The music oozes a breathless sexiness with an addictive lo-fi sound. There are mysterious girl vocals and scraping, chiming guitars, crackling beats and coy catchy melodies.
This is the sound of staying up all night in tiny bedsits with music as your never ending backdrop, bedsits full of Sonic Youth vinyl, Blondie posters, dirty disco beats, second hand chic and vintage guitars…
Xup ‘Feline’, taken from their second album ‘Different Animal’
who are Xup?
Xup is me on vocals, 1972 vintage fender mustang bass, guitar and drums. Xup is currently a solo project although in the past, i have played with a live drummer and guitarist. from the start I have written all the songs and played all the instruments on both the albums i have so far released. I am currently working on my third.
I previously played bass for ‘The Strap Ons’ in Manchester between 2000 – 2003. I played bass in a band called Wolfie, in London, between 2005 – 2007. When we broke up, i realised how much i wanted to carry on writing and performing, and when no other musicians seemed to fit the bill for Xup, i bit the bullet and went ahead with it as a solo project. Xup is the middle initials of the surname of my favourite author – Antoine de St Exupery, who penned my all time favourite book – The Little Prince. My first album, Asteroids, references the book throughout.
You are are in creative hyperdrive- you make your own videos, run your own website
From the start, Xup was always going to mean more to me than just a band, maybe because I wasn’t restricted or held back by other band members. I always saw it, and felt it too, it was more than just a sonic experience, it was always in 3d. As a result, I designed my own website www.xupmusic.co.uk and shot all my own videos. The first album came with a little photo booklet titled 43 sunsets, which contained a series of photos and bits of song lyrics.
The second album ‘Different Animal’ became even more of an art project. I’d been having recurring nightmares about wolves for months while i was writing it, and i decided to do something about it. I went to meet some real live wolves at a wolf sanctuary in Berkshire. After all, I am very much from the school of thought that if you write about it, then you should experience it first hand. It was fucking scary! But the wolves were amazing! I actually got to stroke a couple of them. I can give you lots of tips of what to do if you’re ever around wolves – for example, you should never walk in front of them, it makes them nervous – they have to see everything that’s going on, so it’s best to walk ahead of them!
I began to keep a photo diary of all this, and other things that inspired me as I wrote the ‘Different Animal’ album – empty beaches at dawn, fennec foxes, the sea… I built up quite a collection. The photos went out as part of an electronic bundle of stuff along with lyrics and video content that you could download with the album. This is all still available via: https://xupmusic.bandcamp.com/
Back in April i blew all the photos up to A1 poster size and dragged them up to Manchester’s Kraak Gallery and set it all up to coincide with the album launch, which I performed at the venue. It was quite unnerving, essentially seeing the album, image by image, staring back at me like that!
I am currently working on album number 3, which i’ve foolishly decided will be guitar rather than bass driven – and I am not a guitarist. I have acquired a very yummy blonde telecaster though, loving it to bits.