Are you tired of there being no live music in 2020? Doesn’t it make you just want to go Apeshit? That’s where Glitchers come in, this fresh skiffle punk duo have been touring their way up and down the country, turning up in all sorts of places for a frenetic blast of live punk energy out on the streets of UK towns and cities. Even with doors to the majority of venues locked shut and left to decay from the inside out, the band have turned to bringing their boisterous noise to the streets, raising awareness to the situation and condemning our ever callous government who has left the arts to rot.
We managed to steal a socially distanced moment of their time to ask them a bit about who they are, what they’re doing and why it’s important during the current climate to be out there, making noise and being vocal about live music right now.
So, tell us a bit about yourselves, how did this project kick off initially, and where do you draw your influences from that we might find manifest within your ‘skiffle punk’ sound?
"Glitchers started a couple of years ago and Jake trialed it with a few drummers but travelling/sleeping in a van and playing pretty much every day just isn’t what everyone wants to do. Sophie offered to learn so that was Lockdown sorted. The genre “Skiffle Punk” originates from The Quarrymen, “Generally played on homemade or improvised instruments” - Wiki. A 5 string guitar, drum kit held together with tape & a megaphone strapped to a mic stand mixed with a cymbal stand, Skiffle Punk."
"Our main influences come from Enter Shikari, Stray From The Path, Every Time I Die, RATM and The Used but we also fucking love The Beatles & Busted."
What led you to the idea of taking your music out onto the UK streets, and what do you hope to gain from these performances?
"The initial idea was completely random and hit me like a brick wall. I always remember growing up hearing how Motley Crue took the music directly to the people. That’s exactly what we are doing. The “Industry” has taken the art out of music and we want to challenge that directly. It’s not enough to simply talk about it and still sell tickets to your shows at stupid prices. Music is art and should be treated as such."
"It would be great to see more bands take up the idea and just take to the streets. Especially now whilst the venues are closed, how else can we all enjoy live music?"
What kind of challenges have you come across in setting up these performances? Do you ever face any kind of backlash or resistance from local authorities and/or public?
"Usually our performances do go smoothly, thankfully. We only play 3-4 songs so if the police are called, by the time they get there we’d be finished and packed away. One of the only really negative experience we’ve had is when someone came over with their dog whilst playing and the dog began to attack Sophie, but it was nothing major and the guy left so we continued playing. Most people are quite understanding because we’re not there long and we’re friendly about it."
"Private security are always worse than the police. We had trouble with them in London at the Tattoo convention where they pushed Jake to the ground and took his guitar from him. They apologised, gave us some money and then had the owner of the convention email us and apologise too. No pain, no gain."
Despite the recent financial pledges, the government’s overall response to musicians (i.e. encouraging them to switch fields of profession) has been less than satisfactory to many, why do you think that is?
"The Tories hate the arts. They’ve been stopping funding to all kinds of art related teachings in education for years. Funding for art related groups in communities have dried up so much there are no groups unless privately run. Where have the youth clubs gone? The community project clubs, the craft groups etc. They are manipulating the current situation to attempt to put the nail in the coffin they started many years ago. Someone’s got to stand up against it!"
You currently operate as a ‘donations only’ funded band, is this a strategy you wish to carry long into your careers or is it something subject to change and adaptation? Tell us a bit about why you decided on operating this way.
"Capitalism has failed. And with music, its made it a money game. We don’t want to be like other bands who sing about how they hate the system but still be a part of it. Art is to be enjoyed by everyone no matter how much money you have and the best way to do that is by donations. People pay what they think its worth or what they can afford rather than missing out because they can’t afford it."
"It’s going to be challenging as we progress but we see no reason why it shouldn’t work. Setting up an online store based on donations and our own platform to run from etc will take time to get right but in the meantime we have merch at our street gigs and any donation is acceptable."
You’ve already received a shoutout from notable public figure and radio personality Dan P Carter, does this make you feel confident about what you are doing?
"It’s given us a big confidence boost to know people are behind us with this. We are not the type of band everyone likes or going about it in the normal way but to know people genuinely like what we are doing is encouraging. I’m not sure how eager the other big profile bands will be about joining us on the donation route but their £50 hoodie (costing £1 to make) or donate what you want, we’ll let you decide."
You played a show in Norwich recently that was subject to a bit of a rain downpour, given the high energy you put into your performances, how do you feel being exposed to the elements like that affects the performance?
"Quite frankly it fucks everything up. On any normal street gig there’s always the possibility of anything happening but when the weather gets bad that list gets longer. Electrics and rain don’t go well together and stuff slides around everywhere. Most bands would be appalled by how unprofessional it can look or sound when the rain or snow comes down whilst playing, we just carry on. A slippery stage is a fun one."
What’s the plan going forward for Glitchers, once we start to see live music return to venues and festivals?
"The same thing just inside and out. Before the venues were shut we had played a few street gigs outside other bands shows before & after to the fans arriving/leaving. One of the first was outside Slaves in Nottingham and they both came out took some videos & dropped some money in the bucket. Big respect to those two! We then did Leeds arena after a Bring Me The Horizon show and set up where we thought would be sensible. In the middle of a double crossing, the idea being everyone could watch from either side and we play in the centre area… But nope, everyone rammed in and blocked the road, before we knew it Jake was crowd surfing under traffic lights."
"Lot’s more of that and hopefully some inside shows too. Our own headline shows will always be donation entry and maybe we can convince some bands we tour with to take the plunge too. If they won’t let us tour with them, we will just keep playing outside until someone lets us in. Festivals = Carpark circle pits?"
You kindly sent us over your latest track 'Relovelution', a riffy and raw attack on the senses, tell us a bit about the thinking behind this track?
"Relovelution was written with parts taken from Jake’s earlier songs and made heavy! We live in a world so full of hate where even people screaming self love still put down themselves and their friends. Privately and publicly. We’ve become obsessed with the bad in the world and it’s time to change that. “We don’t have the key to unlock this path, but we can break the glass because it’s an emergency!”"
What can we expect from Glitchers in the near future, are there any plans for a record, merch etc in the works?
"We’ve currently got 20 songs written and are ready to get going with a proper record whenever the time comes. We will keep touring the streets and creating all kinds of art on our platforms. The idea is for each song to release a video, photo shoot, artwork etc and get as creative as we can. We managed to record Relovelution at home during lockdown to a good enough quality that we could put it out. It means we can do the same with some other tracks over the winter until we get in a proper studio."
"Our merch currently is all home made from recycled clothes; we go to charity shops, buy clothes and then we turn them into merch. It’s something we want to keep doing with the potential of taking clothing donations and having them printed properly. We want to be as environmentally friendly as possible with what we can. The dream is to have all of our merch made from Hemp. (And the gear too!)"
"For now we will be putting some of the merch on our band camp as they allow pay what you want. They have a minimum price but we’ve kept that as low as we can with the option to donate more if people want & the postage will be as close to what it is. (Everyone hates it when people try to profit from the postage)"
"We’re the fuck you band that has the guts to put it into action. Love us or hate us, it doesn’t matter we’ll keep doing what we do regardless."