Manchester’s The Tapestry have been feted by a number of musical luminaries including Liam Gallagher and Gaz Coombes and are co-headlining the inaugural ‘Gigslutz Presents…’ night on Saturday 18th July at the New Cross Inn, London. We caught up with Liam, Katy and Zara from the band to discuss touring, infatuation and nepotism in the music industry…
Hello Tapestry. What have you been up to this week?
Liam: Just the usual week in work, paying the rent. Got band practice tonight though, so looking forward to that; got a few new ideas. Apart from that, came second in the pub quiz on Tuesday, got stitched up with a Doctor Who question.
Zara: We’ve been writing some new material, we’re hoping to get a few new tracks together for a new release soon.
How does it feel to have Liam Gallagher endorse your music as “f*****g tunes!”?
Zara: It’s a weird one the whole Liam Gallagher thing, as he doesn’t exactly endorse our music, he just happened to be at one of our gigs and was good enough to stay and watch and liked what he heard. There really wasn’t anything more to it, but it’s always nice to hear you’ve impressed one of your peers and it was nice to finally meet him.
Katy: Yeah he was a top bloke, down to earth and a good laugh. It was great to see him being so enthusiastic while watching the set. He was on a bender that night though, so could have been the booze talking. I believe he got thrown out of a pub in London the next afternoon after being on it with us lot that night.
Liam: It was one specific tune he shouted that at whilst we were playing a gig at The Queen of Hoxton, but we’ve dropped it from the set now! Nah, only messing, it was humbling definitely. Also had a good crack with him after the set. Exceeded our expectations and was a true gentleman. We’re happy for anyone to say we’ve got tunes to be honest. Whether it be Liam Gallagher, someone hearing us for the first time, or my mam. We’ve taken orders for our vinyl from all over the world. The fact our music is getting as far as places like Japan is great.
You’ve opened tours for bands such as The Courteeners, The View, The Strypes, Young Knives, Gaz Coombes, and Pete Doherty. If it’s possible, can you pick a favourite moment from any of these shows?
Liam: Being on the road for a week with The Courteeners was top, playing to packed venues every night. As was playing with The View, down to earth normal lads and a top laugh. The Strypes are good kids too, and it was great meeting Chris Difford who looks after them. Watching Pete Doherty was quite sad in the middle of his smack phase with vomit on his trousers. Not a pretty picture. Favourite was probably supporting Gaz Coombes. Supergrass were the first band I saw live, probably one of Katy’s most watched bands too. He picked us himself to open, and was courteous, kind and everything you want your favourite musicians to be when you are luckily enough to meet them.
Katy: Yeah The Courteeners week was top, but the Gaz Coombes support certainly stands out. Mainly for the fact that he personally asked for us after hearing about us while he was on a night out in Manchester a few months ago. It’s good to know that the word is spreading, especially when it’s a songwriter like Gaz who we have massive respect for.
Your recent video for ‘Infatuation’ (filmed in beautiful Norway), features a young woman who is so obsessed with an unobtainable man that she resorts to criminal activity to get his attention. Are there any bands or musicians you are infatuated with to this extent?
Zara: Haha, no! I may have broken the law a few times to see a band but never anything that bad.
Katy: I’ve always been pretty obsessed with Beck as an artist and musician and I’d love to meet him, but I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to stalk anyone and tie them up in the boot of a car… though I have been tempted to do that to Dyna when he’s doing my head in on a six hour journey to London for a gig.
Zara: That’s why he’s not turned up for this interview!
Liam: I’d crawl over broken glass for four days straight, just to blow on one of Bowie’s turds.
You are regularly selling out your own shows in Manchester; what are the differences between the Manchester music scene and the London music scene?
Liam: To be honest I don’t really think there is a scene in either city, especially not where we are concerned. We’ve always done our own thing regardless of what is flavour of the month. Psych has been pretty big in Manchester for quite a while, and we obviously don’t fit in with that ‘cos we’ve got pop songs and I only step on the delay pedal in one tune. In Manchester we’ve always got a massive crazy crowd time after time, but still no scene with us, just a massive family of amazing weirdo’s like ourselves. London audiences are always kind to us too, and we’re big fans of an away-day in the Capital.
Zara: I think Manchester has a great scene at the moment. There are some great bands around at the minute. I think the London scene definitely has the advantage of having a lot of industry types around. I find that the London music scene is more eclectic, Manchester produces a lot of indie or rock bands but in London I’m always really surprised by at least one band on a bill who’s thought out of the box a little.
Katy: I don’t know about a scene as such, but our hometown gigs are always going to be very different to anywhere else, as it’s our own crowd of family and friends and people who have been following us for the last few years. We always seem to get an overwhelming reaction in London though. People seem to get us, which I don’t think is always easy for a northern band playing down south. London is definitely one of our favourite places to play for that reason. Some of our past gigs in London have almost been as crazy as the Manchester ones!
We made ‘Infatuation’ a Track of the Day last year (30.12.14) and you’re playing the first ‘Gigslutz Presents…’ show in London with Pusher on July 18th. What can we expect from you on the night?
Liam: We can’t wait for this, ‘cos we love the work you do and the platform you give bands such as us. Pusher are absolutely ace too, our favourite band around at the moment. We’ve crossed paths a lot and are good friends now. Even though we’re quite differently musically, they have the same ethos and drive as us, and mean it too; they’re real. Last time we played together was in Brighton at The Great Escape. We were having a laugh at the bar and some industry tool said‘there’s too many northerners in here’. Get fucked! It will probably end up being a debauched affair. You’ll see two fine bands on the way too!
Katy: It will definitely be a messy one. Them lot are as daft as we are.
Zara: I’ve been really into the Gigslutz live sessions and interviews for a while now, so was over the moon when I heard you’d given us track of the day. I’m really looking forward to doing the gig, it should be a great night. Pusher are a fantastic live band.
You’ve used your social media platforms to vent about the UK festival rejections you’ve experienced this summer. Is the business truly a “corrupt backslapping snake pit”?
Liam: Yes it is, and people don’t even realise how much so. It’s all about who you know. Very, very little is on merit or the quality of your music. We constantly watch bands overtake us with better contacts and mediocre songs! We’ve applied to hundreds of festivals and got knocked back from them all. Last year we played a major festival, and the guy running it told us bluntly we were only on as a favour to a mutual friend, so we have been party to this kind of thing first hand. These people aren’t arsed about your music or art, just backslapping and their own agenda.
We’ve been doing this for years, and have also had to play the game in hopes of getting somewhere, but we’ve got the point where we’re sick of playing by these rules. We don’t have management or contacts at all, so this hinders you greatly. Very, very little is on how good your songs are or live show is. Especially being four Northern working-class people with no backing, money, or rich parents to fund our rock and roll dream; we’re at a point where hard work, doing everything ourselves, and driving round the country at weekends in a cramped fiesta, can only take bands like us to a certain level these days. That’s why we valued Gaz Coombes support so much, as he’d come across a song of ours and invited us out.
We’re just gonna keep playing and not let this corrupt system beat us. We’ll keep recording songs and having a laugh along the way. That’s the best you can hope for these days, but you do want to believe that eventually the quality of the music will shine through the bullshit.
You released ‘Infatuation/Look Out’ on 26th January earlier this year. What’s next in the recording pipeline?
Liam: We’ve got a track recorded which is finished and the best thing we’ve ever done. So we’re sort of trying to plan the next steps, earn dough from gigs to book more studio time, sort of living hand to mouth. Hopefully we’ll be getting an EP out as soon as its feasible for us to do so.
Katy: Yeah we’re just putting an EP together at the moment, so we’ve got a bit more recording to do yet. We’ll probably release it when we feel like it. We can’t really be arsed with all the bullshit and fanfare. We’re going to just let the music speak for itself.
Your music is energetic and there’s a real sense of comradeship amongst you that translates well both aurally and visually. Is being in The Tapestry as fun as it looks?
Liam: In the practice room its horrible! However, out on the road and gigging is the best thing in the world. I’ve had the best fun and times of my life with this band, and got enough stories and memories to last a lifetime. It’s proper fun, we always say the gig is just a small part of the night, all our crowd in Manchester are like one big family now where everyone knows each other through coming together to the gigs.
Katy: It’s always fun on stage, but we work hard practicing and writing the songs which always leads to arguments. We pretty much hate each other when it comes to that! Aren’t all bands like that though?! Who knows. It’s only because we all really care though, and we’ve got pretty high standards when it comes to deciding which new songs make the cut. The energy and fun we have on stage is probably a direct result of that, and letting it all out in the performance.
Zara: I was last into the band, and remember seeing them live and liking them before I joined because the gigs were so electric and so much fun, so I hoped that would cross over when I became a member; and it most definitely did. I love being on the road with these guys, I’ve never laughed so much and done so many outlandish and crazy things in all my life.
Finally, what bands are you looking forward to seeing this year?
Liam: Gonna go watch Sun Kil Moon at the Royal College of Music next month, so looking forward to that, and Duran Duran have just announced a tour too, so mega excited for that.
Zara: Always love watching the Orphan Boy lads and they’re back in Manchester soon at Sound Control, so we’ll be heading down to that too.
The Tapestry play the following dates in July (more details on the band’s Facebook page here)
17th The Fleece, Northallerton
18th New Cross Inn, London
25th Blackthorn Music Festival
31st The Spread Eagle, York