Thursday, January 7

Incoming 004: Frankie & The Heartstrings

. Thursday, January 7

My love for this band is big and if they carry on the way they’ve been going then 2010 will belong to these Mackem's. I was lucky enough to catch up with singer Frankie and guitarist Pete late last year for a feature that is in the current Clash Magazine (Out today)

They don’t make ‘em like Frankie and The Heartstrings any more. The band are currently unsigned but are courting interest every where they go and it’s easy to see why. Indebted to a lineage of vintage indie bands like Pulp, Orange Juice and The Smiths they make retro-romantic anthems full of swooning and crooning that impressed Florence Welch so much she asked the fledgling group to support her and The Machine on tour. The groups North-East roots permeate to their soul and singer Frankie says of Sunderland (where he still works in Oxfam), “You're 'from' Sunderland, no matter where you are in the world. Just ask Bryan Ferry. Dude's still a miner's son from Washington, no matter how many Hunts he attends.”

Despite being unsigned (We’re waiting for the right label to sweep us off our feet”) Frankie and The Heartstrings recently released a Double A-Side single on Rough Trade. Limited to just 777 copies it includes the exuberant ‘Fragile’ (“Sort of our theme tune”) and ‘Fragile’ which Frankie coyly says is “About a girl but let’s leave it at that.” Both songs imbue an atmosphere of bedroom mixtapes and small town nightclub romance and are available on the bands lovingly created website PopSexLtd. Pop Sex is more than just a merchandise store though as drummer Pete Gofton explains, “The easiest way to describe it, is 'a catalogue of our Collective Obsessions'. Already acting as a museum for Heartstrings memorabilia it is thoughtful touches like this that set the band aside from the pack.

Sharp of tongue and big of heart The Heartstrings find inspiration in the kitchen sink mundanity of life and list Charles Bukowski and director Mike Leigh amongst their influences. They also have a special place in their heart for TV maestro Phil Redmond, “Just the look of Brookside”, says Frankie, “muted, soggy colours, the red brick new town estates where most of us and our peers grew up- says so much about where we're from and what we are (or don't want to be).”

Frankie, if you can’t already tell, is a bona-fide star and is sure to set many an indie girls heart a flutter however one recent review compared him to ‘Gok Wan crossed with Morrissey... “There are so many lookalikes in the band though, we have a Jack Bauer, a Yorkshire Ripper, a Russet Jarvis Cocker, a Kitten from Big Brother” It’s a now defunct girlband The Heartsrings most aspire to emulate though, “We'd much prefer to be a Spice Girl each (For the record; Frankie- Posh/Michael- Ginger/Dave- Scary/Pete- Baby/Dennis-Sporty)”

MP3: Frankie & The Heartstrings- 'Possibilities'


Gerlin said...

Hello. I like this interview, and your blog. I think I just loved Frankie & The Heartstrings even more!

Chris said...

Great band, 2010 should be a good year for them. If you haven't heard their stuff check out here there's some free downloads and a music video to check out.

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