Syd Arthur: Why These Psychedelic Rockers Were One Of Our Favourite Acts At Coachella 2014
Canterbury four-piece Syd Arthur may have rocked Coachella 2014, but what else do they have in store?
After wrapping up a successful tour of Europe, this Kent quartet jetted off to the sun-soaked hills of Indio, California for its annual two-weekend, multi-genre event which took place last weekend (April 11th-13th 2014). Coachella may be one of the biggest music festivals in the world, but Syd Arthur are no strangers to the bustling music scene of the States following their recent showcases at SXSW. 'We play a lot of festivals, it's a lot of fun', vocalist Liam revealed in a video interview. 'They kind of range from the smaller festivals in Europe and the UK to bigger festivals.' Indeed, among their 'smaller' festivals back home, they'll be hitting Leeds for the multi-venue event that is Live At Leeds and will be playing their set at the Leeds Uni 'Stylus' on May 3rd, as well as getting involved with Brighton's highly respected Great Escape Festival on May 9th.
Syd Arthur are made up of school pals; vocalist/guitarist Liam Magill, violinist Raven Bush, drummer Fred Rother and bassist Joel Magill. 'Me and Joe are brothers so we've been playing a long time, dabbling with recording since our early days', says Liam. 'Fred, me and Joe were at school together and then Raven joined the school.' Incidentally, Raven is the talented nephew of progressive rock megastar Kate Bush CBE, so with that in mind it's unsurprising that the band became winners of the Canterbury Best Local Band competition. The four-piece took a leaf out of fellow psych rockers Steppenwolf in selecting their name, in the fact that they adopted their moniker from a novel by Nobel Prize winner Hermann Hesse. 'We quite like the idea of not being called 'The (Something)' and sort of having this kind of pseudonym, this person', Raven says.
While maintaining that dreamy, drawn-out echo that is so consistent with the psychedelic genre, Syd Arthur still manage to touch on a range of other sounds, drawing influences from jazz, folk, blues and funk. Their single 'Garden Of Time' says "Syd Arthur" all over it with the slow yet upbeat rhythm and the protracted, slightly unusual vocals, but then you have the gritty blues texture of the aptly named 'Hometown Blues'; although there may be stark differences between them, Syd Arthur still manage to maintain that classic 60s vibe throughout.
So, what have we got to look forward to from Syd Arthur this year? Well, it'll be a struggle to beat Coachella which saw them play alongside the likes of Laura Mvula, Chvrches, Bombay Bicycle Club, Tiga and The Dismemberment Plan, but they'll also be hitting up George, Washington for their annual Sasquatch Music Festival on May 25th. Plus, they'll be touring alongside New York band The Goastt around the US and Canada and We just can't tell you how excited we are for their upcoming new album 'Sound Mirror'. Thinking about the hectic year ahead, Raven still reckons he's got an easy life. 'We'd be doing it if we got paid or if we didn't get paid', he says. 'You just make it happen.'
'Sound Mirror' is due for release in the US on May 20th and in the UK on June 2nd.
Apr 15 - Henry Miller Memorial Library - Big Sur, Ca W/ The Pixies
Apr 18-20 - Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Indio, Ca
May 02 - Liverpool Sound City - Zanzibar - Liverpool, United Kingdom
May 03 - Live At Leeds - Leeds, United Kingdom
May 04 - Stag & Dagger - Glasgow, United Kingdom
May 05 - Leadmill - Sheffield, United Kingdom
May 08 - Band On The Wall - Manchester, United Kingdom
May 09 - The Great Escape Festival - Brighton, United Kingdom
May 13 - Sunflower Lounge - Birmingham, United Kingdom
May 14 - Oslo - Hackney, United Kingdom
May 15 - Ramsgate Music Hall - Ramsgate, United Kingdom
May 20 - Gamh - San Francisco, Ca *
May 22 - The Crocodile - Seattle, Wa *
May 23 - The Imperial - Vancouver, Canada *
May 24 - Mississippi Studios - Portland, Or *
May 25 - Sasquatch Music Festival - George, Wa
May 27 - Bluebird - Denver, Co *
May 28 - Waiting Room - Omaha, Ne *
May 29 - Wooly's - Des Moines, Ia *
May 31 - High Noon Saloon - Madison, Wi *
Jun 01 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago, Il *
Jun 03 - The Hoxton - Toronto, Canada *
Jun 04 - La Sala Rossa - Montreal, Canada *
Jun 05 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, Ny *
Jun 06 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, Pa *
Jun 07 - Brighton Music Hall - Boston, Ma *
* w/ The Goastt