***Boat to Row play Blue Whale Presents…at The Rainbow on Saturday 24th April. Entry £2 before 8pm***
The enviable Michael King brought his force of folk, Boat To Row into Blue Whale Studios to kindly perform for our In The Belly sessions.
Michael not only creates leafy acoustic romanticism with baffling finger picking wizardry through songs such as ‘A Boat to Row, To Row to You’ and ‘Autumn Glow’ (see below), he also gets the blood pumping as one fifth of disco sex punks Youves and a third of the adventurously angular Bronze Medals. So, how does he find the time?
“I think it’s important to myself as a musician to try and keep a happy medium,” says Michael. “When times are busy with Youves I’m still able to write for Boat to Row and plan stuff, and now Bronze Medals are gigging we seem to be able to fit around the other 2 acts nicely as we’re quite a new outfit.”
“I’m hoping for a busy year with plenty of shows and releases to look forward to. I feel extremely excited with where Boat to Row could go to terms of progressing in the songs I write and rowing everywhere!”
You seem very versatile with your playing as the styles of the three bands you’re in are quite different from each other, are you classically trained?
“I’m not classically trained, I studied Popular Music at University of Wolverhampton and finally graduated last May so I’ve been playing for a good few years. There are still so many instruments I’d love to learn though, so wish I was classically trained.”
You must have a pretty wide taste in music then, who else are you admiring at the moment?
“It’s always a tough one as it’s sometimes hard to distinguish who you think are a great band and who are your friends in a band so I’m going to go for new bands that have really impressed me. I’ve really liked Malpas whenever I’ve seen them, with a voice like Ali’s, it’d be hard to sound boring. Goodnight Lenin are a band I really want to see live, from the footage I’ve seen they sound ace with a kind of Laurel Canyon approach to folk pop.
“Nottingham based Dog is Dead have landed some pretty impressive support slots including Ok Go, Friendly Fires and Lightspeed Champion. They’re really fresh and original, I guess equal parts Hot Club de Paris, Futureheads and Gerry Rafferty in the best way possible.”
After impressing many people in the past 12 months or so at a number of Coffee and Cake gigs amongst others, Boat To Row has also caught the ears of super hip Nottingham based label, Danger Laser! Phaser! Razor! who will be releasing an EP and tape in the near future which Michael promises us that the packaging will be, “immense”.
And finally, go on, say something nice about your time at Blue Whale.
“It was a nice experience all round and the set up worked really well in the end playing as a three piece. Both the students and Ben and Andy were a pleasure to work with, It was nice to not have to worry about anything in that department. We we’re in safe hands.”
Here’s a live version of Boat To Row’s ‘Autumn Glow’ exclusively performed for Blue Whale TV: