Sunderland band, Picnic, are one of the most promising acts on the scene right now and 2017 is going to be a big year for them with a brand new EP and a headline show at Newcastle’s Academy 2 on the horizon.
Following on from their cracking debut EP, ‘Four Ways To Cure Teen Angst’, and singles ‘I Ain’t Got No Money’ and ‘Julia’, the bands’ ‘Nothing To Write Home About’ EP was recorded at Sunderland’s Pamplemousse Studios by their drummer, Matty Rawding and friend, Jordan Miller and demonstrates a definite progression in their sound.
“This EP showcases a few different sides of our sound and is overall much more textual,” confirmed guitarist Eddie Scott exclusively to NE Volume. “Overall it’s much bigger than our debut; we drafted in some really talented musicians to experiment with some new elements and that was really eye opening.”
The bands’ show at Newcastle’s Academy on Saturday 16th September will act as the EP’s official launch show and it’s bound to be a great night with local acts Peace Frog, Mon Dei and Post Rome in support: “We’ve been working on our set for this show for a long time,” enthused Eddie. “We’re aiming to make it our best gig to date.
“There’ll be a few surprise additions to the set as well as a few surprise guests, so if you’re a fan of what we do this gig isn’t one to be missed…”
Just as exciting for the band is a prestigious support slow with Eurythmics local hero, Dave Stewart, at the Sunderland Empire on 10th September: “We’re so grateful to him for giving us, and other local bands, this opportunity – not only to support a musical legend, but to do it in such an iconic venue in our home town – we’re all very excited for that one.”
Picnic’s sound combines indie, jazz and funk and is fairly unique in a scene that is becoming swamped with brooding indie and 80s synth pop. It’s something that was important to the band when they were developing their own sound: “We love the local scene, and there are some bands doing really great things with that sound, but it just wasn’t for us,” ponders Eddie.
“We all go to a lot of local gigs and we hear a lot of the same style of music lately. That was a big catalyst in the direction we went in, just trying to stand out and do something different. Luckily, it just so happened that the music we liked to play, and the music we were writing at the time, was very different from everything going on around us.”
The bands’ upbeat nature stems from Eddie’s love of Randy Newman: “We’re big fans of satire,” he explains. “So mixing positive, overly happy sounding music with serious and morbid lyrics is all tied into that.” Even a song like ‘I Ain’t Got No Money’ is infectiously positive despite its downtrodden lyric: “IAGNM is written from the perspective of someone who has hit rock bottom but has been construed as quite anthemic because of the chorus and overall tone of the song,” confirms Eddie. “A lot of our songs are heavily peppered with irony and satire, but if you take them all at face value, when paired with often very sweet and ‘happy’ instrumentation, I suppose they do all sound very positive.”
With a new EP and a couple of big shows looming, there is a lot of positives for the band and now would be a great time to check them out if you’re late to the Picnic.
For further information about Picnic head to facebook.com/picnicbanduk.