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Interview with The Black Feathers
Following a fantastic gig at the Green Note in Camden on Monday 14th March, we caught up with Black Feathers, to chat about the tour and their new album Soaked to the Bone.
The duo seemed very excited for this tour, saying ‘this is full steam ahead now. We’ve been let out of our cage sort of’. They certainly seem to be going for it, already five gigs into their UK tour and really enjoying it. Unlike most bands, Ray and Sian differ as a duo as they’re married, and touring together seems to come naturally to the couple as Sian explained touring with her husband was ‘a bit like being at home really, you bring home with you.’ Sort of like a holiday’, although both Sian and Ray emphasised that the thing they missed was their dog back home in Gloucester where they live.
‘Soaked to the Bone’ is the debut album from the pair who originally started to play together in a band called Just To Annoy Ray. Since then, having married in 2012 and started writing on their honeymoon, they haven’t stopped, instead throwing themselves into the ‘traumatically fun’ experience of making an album. Sian explained that ‘when you’re done there’s a big buzz but getting to that is stressful, especially with recording you can’t waste time or money, so there’s that pressure. But also an amazing euphoria’. Certainly it seems the stress was worth it to create ‘Soaked to the Bone’, a beautiful album full of lush harmonies.
Since forming Black Feathers, the two have played all over, and the Green Note in Camden is particular favourite. Their easy conversation with this audience fits well in the small venue, and it’s hard to believe that Ray, the singer and guitarist, ever had trouble on stage. ‘At the beginning you couldn’t get a word out of me, I used to get really nervous. But I relaxed into it’ he explained. Whilst Sian explained she’d found the key to playing well was simply, as Ray agreed, to relax, ‘It is a lot about learning to relax, it sounds silly but you have to learn to enjoy it. You want to do your best when you´re up there, but I think if you can relax and enjoy it that’s the best way to do that.’ They certainly seemed relaxed when playing on Monday, in one of their top three venues so far (along with the Bluebird in Nashville, and Colston Hall in Bristol).
The album looks set to be a success, and the pair have had a dedicated fan base since the beginning, as both the album and their last EP were crowd funded through Kickstarter campaigns. They explained how this was ‘great because without people helping we couldn’t have made it. It’s amazing that the trust is there, people trust they’re going to like the music even before we’ve made it’. It seems that trust was well placed with the album already receiving fantastic reviews. Sian did highlight the worries of working on a crowd funded project however, saying ‘we were so worried about if we didn’t hit the target’ as it was like ‘we were selling records before they were made’.
With the current tour going down a storm, and set to continue into America after the UK, the band will have little rest any time soon. A prospect they seem fine with, thankfully for us, content with sharing the great ‘Soaked to the Bone’ with as many people as possible.
Be sure to catch Ray and Sian as they tour the UK, you can find all of their dates on the Black Feathers website at https://theblackfeathers.com/
Written by Molly Lempriere