Sennen: Where The Light Gets In
By Zoe Applegate
Their forthcoming single has been tantalising the ear drums of scribes in the NME office, and they're about to set off in tour in anticipation of their second album. It seems bright things are beckoning for Norwich indie-rockers Sennen.
Sennen's James, Larry, Andrew and Rich.
Norwich four-piece Sennen have been bursting with activity: putting together their second album and rehearsing while holding down full-time jobs.
But despite their unrelenting schedule, their next moves are now being carefully orchestrated with a newly-recruited manager acting as a steady hand.
The follow-up to their debut long-player Widows is due out early next year and in the run up to its release, momentum is building.
There's a national tour in October and the first single to be plucked from the record is already captivating NME writers, according to the music bible's What's Playing On The NME Stereo column.
Radio station XFM has also pencilled in a live session with them.
Singer's London move
This latest chapter in Sennen's career is rolling on despite a split in geography for the band, who all studied in Norwich.
Front man Larry Holmes, 27, moved to London in May to be with his girlfriend, but the group including guitarist Rich Kelleway, 27, bassist Andrew Horner, 28, and drummer James Brown, 27, say it's a development which has worked to their advantage so far.
"It's organised us more," said Rich, who along with Larry and Andrew is originally from the Isle Of Wight.
"Larry is putting the effort in for rehearsals every week, travelling to Norwich and then back again to London in an evening after work.
"We all get to practice on time now. It's focused us more so it's worked out better."
Sennen are touring with I Like Trains
Larry has been making the odd journey at weekends too as the group gears up for its six-date national tour with Leeds' I Like Trains - who share a manager with Sennen.
The group took on London-based manager Dom Brownlow as they are keen to capitalise on the time they spent in the studio recording their album, Where The Light Gets In.
"We've tried for four or five years to do as much as we can but we needed help," said Rich. "It's just being that bit better organised."
"The band has been the biggest thing outside my work," said James. "It dominates our time."
"It's the first time we've been able to do dates like this," added Rich. "Organising a tour has been beyond us with full-time jobs."
The string of shows - which takes in Norwich Arts Centre on Friday 5 October - signs off just two days before the release of their single Blackout on Monday, 8 October, 2007.
It will be first taste of their album which was recorded in both London and Wymondham's Tontena studios, where Widows was also laid down in 2005.
With Pat Collier - who's worked with Primal Scream - at the controls for the London studio stints, the band say they were lifted out of their comfort zone by collaborating with someone new.
"It was a good experience for us as we've only recorded with two people before, so we got to work with someone who does things in a different way," said Rich.
"It was really good for us as Pat is so quick you can do so much. It stops you getting tired with what you're doing."
"It's very easy to over-analyse your own stuff, so it's good to be given a deadline," said James.
Recording the new tracks also meant Sennen were able to experiment with their smouldering guitar-based soundscapes - adding string embellishments. They used a violinist on Blackout and Where's The Limit and are proud of the results.
"I wasn't there for the recording," said James. "But I came in the next day and it sounded great."
"It's amazing seeing something you had the idea for working," added Rich.
While the band's fans won't be able to get their hands on the album for a while yet, Sennen say reaction from people who have heard a preview has been positive.
"People have said it sounds like a big step up which is great to hear," said Rich.
Sennen at the time of their debut album release
"The first album had longer songs and what a lot of people would say are post-rock influences. This new one is more song-based and melodious."
"A lot of people have said we're a shoe-gazer band or a post-rock band and this hopefully shows we're a bit more than that," added Rich.
"These guys' voices have also developed too," said James, of Larry's and Rich's vocal duties. "The singing has a bit more venom."
Like Widows, Where The Light Gets In is also being released on Norwich-based independent label Hungry Audio.
"They've been really helpful," said Rich. "I don't know where we'd be without them. We had lots of interest but they were concrete when we wanted to get a first record out."
last updated: 19/09/07