Reviews are now filtering in for Kittyhawk. Here are a few snippets.
The Fly (UK)
Sadly British Readers will have to buy this on import: while Sounds XP are releasing single 'Big Bang', the album proper is only being released in Japan. Shame: these tracks deserve to be flooding discos across the land, fuelling first shy glances, then furtive flirting, followed by head-over-heels romance as the young lovers remember Blondie, Echobelly, Sleeper and the Beatles. Someone buy the UK License, Please!
You want perfect summer pop? I can give you that! You want a beautiful frontwoman whose looks fall just the right side of girl next door? Well bugger me, I can give you that too! Ladies and gents, I bring you Bristol's very own Santa Dog. In truth in does not matter one jot what Rowena Dugdale looks like because if she can write and perform songs as good as these then she could resemble the back end of a number 364 bus and still be destined for stardom. Their sound? Well I suppose the best description would be a slick modern take on eighties jangle pop, lets say in a similar vein to the more structured bands on the Sarah Records roster. Their debut single Big Bang has just been released in a limited run of 500 copies and their first album Kittyhawk is also available, albeit only on Japanese import at present.
After a clutch of impressive EPs, Santa Dog have built up on their promise with an almost-perfect pop album. Not since the early days of The Cardigans and The Sundays before them, have a group embraced the values of the English cute pop so well, a lineage which goes back to the likes of Prefab Sprout. There are certainly a lot of comparisons between 'Kittyhawk' and the early Cardigans' albums. 'Big Bang' and 'Yeah Yeah Yeah' boast simple choruses but their nagging riffs and infectious tunes are unshakeable. Furthermore, in Rowena Dugdale, the group have an arresting frontwoman whose vocals are clear, distinct, occasionally girlie but also capable of the yearning required for the 'Belle De Jour', 'West Coast Boy Racers' and 'Martyr On The Ropes'; the latter song featuring a killer switch from melancholic slow verses to snappy choruses. Although most songs here clock in at around the three minute mark, 'Chemical' possesses enough ideas and jangly pop to prove Santa Dog aren't just a singles-fixated band; having said that the meandering 'Lucky Me' could definitely have been shortened. The only other criticism is that the album versions of 'Belle De Jour' and 'Rosa' aren't quite as immediate as their EP counterparts but they're still cracking songs. Overall, Santa Dog have reclaimed indie pop's holy grail for England and if they continue in this vein they look like holding on to it for a while yet. 4/5
Tasty Fanzine (UK)
It's the middle of June and I'm having to deal with 10 degree temperatures, black skies and seemingly endless rain. Thank goodness I've had the sparkly summery guitar pop of Bristol's Santa Dog to see me through the last couple of weeks. Not to say Santa Dog are all goodness and light - there's an underlying bitter-sweet theme to many of these tracks which only becomes apparent when you really listen to the lyrics, and even then can lead to you creating sub-texts in your mind. 'Kittyhawk' is also a bit of a retrospective for me, having listened to each of the previous EP releases over the past couple of years. 'Belle de Jour', 'Rosa' and 'Chemical' still sound marvellous - all pristine guitars chiming through a percussion section that is seamlessly tight yet energetic. No wonder the production is of such a flawlessly high standard when you understand that guitarist Rob Williams owns the studio in which the album was recorded and mixed with the rest of the band. But the alchemic secret of this pop gold dust is surely the silken tones of singer Rowena Dugdale. Even tracks as outwardly shouty as 'Yeah Yeah Yeah' see the vocals caressed and nurtured rather than forced. It seems Rowena never needs to really stretch herself to produce an a wonderful sounding vocal track which means the music as a whole never sounds contrived or forced. In fact the whole album is a testament to a band who are clearly at ease with themselves and with one another. My favourite track is still 'Chemical' with it's languid dark lyrics - 'I am not in control - it's the chemicals', effervescent guitar and tumultuous finale. There's a couple of tracks which I am not so fond of - 'West Coast Boy Racer' just seems to get on my nerves for some reason - maybe it's the loungey vibe or the cheesey rimshots on the drums in the first verse. But I'm not going to hold that against Santa Dog - this is a an album of which
they should be very proud.
Unearthed Treasures (UK)
"Their debut single, Big Bang opens the album with gusto. The sound that hits you is coming through the ages. Front woman, Rowena Dugdales's voice is yearning for a duet with Jenny Lewis whilst the music is contemporary but feels like it has a long lost cousin in the sixties....The album progresses from a roaring start with the guitar bleating Are You Hot Enough and the third EP's title track, Belle de Jour. There are a few songs from their previous EP's scattered around Kittyhawk. And why not ? There are some delightful pop songs here, that are still on their first airing to the majority....11 tracks of pop music that fills a void for any emotion out there. You can skate through the summer happiness or glide towards the winter blues. But it's all in here somewhere and it's waiting for you to play it..."
Oxford Bands (UK)
"This Bristol-based female-fronted indie four piece have gigged extensively and the hard work shows on their largely-excellent debut album Kittyhawk. I particularly like this title, suggestive as it is of the two alternate impressions/moods conjured up by the music, namely a rather loveable sweetness balanced by a predatory, aggressive streak. 'Belle de Jour' exemplifies this dichotomy, the jangling guitars and effortless alto of Rowena Dugdale providing irresistible cuteness in spades, while Rob Williams' waspish guitar and the unmistakeable sexuality of the lyrics prevent the song cloying the palate........Summary: top class."
Eardrums Fanzine (Norway)
"Santa dog had me at hello. 'Big Bang' gives the album a perfect kickstart. The beat is great, and I love all the rhythm changes. This is characteristic for the whole album. Great vocal, catchy beats and rhythm, a fantastic guitar sound, and a happy pop sound. Santa Dog represents quality. I can't even pick a favourite song. They are all great."
Scene and Heard (Canada)
"Bristol's Santa Dog was one of the more pleasant surprises during Canadian Music Week 2007. Their debut album is yet another pleasant surprise. There's a "veddy British" sound to the band's shimmering indie pop and frontwoman Rowena Dugdale's engaging vocals will doubtlessly draw comparisons to any number of British female singers including Echobelly's Sonya Aurora Madden or Sleeper's Louse Wener, though she sounds more like a younger Chrissie Hynde......"
"After two tremendously received EPs, Santa Dog readies their debut full-length, "Kittyhawk". Percolating with simmering melodies and delicate guitar pop, "Kittyhawk" departs a bit from the Brit-pop that they had so effortlessly rounded out with their prior efforts. Here, it's more cascading artistic rock with incredible arrangements that are complex led by female vocalist Rowena Dugdale's steady delivery. Santa Dog is a very promising addition to the already bubbling over U.K. underground music scene. Catch on, while you still can!"
Broken Dial (New York)
"Hailing from Bristol, UK, Santa Dog charms up melodic pop until it's classy enough to take out on the town..Kittyhawk gives off a good vibe, and maintains this positivity throughout. Take the candy-coated "Pop Coloured" with its "All I want to do/involves you" hook and holler, and you know it's just about time to dance. And then there's the single "Big Bang," and it's to-the-cosmos chorus pickup that will have you believing in whatever gospel Kittyhawk has.
Burning World (UK)
"I must admit I was getting a bit worried about Santa Dog. It's been a while since we last heard from them but it seems not without good reason. They've been locked inside a studio in Bristol plugging away at their debut album, and here it is. It's called Kittyhawk and it sparkles like a diamond. They seem to have simply carried on from where they left off with last years excellent Belle De Jour E.P. All I need now is for the band to come up and play somewhere in the north of England.."
Noize Makes Enemies (UK)
Santa Dog are a four piece indie-pop band from Bristol, who have provided a debut album full of summery tunes with a dark underbelly. The band is led by the delicate vocals of Rowena Dugdale, who manages to convey emotional power without ever needing to shout her lyrics. The album starts off on a strong note. At first listen 'Big Bang' is a tuneful little song that uses imagery of space travel. Scratch beneath the surface though and it turns into what seems to be an indictment of the big brother surveillance culture. This is typical of the style of this album, a pretty song that actually has a serious message. The album starts to get noticeably darker on the track 'Chemical'. The rippling guitar riff and subject matter of chemical dependency would not seem out of place if Placebo had recorded it. However overall the style of the song is more in keeping with a band like The Sundays. Another stand out track is 'Katy', which tells the tale of a desperate girl fooled into pornography. It's a subject matter I've heard several times in the past, but never with the conciseness and lyrical cleverness of this effort. Couple this with the vocals of Rowena sounding remarkably like Louise Wener of Sleeper and the overall affect is one that sticks in the mind. It is a sign of the internet age that as of this writing the album is only available as a Japanese import. It is good that bands such as Santa Dog are getting many more opportunities to get heard by labels, but at the same time it is frustrating that the shipping costs could be more than the cost of the album. Fortunately all is not lost for UK listeners. A 7" of 'Big Bang' and 'Are You Hot Enough?' is available now, and if you go to iTunes you can download that single and also the The Chemical EP that includes album tracks 'Chemical' and 'Katy'. If there is any justice the band will be able to get a UK distribution deal sorted out. This is an album that deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. This is one of those rare albums that can be enjoyed on many levels. If you just want to listen to a pleasant Teenage Fanclub type band then you'll enjoy this record. You'll also enjoy it if you like to really listen in depth to an album and find the emotional core of the tracks
Delicatessen Magazine (USA)
"We got a lovely little package in the mail from Santa Dog, plucky UK band from Bristol. They've been putting out their own EPs and spreading their music around the world these past two years. In that short time they've attracted attention from SoundsXPerience and Quince Records, which is putting out their debut, full-length album "Kittyhawk" on June 4. It includes some of the best stuff from the EPs ("Chemical" where the vocals go from ethereal to rich), plus new songs, like the first single "Big Bang," out later this month via SoundsXPerience, and "Martyr on the Ropes," fun little song for changeup rhythms and dancing along."
Coast is Clear (Germany)
"poppige melodies, which are strengthened by partly, umspielt sometimes guitar sounds also experimentelleren and over those the voice of singer Rowena Dugdale float......." (Yes, Babelfish translation does funny things)
Lito Music (Spain)
"What we are going away to find in this album muses or belly with the dulzura of the Sundays is songs able to combine the force of groups like throwing. It opens to the disc the Big song Bang. Also we have the one is possibly my favorite song of the group, the surprising Belle de Jour whose agreed of guitar and pegadiza melodía conquered to me as listened to it for the first time.....Really, that the disc I like," (Babelfish translation does more funny things)
Ashton Court Festival 2007 - efestivals.co.uk
You can't argue with good old, jingly jangly rock n'roll when the sun is shining this bright, and Santa Dog deals out plenty of frivolous heart-warming music, doused in that sparkly feel-good factor that can lift even the most persistent of bad moods. The look of Blondie, the hooks of The Cardigans, and the vibe of The Thrills make for a rather good alternative group, and lead singer Rowena Dugdale has mastered the elegance of glamorous chic, with aviator belittling glasses and a sexy black number to boot. Some nice fiddly guitar work from Rob Williams completes a tight outfit, definitely one of the day's highlights.
Ashton Court Festival 2007 - Venue Magazine
Bristol's brightest emerging pop stars. Today, Santa Dog feel like the aural equivalent of a long-overdue summer trip: shimmering pop escapism the likes of which Venue hasn't seen since the majesty of The Sundays over 10 years ago.
The Luminaire, London- SoundsXP
Santa Dog are quite wonderful tonight. They rip Britpop a new arsehole with their muscular sound, which is rockier than we've heard them play before. 'Chemical' breaks heads, 'Belle De Jour' leaps to the floor and gives us a hundred push ups while 'Big Bang' is a fat firecracker of the song. The influences – The Smiths and Prefab Sprout among others - are still there but so bulked up you want to test them for steroids. Rowena shakes her head and Rob W wrings out sounds from his guitar like they've been studying Metallica ..aries while the rhythm section of Martin and impassive bassist-for-this-evening Steve pump out a mighty foundation of rockbeastness. If you've heard the EPs you might think there's an English gentility about them but tonight your thoughts would have been nursing their wounds in the local A&E; because Santa Dog prove they have balls. Here's hoping they're the buoyant sort with today's weather.
The Exeter Hall, Oxford - Colin MacKinnon, Oxfordbands.com
Bristol’s female-fronted four-piece Santa Dog took over and immediately won hearts and minds with the gorgeous three-minute pop wonder, ‘Rosa’. Their cleverness is to combine an external (but completely genuine) sweetness with a dash of something more angular, whether it is a waspish lead guitar line or an unusual bass progression. The Cardigans at their best manage this trick, but most of the other influences that spring to mind are of male-fronted groups such as The Strokes. Singer Rowena has a winning gleefulness which is impossible to resist, smiling sweetly at the audience members even between delivering her lines. Here the influence or at least the philosophy of Franz Ferdinand is evident: if you don’t show your enjoyment on stage, how can you project it onto your audience? The rest of the group were equally comfortable in their skins, playing tightly and sympathetically, no doubt well honed by a serious gigging history. As long as they can stay out of the mass City and Rovers brawls which seem to punctuate the majority of their home gigs, they deserve a great future.
Clinton's, Canada Music Week, march 2007 - Andrew Horan, Scene & Heard Magazine, Toronto
It wasn't particular surprising that Bristol's Santa Dog organized their first dates outside of Europe around Canadian Music Week in the hope that Winnipeg's Paper Moon would be there. Both bands are fronted by a dynamic frontwoman and play sugary sweet power pop songs, though SD's have a rougher edge that's reminiscent of The Pretenders. Rowena Dugdale's vocals were a ringer for Chrissie Hynde's. While their pairing with a couple of aggressive bands might have seemed odd, the quartet managed to retain a healthy portion of the crowd, despite the time slot they were saddled with, and doubtlessly won over more than a few fans. Dugdale further ingratiated herself to the audience by telling them that they were "a lovely, lovely bunch." After their set, she told S&H.ca; that SD's jaunt across the pond had been incredibly successful. If their showing at CMW was any indication, they will doubtlessly move onto bigger and better things.
Clinton's, Canada Music Week, march 2007 - www.torontoist.com
Up next was Santa Dog from Bristol, UK. Their sound was stereotypical Brit-pop-rock, with Rowena Dugdale quietly singing along to Rob Williams' plucky guitar work. Every once in a while Dugdale would start wailing and her delicate frame appeared so overtaken by emotion it seemed it would implode. Luckily, it didn't, and Dugdale swiftly returned to playing her bright yellow guitar and stealing flirty looks from the audience. Cute.
Clinton's, Canada Music Week, march 2007 - itsnotthebandihateitstheirfans blog
The only show I caught at this year's Canadian Music Week was Saturday night at Clinton's on Bloor, where I was eagerly looking forward to seeing how Santa Dog's retro brit-pop sound would translate to our Canadian bar patrons. They did not disappoint, although they definitely had their work cut out for them. They were preceded by Ottawa's Loudlove, who were your typical hard rockin', funky bar band with a bit of ska thrown in for good measure. They were better than average, and they brought the house down (as bar bands generally do in bars.) However, the only logical follow up would have been a 70's band like Foghat, not Santa Dog. But The Dog did not let that deter them from playing a stellar show. Lead singer Rowena Dugdale is just as charming as I expected she would be, and her overall enthusiasm for coming to icy cold Canada (although Saturday's temperature wasn’t too bad), just added to her onstage fervor. It should also be noted that bassist Rob Ash has rock star swagger down to a science, and he also gave those who stuck around a good show! They played several songs from the 'Belle de Jour' EP and also included several cuts from their upcoming full-length 'Kittyhawk' which I’ve listened to and it's fantastic (more on that in a later post.) It was also very nice to meet them and I was very glad to hear that the rest of their visit to Canada had been a rousing success.
Luminaire, London 9/12/06 Whisperin and Hollerin zine
It's always a pleasure to go to Time Out's Venue of the Year and this was no exception. Santa Dog were wicked cool. The lead singer was female and unlike most prissy pop stars or over dramatic rock divas she simply delivered great songs with feistiness and passion. The band put in a great performance. They blatantly love what they do and I got the feeling that they could have happily played up there all night without tiring. I'd definitely recommend catching Santa Dog when they next visit London." 9/10
Now then, I'd been eagerly awaiting Santa Dog's September appearance at the Wunderbar for quite some time. Despite a disappointing turn out for what was for me was a hotly tipped billing, Santa Dog nonetheless shone through with an intimate performance of their sunny-side-up thinking-person's pop. In an ever predictable climate of macho-minded indie-rock, it's so refreshing to see a band who cleverly balance slick style with pure, unashamed 'pop'. The Bristol based four-piece rekindle a nostalgic spirit of big jangly guitars, bristling melody and cool girl fronted charm. Personally, I've taken a real shine to this band since hearing their rather excellent self-released Chemical EP from last year. Santa Dog aren't your average shambling twee-pop band though. No. Instead, their bright, summery pop is punctuated with a dark sinister twist, resulting in glorious pop songs, accessible to many, yet reassuringly intellectual to boot. Think Blondie meets One Thousand Violins. They even play an Undertones cover that ISN Teenage Kicks - how refreshing is that! These guys are seriously good musicians too. Indeed, guitarist Rob Williams cranks up his vintage AC30 playing in a jangly style akin to The Bunnymen or Johnny Marr. The band's line-up has recently been augmented by bassist Rob Ash, who Wunderbar regulars will remember from fellow Bristol popsters The Mighty Stars. Santa Dog resolutely place the capital P back in Pop with cool, effortless charm. Let's hope they make a welcome return to the Wunderbar soon.
Venue Magazine South West Sound, Joe Publics 25/4/06
Stars of the show were Santa Dog, the best indie guitar band in Bristol. Frontwoman Rowena Dugdale 'owned' the stage (when she wasn't doing a Hunting Lodge, off stage dancing with gig-going legend Big Jeff). The entire band seemed to be having the best time ever, as did the crowd. Magnificent.
Purveyors of fine CD packaging design and even finer indie pop nuggets, the lovely Santa Dog offer their 3rd EP to Tasty and by George, it's the best yet. There's a new found sparkliness and glitz (I'm sure I heard a harp towards the end of 'Belle de Jour'?) but it never gets sickly thanks to the dark overtones of the vocals and lyrics, even when they are being playful. If there is any justice in the world (and we all know there isn't) then 'Pop Coloured' would be flowing out of our radios every morning instead of Pussycat Dolls.
Quite digging this CD single called 'Belle De Jour'. It's breezy, brilliantly executed indie pop ala Belly, The Sundays & possibly Echobelly but the singer Rowena reminds me of someone else entirely, her sweet, full voice carrying the title track effortlessly through it's effortless, exuberant gallop towards your heart. This is truly the kind of classic guitar pop that exists in it's own universe, mercifully free of the shackles of hyperbole & trend.
'Rosa' shines in second place, it's polished Smithsian edges appealing to my inner indie kid, 'Pop Coloured' too being a perky mid-paced jangler full of easy to like hooks. Closer '1000 Cranes' is the atmosphere laden slowie, the gentle, heartfelt lull making this a well rounded 4 track treat for lovers of the more commercial end of lady fronted alt pop.
Thankfully the next thing off the pile is Santa Dog's 'Belle De Jour EP'. Finally a band that have decided to ignore any trends and concentrate on just writing some catchy melodies and absolutely cracking songs. It's a very Anglo pop sound and at times, especially on the title track, Rowena sounds a bit like Sonya from Echobelly. Another band oft overlooked, mainly because they purely delivered incessant pop hooks and melodies. The title track is light and sweet, while 'Pop Coloured' is more gentle and pedestrian and features some divine yelps and breathy vocals. They even turn their hand to a ballad with '1000 Cranes' and come up smelling of roses. Stop following fashion and follow Santa Dog instead
Whisperin and Hollerin
Santa Dog encapsulates female fronted indie rock. Intelligent, quirky and brimming with melody, the songs here bring to mind the better material of Sleeper and Isobel Campbell. ‘Pop coloured’ is my personal favourite but all four compliment each other well and there is no weak spot throughout! There are not many decent female front women in indie land these days, so Rowena is a welcome breath of fresh air in an otherwise desolate landscape!
Indie MP3 / Sounds XP
The Belle De Jour EP is the latest release from Bristol's Santa Dog and follows the Delicate and Chemical EPs. The band have obviously gained confidence, especially from the blogging community from which they have slowly built their fan base and this is apparent throughout the self titled lead track. "Oh my god, your skin is so soft..to the touch" sings Rowena as her vocals ooze sexuality as they pierce through the melodic but electrical charged forays ripping through the track. It's simply sublime and could possibly well be their finest moment so far. Rosa is intelligent and thought provoking with some darker elements coming into play. There is no let up on Pop Coloured and 100 Cranes as both are excellent examples of how challenging pop music should and can be regardless of pace or tempo. Again the song writing and arrangements are second to none and the EP is accompanied by yet another stunningly designed cover. In the Chinese horoscope 2006 is the year of the dog. With this superior example of guitar pop, which should be a template for others to follow, the year of the dog may well ring true.
Sparking Pop music from the rather grand Santa Dog. Like all your favourite pop guitar moments melted into one delicious EP.
The new EP from Santa Dog is a great way to start the weekend. The limited edition version (The sleeve design is great and for those that bought the EP early - your name is etched on the inside of the gatefold sleeve!) was waiting for me on my return from the daily grind on Friday evening. Joy. If you haven't being paying attention Santa Dog are a delightful pop band from Bristol, England. They have released two previous EPs. 'Belle De Jour' is another leap forward in quality aided by the arrival of new drummer Martin Maidment. He gives the band a new solidity. It's from this foundation that the new songs build, this is the sound of a band evolving and growing more self assured. Opener and lead track 'Belle De Jour' starts with an electric urgency and Rowena Dugdale's vocal really lifts the song along and with the help of the nifty guitar riff this song will be stuck in your head for days - trust me you'll be humming this one within minutes.
'Rosa' is another cracking example of how Santa Dog excute perfect pop. Intelligent lyrics are under pinned by a great melody. Nice and simple but oh so effective. Rowena Dugdale's vocals are sounding better than ever on this EP - not to say they were bad before, they just seem richer this time around On final track '1000 Cranes' the band showcase a more subtle sound. This is a haunting track that slowly ensnares you. Gentle guitars and vocals interweave to produce my favourite Santa Dog track so far. There is something in the way that the band seem to get the song poised on the edge of take off that is a joy to hear. Santa Dog are a band that are fast improving. They were already a current favourite of mine but this EP really is a step up from anything they have released thus far. Roll on more Santa Dog shows and an LP is much desired by Lostmusic.
Santa Dog are a very typical modern-day British indie band; understated, heavily accented vocals, a slight new wave influence, a hint of the Smiths and Jeff Buckley in its glistening, jangly guitars. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if done well, and Santa Dog do pull it off. In these days of choppy-haired indie dance wannabes, the mere lack of disco rhythms seems incredibly refreshing. Certainly, Santa Dog haven’t exactly torn up the rule book with this EP, but they obviously know how to write a half-decent tune, which is good enough for me.
Their last EP “Chemical” was a terrific display of melodic Brit-pop. They continue in that thread with “Belle de Jour”. Bottling melody and offering it up with bubbly female vocals and raunchy guitar tones, Santa Dog belts out catchy hooks and verses that are mindful of bridging between each chorus but knowing that each part is equally important. The drums are light and steady with few complex parts to get your head wrapped around which is absolutely perfect for this group. That's the best part about Santa Dog, they don’t try to overdo anything; instead you just hear a glide of melodic pop that nuzzles you close and won’t ever bite.
UK Music Search
A Bristol based four piece who write songs that take all the best bits of The Throwing Muses, Echobelly and Belly, distilling them into dizzy three minute nuggets; Santa Dog are a female fronted pop group with elegance.
BELLE DE JOUR, the bands third EP is a collection of songs that skip into your life bringing a ray of sunshine with them. The title track is a spirited slice of upbeat indie pop; unleashing joyous melodies and big bouncy guitar riffs, a sun soaked pop song for these dark winter months ahead. The more forgettable sounding ROSA and POP COLOURED may not quite scrape the same heights, though full marks for some playful yelping on the latter song; its the teary eyed closer here, 1000 CRANES though, a beautiful and poignant climax to proceedings that leaves perhaps the longest lasting impression. An impressive sounding EP, BELLE DE JOUR is the sound of Santa Dog delivering joyous indie rock that somehow makes life seem just that little bit better; as a starting course, this is an appetiser that leaves you gagging to hear more
Bristol's Santa Dog spill the beans about Johnny Depp, speed cameras and solar panels.
1. CD, LP or MP3?
Rob A: 7"
Rob W: LP LP LP LP LP
Rowena: They all have their own merits, but LP gets the warm and fuzzy vote 2. In a nutshell (or any other shell for that matter)
2. how would you describe your music?
Rowena: Sparkly, literate guitar pop
Rob W: Shiny Pop music with energy and soul
Rob A: Sludge Doom
3. What is the reason you wanted to be in a band?
Rowena: Because it's lonely on your own
Rob A: Mass adoration, a big house complete with a guitar-shaped swimming pool and gold discs on each and every wall, a supermodel wife and my own helicopter to travel to gigs in.
Rob W: I like the noise a guitar makes
4. If you could watch two celebrities wrestle, who would they be and why?
Martin: Paris Hilton and Jeffrey Archer. the vacuous and the vapid in a clash of the vulgarian. In a pit of vipers
Rob W: George Bush and Tony Blair - I'd like to see them get hurt
Rob A: I'd like to see whichever tosspot gobsh*te is on the front of the NME this week wrestle with a real-life bear.
Rowena: Johnny Depp (naked please) and Big Bird from Sesame Street, purely for my own twisted pleasure.
5. If a band plays a gig in an empty hall in Stoke do they really make a sound?
Rowena: I really don't care, I'm still thinking about Johnny and the yellow bird.
Martin: Yes. The sound of a tree falling.
Rob A: Yes
Rob W: Yes - I've proved it
6. Who would you want to play you in the movie version of your life?
Martin: Judy Garland
RobA: John Deacon from Queen.
RobW: Johnny Marr
Rowena: Frank Sidebottom in a frock.
7. Are there any new bands that you have played with, or heard, that you think people should be more aware of? Or for that matter, any bands the you feel are criminally underrated?
RobW: Yes - the best gigs are always underattended. Another good reason for being in a band and seeing as many other acts as possible.
RobA: All the best bands are criminally underrated.
Rowena: Babel, The Wraiths, Treehouse Burning, The Francos, Countryside, Attic Lights, Bucky. All great and deserving a wider audience.
8. What are your top five favourite albums?
Rob W: 1. Hawaii - the High Llamas 2. Revolver - the Beatles 3. The Commercial Album - the Residents 4. Marquee Moon - Television 5. Can you still feel - Jason Falkner
Rowena: Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen The Beatles - Abbey Road The Strokes - Is this it Nick Drave - Five Leaves Left Blondie - Parallel Lines
Rob A: Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire De Melody Nelson Super Furry Animals - Mwng Bucky - All The New Mistakes Various - Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the first Psychedelic era 1965-68 Them - Them Again
9. If you were leader of your country for a day what laws would you change?
Martin: Legalise cannabis/outlaw religion/sack all politicians and replace them with scientists
Rob A: I'd pass some laws that would prevent bands like Kasabian and Razorlight releasing records.
Rob W: Abolish the speed limit and speed cameras on motorways : decriminalise cannabis.
Rowena: remove speed cameras, stop trident missile and spend the money on solar panels for roofs.
Link to UK Music Search Interview