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AN INTERVIEW WITH POCKET SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – DOC MASON MINI FEST

Influences… Blur, Pulp, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Counting Crows, Manic Street Preachers, The Smiths… and the list goes on!

 

Performing in the Main Auditorium at 4:10pm

Barry (Frontman) and Darren (Lead Guitar) met in the summer of 1999. After bonding over a love of music, they started a band called Absent; which was together for the next 6 years. When that band wound up, they remained very close friends and both spent time playing in other projects.

In 2012, Barry wanted some help with a solo album he was planning to write and record and recruited Darren to help him out. Once the two started playing in a room together again, it became clear that it needed to become a shared project.

That album, ‘Cautionary Tales’ was recorded in late 2012 and released in 2013. Barry and Darren played all the instruments and had no intention of playing live initially. They decided to have some fun and record a music video and play some acoustic shows together, but the more shows they played the more they realised they did want to put together a band and play the songs with the full orchestrations.
Andy, Jake, and Kieran would take some time to recruit, but they all joined the band one by one, bringing with them each a new set of influences and musical knowledge.

Barry Blitz had this to say about their forthcoming album, “Our forthcoming album, ‘Kiss Chase’ has taken the better part of two years to write, but I had a clear direction in mind for lyrics – ruminating on the intersection of hedonism and romance; the kiss, the chase. Darren and I took a break in Norfolk in early 2016 and finished up, fleshed out some songs into demos which created a framework for the band to work from.”

He added: “Taking the songs to the others, we rearranged them, tightened them up and added everyone’s inimitable contributions to create something unique. We’ve tried to serve each song and craft them without a mind on what is in vogue or not current.

“Our music is meticulously considered and crafted. Many have commented that the lyrics are witty, intelligent and dark. From that perspective we can appeal to those who want to delve a little deeper into the music and look for meaning and emotion. But our live shows are energetic, frenetic, dynamic affairs that can memorise a crowd of any age.”

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thepocketsymphonyorchestra 

BAND BIO:

Barry Blitz, 34, from Peterborough. Barry is a multi-instrumentalist and lead lyric-writer in the band. He plays very little live, largely leaving the instrumentation to the rest of the band so that he can entertain the crowd – something he has honed over around 18 years as a DJ, including 16 years as a resident DJ at The Met Lounge, Peterborough.

Darren Leeder, 35, from Peterborough. Darren picked up the guitar when he was very young, showing great promise immediately and persuading his Dad to buy him his first electric guitar. Darren has made music his life’s main passion, gleaning his unique style of guitar and ear for melodies from everything he could absorb. He is a prolific song-writer in his own right and has played in numerous bands and released a solo album in 2008.

Andy Hughes, 24, from Peterborough. Andy is renowned as one of the city’s finest musicians. He is often seen sitting in with many local artists whenever they need someone – whatever instrument that is. He too is a prolific song-writer and artist in his own right. His solo projects run alongside his work with TPSO, including the band Tribal Misfits. His recent solo album ‘The Samurai Boy Saga: 1989’ received a good critical response. To TPSO he contributes bass guitar, but he is also a fantastic lead guitarist and drummer.

Jake Day, 28, from Kimbolton. Jake was a teen when he picked up the guitar, but once he did there was no looking back. His first band, A Girl Called Kate, formd in senior school and they played a lot both locally in the Peterborough area and further afield, before splitting up in 2008. He went on to spend a lot of time in function bands dedicating himself to learning as much as possible about his instrument. He has spent half a lifetime exploring the sonic landscapes you can paint with it. That is the key aspect he brings to the band – a keen ear for orchestrations and musical textures that enrich the sound.

Kieran Eassom, 23, from Nassington. Kieran first picked up the sticks in school, to be told by his drum teacher that he would never make a rock drummer. Spurred on, by a desire to prove the teacher wrong, he spent time jamming with good friends and learning some chops. Making frequent appearances at local open mic nights and jam sessions, he learned to play with a variety of musicians in all manner of styles and brings that passion for improvisation and experimentation to TPSO.

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