Considering Cartoon Food have only been together since last year, they haven’t done too badly for themselves.
They’ve played Fylde Folk festival two years running, Playfest in Warton, The Langdale Music festival, and booked to play Kendal Calling next summer.
“We feel a bit humbled by it really,” said Ian Wright. “We’re just four blokes who write songs and enjoy playing them in front of the people and the reaction has been great – we really didn’t expect to do so well.”
Ian (acoustic guitar, clarinet and vocals) writes the songs with bass player Shaun Elliott. Jez Jackson (vocals and cajon) and Peter Wright (guitar and mandolin) complete the band line up.
All four are from the Fleetwood area and have already recorded their first CD, called Elbow Room Only.
It really is a good piece of work. The lads have an ear for melody and produce songs you hold up to repeated listens.
Peter Wright’s mandolin playing is pivotal to the band’s sound and it’s easy to understand why they go down a storm at folk festivals, even if the lads themselves don’t think they make folk music.
“Myself and Sean grew up listening to big band jazz and classical music, then we got into progressive rock music back in the day,” said Ian.
“I loved Abba, Barry Manilow, the Bee Gees, The Carpenters, and then in the 90s all four of us – plus a couple of other lads – were in a band called Blue Fish, which was a Red Hot Chilli Peppers style funk band.
“We write songs and then bring them to the band and play them on the instruments we’ve got and it sounds like it does.”
Ian is the man responsible for the band’s name.
“It comes from Tom and Jerry,” he said. “I used to like watching the cartoons when I was a kid and they always showed loads of food in the fridge, and there was a big slab of meat that the dog had. It always looked more appetising to me than our food, so it came from that – Cartoon Food.”
The band’s rise hasn’t always been straightforward.
As any group who insist on playing original material know, it isn’t always easy to find places to play.
“A lot of pubs want cover bands but we never wanted to play other people’s songs,” explained Ian.
“So we deliberately started off by doing open mics and people saw us and enjoyed it and from there we managed to get on a few festivals, which then allows a different audience to hear your stuff.
“Now we’re quite well known locally so we do get booked by the pubs because they know that even though we’re not playing covers we are playing music that people like and respond to.”
Cartoon Food have two hours worth of original music, with, according to Ian, “another shed load of songs waiting in the wings”.
The band are playing the Langdale Music Festival on Saturday before performing at the Tan Hill Inn in North Yorkshire on Sunday.
They’re next in these parts when they play The Steamer in Fleetwood on Friday September 27.
Debut CD Elbow Room Only is available at gigs and from Dazamakiz music shop on North Drive, Cleveleys.