In the last two years folk music has had a huge push from the Marling, the Mumfords and to an extent the Goulding, but setting the standard beforehand were Tunng. Combining folk with electronic influences, they gained a special place in our hearts with the adorable and infectious Bullets. Now playing their 4th album '...And Then We Saw Land', we caught up with frontman and songwriter Mike ahead of their biggest show yet at The Forum on Saturday.
Introduce yourself to those who might not yet have met Tunng...
Tunng has been around since 2004 and in that time we’ve made 4 records. There are 6 of us. The first records were more minimal electronica with a kind of pagan folk acoustic song writing mix and now we’ve been described as “epic folk disco brass magnificent”!
Whereabouts in London is your home? And where are you from originally? Do you miss anything about it?
I live in Clapton Pond but as a band we're spread all over. I think Clapton has a real community feel - there's lots of house parties here. If you have a bike its so easy to get anywhere from here - our studio is in old street which is about 15 minute ride away through London Fields and Columbia Road. I love that ride.
My hometown is Southampton. It’s been a long time since I’ve lived there. There were only really 5 places me and my friends could go out. Everywhere else you had to wear the same shirt and shoe combo or they wouldn’t let you in. I hate that.
What's been the most important London location in Tunng's life so far?
It has to be a clothes shop on the corner of Marshal St and Ganton St in Soho called ‘Joie'. I had a basement studio there for 3 years and you had to go through the tiny changing room to get downstairs. It really freaked out the poor customers when they had just tried something on and gone to pay and then turn round to see 3 bearded men come out of the changing room. That’s where the 1st Tunng album was made.
What's your favourite London venue and why?
I always like seeing bands at the Scala. When I first moved here I used to go there a lot and always wanted to play there. It’s a great size, not too big and it's got that mini double balcony so when its full it seems to kinda throb. We played there a few years ago and it was an emotional night.
You're playing the forum on Saturday? What can we expect from the show?
We’re very excited it’s a really big show for us! We're headlining and then we've invited 3 other bands to play with us. Hannah Peel is an amazing twisted psychedelic pop wonder - her debut album is coming out on Static Caravan very soon. Gable are a 3 piece from France who totally blew us away when we played with them recently - it’s kind of very dark nursery rhymes, wonky electronics and an unforgettable performance twist. Then we have Sam Amidon from America who has the most hypnotic voice playing with American folk songs. He will be joined by a drummer who also plays bass with his neck! Tunng will play a mixture of tunes from all our records and also we will be bring back Sam Genders who is the original singer for a few song.
Can you think of an unusual London location that would be awesome to play a gig at?
I like the idea of playing a gig on the London Eye with each pod having a different band and each band an audience of 15 people - so there’s say 50 pods all with there own half hour gig happening at the same time whilst spinning over London town! Unlikely but good!
What other new London bands / artists should we be checking out?
And finally what's your London secret?
The best lift/elevator in London is in the Royal Festival Hall . I have spent an afternoon just going up and down that lift. It sings to you!!
Tunng play The Forum on Saturday night. Tickets are still available