Recording over on the Isle of Wight has reinvigorated The Milk’s fighting spirit, as the funk soul brothers return to the fray with a new tour and imminent second album
Working with Paul Butler, from the band The Bees, they felt they were able to pin down their live sound on record for the first time.
Mitch Ayling, The Milk’s drummer, keyboard and vocalist jokes: ‘It’s like Alcatraz over there, isn’t it? But I love the Isle of Wight – without sounding too soppy, it was one of those chapters in your life you’ll never forget.
‘It was a brilliant time to record, we went down before Christmas, went home to see our mums and that for Christmas Day, and then went back down there the day after Boxing Day and worked all the way through over new year. On the stroke of midnight we were listening back to a mix and we all kind of looked at each other, had a little drink and carried on working.
‘It was brilliant working with Paul. He’s so talented, you couldn’t keep the reins on him, you had to let him go, and he’ll play anything – trumpet, saxophone, drums, percussion, keys – you had to be on your game.
The London-based four-piece, who have been friends since childhood, drew on classic artists such Bill Withers, Isaac Hayes and the Isley Brothers throughout the songwriting process.
And Paul encouraged them to record as live: ‘All the songs on the album are live takes, which we felt was important, capturing that moment. We’ve done recording sessions where it’s all overdubs and you just want to be in that room and playing as a band.
‘With so much stale recorded pop music, when you’re a live band, you’ve really got to be an alternative, and I don’t mean that in the “alternative music” sense, I mean presenting an alternative to people who are overexposed to this one-man-in-his-bedroom knocking out house-beats nonsense.’
They play The Wedgewood Rooms on Sunday. Doors 8pm. Tickets £10. Go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk