, hence Delphic being proclaimed to be the best thing since sliced bread (not on here – Reviews Ed) at the moment. Once that’s out the way, we hope to build on a great 2009.
Getintothis: Let’s cut to the chase, you’ve already been pigeonholed with Joy Division and rather unfairly tagged as Editors/White Lies soundalikes – what distinguishes you from those third-rate copyists?
Ash Hopkins (guitar): We never set out to achieve any kind of authenticity, this is just the result of all us together in a practice room. The link people make with us and those bands comes from the fact Tom (Hammersley) sings in a register that is fairly rare in poplular music. People who have drawn that conclusion clearly haven’t really listened to the music.
James: It’s a really organic way of working, we haven’t ever felt the need to revisit any of our songs to make it fit in with the rest. I don’t think White Lies could say that as they’ve already had one crack at it before deciding dressing in black and singing about death/dying was the way they were going to make a career out of music
Getintothis: The reason why Getintothis digs Bicycle Thieves is that like so many young bands in town at the minute you don’t sound anything like the dull, cliches associated with the retro Liverpool stereotypes. Who and what influences you? What’s been on the BT jukebox recently?
James: I’m really in to The Black Angels and Detroit Social Club at the moment. I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with BRMC which I think has probably bought this on. In terms of local bands I really like The Loud and I hope they start to get the recognition they deserve as they are a real treat live.
The Black Angels: You in Colour
Getintothis: As a new band starting out what do you think about illegal downloading/Spotify?
James: I think it’s great for the consumer. As a kid I’d have absolutely loved to have had Spotify, but now the shoe is on the other foot and we’re looking for a deal to help us make that next step, so its frustrating that nobody really buys records any more.
It’d be hypocritical for me to say Spotify is the root of all evil because I use it and I think it’s brilliant, I don’t approve of illegal downloading however as you are actually taking ownership of the files.
Getintothis: Bicycle Thieves are holding a celebrity dinner party, who are the first five guests (dead or alive) you post invites to?
Jim Reynolds (bass): Wouldn’t get involved. We’d just have the girlfriends round and some top scran.The lads will bring round the premium ales and I’ll have a crate of dusty old tins under the stairs for when things get going.
Getintothis: Despite the cynicism, Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year was a success, how do you think 2009 shaped up and what’s your thoughts on the creative spirit in Liverpool as we start a new decade? Who/what artistically excites you in Liverpool?
Jim: All that cynicism is boring. Theres always some bitter old twix ready to harp on.Its nonsense. Liverpool is a truly incredible place for too many reasons to list.
Everything about the city is an absloute joy. Play it right and its just an endless journey from one amazing opportunity to another.
Getintothis: Did you take your name from the Italian film, or simply due to a former bad habits?
Jim: The film.
Ladri Di Biciclette (The Bicycle Thieves) (fan made trailer)
Getintothis: You’re all into the football, tell us where your allegiances lie.
James: Tom – Aston Villa, Ash – Reading/Man Utd, like all southerners it depends on who wins that the weekend, me – Super Chelsea, Jim – Wolves and Nick (Pickering – drums) – Liverpool.
Getintothis: Who’d win in a five-a-side match between you guys and Sound Of Guns? What do you think about the idea of a shared stadium?
James:: It’d be interesting but the passion would win it for us. We’re all well into our footy and I know Andy‘s (Metcalfe) got a decent touch but Nathan (Crowley) and (John) Coley don’t really care about it. Lee‘s (Glynn) an Aussie as well so I doubt he even knows what football is!
I’m, all for the groundshare thing for the two Liverpool clubs, the only problem being who is going to have it on Europa league nights as that’s where both clubs will be for the forseeable…
Getintothis: Back to important issues, where are you up to with recording, when are we likely to hear new material? Give us an insight into what to expect?
James:: We are in the process of demoing some new tunes in our practice room in preparation to record our next single. We’ve got a big pool of songs to choose from now so its going to be difficult.
Getintothis: Finally, anything else to declare?
Jim: We’re playing Masque on February 19 headlining the NME gig and also Mountford Hall on March 6 supporting The Courteeners.