The time is now right for the Watford 3 piece as they go forth with their debut double A-sided single ‘Spark to Start / Sirens’ which plays unashamedly, in fact very proudly,Â to that of aÂ certainÂ late 70’s life changing, energetic R&B-fused 3 piece band from Woking – in fact, so much so that it demands a listen.
Anyone who’s a fan of The Jam andÂ theirÂ music, which isÂ basicallyÂ most of Britain’sÂ guitarÂ group loving fans, with out doubt will recognise that same energy running through ‘Spark to Start / Sirens’,Â its tempo, slashingÂ rhythmÂ guitars, frontÂ man BillyÂ Sullivan’s controlledÂ spitfire tone and phrasing out front, even the songs title resemblesÂ somethingÂ of a lost Jam number. At his own ‘Dangerous Age’ of 18 yrs the seemingly sharp Sullivan has already picked up on how to mix thoseÂ favoriteÂ influencesÂ with his own moreÂ modernÂ style and sound.Â Together with a crystal clear production byÂ Charles ReesÂ which catches the tight rhythmÂ section of Matt Johnson and Sam Long just right ‘Spark to Start / Sirens’Â could just be the record to wake today’s mod-inspired generationÂ up.
Though still early days for the group their live performances have already earned them someÂ favorableÂ reviews from both the new faces and older fans of all good things Mod. But looking past the groupsÂ influences its clear to see they haveÂ somethingÂ to say and say it they will, like with the singles alternate A side ‘Sirens’ where Sullivan tackles last years summer riots with an understanding that goes beyond his years, which no doubt will be positively encouraged by the groupsÂ manager Stuart Deabill. A big Jam fan who grew up with Weller & Co,Â followingÂ them around the UK watching their rise to fame & who recently put pen to paperÂ recollecting it all with theÂ popular, ‘Thick as Thieves, personal situations with The Jam’. The Spitfires areÂ obviouslyÂ in the bestÂ possibleÂ hands.
Finding out what the group themselves make of their first release Louder Than War put a few questions to The Spitfires singer / songwriter Billy Sullivan -Congraters on the single- two quality tracks, its a great start.
The Jam seem to be pretty central to what The Spitfires are doing right now, and what a great band to be influencedÂ by, one of the real classic British guitar group’s.
The Jam are a big influence on me, which obviously reflects in my writing and our sound. But the band as a collective are just as influenced by The Clash, The Specials and The Buzzcocks. I have the attitude that its 2012 not 1979 and I think we’ve taken our influences in the past and put our stamp on it. It’s important for us to think forward.
That type of sussÂ seemsÂ to be missing withÂ today’sÂ newÂ guitarÂ groups, the music, clothes, ideals and that whole purpose that made The Jam the movement it was … we need some of that vibe back in British guitar groups don’t we?
I like bands that have an identity and views. Most British guitar groups seemed to be stuck in the middle and move with the times. As an 18 year old, I want to seeÂ people my own age playing songs and expressing views I can identify with.
So why do you think there’s been a big interest in groups like The Jam by some of the youth today, what attracted you to that whole Mod scene Billy?
Maybe its having something to relate to. Seeing someone your own age talk about things you understand.Â I don’t think of the ‘mod’ thing as a scene or tribal affair. Its personal taste for me and always has been. It’s the individual aspect of Modernism that hooked me in the first place.
‘Spark to Startâ is double A sided with ‘Sirens’ – it sounds like a call to arms, what are you saying in those tracks?
Spark to Start is about the music-industry and how things have been bland and uninspiring for quite a while. Bands are getting dropped from record companiesÂ as their 2nd album doesn’t get into the top 20. These bands have no time to develop or evolve into what they want to.Â Sirens was inspired by the frustration of the youth in the London riots last year and the isolation i feel with my generation.
Also loving the London back drop in the video, brings to mind The Clash’s ‘should I stay or should I go’ video whichÂ endedÂ in Strummer throwing one of the PA’s into the Thames frustrated and wet (off camera), IÂ presumeÂ you didn’t do the same off that tower?
Unfortunately not! The video was shot on Cannon Street station roof by Paolo Sedazzari. We loved theÂ LondonÂ back drop of StÂ Paul’sÂ and the Thames. We wanted it to almost be like us projecting our music and message across the whole ofÂ London.
So how long has it taken the group to get this far, you all seem quite young still but seem to know what you want?
This line up has been together 3 months, and we’ve all put a lot of hard work in. I’m lucky to have two like minded people working with me and we think our ageÂ (we’re all 18) is an important aspect in our image and ideals.
Release date is 12th Nov with launch party in Camden yeah? Where can we check you lads out next, what gigs have got lined up?
The launch party is at The Wheelbarrow, Camden on Saturday 17th. We have a gig lined up supporting Bruce Foxton and From The Jam at The Cavern, Liverpool on 29th November.
Released on November 12th .The single will be available through their website, iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
All words by Carl Stanley. More articles by Carl on Louder Than War can be read here.