Interview and review of Superfood- Birmingham’s brightest new band
If one thing can be agreed on it is that 2013 was the year of the Birmingham bands – at least in the world of indie. Both Peace and Swim Deep released two of the year’s most highly anticipated albums, resulting in sell-out tours across the country and packed festival tents galore. Tonight this culminates in Peace’s biggest headline show of the year at the 3000 strong capacity venue of the O2 Academy in Birmingham – the city where it all began. Supporting the band tonight is fellow Brum band Superfood. Already spread across a multitude of 2014 buzz band lists they’re ready to prove they’re bigger than just a Birmingham name.
The West Midlands 4-piece is made up of: Dom Ganderton (Singer/Guitarist), Ryan Malcolm (Guitarist), Emily Baker (Bassist) and Carl Griffin (Drummer). I meet Dom at the side of the venue by a fire door and he leads me into their dressing room – where a relaxed vibe is present. We begin talking of the success of the Birmingham indie scene over the past year. “We went on tour Peace for our first gigs just cos they were mates”, says Dom of the exposure other Brum bands have given them. “We can’t deny that the success of other bands has helped”. But the band are quick to point out that the success they’ve had is not without hard graft, “We have had our own success as well not just from touring and playing gigs with them” says drummer Carl Griffin.
This own success was shown a few weeks ago when their headline show at the London Barfly received rave reviews including NME giving them an impressive 9/10. This is on top of a plethora of successful festival appearances during the summer just passed, of which Suffolk’s Latitude Festival seems to be a highlight. “Latitude was definitely a standout. We were on a really good stage that was kind of set off away from the main festival so it was kinda good that people actually came to see us!”. Ryan says, “When we had that massive turnout it was mindblowing really and I felt we played really well. So that was definitely a highlight”.
On the topic of how the band formed the quartet say they have known each other for over four years now and say they met in fashionable Birmingham warehouse nightclub The Rainbow despite not being put on the guestlist yet, “Even though we say in every interview that we met at The Rainbow, they still don’t let us in for free do they?!”. So a subtle hint for any Rainbow promoters out there reading!
The group played under multiple guises until settling on their current name – this time last year at their support slot at The Rainbow with Peace they were known as JUNNK. “When we got the songs through and we started booking some gigs, we thought we need something to put on a poster! But I’m still pretty gutted that we’re not called Baby 100.” says Dom. Ryan adds “I always think if we kept the name Baby 100, we’d probably be in LA now!”
All of the band apart from Emily have lived by themselves in Birmingham for the past few years and Dom suggests that they get most of the influences in their lyrics from this, “Just, how hard it is to actually go out there and get a job and pay rent and whatever and student loans. It’s all crap isn’t it!” On their favourite places in Birmingham, it consists mainly of Digbeth bars: “Spotlight, The Old Crown, The Jekyll and Hyde, The Victoria, The Actress and Bishop and Bodega’s good for food!”
With such a successful past 12 months I quiz the band on what their next steps are and the topic of conversation immediately moves onto the album, “In January it’s going to be the album recording, which we’re really excited about! That’s the main thing, although getting signed and everything this year was great. We’ve said to everyone that Day 1 in the studio and getting going is gonna be great.” When I ask them whether they have a venue for recording it yet Ryan makes a slightly leftfield suggestion, “We want to be the first band to ever record underwater!” As for their other plans the band seem to be quite foggy about what to expect, and seem pretty chilled about the year ahead. However, Dom seems to have an interesting idea for future song inspirations, “We’re gonna get high one day and take a quest to Crystal Palace. With sticks and our shirts off screaming *in a crow like voice* “We’ve found the Crystal Palace!”.”
Whatever Superfood do in 2014, one thing’s for sure – they’re going to make waves across the UK music scene; and hopefully summer 2014s radios’ will again be reverberating to Britpop vibes two decades on from when it began.
Superfood’s new MAM EP is out 3rd March on iTunes with lead single TV
They also support We are Scientists on tour in March and Wolf Alice in May