Eat a peach, Covid.
‘Eat a peach’, remarked Neil Young, after abandoning his 1976 tour with Stephen Stills. The start of the message read, ‘Funny how some things that start spontaneously end that way’, as the band were under-rehearsed and unbalanced. Years later, circa 2017, Harry and Henry from Greater Manchester are throwing band names about for their 5-piece in hope to find something that stuck. “What about The Big Peach?”, Henry asked, subconsciously referencing Neil Young’s dramatic telegram. And the name was just ripe enough to hit that sweet spot.
The Big Peach are a Manchester-based rock band all about style, music and melody. It’s apparent before they even play that they are influenced by the mod-era of the 60s; and the trousers, mullets and moustaches of the 70s. And their music also fits the bill, with song-writing influenced by The Beatles and the Swinging Sixties in London. ‘All You Have To Do is Ask’, a personal favourite, is positive and carries a simple but contagious melody. When describing their influences, Harry explains, “It’s more like the good song-writing back then, the proper good song-writing that we like.” Henry agrees, “It just comes down to melody, good melody based music, guitar based rock and roll. Anything with melody is worth listening to whatever year it’s from.”
With the pandemic, their gigging has been on hold for the year but they tell me about their plans to release an alum in the new year – “We’ve had a lot of time to write and we’ve got a lot of songs to put in different albums over the next couple of years”, Harry describes. “It’s horrible not to gig and that, but we’ve had a lot of time off from work to write and hopefully in 2021 we’ll get back to playing the gigs we weren’t meant to do.”
2020 aside, The Big Peach are often found in the hipster bars in the Northern Quarter. With their fans and friends rocking similar styles, the show is immersive – taking you back in time to when flared jeans and moustaches were all the rage. You also can’t help but dance and sway at their shows. It’s no surprise that this is important to them, as Henry explains, “It’s nice to have the audience dancing and that seems to be quite apparent in our set. That’s always a good thing to have, to have people dancing to your music. If they’re not dancing to your music, you don’t really know if they’re enjoying it or not. Good for them to bop!”
And how does music and style intertwine for you?
Harry: “It’s a massive thing. There’s a lot of bands who play rock and roll and that around Manchester but there’s none that really dress like us or put like a lot of effort into the dress and we just love that style anyway and it’s what we buy but it seems to work like the shirts and ties and the vintage trousers and all that and the suits. It goes hand in hand, it makes the music as good and if you’ve got good style to go with the music I think it’s a perfect package.”
Henry: “I think it just comes with the music that we like listening to. The style of that era, be it the 60s or the 70s, we just like that to dress the way that people did dress back then. And influence today as well. But it just comes as much as an influence on style as it does musically.”
How has being from Manchester shaped your music?
Harry: “We like all kinds of music. We like Manchester music as well and it helps at the moment there’s quite a lot of strong Manchester bands, there’s a good music scene. I used to like Oasis and stuff as a kid but I wouldn’t say they’re influenced my writing. I do like all those bands but I think it’s more of a modern Manchester thing for us. It’s a good place to be, probably the best place in England to be if you’re playing in a band.”
Henry: “Manchester is kind of as important now as London was once viewed. The hub, for bands to go. Now, bands don’t have to go to London to get recognised. You can stay in Manchester and get recognised up North which is good.”
What did you think about the campaign about artists being told to retrain?
Harry: “Ridiculous, stupid. You can’t tell people who’ve got a talent and that to retrain and they don’t realise most bands still have to work as well. Like we all work, we’ve got full-time jobs, so saying you have to retrain, well, the money we’re getting from the band has gone and we’re still working anyway so what do you expect us to do – work 100 hours a week? Just to pay to play and have a bit of fun and use our talent. If you’ve got a talent, you should be able to go ahead and do stuff.”
Henry: “Or even a dream, as long as you have a dream, nobody should be able to tell you to stop pursuing what you want to do.”
Harry: “And everybody’s not a robot. Like that campaign was about that ballerina, like you can’t expect her to just go and be a robot in some company. We’ve got to have people like artists and filmmakers, because that’s what people have been doing in the lockdown as well. If there was no artists or filmmakers, they’d be no Netflix or music to listen to.”
Henry: “And there’d be no massive sum going into the government’s pocket.”
Harry: “Yeah, 10 billion or something the music industry make a year and they don’t even care about it.”
What can we expect from the new song ‘Sad’?
Harry: “Just another good sound rock and roll tune. But it’s got more piano in it than usual and it’s a bit more articulate I’d say. And even though the title is ‘Sad’ and the lyrics can be sad, the music is very uplifting so I think it’ll appeal to a lot of people and a lot of people will like it hopefully.”
What are the plans for after the vaccine?
Henry: Probably just to do what we wanted to do this year which was to tour, either do a Northern tour or a Southern tour, go to Spain, do festivals – try as play as many of them as we can. And yeah, record an album.”
Harry: “And just do the gigs we had lined up, we had a Peach fest gig lined up at The Rose and Monkey which got cancelled. So do that. And we had another DHP show lined up so schedule that. And yeah, go to Spain. Our manager is from Spain and he has a lot of contacts out there so hopefully we can get out there in the summer and do a tour of the festivals and that. That’s the aim for next year.”
The Big Peach’s newest single, ‘Sad’, is released on Thursday via Sour Grapes records. Check it out!
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