Face to face with The Jacques

The Jacques

Fizzy guitars and youthful vocals make The Jacques’ music a very dangerous affair indeed: when the raw meets the angelic it breeds the combination lush and rock ‘n’ roll.  In mid June the band released their sophomore EP ‘Artful Dodger’ and are now busy on the live circuit all around the UK. I caught up with The Jacques’ own Finn to ask him about the band’s latest EP, playing on a boat and summer festivals.

– You are fresh from playing the Isle of Wight festival and Glastonbury. How was that experience for you?

– Isle of Wight was a lot of fun – we bumped into our friends Bang Bang Romeo on the same stage as us and had a proper tent party with the bloke from the Zutons’ bandmates. They were much more fun than he was. Jake ended up sleeping in a portiloo. Glastonbury was a truly special weekend for us.

– Whose performance were your highlights at both festivals and what made them so?

– Blur were great and I personally really took to the new euphoric Elbow-esque stuff. Franz Ferdinand and Sparks were brilliant on John Peel at Glastonbury – Alabama Shakes, Courtney Barnett, Patti Smith ft. the Dalai Lama…… She’s still got it. It was great to hear those tracks from Horses in the flesh.

– Mid June saw the release of your EP ‘Artful Dodger’. How would you introduce the record to listeners?

– I don’t usually like reviews but I laughed the other day when I read “Les freres Jacques have grown up”. I’d like to introduce it with that, although I’m not entirely sure if it’s worth much. Maybe we just coughed up 4 more tracks and they nod towards a different direction – but it’s still pop.

– Why does this EP owe its name to one of the characters from Charles Dickens?

– It was once one of my favourite books and he’s certainly my favourite character. He reminds me of being a cheeky bugger at school.

– In comparison with your previous effort ‘Pretty DJ’,  what did you do differently while working at ‘Artful Dodger’?

– Nothing. We learned how to get a good thing going during the sessions for the first EP, and we just did it again – probably quicker.

– On July 14 you’re playing a gig on a boat in Bristol to celebrate the EP release. It seems a very unusual and exciting venue for a show. What do you expect from this gig?

– Really I think it’ll celebrate the entire year we’ve had. Last year around the same time we’d just played our Hyde Park show, so it’ll be a bit of a retrospective and thank-you to the people on board – our mates, people who we work with, and whoever buys a ticket. It’ll just be fun.

– What’s your main philosophy while playing live?

– No shoegazing…

– What bands/musicians would you name your biggest music inspirations? What role did they play in your life?

– PJ Harvey, Stevie Wonder, Beck, Libertines, Pixies, in particular Kim – to her we owe a great deal. Hendrix, the White Stripes, Amy Winehouse. All the big personalities taught us how to put yourself into what you are doing. Bettye Lavette taught me how to sing. Prince taught me how to write a pop song. Patti Smith taught me not to care about anything. There’s loads.

– What are your plans for the rest of the year?

– We’re writing a proper record now.

Catch The Jacques live: 

July 2015

10 Cornbury Festival, Oxfordshire
18 Godney Gathering, Somerset
24 Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire

September 2015

6 Bingley Live, Bradford

October 2015

30 Paradiso, Amsterdam

Find The Jacques on Facebook


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