Arresting music from Preston band The Empire Police
I predict a riot... call the police! The only trouble is, those who are inciting all the buzz are the fuzz '“ namely The Empire Police.
The four likely lads making up this exciting new band all hail from Preston, and what is remarkable is that they are all still so young - just 18 and 19.
They are George Jacques (bass), Jordao Bassa (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Fynley Dobson (drums and percussion) and Tom Hale (lead guitar and backing vocals); and they all met whilst doing a music technology course at Preston’s Cardinal Newman College.
Their story began when George, Jordao and Fynley had lessons and performed in various musical showcases at the Jopson Music Academy.
From there they teamed up with Tom when they started college, and just decided to give it a go at taking the music scene by storm.
And judging by recent gigs and an already large and growing fanbase, they have definitely succeeded.
In fact, at their last gig in the city, at The Dark Room upstairs at Roper Hall, their fans were so passionate and committed to the band that their enthusiasm spilled over, and on to the stage!
It all got a bit chaotic and the real police were called out, but luckily no-one got hurt and no equipment was damaged.
When asked about the incident, the band said: “Whilst we love that our fans love our music so much, we hope to be able to finish our set at the Ferret without the 30-odd “backing singers”.
“It was certainly a night we won’t forget!”
And so, on to their next gig – playing at the ever popular GlastonFerret next week.
The band said: “We are excited to play GlastonFerret again.
“It will be the second time we have played this festival and we absolutely love it.
“George flew back from Spain last year just to play there and wasn’t disappointed.
“We all love the Ferret as Tim, and Dan before him (who is now at the Guild Hall LiVe venue), have given us great opportunities to play with some great up-and-coming bands.
“They have a brilliant range of live music on every week but we especially look forward to GlastonFerret as the atmosphere with the real turfed floors and lots of new people in there to enjoy live music makes it a great experience for us.”
With a real diverse range of musical influences, including bands like The Cribs, Johnny Marr, The Strokes and, more latterly, The Sherlocks at one end of the spectrum, to jazz and soul/funk and mainstream pop at the other, it seems there is nothing between them that they don’t or won’t listen to!
Despite their youth, they take their music making very seriously, saying: “We do try and think about the structure of our songs, the chord progressions and time signatures to try and make our tunes stand out. But most importantly we just want them to be good songs that people can listen to, find some connection with the lyrics and enjoy.”
One person who has found that connection is Tom Robinson from BBC 6 Music, for he included their song Taxi Rank on his Introducing Mixtape.
The band said: “We’d already had one of our other songs called Dreamboat Picture listed on his own website’s ‘Listening Post’ – chosen out of literally hundreds that he gets submitted.
“And for him to describe us as a “completely extraordinary” band on his Saturday night national BBC radio show was a bit special!”
They have also had great support from Sean McGinty on Radio Lancashire’s Introducing show.
With all this praise already heaped upon them, it would be easy for many young musicians to become cocky, but not these boys.
They are still very humble, adding: “We’re really grateful for all the support we get, but we know we’ve still got loads to learn and hopefully we are just at the beginning of something.”
If you miss Empire Police at GlastonFerret, fear not, for they have a number of gigs and small festivals lined up for the summer across the north of England – including Manchester, Sheffield (coinciding with the Tramlines Festival), West Lancashire, Bolton and possibly Liverpool.
Check out their Facebook page – en-gb.facebook.com/theempirepolice/ – for dates.
When asked about gigging and the future, they said: “We love playing live and we know that when people see us they usually want more, even when they’ve not necessarily come to see us in the first place!
“We are also back in the studio recording next month and are just really excited for the future and getting our music out there.
“Our aim is to get out there in front of as many new people as possible... and extend the Empire!”
* The Empire Police play GlastonFerret – the three-day live music festival, held at Preston’s Ferret pub on Fylde Road, on Friday, July 7.
Tickets for the night are £6. Or get yourself a weekend ticket for just £10. The music starts at 7pm.