Gently moving and outrageously anthemic. Delamere make music that soars and hits in all the right places. Since last summer’s intensely infectious ‘Headstrong’, the band have been quietly working away on their début EP, which is set for release in March. They are also on the bill for what promises to be one of the biggest nights out in Stoke this year, supporting Adam French at the Sugarmill on 30th Jan, for tickets please head here.
But before all that we caught up with lead singer and guitarist, James Fitchford, to talk about his musical upbringing and how a guitar that was originally meant for his sister ended up being a crucial piece of the puzzle that’s led him to where he is now.
Who was the first person to inspire you to pick up an instrument and play?
“The first person I truly remember being inspired by was John Frusciante, I picked up Blood Sugar Sex Magic when I was 10 or 11 on offer from Woolworths. When Californication came out, I was 13 and remember thinking that the guitar sound was amazing. I learned guitar off of that album and spent days playing along to the album.”
What was the first instrument you learned to play?
“The first guitar I could get my hands on was an old electro-acoustic that originally was a gift from my uncle to my sister, this soon wound up in my room, where it stayed.”
When did you realise that music was your passion and you had to pursue it?
“I wouldn’t say I’ve ever sat down and actively thought about pursing music, it’s something I think that has developed over time. Anything from watching a packed-out gig, to smashing out songs in a dingy practise room with your mates invokes a certain feeling, when you’ve been doing it long enough, it just feels the right thing that’s worthy of doing.”
Where did you play your first gig?
“My very first ‘performance’ in front of a crowd was at my schools music competition. We were 15/16 and covered The Offspring’s ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’, we had giant helium filled balloons tied to our guitars and thought it looked mega haha. The first proper gig was with a cover band filled with 16 year old lads at a local working men’s club called The Nash. The place was on the verge of shutting down, yet I think we kept it afloat for a further 6 months due to the hundreds of 13 to 16 year olds that were spending all their pocket money on shit lager and disco piss!!! Quality night!”
What has been the definitive record that has made the most impact on your life?
“The definitive record, hands down I’d say is the Beatles 1 album, massive cop out with it being a greatest hits. My mum had this and would play it start to finish most weekend mornings. I’ve always been a big fan of a good melody, this album is a catalogue of some of the best ever made, not to mention the harmonies!”
What’s your earliest musical memory?
“One of my earliest musical memories is from being very young and living in a pub. My mum and dad would have quite a lot of bands playing throughout the week, when the bands would come and set up and sound check, I remember being mesmerised by the drums. I loved the whole ethos of hit it hard and listen to that great sound. I was given a pair of drum sticks by a drummer in a band, I immediately ran upstairs and broke every skin on my plastic play drum kit!!!”
Who is your favourite songwriter?
“To pick a single songwriter and single them out as my favourite is a tough gig. I think a lot of lies down to current mood. It’s like picking a favourite song, I’ll have a top 5, but I could never give it that title. Favourite songwriter would be between Thom Yorke, Paul McCartney or Jesse Lacey.”
A song lyric that means a lot to me is…
“It’s not so much a song that means a lot to me, but it’s a lyric that I love. The delivery of it obviously adds massively to it. It’s from a Brand New track, ‘The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot’. The lyric is right at the end of a song that is basically an onslaught of a shitty break up, yet it closes with:
“You are the smell before rain, you are the blood in my veins”
It just implies there is still something there, always liked it!”
A song that describes my current mood/frame of mind at this time is…