Tuesday, 22 November 2016


HIDDEN CHARMS at The Leadmill
HIDDEN CHARMS are a four-piece band from London.
Consisting of Vincent Davies (vocals and guitar), Josh Lewis (guitar and bass), Ranald MacDonald (vocals, keyboard, guitar and bass) and Oscar Robertson (drums) this band just finished a fourteen date UK which was followed by a six date European tour and during which they released the video for their track 'I Just Wanna Be Left Alone'. You can watch the video here.
I went down to Brudenell Social Club in Leeds to have an interview with Ranald and Josh before their set!

Ranald, Josh and myself
 How was it that you all first met?
Josh: 'Well, we were in two bands that sort of merged into one urm, playing around in London on the sort of bluesy, psyche-y scene. Me and Oscar were in a band with Ranald and me and Oscar were in a band with Vince so they came together about two and a half years ago.
When was it that you all realised music was something you wanted to pursue? Was there something specific that triggered it?
Josh: 'Urm I dunno. I wanted to be a footballer at first and then like rockstar came after, I thought it's a nice easy way and everyone cheers you and stuff. It's a lot of hard work eventually but at first yeah I thought that seems great and then I just started having fun infront of loads of people.'
Ranald: 'It was Elvis for me, impersonating him. I grew up going to jazz clubs and seeing a lot of live music and that made me want to perform.'
Josh: 'Hendrix got me into guitar but the idea of like being able to be a musician touring was appealing before I knew how to play you know, it was just like thinking that would be great.'
What would you describe your genre to be at present?
Ranald: 'It's hard putting a label on it, it's sort of.'
Josh: 'It's like Rock 'n' Roll but lots of different stuff in it, like lot's of blues.'
Ranald: 'Psychedelic.'
Josh: 'All sorts. It probably comes under Rock 'n' Roll.'
So I saw you during this tour at Leadmill (Sheffield) and now I'm interviewing you here (Brudenell Social Club, Leeds). Do you have any fond memories of Sheffield or Leeds?
Ranald: 'That particular gig was great, I liked that. The one at Leadmill, got fond memories of that night.'
Josh: 'We love Leeds as well, we've always have a good time here. I remember we had a great night at Oporto, we had probably our first mosh pit there and we played here, this will be the third or fourth time we've played here. We first played here with Benjamin Booker and then with Yak and so its quite an honour to have gotten to the point where we can do it ourselves. Well, with The Vryll Society. Same with Sheffield, we've probably played better shows in Leeds though, there's no favouritism but just like we've generally played better in Leeds.'
Ranald: 'We've got a few friends Leeds as well. We always have like, well The Strawberries, we usually stay with them and have a big sorta musical jam party which is always fun.'
Josh: 'You're invited tonight.'
So yesterday you released the video for 'I Just Wanna Be Left Alone.' What inspired the video? 
Ranald: 'Well the director, Ben Smallwood he kinda came up with the vision for the video when we sent him the track and I think we all just really loved it. It was kind of an embodiment of what the sentiment of the song is, it kinda put the focusing more on the kind of creepier spooky side to the sound and then the whole ghostly haunting thing.'
Josh: 'We wanted it to be like, we'd done a couple of like live performance-y videos and they're all cool but we wanted to kinda like push the boat out a little bit more and try something a little bit more expensive and it could have gone wrong and stuff but Ben did a really great job and I'm happy with it.'
Ranald and Josh during the interview
So what has the reception of the video been like?
Ranald: 'It's generally been good.'
Josh: 'We've been on tour so we haven't actually heard that much from people but we showed it to some friends like we had a little party and showed it to some friends and they quite liked it.'
Ranald: 'Some people have been quite scared by it which I think is pretty good.'
Josh: 'Yeah, Vinny's sister switched it off half way through cos she was too scared, I scared her.'
Ranald: 'Was it just you?'
Josh: 'Yeah it was when I came up in the mirror she couldn't handle anymore.'
So after this tour is over you are heading for a six date tour of Europe, what are you most looking forward to about that?
Ranald: 'Vinny's birthday is in Amsterdam isn't it.'
Josh: 'Yeah, Vinny's birthday is in Amsterdam.'
Ranald: 'You're also invited to that, you too Keith if you wanna come out. Yeah I think we're gonna have a little party there, that'll be great..'
Josh: 'Yeah, they're really good crowds to play for in Europe, great crowd in England too but its different, different vibes its good to mix it up. Berlin is a great city as well.'
So the support acts for this tour have been pretty amazing, particularly those of Sheffield and Leeds (Sheafs and The Strawberries). How do you decide who comes on tour with you?
 Ranald: 'Sometimes we've got friends in places like here, sometimes the promoter suggests someone.'
Josh: 'Generally the longer you keep touring you just meet so many people so the cities we've been to before we tend to know people in like obviously this one is a no brainer, as soon as we were doing it we were like 'The Strawberries are on the bill' but yeah, it varies.'

Which song of yours would you say gets the best reception at your gigs?

Ranald: 'It changes I think.'
 Josh: 'On this tour I think 'I Just Wanna Be Left Alone' is probably the one, we've been trying to put that in a place in the set cos it's the most recent released track but yeah the crowds have been singing along to that, it's been good.'

Throughout the rest of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, what can we expect from Hidden Charms?

Josh: 'We're gonna be touring again early in the year and we're gonna be releasing lots of music. Yeah just touring and releasing music and then festivals in the Summer, lots of them.'

 Written by Sophie.

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