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Fast Five: Straw Bear



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

Chris (Guitar) and I met at school, but it was some time before we started making music. Strange but true: I met Tom (Guitar/Bass) during an exam for a job. I even stole one of his answers, but all was in vain, as neither of us was offered the position. Pas (Drums) and Catie (also Guitar/Bass) joined the band as we started gigging around our native Cambridgeshire.

The band’s name was shamefully re-purposed after Chris and I made a plan to visit the Straw Bear festival, but ended up making music instead. It’s the first pagan festival of the year, and it’s really good fun.

How would you describe your music?

People have described our music as ‘oddball folk’, and there’s some jangly stuff in there too. I think our influences are overwhelmingly American, but lots of people say we sound terribly British, which perhaps we can’t help.

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

We’ve had a fantastic year since the release of our album Black Bank. We’ve had tonnes of support from the BBC, particularly Tom Robinson, who gave us a gig at The Great Escape festival. We’re about to release our third single – The Land Witch – which is a creepy, English pastoral thing. The video is really rather eerie.

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

How about Tina Turner? I can picture myself standing sheepishly on-stage as she throws her arms around and does that weird thing where she stands like a man belting out songs.
My dad loves Tina Turner, so it’d be a good thing to tell his friends.

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

Probably Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding… though I’d still skip ‘Down Along the Cove’ even if I were trapped on a desert island. I come back to this album all the time. I love its sparse sound and the crazy pseudo-Biblical words. Dylan’s voice is really expressive on this record.


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