So if you read my review of Saturday at Wales Goes Pop! 2016, you probably could have guessed that I was pretty stoked to interview Peaness. With this being only my second ever attempt at holding an interview (the first being with the lovely, Baby Brave), I was nervous and Peaness’ incredible performance only made my nerves higher and my excitement intensify. But the lovely ladies of Peaness quickly calmed my nerves. Soon after their set, we sat down in the cafe to have a chat about the festival, local music scenes, ugly politicians, Johnny Depp and their brand new single, ‘Oh George‘.
Interview with Jess, Balla & Rach of Peaness:
RRW: Hey guys! *tries and fails to not fangirl* So, not just for interview purposes but purely out of genuine interest; you write some pretty politically driven lyrics that just make damn catchy pop songs, how does that even happen? Is there a particular writing process?
J: With ‘Oh George‘, we didn’t want it to be really… obvious. The chorus came to us first, you (Balla) came in with the chords and I just started singing words, it became the chorus and it just stuck.
The song in question, ‘Oh George’ is (un)inspired by George Osborne and the recent (and let’s be honest, constant) betrayal by the UK Tory government. Without context, ‘Oh George’ is presented as a break-up song. But I won’t spoil it for you, for more on ‘Oh George’ carry on reading for my review of the single below.
B: Some of the words came from seeing his [George Osborne’s] face on TV. His face just makes me SO ANGRY, so does David Cameron’s, so do all of their faces, so that’s what inspired the lyric “all your friends are just as bad, all your faces make me mad”.
RRW: So is ‘Oh George‘ going to be part of an EP, or are there solid plans for an album soon?
R: Well, I’m having a knee operation coming up so we’ll be quiet for a while around then.
RRW: Knee? That’s a bit shit for a drummer.
R: Yeah, but we’ve got pretty much everything sorted for the next EP so it’s ok.
J: Yeah, we’re releasing ‘Oh George‘ on April 15th. Like Rach said, we’ve got everything sorted for the next EP so we’re not in a rush. Maybe an EP in like… June? In the summer? Summertime.
RRW: Going back to today at Wales Goes Pop!, how was it for you?
J: Well, there were a lot of people in the room and they didn’t leave, so that’s a good thing
RRW: Yeah, and I have actually seen that happen this weekend, I saw a band play the theatre and people just leaked out. People aren’t afraid to leave if they think it’s rubbish so you must have done alright
J: Oh god, really? Oh well that’s good to know.
J&B: Yeah and it’s a big stage too and we’re only a small band and we were kind of just in the middle.
RRW: Well, you certainly owned the stage regardless.
J&B: Thank you, people seemed to enjoy it… I think. I saw someone singing along. There were a lot of people stood still, like some people had their eyes closed. Cardiff crowds seem to be quiet… still and stand there listening and taking it all in and appreciating the music. But there were some people nodding and tapping their toes along as well. So, yeah, think people liked it.
RRW: I’m sure people loved it, they seemed pretty engaged. I noticed someone singing as well. You did great! How do your shows go down elsewhere? I know you’re from Chester and you’ve played a few shows up that way, is there much of a local music scene there?
J&B: A lot of bands from Chester tend to play cities like Manchester and Liverpool. There doesn’t seem to be much of a music scene in Chester. There’s a folk music scene, people are into folk, but not much else goes on… unless it does and we’re just not there.
RRW: Is it nice coming down here then if there’s not much going on in Chester? Or is it a bit daunting travelling pretty far?
J&B&R: I feel like we’re pretty well-accepted in the Cardiff scene, we’ve had a lot of support from people down here and from Sŵn Fest and stuff like that. It’s nice to come down here and see that there are people who actually want to watch us.
RRW: You mean like FANS? well there’s definitely one sat here *waves* you can thank Adam Walton for that too. I heard you guys for the first time on his radio show. Speak of the devil, I’m hoping to come up to Chester when you play Telfords with Campfire Social.
J: We’re looking forward to that one, we love Campfire Social. We’re looking forward to Focus Wales as well.
RRW: I was meant to be going to that, but I’m going to Lisbon to watch Johnny Depp play guitar, which is something I keep trying to mention in every conversation I have because I’m so excited. I’ll definitely try and come up to Chester though. Thanks so much for having a chat and I’ll hopefully see you in June!
J&B&R: Yes, would be great if you could come up! Thank you!
‘Oh George’ single review:
So we already know a little bit about ‘Oh George‘: we know it’s written and performed by a super lovely, super cool, super talented and all-round super band called Peaness (best band name I’ve heard in a long time, by the way). We know it’s pretty much brand new – it was only released last week.
We know it’s “Un-inspired by the recent UK government changes made by chancellor tory tyrant, George Osborne“. We also know that despite its heavily political influence, ‘Oh George‘ doesn’t immediately strike you as a ‘typical’ statement song. On the surface, it appears to be more of a feisty break-up song, and you feel like smacking this loser called ‘George’ who broke the hearts of Peaness in his weasel face. You also might feel empowered, which is odd for what seems to be a ‘break-up song’. It’s light-hearted and uplifting, not as you’d imagine either a break-up song or a politically-driven song to sound. ‘Oh George‘ feels as though it’s trying to look on the bright side, which is one thing that is appropriate for both interpretations of the song.
We also know it’s available on iTunes, Spotify (yuck) and, the most helpful outlet for the band themselves, Peaness’ Bandcamp.
But most importantly, we know it’s an effortlessly flawless, spirited indie-pop anthem with an infectious rhythm, a melody that even ABBA would be jealous of and a chorus that’ll have you bursting into song as you bounce down the street, with or without your headphones in, because if you’re not listening to ‘Oh George‘ then it’s probably stuck in your head.
If you didn’t already know that, that means you’ve probably not heard it yet. I’ll let you off this time, just make sure you’re more prepared in future, alright?
Photo taken from Peaness’ Facebook.
Header Photo by RRW.