Once in a while a song comes along and makes you stand still and listen and takes you to a magical place where you think and smile, this for me was a song called Like Seeing a Fox in Daylight by a relatively unknown Sheffield based band, All the Damn Kids. The more I heard the track, the more I was captivated with its vibrancy and honesty. Then came the next step, I arranged to meet the guys behind this amazing tune. All the damn kids indeed, there were hundreds of them…ok so I lie a little, there are five of them and they aren’t kids either.
So, ok lets get on track here with a brief history…James met Nigel whilst in university halls in 2008. Nigel was in a band before, he wrote the lyrics and while comparing himself to the great poet Thomas Hardy, it took him a little bit of time to agree to fully being in the band.
They soon met Will and Jez (Jez tells me he plays good bass) and then they came about Emily, who appears was brought into the band as she has grade 8 on piano, so the boys thought ‘she’d be good on a synth’. The boys already had a name for the band but once Emily joined they became All The Damn Kids.
In between studying and whatever else students get up to these days, they have found time to rehearse, gig and record their debut single, a double A side incorporating Like Seeing A Fox in Daylight and Echoes. Having made such an impact in my bubble, I asked them if what the influences behind these songs were.
Nigel starts to tell me about Echoes. He informs me it’s basically about the fact that something has gone wrong, in his own words ‘the shit’s gone down, I tried my best but, the shit’s gone down’, so erm yeah, after a pause, I decided to ask about Seeing a Fox in Daylight, again Nigel steps in ‘yeah, well, it’s about a lady in club, bumpin’ and grindin’ and then the shit goes down’. Seems there’s a bit of a theme occurring here.
It’s easy to listen and analyse songs, collectively the band say there’s ‘no meanings behind the songs’, ‘they are abstract’ confides Emily, probably the most sensible thing that was said throughout the whole interview. Yet it was these two songs that made me sit and listen.
So who else is listening, it seems All the Damn Kids have had got a fair amount of giggage under their belts. One of their favourite venues is, in of all places Hull. The Linnet and Lark appears to be where it’s at for them. Though they declare that anywhere with a good PA will do them. It turns out that The Plug, Sheffield, where we’re meeting is up there on the much-loved list.
The band were set to play main stage at the Hungry Pigeon Festival in Manchester too, but due to exams and university commitments, they had to pull out of. Gutted isn’t the word they used, but it fits nicely here. Backed by Liam Walsh of Ask Me PR (affectionately known as uncle Liam) and having a whole heap of radio airplay it seems their music is getting out there and not to the usual insular music scene that every city has, which is a fantastic thing (in my opinion!).
So once university is out of the way, what’s in store for these damn kids? In retort I’m told ‘we don’t like to plan too much ahead, we like to live for now’, I’ll take that as a bit more gigging, more writing.
It’s at this point that the interview takes an awkward turn. I find myself being interviewed by them. I get the twenty questions, with background chuckles coming from my photographer colleague Jamie. I’ll tell you one thing it takes a lot to put me on the spot, but these guys surely did.
Asked how I’d rate their songs (category of 1, being fucking hell, that’s good, to 5, total shit) having only heard their MySpace page it seemed a tad wrong for me to divulge the fact that I thought they were great, especially as 20 minutes later they were on stage. As for how I’d describe their music, they certainly weren’t what I’d expected.
They aren’t some emo driven indie band. Despite their emotion filled songs, there’s a euphoric feeling about it all. All the Damn Kids are a vibrant bunch, fun filled, hard working and certainly not a cliché when it comes to descriptions.
A tough interview to undertake I confess, but a darn fun one. All the Damn Kids indeed keep your eyes and ears open for this pesky bunch.