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After a three-year break, duo Olly Knights and Gale Paridianian are back with a new album, We Were Here. They’re joined by their long time rhythm section comprising of Rob Allum and Eddy Myer. They play 5 November, Kazimier, Liverpool and 6 November, Gorilla, Manchester.

There’s a sense on this album that you have trepidations about change but there’s also an inevitability to transition, would you agree?

I don’t see the trepidation so much as a melancholic acceptance but yes, essentially that’s in those songs and in this album. It’s about the tension of being just another “robot on the pavement” or following your heart and wildest dreams.

Guess You Heard has a kind of Prefab Sprout feel. Is there a romanticism that you hope to capture in your songs?

Wow! Well I think the Sprout are utterly great so that’s okay by me. Guess You Heard is trying to capture that “we’re all in this together” deal but it’s saying we’re all in the same boat that’s falling down a waterfall. Which is very us, to put a slightly dark comic image into a romantic formula.

Do you feel that your approach to writing lyrics has progressed as much in terms of content as in cadence and intonation?

I think my lyrics flow easier now. They feel more part of what’s happening musically to me now but I’m still inspired by the way words actually feel to sing. I don’t give a monkey’s what they read like on paper, that’s not their job, it’s how they feel and sound and what they make other people feel.

How important are Eddy and Rob to the songwriting process? It seems Eddy’s basslines are really key to the feel.

I’ll tell Eddy you said this, he’ll be a nightmare now. He and Rob are a massive part of the band now, they always were live but now they are influencing the recordings too. Our live shows have got so developed it seemed crazy not to fuse them more with the records now.

You’ve both been friends and worked together for so long – is that a blessing or a curse?

Actually from my perspective Gale still surprises me with what he pulls out of the hat. But one of the tricks of staying together is knowing damn well when to shut your mouth or when to have a word. Luckily for us our instincts still seem to be in sync.

Lianne Steinberg

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