Manchester blues-rockers Federal Charm heads to The Cluny, Newcastle this month so Lee Allcock caught up with frontman Paul Bowe to find out what gig-goers can expect.
Following your 2016 Planet Rock Roadstars co-headline tour with SIMO and Aaron Keylock, you amicably parted ways with vocalist/guitarist Nick Bowden and drummer Danny Rigg and recruited new vocalist and frontman Tom Guyer and drummer, Josh Zahler. How have things been going with the new line-up?
The new line up is fantastic; Tom’s voice is insane and his enthusiasm for what lies ahead is infectious. Josh is the kind of drummer I’d like to be: he’s got the chops, he’s inventive and it’s exciting to around super talent. The lads have done really well to make the first two albums their own too. We’ve been working so hard together these last 12 months to create and present something special to the circuit and the rock ‘n’ roll scene, again.
You’re set to release your third album this autumn, but does the album follow your heavy blues-rock direction which evolved on your second album? Or have you moved in a whole different direction?
It’s definitely a progression. This album has taken the longest to write as it’s had a lot of care and attention. We’ve demoed each track numerous times and the recording was a pleasure to be a part of. It has to be said that almost half this material was in its demo stage with Nick Bowden and Danny Rigg and these songs have crossed over to the next phase. There also been a big collaboration with ideas between band members.
What difficulties did you face whilst writing the new album and how did you overcome them?
I have to be honest and say it wasn’t difficult. The main issue was keeping the faith and allowing yourself the time to make this as good as it can be. We have a lot of catching up to do and I know fans wanted to hear what the new direction was; it’s always blues, roots, hard rock ‘n’ roll, but there are some big surprises in there.
You’re set to play at The Cluny in Newcastle this month, so what can gig-goers expect?
A full-on 90-minute set that is chocker block with old and new material. I’m just excited to be headlining shows again and this will be our first time with mk2. Fans will be treated to the first interactions and sparks – it’s like a new beginning even from a live perspective. We have a great local act called Too Close For Missiles performing too; these guys are on the up so I’d recommend people get down early to catch them.
You’ll also be joined by a very special guest for your Newcastle show and that’s Gabriella Jones featuring Planet Rock Radio’s Wyatt Wendels on drums. How did that come about?
Wyatt has been a supporter of the band so I reached out to him to keep him in the loop on all things Federal Charm. He told me his band was looking for as many dates as possible and asked if he could accommodate on any shows. I was thrilled to invite Gabriela’s band to join us – more the merrier!!
And finally, do you have anything to say to your North East fans?
Newcastle and its people have always welcomed us with open arms; we’ve played so many times there and you keep coming back for more. You’re all so friendly and enthusiastic towards the band and it’s a very special city for us to visit which is why it made one of the four cities on our tour.
Federal Charms plays The Cluny 2, Newcastle on. Tickets, priced at £9.00 in advance, are available from thecluny.com.