Last summer, a headline slot at the city’s Charmed Life Festival was meant to mark Four Folds Law’s triumphant return after a bit of a break.
Unfortunately the weather had other ideas with torrential downpours keeping the punters away, and the event was a wash-out.
However, the Portsmouth-based indie-rockers have bounced back with a strong new EP – which has its release party tomorrow night.
Frontman Rossco Patrick recalls that gig last September: ‘Charmed Life was pretty soul destroying – it was 11 o’clock, very wet, and despite (organisers) Gareth and Charlie’s best efforts, the luck just wasn’t with them.’
Charmed Life was initially set to return this summer, but the organisers have since pulled the plug on the idea.
‘I feel really bad for them because they worked so hard on it,’ adds Rossco. ‘The first year went all right with the weather, but the second year just killed it. But they’re on to other ventures now and I wish them all the best, it’s just a shame what happened.’
And since then, there’s been a change in the FFL ranks with guitarist Alex Denham leaving to be replaced by Scott Metherell.
‘Alex was focusing on family life and him and his wife found out they were expecting in February.
‘He wanted six months off, which on the basis he’d had four months off in that year to get married, his honeymoon and coming back into a new job – another six months would have taken out the first half of this year, and we didn’t really want to do that. If we took six months off, we’re not getting any younger and I don’t think we would have come back from it.
‘We put the word out a little bit and got a friend of (bassist) Sam’s in, and he hit the ground running. Scott came in in December, and we’ve been working really, really hard.’
The four-piece set about getting a few gigs under their belts and finishing off the new EP at Mayfield Studios in Drayton. A close look at the EP’s credits shows that Alex co-wrote two of the songs.
‘There’s aspects of the songs we built with him, so we wanted to credit him.
‘Those two songs we had put out with Alex, Down To The Sea and Windows, they were only ever online, never as a physical copy, so we wanted to bolster the EP with them.
‘Then we’ve got Strong and Perfect Disaster which is like a double-AA side, and then we had a little bit of time on the last day with a song I had literally finished that afternoon, and that’s The Ride.
‘We ended up jumping in and doing a 360-degree video, we did it in one take in the studio. It could have probably been better and layered and we could have recorded it properly, but we thought we’d just chuck it on as an acoustic demo and see how it goes down.
‘I really like it as an acoustic version, but we have developed it since then and we do a full band version – a lot of people have said how much they like the acoustic version!’
The new material sees the band’s style developing, and Scott has already been taking a part in the songwriting.
‘Scott doesn’t do the lyric thing, which suits me fine, he comes in with loads of cool little hooks and things – Perfect Disaster is his with my lyrics.
‘I can’t sing other people’s lyrics, I just can’t do it, if I didn’t write it, I don’t believe it.
‘We’ve got another three or four songs coming, which will hopefully be presentable at our gig in November.
‘Scott’s done a fantastic job so far, we’re really chuffed.
‘The band as a whole – are we as good as we were when we headlined The Wedge a couple of years ago? Not yet, but if we carry on writing stuff the way we are…
‘This seems to be a new kind of direction now. It’s not 20-something Gallaghers and Parklifes any more, it’s something a bit more well-groomed and put together properly.
‘We’ve spent a lot of time with Mayfield putting this together – we’ve been thinking about arrangements a lot more.’
The band also return to Victorious this year. They were a offered a spot to play in 2018, but decided not to take it, as Sam was due to become a father. A wise decision as it turned out – the baby arrived on the festival’s Friday.
‘We’re really looking forward to Victorious. It’s a great time for us, we’re playing at 6pm on Saturday on the Seaside Stage. It’s just before the big boys come on and that whole stage we’re surrounded by great guys – Crystal Tides, Neverman, Colour of The Jungle, it’s going to be a cracking day down there.’
Before then though, there’s the EP launch gig, where they will be joined by a top support line-up.
‘Calaveras have been pals of mine and the band for about 12 years, since they were back in The Exits.
‘The New Shoes are a new outfit from Gosport who seem to be getting a bit of momentum, and I really like The Stone Birds, we’ve gigged with them a couple of times and they’re really doing well. I’ve got high hopes for them – I think they’re going to do well.’
FOUR FOLDS LAW
Saturday, July 13
The Barn, Milton