Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Indietracks interview #6: Tortoise Shout!

Next in the indiepop veteran line-up is Tortoise Shout!, who are named after a DH Lawrence poem. They began life in the eighties. playing melancholic, moody and melodic sounds mixed with an upbeat girl-pop style. They built up a devoted following, but university education led to a split which lasted until 2006, when their unfulfilled desire to show off and downright refusal to grow up led to a reformation.

Determined to reclaim their past glories, original members singer/songwriter Dawn, Wendy and Chris dug out their guitars and trombone and found a new drummer, Rob. Citing their influences as, ‘The Smiths, Strongbow and Butlins,’ they have recently put together a new EP and are looking forward to a clutch of live appearnces over the summer.
Hello Tortoise Shout, tell us a little litle bit about yourselves.

We are an intriguing female fronted indie 3 piece with a sound all of our own. Our songs are a blend of melodic and haunting tunes and witty and bitter lyrics that will strike a chord with indie popsters of all ages. We girls spend a considerable amount of what should be rehearsal time coordinating dresses and shoes. Rob the drummer refuses to engage in this activity, so apologies in advance if his t shirt clashes with our frocks.

Have you played any unusual places in the past?

We have played at a swimming pool. Not in it - that would have resulted in legendary, very rock'n'roll deaths by electrocution and, what's more, would have wreaked havoc with our complex hairdos. Instead we performed on a platform above the pool. The acoustics were other-worldly and we felt like mermaids, enchanting our captive audience who splashed around joyfully in the turquoise water below. We later found out that the vocals had been played through the pool pa system into the changing rooms. No instruments, just vocals. Lots of lost property and slipping over that day with people hurrying off in a fluster without drying themselves properly.

Do any of your band member have interesting hobbies or claims to fame?

Dawn is a yogi guru who can put both legs behind her neck and still manage to dance on her bum cheeks to 'What Difference.... ?' without so much as a wobble. Wendy has touched Bobby Gillespie's bum on more than one occasion. It is quite bony.

I see! Erm...who are you most looking forward to seeing at Indietracks?

Well, obviously the Wedding Present. We saw them for the first time at the ICA in 1986 (one of the NME's C86 gigs) with Primal Scream - we were blown away. Those were the days when we could wear flowery dresses and DM's and look cute. If we tried it now we would be sectioned and ridiculed. Girls with asymetric haircuts wearing our mum's worst cocktail dresses would faint with the shame of it... Dave Gedge wore a Hawaiian shirt and growled at the audience, it was sublime. We even followed them through their Ukrainian period which just shows how love knows no bounds. To share a bill with them is an honour.

Free MP3 download: Tortoise Shout! - Shanti

Next up: The Mai 68s tell us about their plans for world domination and touring 13th century churches!

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