A band soon to release their swaggering debut album, The Chapman Family are destined for bigger things with their confident, anxious-rock blend. We caught up with front man Kingsley from the band at the Thekla, Bristol, ahead of the second night of their UK tour with The Joy Formidable.
CM: It was the first night of your tour with The Joy Formidable last night, how did it go?
K: Well we were in Bournemouth and really it couldn't have been a worse place to start because obviously being from the complete opposite end of the country, to get down there was just a rigmarole in itself so it took us like nine hours to get to Bournemouth in our s**t heap of a van that we've rented. It's just uncomfortable really, you know when you hear horrible stories about tour vans and you think naa that's not true, surely they must have like a decent van? And you know it's not as squalid and disgusting as they make out? Our van just lives up to the stereotype of being a sh***y tour van covered in crap. It's done five hundred thousand miles on the clock which, we worked out when we were driving, is enough miles to get to the moon and back. That kind of shows that it's quite durable I think; even though it looks and feels like it's falling apart, it's managed to stay on the road and I don't think it's probably going to conk out at five hundred and fifty thousand miles.
Continue reading: The Chapman Family, Interview
Far from halted by the wind and rain of a stormy February evening in Bristol, a near-capacity, music-hungry crowd crammed into the dark and dingy hull of the Thekla, a transporter boat turned gig-venue moored in Bristol's mud dock. As a fuzzy, overdriven bass riff followed by a torrent of pounding drums ripped through the darkness, it was instantly clear that, from an audience early for headline act, The Joy Formidable, and anticipating a blinding support set, no-one was to leave disappointed; The Chapman Family had arrived, bringing a raging storm of their own aboard the Thekla.
Opening with 'All That's Left To Break', The Chapman Family set their intimidating, angst-ridden scene with the tracks' lengthy instrumental introduction laden with menacing harmonies. The band instantly meant business; an ominous, foreboding kind of business. With drummer and bassist grimacing with pain whilst energetically pounding out a thunderous, determined force alongside the two guitars' haunting tones, front-man Kingsley roared brutally honest, dark and cynical lyrics with every bit as much power, conviction and feeling as his band-mates' accompaniment. From the opening track alone it was clear that The Chapman Family were unleashing an almighty torrent of energy on a small stage in a venue similarly much too small for them; they are easily capable of bigger. Wasting no time, the band then raged into former-single 'All Fall', maintaining their established drive and determination throughout; Kingsley's confident, passionate vocals sounding clear over the wall of vengeful accompanying noise.
Continue reading: The Chapman Family, Bristol Thekla 2nd February 2011 Live Review
Following their superb October-released single, 'All Fall', Stockton-On-Tees quartet The Chapman Family continue to prove their arena-filling potential through their debut full length album. Further emphasising their raucous energy and determination, the swaggering forceful confidence of Burn Your Town suggests that The Chapman Family will be around much longer than their current tour partnership with The Joy Formidable.
From the start, sounding resemblance to the likes of Editors and Maximo Park, Kingsley Chapman's strong, clear vocals sound confidently over the menacing harmonies that ooze from their finely constructed patchwork of echoing guitars and synths. A feeling of creeping suspense punctuated by the metallic bite of the glockenspiel builds throughout opening track 'A Certain Degree', before The Chapman Family crash into their recent single, 'All Fall', which drives forward with pounding drums and guitars into a big chorus. The consistency of the bands' established energetic, post-punk Editors-meets-Placebo-meets-Interpol blend continues through the guitar riff-led 'Anxiety, which echoes the determination and charge of Boy Kill Boy; the words 'they say your best isn't good enough' sounding bitterly throughout. The powerful guitar and pounding drum-led 'Sound Of The Radio' builds, fades then builds with precise strength and determination akin to many of their contemporary counterparts. '1000 Lies' sounds like something from White Lies' To Lose My Life with thundering drums and distorted guitar noise building to not something towards the atmospheric post-rock brilliance of iLiKETRAiNS.
Continue reading: The Chapman Family, Burn Your Town Album Review
February 28th 2011 sees the release of 'Anxiety' the second single from The Chapman Family's debut album Burn Your Town. Produced with Richard Jackson known for his work on Future Of The Left's albums and The Automatic's debut 'Not Accepted Anywhere' they approached him because, in front man Kingsley's own words; "We could have done ten tracks of angry noisy smashy guitars, but that's a bit one dimensional. We've tried to do an album in cinemascope, Avatar, 3D style. It's like an alternative version of Pet Sounds."
Continue: The Chapman Family - Anxiety
Despite having played as part of the NME Radar Tour 2009, The Chapman Family, a quartet from Stockton-On-Tees, have waited until now to knock out this beastly come back single. The frantic pounding drums and electric guitar of 'All Fall', alongside Kingsley Chapman's smooth vocals, bring to mind the likes of Editors and Maximo Park, with a big chorus reminiscent of The Killers.
Towards the tracks' close, the instrumental frantically drives forward with considerable pace and volume as a wall of distorted guitar noise and desperate shouting vocals. It's perhaps quite unusual and peculiar to have an instrumental B-side, but in doing so The Chapman Family really do evidence and reiterate their confident, raucous energy and determined, Placebo-like rock edge. A sterling effort.
Continue reading: The Chapman Family, All Fall Single Review