Futuristic Retro Champions
- Anna Docherty
- 1 June 2009
Our new favourite Scottish Band
During music festival season there will likely be lots of ‘cool’ new indie bands thrust upon us. But Anna Docherty meets a bright young band that is unashamedly pop.
Small seeds, acorns and ugly ducklings - our favourite magical tales involve unlikely things that turn into something wondrous. The Futuristic Retro Champions are a bit like the musical equivalent, in that they started out as a little art college project about four years ago and have since paint-by-numbered their way to something brilliant, colourful and charmingly wonky. It’s been almost as gradual as the ‘tiny acorn’ tale - just with added pop, fizz and sparkle.
And yeah, it’s pop - but who said pop can’t have integrity? Producer and guitarist Harry Weeks believes, ‘the only way to make exciting music is to have something creative to write about. All of us work with one or more of video, visuals, performance, dance or writing outside the band - so being able to bring all that together makes it more interesting.’
And you can pick up on this patchwork of creative forces in the music; their sound is rich, breezy and unconstrained. Cecilia Stamp, the band’s bass player, notes that: ‘we all have our own interests and I think these show in the music.’
Their sound flits from hyperactive electro tales of ‘manbags’ to tender little ditties, like ‘Isn’t It Lovely’ - which sounds like love set to music and carries the little heartbreaker of a line ‘When you’ve left my side, I’m left to wonder... am I happy inside’. Lead singer Sita Pieraccini delivers each note in a punchy Scottish brogue, all husky and defiant.
And perhaps the reason it all works so well is because the band have never tried to muscle their way into the music game. ‘We do what we do and don’t try to dress it up or turn it into something else,’ explains keyboard player Carla Easton, adding that: ‘being in a band is exciting and I would hate to feel like it was a full time job, because then it wouldn’t be as special.’
In other words, it’s all still a bit of a novelty for them and consequently their music sounds much more alive. They sweat pure pop and their bodies probably run on fizzy cola bottles. And, most importantly, they are intent on spreading the pop gospel. ‘We believe that pop is not a dirty word,’ says Easton. Music to our ears.
Visit www.myspace.com/retrochamps for more information and up-coming gigs.