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Fast Five: Cherry White



How did you meet and what’s the story behind your band name?

The original lineup all knew each other from a blues jam in Central London – we used to hang around at the Spice of Life on Tuesday evenings chatting with other musicians and occasionally being called up to bash through another rendition of ‘Stormy Monday’ or ‘Red House!’ Russell (guitar) had been writing some songs, and a close friend encouraged him to recruit a band, so the crowd at the Spice seemed like a good pool to select from. In fact, after our original vocalist left, Sarah (lead vocals) was friends with somebody Ralph (bass) already knew from the Spice, so the connection to the old jam still (just about) remains!

The name…well, even we’re not sure. Russell came up with it, but has been cagey about it from the off. Apparently it does mean something. We each have our own theories, but quite frankly your guess is as good as ours!

How would you describe your music?

“The ever-so-elegant sound of contemporary classic rock, steeped in a barrel of blues.” That’s the official tagline, anyway. We draw heavily on a lot of classic rock, blues-rock and even a bit of prog rock, which probably makes us sound a bit like a female-fronted version of Led Zeppelin. The danger, of course, is that you derive all your ideas from looking backwards at what Pink Floyd or The Who did at their peak, and you just become a “retro” band. So while we owe a lot of our style to that sort of music, our aim is to take it in a direction that’s fresh and new. There are certainly some bold ideas bouncing around the studio at the moment.

What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming months?

We have an EP (self-titled) and an album (129) out, and we released a new single (Don’t Hold Me Back) recently to coincide with the announcement of Sarah as our new vocalist. We’re also trying to get out and play as much of the UK as we can. But in the meantime, we’re weighing up the possibilities for two or three different projects: we’re looking to produce a good-quality live album soon, as a way to showcase some of the new songs, and to let the fans hear newer versions of the old songs. The new songs will hopefully form the basis for a new studio EP at some point – or maybe an album, it depends how prolific we are! The one big project that we’re keen to undertake is to create a proper concept album – though that will probably be a little while away yet!

If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why?

Felipe (drums): Sir Paul McCartney. If I’m going to duet with somebody it may as well be the best of the best.
Sarah: Either Guy Garvey or Richard Hawley. They both make it sound timeless and effortless, and seem like consummate gents to boot!
Russell: Playing live with Bruce Springsteen would be pretty amazing … or, if I had the guts (and a time machine), sitting in with Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac in 1969 would have been quite an experience.
Ralph: Geike Arnaert. She has the most wonderfully expressive voice, and her first solo album was amazing.

What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?

Russell: It would depend on the day (as it would change) … but today it would be “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd
Felipe: For me, this one’s impossible to answer!
Ralph: Tommy, by The Who. I must have played that album hundreds of times, but it can still raise the hairs on the back of my neck.
Sarah: I’ve given up trying to decide. I just looked through my ipod and I can’t even narrow it down to a top 5. It seems I’ll have to try and avoid getting stranded on a desert island.