March 2020 was certainly unforgettable for us all. But this is also the date that marked the beginning of Interesting Wallpaper, a Southampton based band who have now released their first EP.
Pete Harvey, the lead singer and song writer, explained they started as a trio, and due to the timing, they went quiet for a while. However they still released ’51 Western Road’ in 2020, a catchy fun song that carries Southampton memories. They continued meeting up for rehearsals and working on the new songs as lockdowns allowed over the last two years.
This is just one of the songs Pete wrote for the band. But the EP songs were actually written during international ‘February Album Writing Month‘ last year, which involved writing 14 songs in the 28 days of the month.
Pete embraced this project with serious dedication and, with the support of Alex Parent (on bass) and Charlie Brown (on drums), all these songs became a very real live project.
The band have been playing their songs in various venues in the city, and over the months the band kept growing both as a solid band, but also in number. Leyanne Coombs joined them in vocals shortly after the first gigs, and more recently Pip Borthwick (saxophone), who brough an extra jazzy dimension to their sound.
You may wonder where the band’s name came from. Pete explained he came up with the name after a solo gig that he did, where he felt exposed, lonely and uncomfortable.
“I thought it would be great to have a little cabaret combo with me, so that we could just play and people could tune in or out as they wished, we’d be like interesting wallpaper,” he explained.
Their recently launched EP is only a small example of the fun engaging tunes they have been sharing when they play live. 40 days, Sleeping Lions and Righteous Sound cover different ideas and themes, but they all will definitely stay in your ear and your mind, with their vibrant, rich pop sound.
Furthermore, Interesting Wallpaper’s versatility goes beyond their songs. If you have ever seen them live, you may have also experienced poetry. As a local poet, I too joined them in between the lockdown periods, and had the great privilege of having Pete Harvey and Alex Parent composing music to go with some of my poems. I bring this up, because it has been such an enjoyable pleasure performing with the band, and because it places me in a comfortable position to speak about their music, which I have seen performed live many times.
Therefore, while in conversation with Pete for this article, I asked him how he would describe Interesting Wallpaper to someone who is not familiar with their sound, to what he quite cheekily replied that maybe he could leave that to me, and maybe I could put it in a poem.
Well, Pete, challenge accepted:
Interestingly you will not remain passive,
as the name suggests,
you will be compelled to dance
to the pop wave of righteous sounds and beats.
You will not be a sleeping lion,
you will want to sing along.
And you will rejoice, for 40 days at least,
in the wings of their song.
And if this was still not clarifying enough, excellent! Go listen to their EP and make sure you go to their upcoming gigs, and experience it for yourself.
Railway Inn, Winchester Saturday 28th January 2023 with Martin Stephenson
Big Bursfest, Saturday 25th Feb 2023
Listen to EP here:
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