Class Of 2015: The Britpack
Band Of Skulls, Purson, Kill It Kid and Turbowolf are four of Britain's brightest young bands - and they’re here to talk about rock's future
“Rock is dead. It did not die of old age. It was murdered.” When Gene Simmons of Kiss spoke those words in September 2014, he echoed the concerns of many within the music industry. So we assembled the lead singers of four very different British bands for a Britpack 2015 round table, to examine whether rock’n’roll really is still alive and kicking in the 21st century.
Represented by Russell Marsden, Southampton’s Band Of Skulls formed more than a decade ago and have released three albums, headlined Shepherd’s Bush Empire and appeared on Later With Jools Holland. Their brand of rock’n’roll has a garage-flavoured edge.
Though still in his mid-twenties Chris Turpin of Kill It Kid has experienced the gamut of the highs and lows of the life of a professional musician. The Bath-based band meld rock, blues, Americana and punk. At twenty-five years old, Purson’s Rosalie Cunningham has an old head on young shoulders. Based in Southend and newly signed to Spinefarm Records, Purson cite The Three Bs (The Beatles, Bowie and Black Sabbath) as inspirations. Chris Georgiadis speaks on behalf of Bristol band Turbowolf, whose eclectic blend of rock’n’roll, psychedelia, heavy metal and punk rock also adds a dash of electronica.
Some of the things they said were worrying yet also somehow faith-affirming. Read on……
Your four bands are very distinct from each other, but have any of you ever met before or been on the same bill?
Rosalie Cunningham: Chris [Turpin] and I know each other from way back when I was in my old band, Ipso Facto. We had the same management and used to play together quite a bit.
Chris Turpin: One of our first gigs in Manchester was with them.
Rosalie: We were very impressed and felt schooled by Kill It Kid. You guys were really good when you were younger.
One thing you have in common is that you’re all more or less in that ‘middle strata’ of bands that have paid their dues, made some good records and find yourselves ready to take the next all-important step up.
Russell Marsden: Once you’ve formed your band and played your first show, I think just about everyone is in that category.
What is it like being a rock band in 2015, given the dominance of pop music now?
Rosalie: It’s hard work, that’s for sure.
Chris Georgiadis: I don’t know anything different, really. I wasn’t alive in the 1970s. It’s tough, because people aren’t buying records any more.
Chris Turpin: Even in the six or seven years since we started it’s really different. I used to go to HMV and spend sixteen quid on an album and now I turn my nose up at spending six quid. More and more the UK is becoming obsessed with brand new music, so the lifespan of our bands ends up diminishing.