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Sapphire Blues

Musicians — Bristol

Name, where are you from?
Sapphire Blues, Bristol via Cheltenham.

Describe your style in three words?
*Watches Quadrophenia once*

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
My memory fails me here, but I don’t think that’s due to the calibre of the gigs. From what I can recall, The Stone Roses Etihad reunion had, as expected, an atmosphere to die for, so I’ll go with that. It’s just a shame they had to release that 'All For One' track - forget the third coming, the second was enough. It’s been so long that I feel I’ve forgotten what a gig is; the thought of us having to get back on stage again only serves to fill me with dread.

If you could be on the line up with any two artists in history?
The Shaggs are going to open the night, alienating the audience in complete dissonance. Their track 'My Pal Foot Foot' makes me feel submerged in Nausea and I don't believe I’ll hear anything like it again. I also love the story that their father insisted they form a group as his mother foretold it in a palm reading, barmy. I feel by the time The Shaggs are finished we will have lost half our audience and the other half will need paracetamol. People are going to need something to relax and calm their senses, so I’m going for Brian Eno to follow up and soothe the soul, performing the entirety of 'Ambient 1/Music for Airports'.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
The punk subculture has definitely had an influence on me, more so because of the D.I.Y ethos than the style from the '70s. You’d never catch me wearing ripped clothes fastened with safety pins that’s for sure, although for any creative I think it’s a necessity to have the punk ethos from the beginning. You can see that same mentality in Grime which appears to be the most punk scene to have come out of the UK of recent.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Hunter S. Thompson, to get an insider on how he actually functioned and managed to put pen to paper when he was off his nut. I’d just want to observe him when he was in the midst of it all - his supposed routine I cannot get my head around. Check ’Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson’ by Jean E. Carroll -  if you’re curious.

Of all the venues you’ve been to or played, which is your favourite?
The Mothers Ruin has got to be up there: a boozer in Bristol where we’ve held a lot of our best gigs and made some of our fondest memories. The downstairs shoebox of a venue, the constantly overflowing toilets and the floors that feel like they’ve been polished with PVA. The blood, the sweat, the beers.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Despite the fact that he’s not fully unsung, I’d say Syd Barrett; forever in the shadow of what Pink Floyd became without him. His lyricism was so child-like and playful on his album 'The Madcap Laughs' which I found really endearing. At an early age, he really opened my ears to another way of formulating music.

The first track you played on repeat?
I imagine one of the very first was the theme tune of Thomas the Tank Engine when I was a nipper. Either that or 'Space Oddity' by Bowie, my mother’s obsession definitely rubbed off on me and I have vague memories of listening to that non-stop - she’s even got her own Bowie shrine.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Caught By The Fuzz' by Supergrass.

One record you would keep forever?
'Urban Hymns' by The Verve.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"Stopped into the church
I passed along the way
Well, I got down on my knees
And I pretend to pray
You know the preacher likes the cold
He knows I'm gonna stay
California dreaming
On such a winter's day"

From 'California Dreamin’' by John Phillips / Michelle Phillips. But I’m undecided as to whether I’m more inspired by this lyric because of the way it’s sung in The Mamas and the Papas version than the lyric itself.

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
'Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)' by Elton John.

A song you wished you had written?
'You’ll Never Walk Alone' by Gerry & The Pacemakers.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Phantom Force' by Digital, Spirit.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Lovefool' by The Cardigans.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'Party’s over Now, The (Words and Music)' by Noel Coward. For those who don’t want to end the all-nighter, I’d recommend '24 Hour Party People' by Happy Mondays for a bit of energy while diving into the depths of a discombobulated Sunday.

Any new music you are listening to right now?
'Fit For Work' by DEADLETTER.
'Memorial' by Haal.
'High Heels' by Peeping Drexels.

Name, where are you from?
Sapphire Blues, Bristol via Cheltenham.

Describe your style in three words?
*Watches Quadrophenia once*

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
My memory fails me here, but I don’t think that’s due to the calibre of the gigs. From what I can recall, The Stone Roses Etihad reunion had, as expected, an atmosphere to die for, so I’ll go with that. It’s just a shame they had to release that 'All For One' track - forget the third coming, the second was enough. It’s been so long that I feel I’ve forgotten what a gig is; the thought of us having to get back on stage again only serves to fill me with dread.

If you could be on the line up with any two artists in history?
The Shaggs are going to open the night, alienating the audience in complete dissonance. Their track 'My Pal Foot Foot' makes me feel submerged in Nausea and I don't believe I’ll hear anything like it again. I also love the story that their father insisted they form a group as his mother foretold it in a palm reading, barmy. I feel by the time The Shaggs are finished we will have lost half our audience and the other half will need paracetamol. People are going to need something to relax and calm their senses, so I’m going for Brian Eno to follow up and soothe the soul, performing the entirety of 'Ambient 1/Music for Airports'.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
The punk subculture has definitely had an influence on me, more so because of the D.I.Y ethos than the style from the '70s. You’d never catch me wearing ripped clothes fastened with safety pins that’s for sure, although for any creative I think it’s a necessity to have the punk ethos from the beginning. You can see that same mentality in Grime which appears to be the most punk scene to have come out of the UK of recent.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Hunter S. Thompson, to get an insider on how he actually functioned and managed to put pen to paper when he was off his nut. I’d just want to observe him when he was in the midst of it all - his supposed routine I cannot get my head around. Check ’Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson’ by Jean E. Carroll -  if you’re curious.

Of all the venues you’ve been to or played, which is your favourite?
The Mothers Ruin has got to be up there: a boozer in Bristol where we’ve held a lot of our best gigs and made some of our fondest memories. The downstairs shoebox of a venue, the constantly overflowing toilets and the floors that feel like they’ve been polished with PVA. The blood, the sweat, the beers.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Despite the fact that he’s not fully unsung, I’d say Syd Barrett; forever in the shadow of what Pink Floyd became without him. His lyricism was so child-like and playful on his album 'The Madcap Laughs' which I found really endearing. At an early age, he really opened my ears to another way of formulating music.

The first track you played on repeat?
I imagine one of the very first was the theme tune of Thomas the Tank Engine when I was a nipper. Either that or 'Space Oddity' by Bowie, my mother’s obsession definitely rubbed off on me and I have vague memories of listening to that non-stop - she’s even got her own Bowie shrine.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Caught By The Fuzz' by Supergrass.

One record you would keep forever?
'Urban Hymns' by The Verve.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"Stopped into the church
I passed along the way
Well, I got down on my knees
And I pretend to pray
You know the preacher likes the cold
He knows I'm gonna stay
California dreaming
On such a winter's day"

From 'California Dreamin’' by John Phillips / Michelle Phillips. But I’m undecided as to whether I’m more inspired by this lyric because of the way it’s sung in The Mamas and the Papas version than the lyric itself.

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
'Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)' by Elton John.

A song you wished you had written?
'You’ll Never Walk Alone' by Gerry & The Pacemakers.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Phantom Force' by Digital, Spirit.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Lovefool' by The Cardigans.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'Party’s over Now, The (Words and Music)' by Noel Coward. For those who don’t want to end the all-nighter, I’d recommend '24 Hour Party People' by Happy Mondays for a bit of energy while diving into the depths of a discombobulated Sunday.

Any new music you are listening to right now?
'Fit For Work' by DEADLETTER.
'Memorial' by Haal.
'High Heels' by Peeping Drexels.

Sapphire Blues | Daydream (2021)

Sapphire Blues - Additional Playlist