Over here at Gigslutz we like to bring you the best, the exciting and the freshest bands that you should be shouting about right now and we’re about to introduce you to your new favourites (don’t ever say we don’t love you). Shopping are the addictive, sassy and all round bloody brilliant post-punkers that are hot footing their way onto to everyones ‘ones to watch’ playlists. Formed in East London in 2012 by members Rachel Aggs (guitar), Billy Easter (bass) and Andrew Milk (drums), SHOPPING forge an itchy, angular explosion of propulsive bass lines, primitive disco-not-disco drums and guitar lines sharp as broken glass. Their debut album ‘Why Choose’ is energetic, utterly engaging and down-right addictive, and on-stage they’re no different.
We had a natter to Rachel to talk about where we can be catching them live in the next few weeks, oh and what her favourite shop is (obviously).
Hey SHOPPING! How festive are you feeling currently?
Can you tell us a little about the band, and how you came to be, for any of our readers just stumbling upon your noise?
Andrew and I met in 2008 when he messaged me on MySpace and asked my band to play at his house party. We stared a band with some other friends called Covergirl (named after the ru Paul song) and we asked billy to join cus we loved her band WETDOG. Covergirl was a really fun and kinda wild disco queercore band but it started to fall apart after a while so the three of us decided to start Shopping as a more streamlined version of that band. It ended up sounding pretty different but the central ethos of fun and party vibes remains I think.
Your lyrics, song titles and more obviously the band name all play with the ideas behind consumerist ideals. Was it always the idea to be a band with a bit of a ‘social commentary’?
We didn’t plan anything when we first started making music together – we just wanted to see what would happen. A lot of the song lyrics started as jokes around the band name and it just seemed fun to riff on a theme of consumerism, we didn’t expect people to take us so seriously! In retrospect I think it’s great to have a chance to make a noise about and express some of the frustrations we all have with a capitalist, consumerist system – I feel like money/control/greed/instant gratification is a pretty good theme for a band nowadays, it runs through all of our lives and is at the root of a lot of our problems. We never planned to be a political band but it does seem to have evolved into something bigger than a private joke – if people can relate to our music and it gives them 30 mins out of life to cut loose for a cathartic kind of freak out dance party time then that’s great and most definitely a political act. ‘Social commentary’ sounds a bit too stiff and serious tho, if anything we are laughing at ourselves.
It seems you’re currently on everyones ‘ones-to-watch’ list for 2016! As exciting as this (and well deserved!), how are you guys dealing with that attention?
Haha! We are?? Cool! I hope it means people will come to our shows and dance!!
You just got back from shows in the USA, and jumping straight into a UK tour. How do you find life on the road? Do you think live shows are still an important way to grab the attention of fans in the digital age?
YES. We all love it! For me playing live is the most important part of making music – or it’s the part I enjoy most – I’m really bad at communicating on the Internet, I know some people find it really liberating and creative but i’m prone to intense shyness in social situations so for me ‘social media’ is that feeling X1000 – so I prefer to channel everything I’m feeling into what I do on stage. I feel like it’s really important to look people in the eye, to make some kind of genuine connection however fleeting… Every time I see some one in the crowd put down their phone and just dance it’s like we’ve won a small victory. I feel like when we make recordings they are like tools to help people get into the songs so that they can come to our gigs an dance and sing along.
You’re playing @100 club next week, so being Londoners yourself, do you have a favourite music venue that you love catching new bands at?
We all work and practice at Powerlunches in Dalston so we are a bit biased towards that place.. Also DIY space for London in Peckham is a really inspiring place set up by a lot of our friends.
‘CONSUMER COMPLAINTS’ the album is fucking fantastic, how would you sum it up to a new listener,bout to pick it up in just 3 words?
Sharp, sassy, fun
What can we be expecting from SHOPPING for 2016?
Lots more touring! Really excited to be playing Stewart lee’a ATP festival in April !
Finally, what’s your favourite shop? I quite like a Wilkos, because you always need something from a Wilkos right?
I like cash converters, I just bought an aged iPod from there for 12 quid, to go with my ancient laptop.
Catch Shopping live at one of these dates (and have a little dance):
8th December – 100 Club, London
9th December – Start The BUs, Bristol
10th December – Bumper, Liverpool
11th December – Night & Day Cafe, Manchester
12th December – Crescent Club, York
13th December – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
15th December – The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow
16th December – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
17th December – Picture House Social, Sheffield