In The Middle with The Shimmer Band

The Shimmer Band are one of the latest bands to emerge on the alternative music scene. Originally from Bristol, their music has been described as a sort of psychedelic rock. On Thursday night, they played Brudenell and The Gryphon got a chance to chat to their lead singer, Tom Newman.

Tom said that the band were “really looking forward to the gig and to our own tour that’s coming up. That should be cool”. The band also have plans to hit this summer’s festival scene. “We’re doing Kendall Calling, Truck Fest, loads of them! We’re doing lots of the city festivals. It’s a great way to play to loads of people. You meet loads of new fans.”

When comparing playing festivals to normal gigs Tom said, “festivals are really cool because you get to play to an audience that you probably wouldn’t usually play to. But then your own gigs are cool because people know your songs well don’t they? They tend to sing along and get into it more.” A highlight gig for Tom was supporting Stereophonics at Cardiff City Stadium. “We were playing to 20,000 people so that was pretty amazing. Coming out on stage there was a proper rush so that was pretty special.”

Tom described the band’s sound as “constantly developing. We try to make things as uplifting as possible. We’re big fans of creation records and bands like Primal Scream, Jesus and Mary Chain, Super Furry Animals. All those big, colourful rock and roll bands. I think that’s sort of what we’re striving for.” He said that writing the songs is “always different. Sometimes we have a bassline, sometimes it’s a melody. We don’t have a set way of doing it.”

The band started to emerge on the Bristol alternative scene in 2014. According to Tom, “Bristol is very musically diverse. There’s a lot of dance and hip hop. It’s not such a band-y city but there’s always good music to go and watch. There’s lots of decent venues. So it’s a pretty good city for music.” Talking about the opportunities for up-and-coming bands, he said “the last 12 months we’ve been gigging there has definitely been a noticeable surge of new bands. Decent bands! The bill tonight is us, Cabbage and April. We’re all relatively new and I think this is one of the best new music tours of the year.”

Tom says that the band’s plans for the rest of the year are to “keep putting out singles and touring and doing the festivals in the summer. Then I think later in the year we’ll probably put out an EP.” So there’s lots to look out for from The Shimmer Band.

Katie O’Kelly


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