Barrow duo Paper Cranes look forward to BBC break and new EP
Last updated at 11:34, Monday, 22 April 2013
IF you set up a band with the intention of becoming a commercial hit, you’re setting yourself up for a fall.
Many must form with delusions of grandeur, only to reach an acrimonious split when fame and fortune eludes them.
For Barrow’s Paper Cranes, there are no worries about hitting their targets – there never were any, so any success is a bonus.
Since working on a cover song to perform at an open mic evening last summer, former Sevens and Hexed Hands drummer Jon Dawes and his sister-in-law Beckah Lloyd have gone on to become one of the town’s most talked about live acts, recorded their debut EP, and featured on the bill for Ocean Colour Scene’s local acoustic appearance. Next month they are down to appear on the soon-to-be-prestigious BBC Introducing initiative on Radio Cumbria, but in the meantime a visit to London is on the cards to discuss a record deal.
Beckah says: “I don’t think we really meant to do something permanent, we just performed at an open mic gig at the Queens Arms (on Walney) and people really loved it.
Jon adds: “Then we did a gig with Mad4It and Gaz Wood, the manager of at The Nines, asked us to play at his wedding. Because we did that, he put us on the bill for the Ocean Colour Scene show, which was amazing, and it’s just gone from there.”
The rapid rise led to the need to put a record out, and within a matter of weeks the Bones EP was done and dusted.
Having uploaded the tracks to the BBC Introducing site – as every new band should – and sent out copies to a handful of labels, the hard graft is beginning to bear fruit. Jon says: “The BBC Introducing people emailed to say they’d listened to it, but we didn’t hear anything after that.
“I emailed recently to find out if they wanted to do anything and it turns out they’ve been playing our songs on the radio for months!
“We’ll be doing about 10 minutes of tracks live on air and talking between songs – that’s the part I’m really not looking forward to. Then we play another eight or nine songs for them that go out at a later date.
“It would be good to get some festivals off the back of it; we’re not that fussed about getting exposure, but festivals are a good chance to play more gigs and the more you play, the better you get.
“We do want to play further afield and eventually build up a bit of a fanbase, but so far we’re just going with the flow.
“The label in London and the BBC Introducing people saying they’re really interested is a confidence boost, but we don’t want to let it go to our heads because in the music industry something can happen from nothing, and nothing can happen from something.”
There is no shortage of acoustic acts, both in Barrow and the wider music scene, with everyone who has access to a guitar seemingly trying their hand at a solo spot or an open mic night.
Where Paper Cranes have found their niche is not only in Beckah’s soulful, sometimes haunting vocals, but also Jon’s percussive guitar playing.
With his background behind a drum kit having a massive effect on his style, a bass drum was added into the live set and has become a trademark of sorts – “I already had a drum kit and a spare leg to use, so I thought ‘why not?’.”
Work is well under way on the next EP, but Jon is keen not to rush it this time round.
“Since the EP came out we’ve started writing some new songs, so we’re going to try an get another one recorded soon,” he says.
“It’s a more mature sound with a bit more thought behind it. The other songs felt a bit rushed because we had to get a set together quickly, and we only gave ourselves three weeks to make the EP – there were four or five nights where I barely got any sleep at all. I was exactly the same at school and college, leaving work until the night before, but we’ve vowed never to set ourselves a deadline like that again.”
Beckah knows that if they keep on progressing at the same rate, there’s no limitations on how far this spur-of-the-moment project could take them.
She says: “When I listen to the songs on the EP, they make me realise how far we’ve come over the past few months. I think we improve with every single gig.
“The feedback we’ve had has been great, but it always seems to be someone passing on somebody else’s feedback.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done though, and most people tell us we’re better live than on the EP.
“I reckon the main reason is because they can see us smiling while we’re playing.”
First published at 14:15, Thursday, 14 February 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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