Hailing from the nations capital, Bainbridge & Co are fast becoming one of Londons hottest new collectives. Drawing comparisons to The Streets and Lily Allen, their latest single ‘Rewind’ displays an attitude and bravado that Mike Skinner himself would be proud of. Flaunting a concoction of bouncy, crisp drums, jerky guitars and rutted trumpets, the group have managed to transform a well traversed-genre into a sound that can only be deserved as wholly unique and ultimately enthralling.
Over the years, Ska-rock has become littered with household names, including the likes of Madness, The Specials and Sublime, a list which I believe these lot can get themselves on. As much as there is an array of talent in this pool, the majority of the most established acts are at the end of their careers, paving the way for the new kids on the block…..
Thanks for taking the time to speak to us, its certainly been a crazy time for everyone at the moment. I must say I’m a huge admirer of your music and I know a lot of other people who are, for those who have never heard your music before, how did the band originate?
EMIL (vocals): we played a song at a cabaret night in our sixth form two years ago when we were 16/17, after a few weeks we had a real gig set up [at a comedy club in Greenwich]. The rest is history.
POPPY (vocals): the band came together quite naturally actually. Some of us went to school together and Emil and I had sung together before so he introduced me to some of the guys and we did some jamming together. We had a lot of fun playing as a group so we decided to start gigging.
One of the most refreshing things about the music you make is that it drains influences from a number of different places to produce a sound that is wholly unique. Is this something you’ve tried to implement or has it come naturally during the recording process?
EMIL: I think it’s quite a natural process because everyone listens to their own stuff, this means we just have to start writing a song and everyone’s different tastes will act as checks and balances.
POPPY: There’s a lot of us and we all love different genres of music so we draw influences from a range of places.
MARTHA (drums): Yeah, the songs that have been written while we’re all together jamming – like ‘Reckless’ for example – probably have the most genres packed into them. With our more recent songs, we’ve had to reign it in a bit actually cos someone always wants to suddenly change the genre/feel halfway through the song or put loads of different types of music together which can end up sounding like loads of different songs mashed into one. Sometimes it works though!
I’m excited to say you’re currently recording a 5-track EP while in lockdown, what has it been like creating music in such a different environment? And do you think the music has been sculpted around it?
JAMAAL (keyboard): A lot of the songs we are recording for the EP are songs we’ve been playing for a while at gigs, so while it has been challenging trying to record all our parts individually, hopefully the songs themselves are not impacted too much. But you can expect a much less polished sound than with our previous songs, as we’re doing all the mixing ourselves and with the help of parents/friends.
As I touched on earlier, there are a lot of influences that drive your brand, so if you were to choose 3 artists to go on tour with, who would they be and why?
MARTHA: I’d have to say Madness because they are legends and seem like a lot of fun. The Skints are also really good live and they attract a fun mixed crowd of loads of different ages and of course Lily Allen; I love her.
JAMAAL: The Specials – we take a lot of influence from them, and their live shows look like they were crazy back in the day. The Streets – made UK rap huge and a lot of the music which is popular now is because of their impact. A lot of our friends/fans who are our age would love it as well as they are a much more modern sound that we’ve grown up with, and to this day their shows pop off. Dub Pistols – we saw them live at Boomtown a couple of years ago and safe to say they were one of the best acts there. The way they combine a lot of genres and have a range of different sounding tracks is something we try to do ourselves, and they seem like a proper party band.
So you’re based in London, probably one of the most competitive music scenes in the world. Have you faced any challenges as a band whilst playing gigs and what would you tell budding musicians trying to start?
MARTHA: put on gigs with other bands – playing with a big mix of bands and DJs works cos there’s something for everyone and it’s a lot of fun. It was tricky getting replies from venues at the very beginning, but we brought big crowds to our first two gigs and then other venues caught on. We recorded ‘Station’ about a month after our first gig (when we could barely play our instruments) so we sent that to venues as a demo.
Rewind was such an incredible track so I cant wait to hear the new music and I’m sure you feel the same about releasing them. One final question for Emil and Arthur, what do you want Bainbridge and Co to achieve in the next 5 years?
EMIL: have a song in the top 10 and go on tour.
ARTHUR (guitar): headline Glastonbury – be the youngest to do it.