Six piece into four piece band, I join Vellocet in their self styled practise room for a catch up on what they have been up too. Here’s the new line up of newly formed psychedelic trip and rock n roll band; Jordan Gifford – vocals & rhythm guitar, Ash Simpson – lead guitar, Leigh Dewey – drums and Louis Wilson – bass.
Recently turned front man Jord said, “it feels more natural being a four piece” and Leigh said, “it was tough with being a six piece, recording and having to go back on the songs making them sound perfect”. Their well known track Sahara is like a 50/50 chance for them at a gig as they’re missing the key board player – which they still want, so if you’re into the sound of Vellocet and can play the keyboard get in touch! Rehearsals for them are on the cards most days and sometimes Fridays, Leigh adds “too old getting f***ed every weekend” but they joke and say “that doesn’t stop us”.
Their most enjoyable and important gig was Camden Town in London a venue called Purple Turtle. Ryan the previously vocalist quit the night before but this didn’t stop them showing London what they’re made of. The gig at The Full Moon in Newcastle was their first play as a four piece it gave that light at the end of the tunnel feeling that it was going to work. They have that excitement of a new band again. The gig where they will be supporting popular indie rock band, 3’s A Riot is the big test for them, the test of playing as a four piece successfully in front of a new crowd; hopefully grabbing more fans. Jord said, “I like playing to unknown people it gives a humbling honest reaction”. Plus playing at the Underground they seem to have a buzz about it Louis says, “We used to sell out the Underground all the time”. It seems to me the venue holds alot of good memories for these lads and alot of good gigs especially ones with good mates like The Rivalry. The biggest gig as this new four piece will be Keele Uni 22nd December with The Rivalry. Translucid, Jet Set Cadet, The English, Vellocet and Six Towns. When they first arrived on to the Stoke-On-Trent music scene “it took off” says Leigh. They supported The Blue Collars who were massive at the time and the week after supported The Control. They just need to find the gigs and the fans again and Vellocet will be back on the scene.
One thing that Vellocet are looking forward to is Hippy Horror 2012. They are the main support for The Rivalry on Sunday. Playing outdoors and playing with friends is a “good charm” for them. In 2011 they played Rugfest 2011 and by the stories that I was told and the enuastism in their body language they really enjoyed it. They attended a dance fest one year so I asked if they found that an influence, Jord said, “They have a good layering system” which basically means they have different genres they like and pick pieces and add it to their unique sound or as Jord comically adds, “Were Vellocet and we do French Dubstep” he finds coming a front man challenging and says “have to get some jokes” so he can entertain.
“Kiss the sky with the guitar” signals an influence of the musical legends. Vellocet have a thing for the good old boys, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd for two. The man at the minute is Jack White, whose man isn’t he? He makes such good music. Jord talks about Jack White, “I look at them and think if I could get anywhere close to what they’ve done”. I saw in the distance on the wall they had numerous NME covers of a mixture of artists and bands and one that caught my eye was Noel Gallagher. I asked who they’d prefer Liam or Noel and it was Noel hands down. Jord says, “Noel is one of THE best songwriters” but Leigh adds “Oasis would have been nothing without Liam” which is very very true. Artists and bands like Paul Weller and Primal Scream that are forever changing their sound are a massive influence for Vellocet.”We don’t sound like our influences more taking something from them”. I asked who they would tour with and where, they replied with Jack White with the Dead Weather project which is everyone favourite, “America would be the one down route 66”. They would like to tour with Queens of Stone Age because they like the heavier sound they make. As the conversation went on it made out as if they were a secret heavy metal band and Jord added, “Heavy as you can go without being metal”. They all agreed Primal Scream would be “quality” to tour with.
Vellocet admit as a band they are really bad at promoting and creating a crowd outside of Stoke. They focus mainly on writing and sounding good. The material for Utopian Skies is gradually getting their and here’s a sneak peak on what you’re going to be seeing on the EP; Nimbus, She Is the Sun and they’re going to re-work Sahara with Jord’s vocals and add that too. Leigh mentioned they created a music video for Nimbus. They performed it in their very own practise room with flashing images and Vietnam shooting too, it looks dark and sinister. Louis added, “It looks like an anti government thing but it’s not it’s a good video”. I asked if they thought any track could hit Radicals Risings Hype Chart and they seemed pretty confident as Sahara hit no.1 straight away but the first track they mentioned was New Horizon so keep your ears open to hear that! They have a cover of Florence and The Machine – You’ve Got the Love to play at their gigs which is a pretty original cover for a band like Vellocet so I can’t wait to hear that!
With Hippy Horror fast approaching I asked them if there were any surprises they had planned. Previously they have done Velloween at The Full Moon and Jord says, “Normally we go as the clockwork orange gang” but they all agreed that them in tight white jeans is not happening again. Richard Buxton – organising of Hippy Horror asked Vellocet what song they would like to enter on, Jord said, “Were a bit like tongue and cheek because we like taking the p***” they were thinking of Imperial March from Star Mars whilst dressed as Jedi’s. It came clear as the conversation got funnier their band motto is ‘Not Too Old To Party’.
When I asked if there was any competition with bands their answer straight away was, no. If there is any it’s friendly banter and in no malicious way, they help each other out as much as possible. Jord helped Fools Paradise out one gig and radio appearance and they have a little idea of getting Dan Bailey (drummer from Fools Paradise) to collaborate with them. They are fond fans of Translucid, Psyence, Electroshock Therapy, Fools Paradise, The Rivalry and every band that does well in Stoke really.
Their set at the moment is kind of stepping stones; there are 4 songs that they feel super comfortable with. Excitement fills the room when they speak about the hard work their going to be putting in to making this April/May next year EP shine. Summer 2013 is Vellocet time.
Vellocet want to get back to selling venues out, creating an awesome atmosphere and getting back to their success with the “mammoth sound”.
Thanks lads for an entertaining night. If you want to catch these playing head over to http://www.facebook.com/pages/VELLOCET/106890402399 and keep up to date! It was confirmed today that Vellocet also have a shake at Hippy Hippy Shake Company so head down there to taste it – one month only!
By Lucee Clarke
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