City Reign are a brilliant new Manchester band. They came to a lot of peoples attention with a blistering show at this years ‘In the City’ music festival.
They remind me of the late nineties, pure indie guitars and introverted lyrics, cans of beer next to the bed, late nights and early starts. The early Idlewild influences are there, but they’re doing their own thing and listening to them is like wearing a warm jacket on a frosty morning.
What can be better than that this time of year? I caught up with Chris Bull (Vocals/Guitar) to find out more about the band.
‘In The City’ has a reputation for discovering some really great bands (Coldplay / Placebo / Embrace). What sort of feedback did you get after the event?
Yea, it was pretty good, although with so much going on at that kind of event it’s quite hard to stand out. It was good to be involved with definitely, and helped us get onto the Steve Lamacq feature which gave us a fair bit of exposure.
How did you come to work with Dan Parry?
My cousin was working in the offices for Metropolis Studio in Chiswick a few years ago and became friends with Dan, so he asked Dan if we could go and record with him. He’d been doing a lot of engineering work so I think it was good for him to get a bit more control over the whole sound of the recording, and of course it was brilliant for us to get into such an amazing studio. Looking back, our performance on that Daybreak EP isn’t as good as some of our later stuff, but they really helped us to get to grips with our sound and learnt a hell of a lot from it. Not least that it was exactly what we wanted to be doing.
Why did you decide to start your own label?
Largely because there wasn’t exactly a queue of labels around the block waiting to sign us up! We just decided that there was no real reason why we couldn’t do it ourselves instead of trying to get noticed by some A&R scout, why not just release the music ourselves. It’s been a massive learning curve the past 18 months but it’s also been really rewarding.
What is the best song you have written?
That’s a very difficult question because you become very attached to all the songs. I think Grice’s favourite is probably Daybreak, and we do all enjoy playing that live, but lately my favourite has become the last track on the EP, Anywhere Anyway. I think there are some things in that song that we’ve never done before.
Do you think you have found your sound on ‘Numbers for Street Names?’ (current EP)
Yea, I think in many ways we’ve have, we’re very happy with the way it turned out. Obviously, you’d like to think you can grow and develop your sound, so that sound will hopefully evolve with time, but in terms of the here and now, I would say yea, we have.
Do you have plans to release a full album?
Yes, we do. We have begun to talk to some friends from SSR Studios in Manchester about getting back in the New Year to record a full length record, which we’re really excited about. If all goes according to plan, we’d like to get it out some time next summer.
Were there any bands that influenced your sound early on?
Yea, I think we’ve been influenced by a lot of the bands we grew up listening to. Bands like Doves, Idlewild, REM, The National, all these bands have a very strong identity. From the outside, people might say it’s not that original, but you get the feeling that all the songs really mean something to them, and I don’t think you get much more original than that.
Who would you like to go on tour with?
Anyone that would have us! I’ve seen Grouplove are touring the UK early next year, I saw them at Ruby Lounge a few months ago and they were brilliant. I think that would be a lot of fun.
What is the best venue for live music in Manchester?
There are so many. We’ve just played our launch night at Gullivers on Oldham Street, which has a really great atmosphere. It’s run by people who aren’t trying to rip bands or punters off which really makes a difference.
For more info visit: www.cityreign.net
City Reign are
Chris Bull Vocals/Guitar
Michael Grice Guitar
Michael Glaze Bass
Duncan Bolton Drums