We covered a couple of evenings at the Sidmouth Fringe Festival in 2016 and after seeing the lineup for this year's event, we wanted to get involved again. We decided to contact some of the acts and have a chat to them about the festival, find out a bit about them and throw in a few curve balls, read on to see how we got on....
Firstly, please take a moment to introduce yourself, tell us about your music (any new releases on the horizon?) and give us one fascinating fact about you/your band
We’re Velvet & Stone – an indie folk band from Devon. We’ve been going a few years now, but we’ve recently changed our line up to become a four-piece – 2 woman/ 2 man band, so we’re very excited to share this new dynamic and some new material with you at Sid Fringe! We’ll also be joined at the Fringe by our wonderful producer Gareth Young [Cube Recording] on percussion.
We’ve had lots of successes over the past few years, highlights have included playing at Cambridge Folk Festival, Celtic Connections, getting a five star review in Maverick Music Magazine for our first EP, and regularly featuring on Balcony TV and BBC Introducing!
This year, we’re excited to be releasing 2 singles over the summer, and a new EP in the Autumn! The new EP is called Embers, and we can’t wait to share it with you! We’ll be playing new and old tracks alike at Sidmouth Fringe – and hope to see you there!
A fascinating fact about us …. Lara and Kat first met in The Three Tuns Inn, in Silverton – Mid Devon in 2014, and haven’t looked back since!
You play the Sidmouth Fringe Festival on 5th August, how did this come about?
We were working with Giles last year to try and play at the Fringe, but we couldn’t get a date that worked, as it clashed with Cambridge and Sidmouth Folk Festivals! This year, the Fringe was a priority for us, and we’re so glad to have a slot among some of the top UK indie bands. We can’t wait!
The BBC Introducing team are heavily involved in the festival, have you had any dealings with them in the past?
YES – We LOVE BBC Introducing, and the Devon team headed up by James Santer are particularly amazing! We had our first airplay with BBC Intro back in January 2015 – we unwittingly uploaded a demo of our track Forget about the Rain and it was picked up by the team, and discussed by one of their fantastic roundtables!! That track – among others that went on to form our first EP – has had lots of airtime on BBC Intro in Devon, other BBC programmes, and we’ve done a number of live sessions, We recently hosted a roundtable of our own, which featured Izzie Anson …!
You’re playing alongside some great acts (Izzie Anson, Clara Bond & Ennor), have you performed with any of these before?
We were fortunate to host the BBC Intro Roundtable when Izzie’s tracks were first played! She was the absolute stand out artist of the night, so we’re really looking forward to seeing her play live. We’re really fortunate to live in Devon, and we get some fantastic gigs in beautiful locations – one of which was the Natty Surf Jam at Fistral hosted by the wonderful Wildwood Kin. Clara Bond was on just after us, so it was great to finally meet her!
Are you playing any other festivals this Summer? If so, which ones are you most looking forward to?
We’ve had a run of festivals recently including Glas-Denbury, Wonderfields, and Colourfest. Sidmouth Fringe is our last festival this summer, as we’re busy back in the studio working on our debut album …! We’re also looking forward to touring with our new EP in the Autumn!
Music festivals can be quite messy affairs, what are your top three tips to surviving one?
1. Water … for the inevitable hangover …
2. Get a good camp bed!
3. Dance with Kat and Rog … They’ve got the moves …. (and will kill me for writing this 😉)!!
You get some pretty diverse food at festivals, what’s been the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I had never eaten oysters before, until we played at Exeter Food Festival … I’m still not sure how I feel about it…!
In your opinion, what is THE BEST album in the world ever?
I’m sure we would all disagree on this … But, my favourite album of all time is Joni Mitchell’s Blue.
If you could create your very own super-group using any musicians (dead or alive) who would be in the band and why?
I’m going through a 90s female artist throwback listening phase at the moment …! Imagine if you could get Dolores O’Riordan, Alanis Morrisette, Sinead O’Connor, and Beth Orton in a group together …?!
What advice would you offer to a band or an artist just starting out? Any pitfalls to try to avoid?
Don’t be afraid of asking lots of stupid questions. There’s so much jargon out there and it can be a minefield. So don’t be afraid to ask … We do!
Lastly, please give us the names of 3 acts/artists that we should be checking out?
1. I’m very excited that Ben Howard is releasing new music with A Blaze of Feather – beautiful sound-scapey stuff.
2. There’s an exciting, new Exeter-based EDM project called L A R S …. Check it out 😉!
3. Too many people to mention that I’m currently really into! I really can’t wait to see Bryde at Sidmouth Fringe … We saw her play at Celtic Connections and her voice is stunning. We all got the musical shivers!!
We'd like to thank Lara from the band for chatting to us and we wish them every success at the Sidmouth Fringe Festival and all of the other gigs they have lined up over the Summer.
You can keep up to date with the band's whereabouts at the following sites.
The Storm EP is available NOW via iTunes