Saturday, October 24, 2009


Wednesday, August 29, 2007 

British seems to be full of new bands at the moment. Whatever beans it is that they're on, 747s give the impression they're jellybeans rather than the flatulent baked beans of their NME/Carling-sponsored "indie rock" contemporaries. Their name encapsulates singer Oisin Leech's recurring idea of 'moving forward' and is a reminder of their geographical links, each member being from a different country (Ireland, England, Italy and Germany). Formed through chance busking encounters in Naples and Dublin, 747s music is a mix of The Kinks storytelling rock with Supergrass's tight harmonies and seems to be pushing all the right buttons if support slots for The Strokes, The Raconteurs and Futureheads are anything to go by. Which, it seems, they are.

"The gigs have all been really, really good." Says Leech, currently taking a break from playing a pub gig in Omagh, Northern Ireland. "We've been writing and chilling out up here. Just been playing away and working towards the next album. The songs are getting better and more melodically stronger."

Though there does seem to be a huge bunch of imaginative and exciting British rock bands at the moment, Leech doesn't feel a part of any scene. "To be honest I'd never heard of The Young Knives and The 1990s until we played with them in the London Calling Festival in Amsterdam. They're both great, really interesting bands, but we never chose to be part of any music scene at all." Instead, he lights up at the suggestion a music-hall tradition to their music. "My grandmother grew up in an old music hall in Northern Ireland. She spent her whole life there, from a very early age her job was greeting the bands and all that type of thing, so maybe it's rubbed off on me. In tunes like Rain Kiss and Miles Away I think it's very apparent." Both tracks off last year's well-received Zampano album, the nature of performance links many of the songs, you can feel they're born from being played live, though the production (from Arctic Monkey's producer Mike Crossey) never lets them sound stage-bound.

Theatricality has always been interwoven in European music, and, given their multicultural background it's easy to see how 747s have developed this honest busking-honed tightness and fondness for telling stories. "I loved theatre directing in college, loved Checkov. It's nice to put a bit of theatre into the tunes." says Leech. The importance of the audience is something Leech clearly loves about music. "Busking and traveling is great because you get to really learn how to respect your audience, you quickly learn what tunes work and what tunes don't. You really learn how to move forward. The most important thing in music is the performer and the audience, everything else in between is secondary."

As a man who places so much importance in the lyrical and melodic sensibility of a song, Leech professes to being inspired by both inner optimism and by the world he set out to explore as a traveling busker years before. "You can find a lot of magic in everything around you, or you can sit around and find a lot of negativity. It's obviously important to be aware of everything that's going on in the world, but at the same time there is a lot of beauty and magic. We have our days where we're quite moany and negative, at the same time there is a lot of beauty out there. I suppose that comes across in our music, we don't try to go out of our way to be positive y'know, we're just trying to move forward and be aware of the problems in the world and at the same time...sink or swim."

No comments:

Post a Comment