If you’re a regular listener of Amazing Radio, then there’s a good chance you’ll already be familiar with Wylam 5-piece Vinyl Jacket. Having only formed in January 2010 they’ve amassed a huge amount of support all across the U.K, not least from us here. With amazing being at the forefront of new musical talent, naturally we had them in to the studio as our next guests at The Amazing Sessions.
Made up of Ben and Jack Dancer on guitar and bass respectively, Sam Quillam on keys and percussion, David Pullen on drums and Andy Roberts on guitar – it’s been a conscious decision for each of the band members to create a new kind of sound, setting themselves apart from the already ‘at capacity’ indie scene. Their particular brand of what they’re terming ‘diesel-pop’ ("like your standard pop music but with more miles to gallon" – Sam Quillam) displays not only their musical proficiency, but also an infectious - almost verging on calypso - sounding stack of songs. This has helped them not only stand out from the masses as intended but in doing so gain the much coveted attention of musical luminaries such as Tom Robinson and Steve Lamacq.
The ongoing relationship with Tom Robinson, who described the band as ‘world class’ before choosing them to headline the BBC Introducing Stage at last year's In The City – a massive coup for any artist – began with a showcase organised by Newcastle based cultural support agency Generator and their Musician Support representative Bob Allan. The event, entitled ‘Transmission’, saw Bob select a promising line up of North-East talent from the hundreds of applications received, stating that ‘Vinyl Jacket was the first track I heard that really grabbed my attention and that I really liked.’ This led to further communication between the band and Bob and consequently his appointment as their manager; no doubt an intelligent move for both.
On the day of the session they chose four tracks to record including popular first single Broken Record. You may remember it as being our Amazing Chart number one at the back end of 2010. This was helped no doubt by Vinyl Jacket’s own viral video campaign aimed at pushing them further up our chart to the topspot – gaining them recognition from the likes of Best of Myspace, the NME and PRS artist of the week.
You can see videos of the above tracks recorded live exclusively for Amazing Radio back in December 2010, where Vinyl Jacket supported Slow Motion Shoes and Let's Buy Happiness at a Christmas showcase. Watch those videos here.
Painting Stations is also the track they chose to record for our special On Location/Unplugged video shoot, this time at the perfectly apt Side Cinema on Newcastle’s Quayside. Speaking about the day of the shoot Ben Dancer explains:
‘We picked the cinematic space at The Side to play on the fact that people like to take the mick out of our Musical Theatre background, plus the acoustics were lovely. Amazing Radio have been a fantastic support since our debut single and we cant thank them enough for what they’ve done.’
Painting Stations is also their current single and first release by Newcastle-based independent label The Calico Print, of which Bob Allan is a co-founder along with Ever Since The Lake Caught Fire band mate Andrew Bowers. Having sold out of physical copies of the single within the first day (the FIRST day!) you can now go and find out how to get your hands on a digital version of the track simply by visiting The Calico Print Website.
With regards to the session itself I’m sure I speak for the Blank Studios team as well as myself when I say what a pleasure it was recording with Vinyl Jacket. It’s great to see a band so early on in their musical careers be so dedicated to what it is they’re doing, and so accomplished at the same time. Managing to remain completely focussed whilst still being incredibly good fun is a credit to their professionality and a trait that I’m certain will ensure they go far.
The live tracks themselves clearly demonstrate their musical talents as a group. Add to this the fact that those four-part harmonies are second to none and that they all still manage to practice, tour and be social-networking, video-creating, single-releasing wonderkids - despite being dotted around the UK at various universities - and it would appear there’s nothing they don’t excel at. We all wish them the best and will be keeping a close eye on them. You should too.