Sounds From the Sofa: Chillin’ With Hereford’s Psychedelic Blues Boys Raptor

Local Psychedelic Blues band Raptor joined me on the sofa for a bit of banter in Hereford’s latest thriving music venue on East Street where they will also be performing April 15th.

Sounds from the Sofa, The Booth Hall Hereford, Raptor

…we are good mates and spend a lot of time together drinking cans, playing Space Invaders on our Playstation 2 and listening to records. Also making music and avoiding politics! 

Hereford Indie/Alternative music promoter Hey Little Monster and Raptor are putting on a good and groovy show for you at The Booth Hall featuring two Psychedelic Blues bands: Hereford boys Raptor and As Mamas from Worcester, and also Welsh rock band New Revival who formed in 2015 and have had plenty of national radio play. It’s like a magic carpet ride with a pint in hand. See the Facebook event HERE.

The nights are getting warmer and yes, the living is getting easier (III knooow…I nicked that from the song), and this lineup is just right for a bit of letting your hair down with friends during the Easter Break. I figured I should catch Raptor before they shuttle off to Bristol where they reside now and sit them on the sofa. It has been a year since I interviewed them at the first Hereford Rocks and I wanted to know how things changed over the span of a year for the two brothers who make up the original members of Raptor.  Read Hereford Rocks Raptor interview HERE

THE INTERVIEW

Sounds from the Sofa, The Booth Hall Hereford, Raptor

 

KURT FLETCHER – guitar and vocals

ADAM FLETCHER – drums

LOU HOPCUTT – Bass

Herford City Centric: So let’s dive right into the nitty-gritty guys, what has changed about Raptor over a year? Any new members?

Raptor: Yes! We have a new bassist Lou Hopcutt.

HCC: Well Lou definitely has the Raptor look, tall and long hair with lots of gorgeous curls. Has the style of music you are playing changed or gone in a different direction? Has living in Bristol influenced your music? 

Raptor: We are working more on our psychedelic side and taking the time to expand on our ideas more intricately. Doing our music course has taught us how to be more efficient, well-rounded and doing gigs helps us put what we learn into practice.  Also, being around the Bristol music scene where something new is happening every week keeps our minds fresh and inspires our work ethic.

Find Raptors first EP on ITunes HERE

Sounds from the Sofa, The Booth Hall Hereford, Raptor

HCC: Sounds like a win-win situation. How does the Bristol and Hereford music scene compare? 

Adam: The Hereford music scene is thriving at the moment, but the difference is Bristol has a larger population and is more widespead than Hereford, so more venues and opportunities, but it’s the people and the venue that make the experience where ever you gig.

HCC: I see your point. Do all 3 of you live in Bristol? 

Raptor: We do. It makes things a lot easier besides we are good mates and spend a lot of time together drinking cans, playing Space Invaders on our Playstation 2 and listening to records. Also making music and avoiding politics!

HCC: Oh boy, Space Invaders! Love that game! Do you long for Hereford though?

Kurt: We miss the people and wish we could just transport all our friends over to Bristol.

Lou: I miss the trees.

Adam: It is pretty noisy in Bristol. We grew up near Leominster so there wasn’t a lot of noise pollution which I appreciate now.

HCC: I seriously understand how you all feel, it is always nice to have Hereford to come back to. Are you guys self-sufficient in the kitchen now that you live on your own and what is your favourite kind of food?

Lou: I am a standard steak and chips kind of guy.

Kurt: I am a pretty decent cook and love a good Thai Green Curry. Adam isn’t handy in the kitchen but makes a mess like he has been in there cooking.

HCC: Ha! That is funny. I know who’s doorbell I will be ringing next time I am in Bristol. Back to music, is there a new album in the works? New songs? 

Raptor: We are about to go into the studio and hope to be done recording 8 or 9 songs by the summer. We will be playing 3 of our new songs at the Hey Little Monster gig on April 15th, so come along and check us out.

Sounds from the Sofa, The Booth Hall Hereford, Raptor
Sounds from the Sofa, The Booth Hall Hereford, Raptor

HCC: Nice! Any festivals lined up this year?

Kurt: So far we are playing Down on the Farm in August which is exciting. I have been going to Down on the Farm since the beginning. It is a fantastic festival that is perfect for Hereford. We are playing on the Saturday night just before the headliner.

HCC: It is such an affordable festival that has a great mix of local and national bands. Rich Lovell will be happy to know you have been supporting DOTF since the beginning – he puts a lot of effort into making the music happen on the main stage. Everyone does a brilliant job including Kirsty Morris (Hey Little Monster) who puts together the acoustic acts. 

Soo tell me…what is your favourite alcoholic beverage?

Adam: Single Malt Whiskey (oooh)

Lou: Stella or just any lager I can afford that day. (guess that is why they call it “cans”)

Kurt: Lou drinks his lager out of a gravy boat. Newcastle or Goblin for me.

HCC: Beer with a Bisto undernote…not so sure. Kurt you are an artist as well. Do you design the merchandise and branding for Raptor?

Kurt: I do and I designed the shirt Lou is wearing. I have used marble art in the past as well for a more psychedelic effect.

 

Sounds from the Sofa, The Booth Hall Hereford, Raptor

HCC: Handy! Look forward to seeing your new album cover as well as listening to it now. It has been really fun having you guys. The last question is, I also noticed you all have really fun shoes on but none are quite the same…what’s the story?

 

Kurt: I like anything pointy

Adam: I can’t really do pointy shoes when I am doing the drums. Anything 60’s style when it comes to shoes.

Lou: Trainers! Addidas Trainers!

HCC: Thanks so much to Raptor for joining me on the music sofa (such lovely and talented dudes), The Booth Hall for hosting the ‘Sounds From The Sofa’ interviews, the bar staff for carrying the heavy sofa on and off stage for me and Grace Biddlecombe for being my lovely sidekick photographer.  

Raptor Facebook

Raptor Twitter

 

Photography by Grace Biddlecombe

 

 

 

Sounds From The Sofa: Mass Intrusions, Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Fidel Castro, Curry Houses & More With Young Feminist Punks – The Delinquents

The term “Feminist Punks” might possibly seem like a contradiction to those unaware of what PUNK actually is all about. The average lost soul often generalises punk as debauchery without a cause…please say it isn’t so! With this movement in its 40th year, it is finally receiving the respect it deserves.

The term “Feminist Punks” might possibly seem like a contradiction to those unaware of what PUNK actually is all about. The average lost soul often generalises punk as debauchery without a cause. Please say it isn’t so! With this movement in its 40th year, it is finally receiving the respect it deserves.

Granted at the time of Punk’s origins, the world was in quite a state, and the only way to make a point and break up an establishment that had us saying “yes sir and no sir” and living life under their candy coated values, was to stand up for yourself and fight back. Not so simple.

If you think about it, you really had to be an intelligent, brave individual to stand up to authority, and even more so to stand up for women in a society that is very condescending to them for shits and giggles and to stroke the male ego. Things have progressed somewhat in that respect, but society is in chaos again and The Delinquents are just not having it.

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Squatting in true Delinquent style

Continue reading “Sounds From The Sofa: Mass Intrusions, Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Fidel Castro, Curry Houses & More With Young Feminist Punks – The Delinquents”

‘Sounds From the Sofa’ The ‘Terminal Rage’ Interview…Advice For Young Musicians, Punk Idols & The Fight Against Austerity

Imagine if you will, three amazing characters who have come together to form the punk band known as Terminal Rage sitting before you under the effulgence of The Booth Hall stage lights.  I was aware these gents were characters, but as the interview progressed my “impressed” button was pushed many a time.

Terminal Rage-Rich Lovell-The Underground Revolution
Terminal Rage frontman Rich Lovell. Painting by Arran Vidal-Hall

Continue reading “‘Sounds From the Sofa’ The ‘Terminal Rage’ Interview…Advice For Young Musicians, Punk Idols & The Fight Against Austerity”

‘Sounds From The Sofa’ – James Whitehurst & Claire Perkins, Half of local Hereford Garage Rock Band ‘A Hundred Suns’…Mayhem Commence!

A Hundred Suns  will be performing the The Underground Revolution show @ The Booth Hall, 17th of March.  Show begins at 8pm.  £2 entry at the door.  Students with NUS Cards Free Entry

A Hundred Suns, Sounds from the Sofa Hereford
Claire Perkins front woman for A Hundred Suns.

Hereford City Centric and The Booth Hall have come together to create a new series of local Hereford band interviews aptly named ‘Sounds From The Sofa’.  Our “glamorous” set-up involves a comfy sofa sitting on top of the Booth Hall stage (can you feel the musical vibrations?), where our participants park their derriers and answer a series of serious, and not so serious questions about themselves.

Continue reading “‘Sounds From The Sofa’ – James Whitehurst & Claire Perkins, Half of local Hereford Garage Rock Band ‘A Hundred Suns’…Mayhem Commence!”

Sounds from the Sofa; Teddy’s Leg

Teddy's Leg, The Underground Revolution, The Booth Hall, Hereford, England

As it is The Underground Revolution’s first sofa interview at The Booth Hall, I found it only fitting I should seek out the most interesting, obscure band in the neighborhood to interview…it is how The Underground Revolution rolls.

If you have been living under a rock in Hereford, you might not have heard about how AWESOME all the gigs in the newly re-opened Booth Hall are, and how being from Bristol, the landlords have seen it all when it comes to music, therefore spreading their enthusiasm and not flinching at the sound of a metalcore or noisy alternative band.   They also host a variety of blues and acoustic nights that the less adventurous can enjoy.

Rich Lovell, and myself –  with the assistance of John Rose and Claire Perkins on occasion, will be putting on gigs in this said venue under the banner ‘The Underground Revolution” and getting to know those bands, so you can anticipate the experience just that bit more beforehand.

So let’s begin…..

Continue reading “Sounds from the Sofa; Teddy’s Leg”