Festival united

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Part Futurehead, Part Golden Virgin, Hyde & Beast are set to take Split Festival by storm this year. The Guide catches up with pair to talk about touring and the festival.

Dave Hyde, Futurehead drummer, and Neil Basset, former Golden Virgin drummer, have united to create a compelling mix of psychedelic jams and carnival-esque music. With the album, written, produced and recorded by the duo solely in Neil Basset’s own room3recording studio in Sunderland in the bag, we caught up with the pair to chat about touring and playing Sunderland’s own Split Festival

The Guide (TG): With the album recorded are you looking forward to taking it out on tour?

Dave Hyde (DH): I think so. I think the plan is for The Futureheads’ a cappella album to come out in autumn, so it might be a case of flipping between the two. August isn’t a great time to tour cos it’s festival season, but it’s an alright time to release an album, but to tour it’s not great. Neil Basset (NB): I think we’re probably going to get a little run of dates in September. D: Yeah, we’ll go with the flow. TG: So are you looking forward to playing the Split Festival? D: Yeah, massively. It’ll be great. It’ll be a good Sunday, nice weather, lovely food, balloons. N: Pretty ladies? D: For you. (laughs) N: Yeah, it’ll be great. TG: Neil, in terms of when you’re working in the studio with up and coming bands, have you noticed a bit more of a buzz around town, with bands wanting to play Split? N: Oh yeah. I remember, it was probably around this time last year, all the bands knew I know Dave and the rest of The Futureheads, all the young kids that were coming into the studio were asking “how do we play Split? Who do we speak to about playing Split? Have a word, put in a word for us”. It doesn’t work like that though. But yeah, everyone seemed desperate to get involved in some way last year. There’s going to be some fringe gigs this year as well. People were saying that last year, they should put on a few other little things here and there, so obviously someone has listened because it’s happening. D: Yeah. It’s a great thing Split like; I think it’ll gradually grow into an even better thing as well, with the right elements here and there.

TG: And you’ve played Split every year so far Dave with The Futureheads and you’ll be playing Split again this year with Hyde & Beast. You must love it! D: Yeah, I do, it’s pretty mad. It’ll be weird. A bigger stage, nicer lights and a big tent and a proper atmosphere. Really looking forward to it. N: Every gig we’ve done so far, with Hyde & Beast, the stage has been so small that Dave’s arse has basically touched my cymbals, and we’re all standing on each other’s toes so that’ll be one of our first chances to get on a big stage and watch yous shake your thing. Are you going to shake your thing for Split, Dave? D: Hmm. Probably not. N: I think you should. D: Well I’ll probably do a bit of shaking, I suppose. TG: Neil, you were obviously in the legendary Golden Virgins. Apart from running Room3Recording, what have you been up to since they wound up? N: There’s a guy called Davy Burn, who kind of helped guitar tech-ing for The Golden Virgins and he had some songs going round when he was tech-ing for us, before The Golden Virgins had even split he said would you play on me album for us, so I said yes and I didn’t manage to escape from them for about three years. They’re called Former Cell Mates and they’re still going. They’ve done like three albums. We didn’t really play England a lot though. We played Europe quite a bit, like Germany and Czechoslovakia. So I’ve always been gigging, and similar to when I left Former Cell Mates, I keep getting pulled back in. There’s Lucas Renney’s solo album, the guys who play on that, it’s the rhythm section from Midlake, who are just amazing musicians, but they’re in America so they couldn’t play live. So Lucas asked if I’d play live. We did a few tours with him, we did one supporting Field Music, which was probably the most fun tour I’ve ever done in my life.

TG: Still having fun on the road then? N: Oh yes. I love going on tour. I’ve never done it to the extent that Dave has. I think he’s reached a point where occasionally it’s become like work if you’re doing a four-month tour, where you’re away from your family and your friends; there are things you miss. I’ve never done that much touring through all of it, so I’m still like “Yeah tour”. D: I’m looking forward to touring with Hyde & Beast. Definitely. But we’ve spent lots of time rehearsing, getting people singing together for Hyde & Beast and then working on the a cappella album with The Futureheads, so I’ve not really seen much of my home at the moment. I’ve been a busy bee, but that’s fine, it keeps the mind healthy. TG: So obviously you’ve got the songs on the album, but since recording finished have you been writing any more tunes? D: Yeah, we’ve got another album worth of stuff. N: Well we haven’t. D: Well, kind of ideas. N: This time, because it just happened before, we decided that we don’t want to write the songs and then go and record them, if that makes sense. So we’ve got little snippets of ideas recorded on my phone that we’ll just leave until we can go into the studio, just because that’s how it worked last time. I think if we sat in the rehearsal room and try to plan and write it, it would probably turn out wrong.