Friday, February 10, 2017

Closer encounters

Dom Gourlay interviewing Six By Seven's Chris Olley? It's like 2000 all over again. Gourlay was a contemporary of mine when I was in Nottingham, my opposite number as music editor at Nottingham Trent's student publication Platform, while Six By Seven were the city's best band - indeed, as Olley notes, probably one of the only bands of any note at all.

It's entirely fitting that it feels like the turn of the millennium, though, given that that's the period they're talking about, by way of previewing the vinyl reissue of The Closer You Get, a new Best Of and a pair of promotional gigs in Nottingham and London in March featuring the original line-up reunited for the first time in 17 years.

Olley's ramblings aren't always coherent (complaining about "the system" and record label pressures but also insisting that getting a record deal is the best advice he can give new bands, for instance), but he's as engaging an interviewee as ever. He also comes across as somewhat embittered by his experiences and obsessed with money, but then who can blame him when Six By Seven never really received their due, other than glowing critical reviews, which unfortunately can't pay the bills. He's right to be enthusiastic about the current healthy state of Nottingham's music scene (making a point to mention the variety of venues and the influence of promoters DHP as well as the bands), a sharp contrast to when Six By Seven set out, and also right to describe 2013's Love And Peace And Sympathy as "a great record" (seriously, I'd venture it's their best). The Closer You Get deserves the reissue-and-played-in-full-live treatment - it's just a shame it's not economically viable to turn it into a tour that might call in somewhere closer to Cardiff.

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