Interview: The Gorgeous Chans

Photos: Dom Henry
Interview: Paul Klotschkow
Tuesday 27 August 2013
reading time: min, words

Nusic’s Future Sound of Nottingham contest has helped break artists ranging from Dog Is Dead to Indiana. This year’s winners were the The Gorgeous Chans, an ensemble who have grown from six members to almost a dozen over the past year. We had words with Liam Gardiner (saxophone), Daniel Potts (drums) and Brandon Hill (guitar and vocals)...


Belated congratulations on winning this year’s Future Sound of Nottingham. How nerve wracking was it playing the main stage at Rock City?
I was totally fine until we were in the small box you go in just before you go on the stage, then it was absolutely petrifying.

How did you react when it was called out that you’d won?
Brandon did a High School The Musical-esque leap.
Brandon: Followed by picking up Oscar and spinning him around.
Daniel: Oli lifted Ephraim above his head. He wouldn’t usually be able to do that but with the pure adrenalin he found superhuman strength.

What made you decide to enter the competition?
If there was a battle of the bands to be the best band in Nottingham, we wouldn’t have bothered. But to play the final at Rock City, is a big deal. Then to go out and play the main stage at Splendour festival is even bigger than that.

What was it like walking out onto the Splendour stage?
Oscar: I know it’s the worst case scenario, but I wasn’t expecting anyone to be there. So it was nice to see so many people there to see us.
Liam: It got fuller and fuller as we went along. It’s all kind of a blur now though. I can’t really remember any of the details, except for Elliot playing the wrong scale and us two laughing about it whilst still on the stage.

This isn’t a slight against you Liam, but in the world of indie music the saxophone is often ridiculed...
Liam: We are trying to bring it back. I swear we are cool. Just don’t listen to anything from the seventies or eighties.

Speaking of which, I’ve just bought some records...(I show the band some records I had just bought from a charity shop, including a couple by Talking Heads).
I’m a bit of a Talking Heads nerd myself.

I presume you have seen the Stop Making Sense film? David Bryne dances with a lamp at one point, have you thought about doing that?
We played Light Night at The Arts Theatre and we brought lamps and hooked them up to the lighting desk so you could turn them on and off.

Does your theatrical background influence how you approach the band in any way?
Brandon: We are big into audience participation so it is a bit of a downer that we usually we have an audience who aren’t eager to participate.

Does that happen often?
Brandon: Every so often we are brought in with a more metal kind of band.

How do you go down with the metal crowd?
Liam: It tends to be a mixture of stone-faced, “I don’t like this” and confusion. Brandon: We recently played The Johnson Arms in Lenton and didn’t think it was going to be a good gig. But we had three fans there and they started dancing and then got everyone else dancing. We actually got called back to do an encore, but didn’t have enough songs so we just played the first song of the set again.

How do you feel about people comparing you to Dog Is Dead?
Brandon: We like them, it’s just that...
Liam: ...sound wise we aren’t that similar. It’s literally the fact that we have a saxophone and they have a saxophone. And that we are both from Nottingham.

Finally, what is a Gorgeous Chan?
Daniel: It’s a trade secret.

Liam: We aren’t allowed to tell anyone, mainly because the real story is too dull.

The Gorgeous Chans play at The Maze on 31 August and in the Red Rooms at MacMillan Fest on 7 September. Their Jaguar Club EP is out now.

The Gorgeous Chans on BandCamp

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