To new beginnings...

Augustines
Augustines
Stokes Bay where the festival will be held

Driftwood Festival is wished ‘every success’

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There’s a real sense of new beginnings surrounding New York indie rock trio Augustines.

Their debut album Rise Ye Sunken Ships focused heavily on the suicide of singer/guitarist Billy McCarthy’s brother.

And it came soon after the disintergration of McCarthy and multi-instrumentalist Eric Sanderson’s previous band, Pela.

But their new, self-titled second album was the first written with drummer Rob Allen, even though he’d been part of the band for two years, touring the debut.

On top of all that, last year the trio were able to properly reclaim their name following legal wrangles with a Floridian act of the same name.

The Guide caught up with Rob while the band were on tour in Holland.

‘We’re enjoying ourselves,’ he says, ‘people seem to be having a good time. We’ve been getting out to meet people, a big part of the fun. We’re lucky we have an amazing fanbase.’

Explaining how he got the gig with Eric and Billy in the first place he says: ‘It was all like in one big fluid motion. I got a phonecall from the drummer of Pela, who was a friend of mine. He lived in the same apartment building as me actually, and we’d become really good friends.

‘For whatever reason he didn’t want to keep on with Bill and Eric, but he suggested me to them, I met the lads, and two weeks from that point we were touring, and that didn’t stop for two years, and from there it was straight into the studio, so there was a lot of learning about each other – there still is. Bill and Eric were very welcoming, but they had certain processes and things they’d done for the 12-13 years they’d been playing together.

‘I’ve been playing music for many, many years, but I’d been very counscious of the record and the subject matter, so at first I had to be very respectful and try and ease in and make it as easy as possible, but it got easier and easier as time went on.’

The band are also being joined on this tour by horn player John Panos, who they found after a global search dubbed #ProjectHorn.

‘He’s the funniest man I’ve ever met,’ says Rob. ‘And he’s a phenomenal horn player. The guy’s a real stage presence, he really elevates the show, we’re really pleased to get him.’

Catch them at The Wedgewood Rooms on Wednesday, doors at 8pm. Tickets cost £12. Go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk