“(…) for me (the new EP) symbolises the reality of our own lives. Constantly dancing between being a robot or a savage.” – Vincent Davies
Strong guitar riffs, danceable melodies and catchy lyrics – old school psychedelic rock combined with a fresh and tasty flavour of a pretty decent, alternative, grunge and blues sound. The London based band Hidden Charms, consists of Vincent Davies (vocals, guitar and bass), Ranald Macdonald (keyboard, guitar and bass), Josh Lewis (guitar and bass) and Oscar Robertson (drums). Their first ever live gig was in April 2014, they’ve recorded with their hero Shel Talmy and played numerous shows all over the planet and we’re pretty sure that lots of show will follow. Hidden Charms know exactly how to play their instruments as well as they know how to the get enthused crowds in their wake.
We had a lovely chat with Vincent, lead singer of Hidden Charms about his childhood heroes, his unique style and their latest EP ‘Harder From Here’.
Where have you met?
We met through playing in different bands in London, our current line up has two singers including myself (Ran and I). Before that we were singing in separate bands with the same guitar and drums combo of Josh and Oscar so when we lost a member we stole Ranald from his band and funnily enough all the left over members made there own band too! They’re not bad…
Why did you name the band Hidden Charms – what inspired you?
The obvious inspiration for the name was Howling Wolf and his song Hidden Charms penned by Willie Dixon but I think in the modern day Hidden Charms has a slightly more camp sound to it which we all agreed we’d wear with pride! You have to commit to the name like that on a Friday night in Wrexham.
You just released your EP ‘Harder From Here’, what is the EP basically about?
The EP has four songs on it about different subjects but throughout I think the themes of claustrophobia, addiction, modern culture/technology takeover and an Orwellian type near future are dragged around the room a fair bit. But I think the way we recorded it was important to the themes. With these ancient recording methods we used while trying to create these cyborgs-like songs (minus harder from here) was an interesting push and pull struggle during the making of it which for me symbolises the reality of our own lives. Constantly dancing between being a robot or a savage.
In which way are you influenced and inspired by other artist?
I separate influence and inspiration in my head a lot personally. Inspiration may leave no traces through your work over the years and yet still be your sole driving force but influence is much more obvious to see from the outside. My ‘inspirations’ can vary from boxers to ballerinas but the ‘influence’ is clear and deep and with this band goes with out saying.
Do you have any childhood heroes?
My childhood heroes would have been Didier Drogba, Tim Curry and John Belushi until I hit my teens and tried to make some sense of it all.
What was the last record you bought?
The last record I bought was ‘bluejeans and moonbeams’ by Captain Beef Heart and The Magic Band as a present for someone else.
You said once ‘looking backwards to go forwards’ – imagine if you could choose another decade of music and fashion, which one would it be and why?
I like the summer of 1816 on lake Geneva with the volcanic ashclouds where Byron, the Shelley’s and Polidori all got together and had writing competitions during the second wave of the gothic thing, that seems like a pretty sexy time to be in.
What means fashion to you?
Fashion is a funny thing for me personally because when it comes down to it, generally I don’t want to look like anybody else, or you want to stand out or to show what’s on the inside to the outside world etc but then with fashion comes trend which goes against all of that so I do blow hot and cold with it and just wear what I like.
How would you describe your style?
I like lines and things like that. I think the shape of your silhouette is important as a performer whether it’s in your stance or the fit of a jacket, think I powerful shape on stage is paramount.
Indispensable piece of clothing for you?
I have neck ties they go with everything and I like em, plus no one else can quite do it the same, it’s the way you wash them.
What did you pack in your suitcase – do you have any travel essentials?
Baby wipes, sometimes you can’t shower so baby wipe yourself to death and get on that stage.
Thanks for the lovely interview Vince! We’ll see you pretty soon again at the Flying Vinyl Festival, the 8th of April, at Oval Space in London and we’re looking forward to a dance with you!
xx smoke and echoes
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