‘Strum and bass’ music at the Roses Theatre
- Credit: Archant
Promotional feature: More Like Trees are a three-piece acoustic act, drawing from a range of musical influences to create ‘strum and bass’. They will be performing at the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, on April 8.
With British Summer Time having officially begun, it won’t be long before the barbeques are dusted off and the festivals begin appearing all over the country, as the warm and drawn-out evenings provide the perfect backdrop for gatherings and parties. Many a noteworthy band began their careers at one of these popular field festivals so often associated with the summer season, and More Like Trees are one such group, appearing at The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury on Tuesday April 8 to get the audience in the mood for the summer fun that is yet to come.
More Like Trees, a three piece acoustic act, draw on a range of musical influences to create ‘strum and bass’, a new genre of music which can be defined as acoustic dance music combining traditional techniques to create fresh twists on modern genres. With front man Josh Whitehouse on classical guitar, Matt Whitehouse on the Cajón (box drum) and Lachlan Radford on double bass, they effortlessly combine elements of flamenco, drum and bass, classical, hip hop, indie, dance and folk.
Both their first EP - ‘Full Circle’, and album - ‘Roots, Shoots, and Leaves’ have garnered the high praise - Steve Lamacq was an early champion of their Franki Valli cover ‘The Night’, and Dragon’s Den star Kelly Hoppen was so impressed by their live performance on Gaby Roslin’s BBC London show she booked them for her book launch live on air. Josh Whitehouse now appears alongside Steve Coogan and Ricky Tomlinson in a lead role in the highly anticipated Elaine Constantine film ‘Northern Soul’, and he is also the founding member of a new collaborative project called ‘High Cross Society’ that features such musical luminaries as Lazy Habits and ReepsOne.
Q&A with lead guitarist and vocalist Josh Whitehouse of More Like Trees
Q: How did ‘More Like Trees’ come to be? Where did it all start?
A: I had been playing in another band with my brother Matt which split up - MLT was kind of a way to continue what we had already been doing but just following the vision I had developed over time. We met our first bass player at an event called silent night who was playing in another band too and wound up meeting up to jam, things moved pretty fast and we all got along well so we decided it was time to start brainstorming band names. After weeks of ideas, Matt suggested ‘More Like Trees’ which seemed to fit on many levels.
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Q:What is the concept behind your band’s name, ‘More Like Trees’?
A: If you listen to the song ‘Trees’ off our album ‘Roots Shoots and Leaves’ this sort of explains one of the main concepts, naturally as this was where the name actually came from. Besides that, there is also the fact that we currently only use acoustic instruments made from wood and also the idea that we are able to ‘branch’ out, collaborating and working with other bands and musicians, a kind of ever evolving and growing line up.
Q:What is your song writing process like?
A: It happens in all different ways, but always on impulse. Whether that impulse is a melody popping to mind which is worth taking note of, an idea for a hook or a guitar riff that feels worthy of a song. Sometimes I just write words because I feel like it or I have something to say, whatever happens it is a starting point which develops and grows from there. I find that if you take an idea and continue to penalise and eradicate until there is nothing left that you don’t like then by the end of the process you are left with something you are proud of. Or at least thats how I see it.
Q:Which gig has been your favourite gig so far?
A: We played at The Finsbury a while back (manor house) absolutely smashed it, the place was packed out, Reeps One jumped on stage with us and we did a big freestyle thing, it was just a great vibe all night, it always is at The Finsbury - it’s just a standard pub vibe but we have a familiar crowd there and the sound is always great.
Q:Is there any advice you could give to help aspiring bands?
A: Keep writing and expanding, keep practicing, keep playing shows, as many as you can, treat other musicians as human beings and never get a big head.
Q: Bonus question: If you had to hear one song constantly on a loop, what song would it be?
A: I don’t think I could listen to any song on loop forever.. I enjoy a bit of quiet, but if I were to choose one I think it might be: Buena Vista Social Club - Chan Chan
Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased from The Roses Box Office on 01684 295074 or online at www.rosestheatre.org