Local Music Scene
The Road To Summer Sundae
By Will Kisby, BBC Blast Reporter
BBC Leicester's Blast Reporter follows one local band as they prepare for Summer Sundae 2009. Shortwave Fade are set to play on the Main Stage on 16 August. Find out more about them...
Leicester's Summer Sundae has always been able to attract some of the biggest artists of the moment, but what is it like for local bands that are performing alongside them?
Performing to one person can be a daunting task, let alone in front of thousands and thousands of people at a music festival.
Yet during 14-16 August 2009 many bands will be doing just that and taking to the stage to perform.
Amongst them are Shortwave Fade, who on the final day of the festival are set to play the Main Stage at 12:30.
I, BBC Leicester's Blast Music Reporter Will Kisby, will be following the Leicester band on their path to this year's Summer Sundae.
I aim to uncover the behind the scenes preparation the band puts in before a festival. From rehearsals all the way to last minute adjustments.
Gallery: The Big Day
I met Shortwave Fade backstage at Summer Sundae and although they seemed relaxed I wondered how they were really feeling.
Find out what Shortwave thought of the biggest gig of their lives and check out the photos...
I caught up with local band Shortwave Fade as they rehearse and prepare for their main stage Summer Sundae performance, with just two weeks to go until the big day.
Take a sneak look into the band rehearsals in my gallery...
Who Are Shortwave Fade?
But first things first, just who are Shortwave Fade and what makes them tick?
Shortwave Fade are a local band with four members, who not only have big ideas but act upon them.
They are - Chris Holloway (Vocals/Guitar), Ben Allen (Guitar/Synth), Robb Sheppard (Bass/Vocals) and Rich Herrington (Drums).
Since forming in 2004 they have gone from strength to strength, supporting the likes of Keane and The Subways.
Listen: Too Late To Tell
They have recorded their own extended play (EP) and after beating thousands of bands to a £15,000 music prize fund, the boys released their own debut album in March 2009 to considerable critical praise.
Now they have set their sights on the Summer Sundae Main Stage and BBC Leicester will be following them every step of the way.
I spoke to the Leicester band to find out more about them and what they're about in a question and answer session.
Read the interview below, plus listen to their track 'Too Late To Tell'...
Where does the name Shortwave Fade come from?
We get asked this all the time, so here goes. The definition of a shortwave fade -
'In solar-terrestrial terms, a particular ionospheric solar flare effect under the broad category of sudden ionospheric disturbances (SIDs) whereby short-wavelength radio transmissions, VLF, through HF, are absorbed for a period of minutes to hours.'
Describe yourselves in five words?
The highlight of Summer Sundae!
What do you like about Leicester?
The city is great, and has a really diverse musical scene and plenty of exciting up and coming bands (like us!).
What would you change about Leicester?
A decent mid-sized venue that touring bands would want to play. Losing the Charlotte was a hammer blow to bands in Leicester.
Which artists, if any, have influenced you and why?
We like a lot of European stuff, bands like Mew, Sigur Ros, Soulwax and Leaves.
Bands that have a great sense of melody and don't follow the conventional 'indie band' route!
Where do your musical inspirations come from?
When we were doing the album we took inspiration from a lot of pop music actually.
We're not fans of much chart music, but if you look at that kind of stuff, how it's arranged, how it sounds and apply it to the music we make you get something that's musically interesting and also really catchy that people will remember.
Which of your successes are you most proud of?
Securing financing through www.slicethepie.com was amazing, we beat well over a 1,000 bands to win £15,000 to fund our album – that was pretty gratifying!
After releasing your own album, what advice would you give to bands who are just starting out?
It sounds really dull, but you've just got to practice, practice, practice. When you're ready then you just have to gig, gig, gig. If you're good enough word will get round and more people will come and support you and take an interest in what you do next.
Is this your first Summer Sundae?
Playing yes, but we've been in the crowd a fair few times too!
Have you started rehearsing yet?
Yes! We spend half our lives at rehearsal!
Are there any bands you are looking forward to see play at Summer Sundae?
Saint Etienne and 65daysofstatic. We've been a big fans of Saint Etienne for a while but never got round to seeing them play, and 65daysofstatic are just one of the best live bands I've seen!
Best critical praise?
'Explosive widescreen pop, like Doves at a disco lock-in.' From 'This City Magazine - we like that one!
Any new material in the pipe line or is it all top secret?
We're working on songs for our second album, so there might be a few new additions to the set!
What was it like supporting Keane and how did that gig come about?
They were very nice chaps, very quiet and polite. The gig came just before they got really big so the venue was rammed with people. The promotor asked us to do it as he said we sounded quite similar. We couldn't see it at all but when the album reviews started coming a lot of people said we sounded similar (We still can't see it).
And finally do you think you'll be able to cope with having a BBC Blast reporter capturing your every musical move?
We'll be on our best behaviour! People always mind their manners when they have guests round!
Keep checking back for regular updates on the band as they prepare for that all important performance.
last updated: 24/08/2009 at 13:36
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