invernessGiGs were able to catch up with Naked Red prior to their gig on the the 29th of April, 2012 at Hootananny, Inverness.
On the go since 2007, the band has clearly evolved, initially with 6 members, including a pianist ,a trumpet player and female vocals “it created a very Belle and Sebastian feel to it, which is no bad thing, but we already had one of those and they do it very well”. As personnel changed this is clearly the most settled time for the band (the current line-up is Andy Forbes (singer/songwriter/guitarist), Garth Coates (Bass) Jamie Douglas (Drums) and Tony Baxter (Guitarist)), indeed the size of the band reducing has also had a huge impact on the sound. However it is the most recent addition, Tony the guitarist “a blues man” wich has created a new edge even, to the older material, “it just takes off, it add a massive new dynamic to the straight forward rock songs that they were. ”
On talking about song writing “ there is only a handful of songs that are about anything… I am more going for a tune or a melody, something people will go for ”, The songs start off as straightforward folk songs “then the band have a free for all …. that way we get all four elements coming in : folk singer songwriter, heavy metal drummer, leads bassist and the blues guitarist”, “It has no right to work it really shouldn’t work at all”, but clearly it does. Inherent in the band is a familiarity ,in the rhythm section “we know each other inside out”, and a freshness with the aforementioned Tony.
The strive for difference/ uniqueness of each track does create difficult when you are looking for an over arching theme, not a band for being pigeonholed. The mixture of styles from pop to rock, the band feel “keeps people interested,, and on their toes”. Although the band give thanks to a Market bar punter who described them as “melodic rock” “it probably suits us down to a tee” another punter described the blues, indie mix, but it’s fair to say that “blindie” may not take off. The enthusiasm for the layers/ mix of styles is clear with the aim of creating a potent mix.
An album is on it’s way with a recording booked for the middle of May. The hope is that it will coincide with festival slots.“We are a live band, we sound good live” they explain given the limitations of the recording of their initial EP. Hopefully the opportunity to play the Summer Showcase “that would be a massive foot in the door.”
The band are clearly keen to build up momentum again, with tongue in cheek “back in the day we did have a good local following… but it did help having six in the band!”.The band have noticed that people have started to follow them again beit at the Market or Mad Hatters. The environment for live music has changed so much “there are still music fans out there that are keen to catch something new”. May be clichéd but definitely poignant for the band is a desire to “keep it real and be honest”, especially relevant when talking about the use of social media.
Word of mouth appears to be working with a successful gig at the Market leading to gigs in Thurso (both at The Newmarket and the Y Not, gigs that they speak very fondly of. However the band are keen to increase their profile, “In the past we have been the laziest band, but now we have to put effort into it”, indeed in the past they have supported many bands both at the Ironworks the Raigmore and Hoots. including Tiny Dancers and Glasvegas.
On talking to the band you cant help but sense the regained sense of purpose and enthusiasm which convinces us that you will be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
Naked Red play on the the 29th of April, 2012 at Hootananny, Inverness followed by playing the Market on Saturday the 5th May.