Dirty Dozen: Patch and The Giant

Indie-folk quintet Patch & The Giant, release their debut album, ‘All That We Had, We Stole’, out 10th February 2017.  Produced by Nick Trepka, whose credits include Emmy The Great and Mercury Prize Winner Speech Debelle, it showcases Patch & The Giant’s eclectic take on folk music, the album having elements of indie, rock and blues .

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We’re all now settled in London (where we met each other). We all met each other playing gigs on the London folk / roots circuit. For our first few years we had a residency in North London, where we’d run all day music events. This is probably where and how we first established ourselves and we met a lot of other musicians here, we’ve even picked up band members this way. Over the past few years we’ve essentially been drinking the fields dry across the UK festival circuit, which has been tremendous fun. We released our debut record ‘The Boatswain’s Refuge EP’ in 2013 and are now gearing up to the long-awaited (by us, if nobody else) release of our debut album. We also hit Europe for the first time earlier this year with a headline tour of Italy, which was sublime.

How would you describe your music?
Lots of bits of many things. Before meeting, most of us were not even playing the instruments we now wield in PATG…. seriously…our fiddle player Gabe is actually a rock drummer, Derek started playing the cello in his mid-20s, Angie had never touched an accordion before, Nick learned the bass specifically to join the band and Luke was an actor before he started playing music. Our collective backgrounds span experimental music, metal, classical, jazz – when you combine this with Luke’s songs and the rootsy instruments we deliver them with, I guess PATG is what comes out.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
SO many. We’re collectively from all over and before meeting each other we were immersed in all sorts of other projects so influences as broad as broad can be. We’ve all grown up listening to different things and we’ve all bonded with each other over our appreciation of different artists….The Levellers, The Beatles, The Decemberists, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Beirut, Lau….and so many more individual connections. We’ll sometimes pair off in our obsessions over other artists. Luke and I stalked James Yorkston for a while there, I actually met him very briefly in a pub the other week and got really excited…and there was the time in Leeds where we were playing in the smaller of two rooms at a venue, in the main venue, a Japanese prog rock band (whose name escapes me) were playing – Derek and Gabe both disappeared and we were then late for our own set because they were too excited to be at the other gig.

What are you currently promoting?
Our debut album, ‘All That We Had, We Stole’, which is released on 10th February. It’s been a couple of years in the making so we are very eager to get it out there.  We’re also heading on tour to promote the record and (as our answers below might indicate) have some fun times in the tour bus. We’d love to meet some Americana UK readers whilst we’re out on the road!

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
Luke: America is always fun to play live.
Angie: To play live, The Beggar’s Song; to have created, the title track of the record ‘All That We Had, We Stole’.
Nick: I’m probably most proud of the songs I play guitar on, like ‘A Local Man’ live or ‘Are You Listening’ on the record. Not that I don’t love playing the bass. There’s more expression on the guitar.
Gabriel: All that we had we stole is a real favourite at the moment, I think because it’s very fresh and we’ve never actually performed it. It’s different to the other songs and it’s very moving, and it came together so quickly. I wouldn’t say it defines us as such, but along with the other songs we’ve written it helps illustrate the spectrum we cover and the influences that have defined us.
Derek: The Beggar’s Song, probably as it’s the most rock & roll we get.

What are you currently listening to?
Luke: Re-listening to a lot of Rage Against The Machine after talking about them in the tour van the other day.
Angie: Keaton Henson. Nick and I went to see an extremely rare live show very recently at the London Palladium. It was special. Also just getting into Gregory Alan Isakov.
Nick:  Lots of Prog-Rock at the moment. Those Who Ride With Giants, This Will Destroy You, Explosions in the Sky. Bands with long names, by coincidence.
Gabriel: Hmm, Haim is currently on the stereo at my work… interspersed with the first trickle of Buble Christmas songs. At home I’ve been listening to Efterklang’s new album a lot, and revisiting Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps.
Derek: Oddarrang

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
Luke: The White Album
Angie: Maybe Nick Cave’s And No More Shall We Part….but there are so many records in the world and they all do different things to me.
Nick: Possibly the Keaton Henson, Romantic Works, for it’s soundscape and feeling.
Gabriel: Picaresque, The Decemberists!
Derek: I don’t actually have a favourite…

What are your hopes for your future career?
Nick: I would like people to keep giving me beer and asking me to play music and then telling me they liked it afterwards and giving me money for the taxi home.
Gabriel: Write, record, play, tour… repeat!
Angie: What Gabe said!

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
Luke: Recording the second album in the Caribbean
Angie: Pretty much what Derek and Nick have said. In Scotland. By a loch.
Gabriel: I would get back on the drums and train until I was good enough to oust Danny Carey and join Tool.
Derek: Build a place amongst amazing scenery and invite people to come and write / record new pieces
Nick: I would build a studio in the woods to record an album with large and exotic instruments. I’d start with the marimba, then the contrabass flute, plus a steinway grand piano…. that would be wonderful

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Luke: Creating something that you will always own a little part of
Angie: Being able to literally capture the moment – and what Derek said.
Nick: Getting to be appreciated and paid for being creative and overly emotional.
Gabriel: Drinking heavily in hired vans.
Derek: The people it brings you to.

And the worst?
Luke: Monday mornings.
Angie: The come down
Nick: The hangovers, the hangovers
Gabriel: Drinking heavily in hired vans.
Derek: Liver damage

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Nick: Hey. Let’s form rebel faction group called Britainicana. We can be guerrillas.

Author: Rudie Hayes

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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