There's more than your average heart and soul in Freddie and the Hoares' particular take on so-called Folk'n'Roll and the London septet are fast accruing both an impressive following and an excellent reputation for their live shows.
The band's seven wonders are namesake front-man, Freddie Hoare, accordionist Gemma Lawrence, fiddler John Beale, drummer Si Thompson, bassist Jim Rastall and vocalists Elly Yates and Pearl Mackie. Their next London outing comes this Thursday, when they play a free gig (and what better price is there than that, readers?!) at The Bedford in Balham. Here, Freddie tells us a little bit about this promising new act and we've also got a free download of the band's brilliant track, Mr Proudfoot, which you can grab below.
How did the seven of you get together?
The majority of us met in Bristol at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. I roped them in one by one, I think.
You are also an actor. What comes first for you, the music or the acting?
Nothing really comes first or last. I want to make things. The fun is in the making, isn't it, so I don't mind how I'm doing it, really.
Who would you say are you musical influences?
Bob Dylan. At the Drive-In. Leonard Cohen always had the 'cool' I was after. Quite a lot of punk rock, growing up. Friends are a huge influence. You can spend a day with someone and they can unknowingly give you all kinds of ideas to steal and pass off as your own.
When did you start writing music?
Yonks ago. I started playing my dad's guitar primarily to learn the Grand Prix theme tune. Just the Bass line. I thought if I could master that then I could die happy. I think I was about 13 [laughs]. I wrote a good few years' worth of tears and heart break. Guessing at what heart break was like. I remember writing a really long droning song about a withered old girl hanging herself. Nice and happy. First song I wrote for a band was just about a van, though, so that was a real game changer, I think.
How does appearing on stage in a play differ for you from performing music live?
I'm not sure, really. Lots of ways. Sometimes I feel like there's less rules with music. That might not actually be true, though.
Do you get the time to go to see many live gigs in London yourself?
Yeah, well the great thing about playing music is the other groups you meet along the way. Most of the music I listen to in my spare time is from those groups. That's folk music, I suppose. No middle-man.
Sell Freddie and the Hoares' live shows to us. What are they like?
Really bloody good. Too good, probably. People walk out to phone their families to tell them how much they love them.
So we should get pretty excited about the Bedford gig, then?
We're really looking forward to playing there, actually! I've heard great things about it. I expect to rather enjoy myself. You can expect to see us rather enjoying playing to you.
Is there going to be a full-length album in the near future?
Well, yes but we need the funding to do it properly. We record things bit by bit and then the money runs out so there's a quite a few songs queuing up. If a record company would hurry up and sign us it would make things a lot easier. I mean that in a polite way.