Absolute Radio Airplay Winners: Fragile Creatures
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Far, far away amid the cultured climes of France, Brighton band Fragile Creatures had voyagé (travelled) many a rue (road) to settle in a comfortable hôtel (erm… hotel) on Sunday night.
They were embarking on a continental recording trip like the glamorous jet-setters they are, but it was only now that they were about to receive the news they were dying to hear. That evening, they discovered that they had been selected for national airplay on Absolute Radio’s Sunday Night Music Club thanks to Emerging Icons. Sacrebleu !
From the vast breadth of acts on the site, only five made our weekly shortlist to be in the running for that exclusive Emerging Icons-shaped airtime. However, it was to be Fragile Creatures who triumphed on this occasion as the infectious power of their lovingly crafted guitar-fuelled pop proved too good to resist. Thousands of people tuned in that evening as the sound of 'She Makes Me Nervous' came to their attention for the very first time.
Hitting the national airwaves is obviously a big deal for any band, so we wanted to know how such an achievement felt for these guys. We sent a few questions flying across the English Channel to the band's vocalist/guitarist Adam Kidd and the chap with the keyboards, Aaron Neville. They were probably sipping on a fine red and eating escargot whilst adjusting their berets at the time. Well that's what we pictured in our head anyway...
How does it feel to be chosen from thousands of rather splendid bands to enjoy an opportunity like this?
Adam Kidd: Fantastic! Totally took us by surprise actually.
Aaron Neville: It's great that you guys are there to help new acts breakthrough.
What has been the one biggest challenge you've had to face as an emerging artist and how could a site like Emerging Icons help bands like yourselves?
AK: We thought it was tough finding the right players for the band or making good recordings, but actually the toughest part is finding your audience and getting your music heard. The Emerging Icons site is providing some great opportunities and bands really need that at the moment. I've seen a lot of bands who could've been massive if they'd been able to get the exposure.
What is the defining feature of the Fragile Creatures experience?
AN: Great tunes and good times!
How does living in a place like Brighton help nurture the sparkle and energy that goes into your tunes?
AK: We've been surrounded by amazing bands, many of those have become good friends of ours like Electric Soft Parade, Mynie Moe, Shona Foster, Restlesslist... too many to name. So there's a lot of great stuff to be influenced by and people are always playing me something new.
AN: The fresh sea air helps too!
You're looking to restore Britain's reputation for original guitar pop music... who do you think ruined it for us?
AN: I blame Simon Cowell! Young kids are force fed this auto-tuned rubbish on the radio and everyone wants to be a pop star… and I don't mean good pop like Michael Jackson or Prince.
AK: Also I wouldn't like to name names, but I find many of the British guitar bands who make it to the top these days are pretty boring to listen to. You've got some great sounding records that seem to lack actual songs. I find lately I've been drawn more and more to American groups like The
Strokes, Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes. There are always exceptions to the rule of course- I think the Mystery Jets are fantastic. Field Music are a great act to get a Mercury nomination, and I'll always love Radiohead- although I wasn't blown away by ‘The King of Limbs’.
'Pop' has been a genre that can fall victim to snobbery. How do you think the genre has come on since the days of Smash Hits?
AK: There are plenty of good reasons why pop has a bad reputation, but now and again people come out with brilliant songs that no one feels ashamed to love - that's what pop should be and that's what we aspire to make.
What inspires your sense of groove?
AN: We just go with our instincts. All we need is a good backbeat and the rest takes care of itself.
AK: We'd ask our drummer James but he's not here! Music you can dance to -whatever genre that may be.
Fragile Creatures by name, fragile creatures by nature...? What are your biggest weaknesses?
AK: I'm addicted to sushi and Guinness- preferably not at the same time.
AN: I have a fear of snakes... and geese. Geese are like snakes with bodies.
AK: Aaron discovered his fear of geese when we were on our way to shoot the ‘Dear Michael’ video. We saw a gaggle of geese waddling along with their young in tow along the canal near Camden and Aaron ended up frozen to the spot... luckily a passing Cockney guided him through or we'd have never made it to the shoot!
We know 'She Makes You Nervous'... what's the one most baffling thing about the female species you're yet to unriddle?
AK: A woman is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, lost in a puzzle... seriously I can't answer this one, whatever I say someone will take it the wrong way. I love women!
The genre has also found itself considered synonymous with 'cheese'. What would be served up on the Fragile Creatures cheese board if you invited us round for din dins?
AN: Port Salut.
AK: ...and a Babybel for Tom.
As always, it’s time for our Absolute Radio Champs to have a listen to their fellow shortlisters and give them some feedback. What did they think of those other tunes?
Ic1s 'Whack Jack'
AK: It's a bit of a rough recording but it's got spirit.
AN: Great energy.
Dead Social Club 'Sunlight'
AK: I liked the guitars on the intro, it reminded me of The Cure.
AK: Good production, reminds me of Lostprophets.
AN: The heavy synths remind me of Justice.
No Room For Giants 'She Is Werewolf'
AK: I think she's got a cracking voice but I'd love to hear someone like Mark Ronson producing them, or the guy who did the first Noisettes record.
AN: I can see the appeal in this, but agree with Adam.
For everything you need to know about Fragile Creatures, make your way over to their Emerging Icons profile. You may also want to check out some gigs they've got coming up too... click here for more info.