Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


We meet Seafood at the beginning of their first full national headline tour, on the very brink of fame and fortune, lurking around the very fringes of civilisation (well, Cardiff to be precise). Kevin Hendrick (bass / vocals) stumbles in first, apologising for being late after getting lost in town, and is soon joined by guitarist Charles MacLoed, leaving David Line (vocals / guitar) and drummer Caroline Banks perusing the local music shops in anticipation of the guitar abuse that is bound to occur on a regular basis over the next couple of weeks. Having just been record shopping, Kevin’s not too happy with a certain retailer, “I’ve just been to HMV, they’ve made a mistake on the little cards in the racks, and the single is listed as ‘Bent’. Seafood do not release records called ‘Bent’”.

It seems that as far as Wales is concerned, Seafood are determined to make their presence felt at every possible level, despite their attempts to pass off their recent verbal assault on Newport’s latest saviours. “That wasn’t about Terris, if anything that was an attack on the NME, which is quite weird as we were quite grateful that they gave us a piece. They gave us our first ever feature, and here we are telling them how shit they are,” explains Kevin. For a moment you’re tempted to believe him, but he’s not finished, “I’ve never liked the idea of a fad band. Hopefully they’ll prove us wrong and be a good band, but I heard a song of theirs and I didn’t like it.” Fighting talk, surely, but are you up for the challenge, do you have the courage of your convictions? “I’m actually quite worried because we’ve got a day off in Glasgow, and Terris are playing on that Saturday. We’re hooking up with Idlewild, and they’re saying we’ll go and see Terris, I think they’d beat us up.”

Anyway, enough of such nonsense, in case you haven’t been paying attention, it’s still only two years since the gloriously skewed ‘Scorch Comfort’ single crept out on Fierce Panda, only to initiate a media frenzy of slightly more realistic proportions, even if Seafood did manage to kill off their hype before it ever really got going. “We put our first single out and it got loads of attention, it got A-listed on xfm, got some Radio 1 play, and all these record companies just started chasing us. We only had about four songs, and were really a shambles. These people that came to see us at one gig were just putting the money back in their pockets because we couldn’t even remember one of our songs, we just finished halfway through and walked off.”

In that time, Seafood have gone from scaring off A&R men in dingy north London dives, galloped around Britain with the Llama Farmers and Idlewild, and found themselves playing the CMJ festival in America, though according to Kevin, “it was more of an experience just for us to go out there and play America, but in reality it wasn’t really much different to playing a half-full gig in London.” Oh well, back to the long hard slogs around the country to build up a fan-base then. “We are going out to America again this year in the spring, a mini-tour around the east coast, as we’ve got a record being put out by a Boston label, two of our early singles, ‘Porchlight’ and ‘Scorch Comfort’ back to back, so we’re going to play New York, Boston and Philadelphia.”

Until then, it looks like once more around dear old Blighty, even if the prognosis is more hopeful this time. “I think people perhaps read the reviews and overall have a pretty positive view, the press build it up and say Sonic Youth, and all that stuff, but I think people are like ‘well, they're in the press quite a lot, we’ll go and see what they're like’ and hopefully we’ll pick a few fans that way” says Charles. “We’re getting to forge our own identity now,” adds Kevin, “and these people who are coming to see us are seeing us for the first time, it’s our chance to impress them.”

How have the tours changed as you moved from supporting other people to headlining in your own right? “We’re a proper band now,” suggests Kevin, “I was dying for the chance to headline, but it’s been really cool for us as it’s allowed us to develop in the quiet, and now we can take it on as a headlining band and be pompous.” Do you think that people have already formed an opinion of you, based on the recent press, without perhaps having actually heard you? “The way the album has been received by the press has been cool. It’s been pretty positive, had good reviews. They do pick up on the Sonic Youth and all that, but at the moment that's fine, I just think that’s good company. This is our first album, I’d be more concerned if we do our second album and we were getting those reviews. We love pop songs; we’ve got a pop mentality. As much as we like Thurston Moore blowing a trumpet out his arse, we also like full on pop, we’ve got that sensibility about us. We will write a pop song, I’m telling you, it’s in us, it’s just we’re not going to force it out, we don’t know exactly how to go about it, but its working well like that, I don’t know how else to do it.”

No matter what the outcome of the tour, whether it ends in fame and fortune, or hospitalisation at the hands of a slightly irate Newport kid whose mouth is presently bigger than his band, Seafood appear to have a pretty good idea of how things should be going right now, and what they need to do in order to take that next step forward, without compromising their music or work ethic. “We’re not going to be a pin up band, and that’s cool, I like that. I just want to really feature in some peoples lives, be quite an important band”.

As far as Kevin is concerned, this seems to be Seafood’s main goal. “That’s why, if we were offered Top of the Pops then we’d do it. If they want to take our brand of music and put it on Top of the Pops, then that’s cool, but we’re not going to go and write a Stereophonics by numbers song just to get on”.

It seems inevitable that the tour will bring with it countless reviews all throwing those same few references about once more, but just in case any of you are feeling too scared to venture out and discover the wonder of Seafood for yourselves, then let Kevin dispel any fears you may have that they’re intent on grandiose destruction of tunes and equipment every evening, and are actually quite nice boys and girls after all; “last night we went a bit mental at the end. I apologised for the mess and I said I’d tidy it up, that’s not very rock and roll is it?”