Hello Dear Music Explorers,
Indieterria has retreated to more familiar waters . Once a month we will be giving exposure to a local artist from music scene in Worcester- acts that we believe have original sound, work hard and bring something new to the sonic table. First on our list are The Fidgets – jangle pop duo that may put our city on a musical map quicker than you are able to say Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Mixing influences ranging from The Beatles, Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones to The Kinks and The Byrds, The Fidgets begin where Cast and The LA`s have left in the 90s. That makes them unique on the whole indie scene at the moment. The newest act with similar sound are The No-Ones (project that includes Peter Buck of REM), so you can see how high is the bar for Max and Ryan.
Not only we sat with The Fidgets for an interview, but also got to hear their new single. We tell you – this town has some amazing scene and we are here to chronicle it!
Move along people – much to see below!
From buskers to cathedral town heroes
These days, it is hard to imagine the High Street in Worcester without two distinctive figures busking around. With their signature glasses on, guitars in hands and voices in perfect unison – The Fidgets have become an important feature in Worcester. A ray of hope to put the town back on a music map. With a vision and passion, The Fidgets cultivate pop melodies and vocal harmonies placing themselves in a league on their own on an indie scene saturated with noise and postpunk rebellion. We`ve met the band to see what they have got in store for 2017.
You are one of the most prolific bands in West Midlands at the moment. But for those who may not be familiar with your history, please introduce yourselves.
Hi! We’re The Fidgets!! The two of us – that would be Ryan Skidmore and Max Stockin – met in 2012 when Max answered an ad placed by Ryan on http://www.joinmyband.com for musicians inspired by ‘60s pop music, and especially The Beatles. We played live for the first time in March 2013 (coming up for four years!) and we’ve played God knows how many times since then – the 500th gig was early last year.
Your music is a mix of classic rock, blues, northern soul and mod revival. Quite unusual for today`s pop music climate. Who are your sonic heroes?
The Beatles, of course! Everything comes back to them, it’s been nothing short of an obsession for years! Around that, our influences are really varied, we both love ‘50s and ‘60s pop in general and the two of us each have our own little avenues. Max is very into Blues and Country music, he’s a big fan of Teddy Thompson, and he’s a huge fan of Chuck Berry. Ryan is a very big fan of modern pop and is currently very much into The 1975 and Ed Sheeran. We both love loads of stuff, but the bulk of our influence definitely comes from the ‘60s.
The band seems to be moving on up at incredible speed. Your first EP (“I`m Alright”) came out in 2015 to local acclaim and well attended gigs . You followed last year with another EP “Its Only You” and immediately were invited to do BBC Introducing session. It must have been a quite an experience.
I suppose things are moving a bit fast! It never looks that way from the inside, you don’t have time to think about it, everything just goes by in a bit of a blur, it’s only when you look back that you realize what you’ve done. 2016 was big for us! We did a handful of things for the BBC which was exciting! Of course, The Introducing session was fantastic, and the crowd at the Christmas Lights Switch-On was amazing.
BBC Hereford & Worcester placed you at no 7 of the best bands for 2017. Slap Magazine previously described your music as “brilliant”. With such a strong support from local audience and the press, The Fidgets truly are on a brink of better things to come. Does the band feel it too?
Honestly we don’t know what’s going to happen! It definitely feels like things are getting bigger now, but we’ve been in the game a lot longer than anyone remember us for! We’re very excited for the future, but we try not to get cocky!
Definitely, yeah. We’ve been well known around Worcester since the tail end of 2015 and it’s rare for us to go out without being recognized now. It has really picked up recently though! Around Christmas time we were chased through Crowngate Shopping Center by a teenager and her mum for a signed CD and a hug! That kind of thing is getting quite common. It’s brilliant, but it hasn’t stopped being strange!
Sometimes you expand for your performances. Would you tell us about the musicians you work with?
We’ve put together a backing band! Dave Whittaker, our bassist, was a friend socially first, we saw each other a lot at the Marr’s Bar on Wednesday open mic nights and he’s a great player. He was the natural choice. Our drummer Jack Bowles went to Sixth Form with Ryan in Bromsgrove, and Ryan had his eye on him from a band even before he was in one. He’s amazing.
Your new single “Everywhere I Go” comes out in March. It will be accompanied by a video. Can you tell us more about it?
We’ve had to put off the release of the single until later in the month unfortunately (technical difficulties!) We shot the video around the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, and we’ve just had a first full draft come through as we speak. We’re very proud of it, it’s a big step up from what we’ve done before and it’s the first of our videos to feature anyone other than ourselves.
The band has been teasing big things to come in 2017. What should we expect? New material? Festival appearances?
Well, we can’t give away too much I’m afraid! But 2017 is already looking like a big one. Yes there will definitely be new material with an EP being released in May and yes we are already booked in for festivals in the summer at Mello Festival and Severn Sounds Festival on the main stage and there’s guaranteed to be more confirmed soon. Watch this space!
You have also been involved in collaboration with Royal Shakespeare Company. Can you disclose any details about this project?
Ah we’re very happy to be a part of it! I’d love to tell you what it is but I don’t have a copy of our contract handy and it’s possible we’ve been sworn to secrecy! Besides, we don’t like to spoil our surprises. When there’s something to know, you’ll know!
The Fidgets went from busking to heroes of a cathedral city. Where do you see yourself in the years to come?
Heroes is a bit strong, but thank you very much! We’re very proud of where we’ve got to already and things can only get better in the future! We’ve got all sorts of big ambitions but everyone knows if you tell wishes they don’t come true!! Just keep an eye on the charts and we’ll see what happens shall we? We like big dreams. Unrealistic is our thing!
Eager to prove themselves but playing cards to their chest – The Fidgets are on their way into promising future. With a new release, a single, home coming gigs and an upcoming festival season – they cannot fail. Here`s to the boys that sing.
The Fidgets – “Everywhere I Go” (single review)
Worcestershire based duo, The Fidgets are releasing their new single “Everywhere I Go” this month. SLAP magazine was lucky to hear it first and we can report that this melodious, 60’s inspired love song is going to be a new fan favorite.
“Everywhere I go” opens up a new chapter in the bands history, proving that The Fidgets have evolved and matured considerably since their last release “It’s only you” in 2016 and became a truly unique, pure-blooded rock and roll act deserving their place on the BBC Hereford and Worcestershire list of bands to look out for this year.
The mid tempo, Beatlesque three minute single is filled with perfect harmonies, catchy riffs and will undoubtedly have the crowds swinging and singing along. It also has a distinctive Northern vibe to it, with Max Stockin sounding eerily similar to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Fans of classic rock, The LA’s and The Cast will have a chance to catch The Fidget rocking the Marrs Bar on March 17th.
The single is accompanied by obligatory music video:
If you are on Spotify, listen here:
If you wan to follow The Fidgets – please use these links:
Part of the band`s charm are the session musicians that support Max and Ryan on stage: drummer Jack Bowler (EMPYRE/Willow Robinson) and Young-Dave Whittaker. This rhythm section is so powerful, they are locally nicknamed as Worcester`s own Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce. Kid you not. Many a band lined up to work with Dave and Jack but to no avail. Max and Ryan know that you should never change a winning team.
You can follow Young-Dave and Jack below:
You can see this interview in Slap Magazine for March 2017
or you can download the copy here:
That`s all from us for now. We hope you had fun reading.
It`s their party and they can rock if they want to!
We have written on our blog before that The Fidgets were to headline a home coming gig on March 17th at Marrs Bar in Worcester. What we have not mentioned to the band is that we planned to treat them to an unexpected cake-and-candles party. See, both Ryan and Max celebrate their bday within one week from each other and it was just too good not to use this opportunity. So Vanadian Avenue ventured to the gig armed with two huge chocolate torts, candles, napkins, lighters, paper trays and a spatula.
The Fidgets took their headlining duties very seriously and delivered 1,5 h set filled with their original material and covers. Guests came on stage to join the band for certain performances and the entire audience had a wonderful time, one by one slipping into the darkest corner of the venue to sign cards for the birthday boys.
When the last song came to an end cakes were brought on to the stage and signed cards were handed. Max and Ryan had each a chance to blow the candles and make a wish. Each member of the public was given a piece of the chocolate tort (you should always bring a spatula to the party) and the audience roared an out of tune birthday song. Top night. Some pictures for you to enjoy below:
Till the next time kids. We are off to find some alka seltzer.