Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Fischers

Many of you will already be familiar with The Fischers (and, if you've been in the right place at the right time, you can't have failed to notice that they are pretty bloody good live).

Jamie Holman, the leader of the band, has penned a biography of The Fischers for this very blog, telling how they came to pass (and how Tompaulin came to finish).

We have supported bands who aren’t fit to tune our guitars (though they should perhaps tune their own)

After Tompaulin I was really down. I had low confidence in songwriting and singing and I was just pissed off with the whole thing really. I felt that Tompaulin had got close to achieving something but had just got lost along the way.

We did of course have some really good times…Glastonbury and the other festivals we played, Peel sessions of course, working with Jim Reid and Ben Lurie and going to Europe to play were all excellent. We had good press for our releases and there's nothing like hearing your record on the radio or being on TV.

Like the story of all bands ever it started as a bunch of friends in a bedroom with no expectations - those were the really good times - and ended with heated phone calls, emails and a bit of falling out.

The Fischers originally came from me and Stacey (McKenna, Tompaulin) wanting to do something together. I wrote some songs for her and had no intention of singing anything at all. I was working with Vinny Peculiar while they recorded their LP and when that was done we talked about making another record.

The idea was that it would be me, the Vinny Peculiar band and Stacey singing and that we would do it quickly and just get on with it. I played a bit with Vinny and then met up at Salford Lads Club to rehearse some ideas and see if we could take it further and also did some demos with Vinny but it just didn’t click. It all just faded away to be honest. Back to square one. I had spent months with Mike, Alan, Craig and Andy (till he left) working on the Vinny stuff and was just biding my time to do my own.

Joe Fossard has a superb studio here in Blackburn, we had been working on sessions with Shack, Candie Payne, Louie, Biffy Clyro, Idlewild, Duke Special, I had been organising and assisting these sessions with Joe. It was exciting but nothing was going on for me. So I thought it was all over. It was ironic because there was still interest in Tompaulin but I couldn't get anything off the ground for ages. So I just started DJing at a great venue in Blackburn and that’s where I got together with Lee (drums) and Boony (bass). They had both played in bands I knew and had both done a lot of good stuff, some really high-profile but we were all without a label, direction or hope.

Lee had been dropped from Virgin and had been on tour supporting Oasis, Weller, the Stones, The Coral and countless others. He was a real find. A great drummer with the voice of an angel. Boony had been dropped from Necessary Records after Hard Fi took off and Maupa didn't; he's an incredible songwriter himself, plays anything and also sings like a man possessed. It shouldn’t have worked out but it did straight away, first practice. We played live at King George's Hall Blackburn supporting Nigel Clarke from Dodgy within four weeks of getting together.

That was the difference between playing with Mike Joyce et al (Vinny’s backing band), it just didn't click musically, although Vinny recorded with us on Down The Days and has played live guitar for us at quite a few of the Fischers gigs.

So as a three piece we rehearsed two days a week, wrote songs and demoed them. We worked on harmonies, how the stuff should sound, what we would be like on stage. But most importantly we started having a laugh and listening to records again. We just worked really hard at getting good.

Track and Field and Fortuna Pop, two labels Tompaulin had worked well with in the past, turned us down pretty much straight away, and it has been a struggle to get up and running. Much harder than I thought it would be. We have supported bands who aren’t fit to tune our guitars (though they should perhaps tune their own) and every gig has brought a victory of some sort.

But we have played all over - London , Liverpool, Machester, Glasgow , Leeds, and Blackburn of course - and are continuing to get in the van and play. This is a very different culture than I was used to in Tompaulin. In Tompaulin we released our first single before we even played live and we were reticent to play the songs live even when we were being offered great gigs and supports. The Fischers have a policy of putting the other bands to the sword and leaving blood up the walls.

There was/is a lot of baggage from the Tompaulin days but it’s going with every gig/myspace listen and we are of course a very different band, much more upbeat and a lot noisier than Tompaulin - very confident live and great in the studio. It is starting to happen now. There’s a single coming out, we start recording our LP in a few weeks and the songs are great. We are the best new band in Britain (though it has taken a label from Sweden to notice!).

The single is called Down The Days, it's released on the new Lost Music label in October. It is of course wonderful.

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