We met up with Fran Doran from Red Rum Club at Wilkestock Festival before they took to the stage. Just as we were about to start the interview I heard a Trumpet and said ‘I can guess who that is warming up in the background’
Fran corrected me by saying “ No, No that’s not Joe, that’s why I turned round, because that’s too good to be Joe”
Red Rum Club have played a lot of festivals so I asked him about the festival experiences.
“We haven’t had a bad one, well not a bad one on stage. We have had some bad experiences off stage, but each one has been thoroughly enjoyable. With every stage we have been on, there seems to be a crowd that has come to see us. They know the words and know the songs, and then there are another group of people who have turned up because they have heard of us or seen us before.”
I saw you at Truck festival with the shoulder surfing challenge, and by the end of the night we couldn’t see you for the amount of people on shoulders. You did a few on that day?
‘Yeah, we did three in twenty four hours. We did Y Not Festival on Friday night, then Kendal Calling at one o’clock on Saturday, and then a five hour drive to Truck Festival, so yeah, three in twenty four hours.
You didn’t look like knackered to be honest, you looked pretty fresh.
“Oh, don’t say that honestly, it was the make up artist who sorted us out”
So do you prefer festivals or your own gigs?
“Its just a different vibe. Festivals are a bit more challenging, because you are playing to people that may not have heard of you, that just happen to be in that field or that tent. It is a bit more of a challenge as you have to win people over. Whereas at our gigs, people know you or have heard of you. But I enjoy festivals more, just because you get to introduce people to your sound”
I noticed at Truck Festival that a lot of people who as soon as they heard the trumpet, came into the tent to see what was happening. I think it’s safe to say they had a good time.
“They seemed to. They were loud enough weren’t they? That is a gauge of how much they enjoyed it”
This festival season is on the back of the successful release of your debut album Matador. You must be really pleased at how well that has done.
“Yeah, you don’t really know what to expect when you put your music out there, especially an album, a big body of work like that. It has gone from strength to strength, the live shows especially. You get respect within the industry with people saying ‘oh yeah I heard the album’. Its only been out a while, but I feel like we have been touring it for five years, you know what I mean? Its only been out for seven months”
The vinyl reached reached twelve in the charts?
“Yeah and it would have reached higher but nineteen were sold outside the UK.”
We all know that Matador is a brilliant album, but going by the not very cryptic tweet recently, is there any new music in the pipeline?
‘Yes, yes, hopefully by the end of the year it will be out. We are doing a few demos, and we are looking forward to the second album. It has been dead hard, well it hasn’t been dead hard its been different, because people say Matador is great, and ask, when’s the next album? We haven’t been in that situation before. Being against the clock trying to write and that. Its coming together nicely though.
The old difficult second album, hey?
“Yeah, it is difficult because people like the first album, and want you to do the first album again. But we feel its tested, we know what works and what doesn’t work, so we have got a bit of a blueprint together. It’s all good so hopefully by the end of the year, and we go on tour in autumn.”
So you are touring Matador, but are you going to sling in a few new songs in the set?
“Yeah, see how they go, we will throw in a few new ones. Ones that are ready, and if they are rubbish we will bin them”
So that is the incentive for those people that have played Matador to death to come and see you in the autumn.
“Yes, because there will be a few new tunes in there and be honest with us. If they are rubbish or aren’t Matador quality then let us know we are going to use them as guinea pigs.”
When you released Matador did you know it was going to be as well received as it was?
“We knew it how good it was. In our heads we knew this is really really good. From the people who heard it prior to release. As there are six of us, it is a democracy, and acts like a good filter. If all six of us and the manager thought it was good then, yeah, we thought this has a shot. But we didn’t know it would go this wide. It impressed the people we know and they people that know us and they said this is a great album. But then we have been all over Europe and they were singing our songs, and we didn’t think it would go that wide.”
So since you released the album and have done the festivals, have you noticed a bigger following?
“Yeah it is ridiculous. The most obvious thing is that the phone doesn’t stop. And then there is social media with people from all over the world following you. Every gig you come to, six months ago people would be ‘ oh yeah that’s alright’, but now there are people there who know you, and we feel like a proper band.
There are lots of your T shirts out there.
“I know. I didn’t know we had sold so many, they definitely made their own”
It must be gratifying when you see that though.
“Yeah and you feel like you owe them something, because they have spent their own money and have invested in you. It’s proper like, you don’t know what to say, and you can’t stop saying thank you”
Yeah but at the end of the day, if you were no good they wouldn’t be buying it.
“Yeah I suppose, just have a big head about me”
And finally the burning question in my head for the past few months has been, how many of the band were pleased about the outcome of the Champions League Final?
“Erm, the bassist was pleased. Not because he is a Liverpool fan, but it gave him an extra night out. He is a top bevvy head. Neil’s the drummer but he is not bitter, he is alright really. He knows he is not competing with us. He will say ‘yeah he’s alright’, but would not say more than that. But the rest of us, yeah, it was silly. It was a good job there were no gigs. Oh there was a gig, in London. We all went down and had a big Mo Salah cut out in the van.
It was great for the city wasn’t it?
“Yeah, I was in a boozer and I had never seen anything like it. There were no cars on the road, just big parties in the street. Same again this year I hope.
I finished by thanking Fran, who is a real gentleman, and told him that I was looking forward to seeing their set again.
Since the interview Red Rum Club have played at the legendary Maida Vale studios and as for new music, they are releasing their new single Kids Addicted on Friday 20th September. You can catch them on tour in places like Aberdeen, Sheffield and Hull. Here is the full tour info: Red Rum Club Tour and more about the band on the Red Rum Club website
Interview with Red Rum Club by Tony Creek, Photography by Paul Lyme, September 2019