Hereford City Centric sent our local music wordsmith, Gavin Brown, to check out the Black Sabbath tribute act, taking place at The Booth Hall and supported by Herefordshire Punks on the up, The Youth Within. I am going to assume he really enjoyed it by the enthusiasm in his review.
The Booth Hall have launched a series of tribute-themed nights that have included Chili Peppers and Blink 182 tribute acts in the past. Finding myself in a crowd of super pumped Blink 182 fans a couple weekends ago on the night Blink tribute act One Eighty Two played was a pleasant change for me. The truth is, I have always found bands that do covers the most boring of the lot; especially those “pub” bands. Stale beer fragrance comes to mind. There is a difference between cover bands and tribute acts, although I love it when local bands do the occasional cover.
Tribute acts have something to live up to. They study the musicians/performers they are emulating and really have to put in the effort. There is always something distracting about them though, they never ARE the actual band, and I would hate to be a tribute performer knowing everyone is staring at every detail about me in search of the resemblance to the original person they are mimicking; guess that makes them pretty gutsy and confident too.
Local Psychedelic Blues bandRaptorjoined 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.
…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 promoterHey Little Monsterand Raptor are putting on a good and groovy show for you at The Booth Hall featuring two Psychedelic Blues bands: Hereford boys Raptor andAs Mamasfrom Worcester, and also Welsh rock band New Revivalwho 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 eventHERE.
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
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
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.
HCC: Nice! Any festivals lined up this year?
Kurt: So far we are playing Down on the Farmin 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.
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.