Tuesday, 1 November 2016


BANG BANG ROMEO at Leeds Fest 2016 for This Feeling - photo credit to the relevant individual
From left to right - Richard, Anastasia, Joel and Ross
BANG BANG ROMEO are a 60's influenced Rock 'n' Roll from South Yorkshire.

Called 'a hard edged Fleetwood Mac' by Chris Kimsey of Rolling Stone (NXS) this four piece consisting of Anastasia Walker (vocals), Ross Cameron (guitar), Joel Phillips (bass) and Richard Gartland (drums) have atmospheric soundscapes punctuated with powerful and soulful vocal hooks.

The band recently played at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds alongside Cupids and The Strawberries at which I got an interview with the band!
How was it that you all first met?
Anastasia: 'No me and Ross have been song writing for a bit now, just hanging out and coming up with some new music but really we kind formed Bang Bang Romeo about three years ago now.'
Joel: 'Summat like that, about three and a half years ago.'
Anastasia: 'Yeah we formed about three and a half years ago as what you see now and was is Bang Bang Romeo when Joel entered.'
Joel: 'Yeah Ross has a clothes shop in Doncaster and it was the only place you could get decent clothes.'
Ross: 'It still is.'
Joel: 'Yeah, Revolver Menswear, Doncaster.'
Sophie (myself - interviewer): 'That's actually were I first met Ross.'
Joel: 'It's just an emporium and we had a lot of similar interests.'
Ross: 'And that was the same time me and Anastasia were getting together writing.'
Anastasia: 'We felt we had something good so the only we felt we could properly project it was forming the band properly and properly putting music out there. So after Joel came on board we had a jam and just clicked straight away. We found Richard online, we had auditioned a few drummers because we really wanted to get sound right, like we didn't just want bog standard drummer. Luckily we got Richard on board who is a brilliant drummer so after that the puzzle was completed really.
Joel: 'Things finally felt right.'

Where did the name Bang Bang Romeo come from?

Anastasia: 'We were in a tapas bar in Sheffield.'
Ross: 'We were thinking of all the things we were into like Tarantino, love and death, Romeo and Juliet, sit like that and we thought of Bang Romeo.'
Anastasia: 'But wee thought too many innuendos are gonna come from that.'
Ross: 'So we thought 'let's have two bangs' and that was it.'
Anastasia: 'And the writing is quite indepth as well. It's not jut your bog standard 'oh lets go get pissed on a Friday night.' There's depth to the writing and it does mean something s we were like 'right so what inspires Shakespeare' and all that kind of stuff. We buzzed off the Romeo and Juliet film anyway. The soundtrack is amazing and the imagery, we love that.'
Joel: 'The bangs come from the fact that love and violence are the two main themes of our songs and we wanted that reflected that.'
Anastasia: 'Though, we don't condone any of those relationships.'

Do you have any pre-gig rituals? If so, what are they?

Joel: 'We always have a shot of JD Honey before we go on.'
Ross and Anastasia begin doing pre-gig chant.

How did your track being played on Soccer AM feel?

Ross: 'It was mint.'
Anastasia: 'It was through Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy.'

'Invitation' was also played in one of the stadiums as well wasn't it?

Anastasia: 'Yeah, that was just today actually at the Stoke and Sunderland game. Peter Crouch put us forward to be played and also Potter's playlist, he's put us forward for that as well so we've been in the brochure so that's good but yeah, Abbey and Peter saw us at Leeds Fest and ever sine then they've been amazing support. It's brilliant to have people like Abbey Clancy and Peter Crouch on board so thanks to them for that.'

The band playing Tramlines 2016 - photo credit to the relevant individual

What are your favourite venues to play?

Joel: 'Isle of Wight this year was really special for us, playing The Big Top was mindblowing.'
Anastasia: 'Just having your music playing out of that system and into that environment really does blow you away so for us as musicians being able to play that stage was amazing so a big thank you so Solo and John Giddons for that.'
Joel: 'Then on the opposite side of the scale, The Rocking Chair has always been really good for us. Like its a small damp dark sweaty horrible place to be but amazing for gigs. The atmosphere in there is always wicked. We broke the ceiling last time we were there.'
Anastasia: 'Always a really good vibe.'

Out of all the up and coming bands and artists, who do you recommend people listen to?

Anastasia: 'Hidden Charms, they are just an absolute force to be reckoned with. They are brilliant, the tunes they are coming out with are incredible and as musicians they completely have you under their spell. I think it's only a matter of time for them really. It's not an 'if' with them, its a 'when'.'
Ross: 'For me, I'd say Paves. They're great guys, they are just awesome. They're Rock 'n' Roll but with good hooks. They've got it all.'
Joel: 'The Strawberries, they're another one. They've got a similar thing to Paves going on, it's got a bluesy rock 'n' roll vibe but it doesn't sound dated.'
Anastasia: 'It doesn't sound obvious or anything.'
Joel: 'Yeah, they got the hooks too. When you're watching them live, you're always mesmerised.'
Ross: 'Hello Operator too.'
Anastasia: 'Oh yeah, Hello Operator are one of my favourite bands anyway so yeah definitely them, JUDAS too - we love JUDAS.'

Do you prefer your own shows or festival sets?

Anastasia: 'Ooh, you know its not about whether your playing your own shows or festival sets, it's completely down to what the vibe of the audience is. Recently we've been very lucky to be playing to audiences that are just completely there for the music, its not just people there getting pissed. We've had an amazing time at festivals this year, we've been blessed for that and we're not even religious so that's good. I definitely think it's just down to the audience and how locked into your set they are.'
Joel: 'I think this year we've been really lucky with festivals because we didn't know what to expect. The first festival we did of the Summer was Isle of Wight and we were just kind of hoping someone or anyone would come down and watch us and we seemed to get steadily bigger and bigger as the Summer went on. I think it's a completely different type of gratification because there are always so many different bands on that they could be seeing at the same time so it feels so much more rewarding when people come down.

In terms of the band, what is something that you all wish to fulfil?

Joel: 'Glastonbury.'
Anastasia: 'I think that's the dream for any band isn't it.'
Ross: 'Tour America and play Glastonbury.'
Anastasia: 'Yeah, one hundred percent. A lot of people tell us that we are made for that American kinda vibe and I suppose with us being massive Tarantino fans it is completely Americanised vibes so it would be an absolute dream to go to America but the pinnacle is Glastonbury.'

If you could play any country in the world where would it be and why?

Joel: 'This was it, just America. There's a lot happening over there with British Rock 'n' Roll bands, they seem to really be into that kind of heritage. Like The Struts, they've gone over and have just blown up, there's a few more too that have gone over and seem to have done really well. The whole heritage British Rock 'n' Roll goes down really well over there.'
Anastasia: 'The scene is crying out for some proper Rock 'n' Roll music.'

Throughout the rest of 2016 and the beginning in 2017, what can we expect from Bang Bang Romeo?

Joel: 'Well, we've been in the studio a lot recently working on something that we are not allowed to talk about yet so that's exciting.'
Ross: 'We're really excited.'
Anastasia: 'For us it's quite... I'm gonna say life changing because its what dreams are made of but until we can announce it that is all we are going to give you but we have been working hard behind the scenes.'
Joel: 'We have been working on new music with someone that we never dreamed we'd be able to work with.'
Anastasia: 'So yeah, we are very excited.'

You can listen to the bands track invitation here:

Written by Sophie.

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