When we reviewed the Rising’s self-released debut album in May 2013, one of the people who read it was Dizzy Holmes from Detour Records. He liked the band so much he signed then and has issued a remastered expanded version of their album.
Time then to talk to Tommy Overington, singer and mouth almighty with the band.
I’m fully aware It ain’t 65
But I dig the music
It makes me feel alive
And I know
That some will sneer
But I don’t mind
(My Small Faces and My Kinks CDs by The Rising)
But now he’s started buying original vinyl, the Risings frontman Tommy Overington, when he sings the opening song on the Risings LP (My Small Faces and my Kinks CD’s) he’s going to change it to EP’s .
Musically it’s quite a close relation to the Who’s My Generation. Talk about setting out your stall … a definite case of ‘exactly what it says on the tin’… make no mistake, the Rising are a Mod band. I put this to Tommy; a man who can talk for England.
TO: “I wouldn’t say we were a mod band, more a 60s “revivalist band” We all love The Beatles and apparently you ain’t no mod if you like the Beatles. The Small Faces, the Kinks and early Who are some of my favourite bands. Also lesser known bands like The Creation, The Action and The Fleur De Lys. The fashion and the swinging 60s vibe was undeniably cool and is obviously a big influence in how we dress. Got to have a look ain’t ya? I love The Sex Pistols, but I’m fucked if I’m going to “wear the garbage bag” as the great man put it in The Filth And The Fury!
Everyone looked the fucking bollocks in the 60s – especially on the mod scene. The geezers were snappy dressers, the women were sexy in their mini skirts and the music was ACE!! Best decade of music by far for me. Loved how all those 60s records sounded from the light fragile sounding Ludwig drum kits, the screaming Hammond organ and how the vocals sounded – loads of reverb, double tracked, bright and spacey sounding. Also, they were recorded live to tape so they sounded like they were having a party in the room which made them feel far more organic and real as opposed to modern techniques of laying down every instrument separately which can come across static and lifeless when mixed. I hate tracking. We all do. Much prefer to record live. Shows what a tight as fuck band you are when you pull it off. Tracking should be banned man!!!”
You’re pleased with the album though, it does seem to have a genuine Sixties feel to it?
“I’m absolutely made up with the album. It’s cost us about 5K in total and it took about three years of slogging our guts out, selling tickets to our gigs and making sure they we’re sold out – or as close to as possible, negotiating decent deals to raise the cash. We all have kids, some of us are married, have rent to pay, so funding this with our average wages would never have happened
It’s a blend of all our influences. It’s got elements of freakbeat mod, Beatles melodies, 90s Britpop, post-Beatles Lennon, Pistols Punk and getting the truly magnificent girls from The Fliks on board have given some of the songs a Motown/ soul vibe! We all loved working with them. They were great to have around and nailed all of their parts with very little practice. True pro’s. Will be getting in contact with them very soon when we start on album number 2!”
The Detour version of the album is even better, I love the new song that’s been added ‘Let’s Start the Drinking’…
“We’re blokes in our 30s now. Are we going to get signed to Sony and sell out Wembley stadium? No. However, Dizzy at Detour doesn’t care about that!! As soon as I met him (thanks for that incidentally mate) I liked him. Loves his music, hasn’t let his accident get in the way of his passion for music and is a complete gent. I’m proud as fuck to be on Detour Records. The mainstream labels and the industry in general can fuck off. It’s all run by kids who haven’t got a clue and think that Arctic Monkeys are the new Rolling Stones. Music is painfully boring now. I haven’t listened to the radio in fucking years. The only new bands of modern times I’ve really had a hard on for are The Broken Vinyl Club – who have now sadly disbanded – The Moons and more recently Temples. The latter have just produced the album of the year in my opinion. It’s a fucking great record.”
So, what’s next for the Rising?
“We have some great gigs in the pipeline. When we signed to Detour Dizzy told me about The Clique (Detours best selling band – 5000 copies of their Self Preservation Society debut album) – so I found someone selling a copy of it on vinyl on the net and was blown away! How this escaped the mainstream in the 90s when any old band could get a deal is beyond me! What a band. They split in the 90s, but are reforming for a gig in London in August and were gonna be opening up for them! Made up!! That’s gonna be a belter!
We have a support slot with Dexters on Tues 18th of March at the Joiners, and also a March Of The Mods gig for The Teenage Cancer Trust at the New Cross Inn in South London on Sunday 23rd March.
We’re also doing Pulse festival another appearance at London’s biggest and best club night – This Feeling – in April.
Our main objective this year is start work on album 2. We’ve been playing the same collection of songs for ages so we really need to freshen it up. Got about 6 more or less written so we have plenty to be getting on with. Jimmy ( lead guitar) regrettably had to call time on the band in November, but we have drafted in Baz who has shown he’s more than an adequate replacement and is writing songs and showing the kind of passion you need to do this shit. We’ve also recently recruited our new Hammond/keyboard player Liam Dixon. He’s already contributed probably our catchiest song yet – “If You Get With Me” – which we have chucked into the set. Classic Hammond driven number. It sounds like the bastard child of “Louie Louie” and “In The Midnight Hour”. Gets everyone at it! He’s well schooled and plays with Neville Staple’s band and Dexys Midnight Runners, so it’s a real coup for us to have him on board. Not forgetting Steve and Matt, probably the best rhythm section in the city, and they never get the credit they deserve.”
Talk turns to the state of the nation…
“I think in Britain in 2014, we are the most divided and confused as a nation as we ever have been. Propaganda reared its ugly head a few weeks back with that dreadful Benefits Street programme taking centre stage and getting us all fighting against each other. The television and media are hugely powerful and it’s really sad that people still can’t grasp this and allow themselves to be influenced by what they watch on the telly and what they read – as opposed to use their own fucking brains. The government want you to hate the poor and needy – they’re Conservatives for fuck sake! They want your vote. Looking after número uno – that’s their game and it always will be. Would that program have been aired under a Labour government? Who knows? It’s all hypothetical I guess. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I think I saw that programme for what is was. Find the most hapless, needy, poorest fuckers on the planet and give them their “15 mins of fame” by ripping the complete piss out of them and insinuate that everyone on benefits is a good for nothing sponging scumbag, and make simple, short-sighted people attack genuine people,who have no choice but to receive any kind of benefit payment feel like shit via social networking and the like. Appalling television.
“Yeah man, times are tough…”
The Rising seem to be react to this by creating their own good-times and using escapism …
“By escapism do you mean drugs and booze? Well, maybe in the past, but right now I’ve nothing to escape from. When I do have a drink it’s not to escape, it’s to have fun! I’m doing the coolest hobby in the world by having the opportunity to sing in this band, I’ve got an amazing little boy who I see on Sundays – which kind of puts a stop to staying up all night like a twat on a Saturday night anyway and I’ve just bagged myself an amazing new bird. I go jogging, eat well and just haven’t got time to be spending all day in bed post bender any more. The band as a whole is pretty clean now which is good for creativity. No one turns up half pissed or stoned anymore. I even think Ryan’s the only one who even smokes now! You hear some bands say they’ve written their best stuff off their heads. That’s bollocks. I’m awful when pissed. You don’t want to be in a practice room singing – you want to be in the pub drinking! Saying that – every now and again – it’s good to show the whipper snappers how’s it done with the whiskey chasers on top of the Stella’s – Olly Reed style – “They call me the wild one”!!! Hahaha. Although – it is a rarity these days!! Kids hey? Fuckers.”
I asked Tommy about other artistes who plunder the past for inspiration… like the Strypes?
“Young kids, with great influences. I first heard them and they reminded me of The Yardbirds. They haven’t got the songs yet – but they’re only like seven years old aren’t they, so they will get better.”
Finally, I had to ask Tommy about his vocals as well as his look and demeanour, which result in people drawing comparisons between him and a certain Liam Gallagher. Even Alan McGee has gone on record as saying he rates Tommy, but presumably because of the perceived similarities to Liam he won’t sign the Rising to his label.
“I’ve had that since day one. It used to piss me off, but not anymore. I’m not going to lie to you and say he’s not an influence on me – coz that would be total bollocks – coz he is – but so is Lydon, Marriott and Lennon. I think I’ve got my own thing going on now as opposed to the early days of a few years ago where admittedly I used to stand pretty still, but I have a right crack up there now and try to get the crowd going by being a bit more energetic! State of my shirt after a gig mush! Sodden to fuck! Proper work out I tell ya!
Oasis saved me, and lots of young kids from the perils of beyond-fucking-awful dance music in the 90s. Like them or loathe them, they resurrected British guitar music and got people like me into rock n roll. I discovered the Beatles and the Pistols amongst others when I was 14/15, after I listened to Definitely Maybe, and they were without a doubt the band which got me into what I call real music, which I will always be eternally grateful to them for.”
Tommy Overington is Jack the Lad, A Diamond Geezer. The Jack of Diamonds. The band he fronts is a great, good time band. They haven’t re-invented the wheel and they don’t pretend they have. The Rising are not a band for music-snobs or beardy-hipsters. The people that go to their gigs, read the red-tops, drink Carling Black label and get the Blues… know Definitely Maybe backwards and sing Beatles and Kinks songs at Karaoke nights. Real people.
The former Mods and lovers of the music Detour specialise in will see and hear that they are a great band and are a part of the working-class Mod tradition ( despite not having quite the right threads maybe). The Rising are the Sound of the Sixties refracted thru the lens of Oasis only far, far better than that sounds. Good time Brit-Pop Heritage Rock with Bollocks and a big grin on its face.
Buy the album from Amazon.
Detour Records are specialists in Mod and early Punk reissues and have subsidiary labels; Bin-liner (punk including the Bored Teenagers series) and Paisley Archive (mainly Mod). Read about the label history here.