Hull’s favourite garage psychedelic rock five-piece The Black Delta Movement have built up, over years of a frenetic gigs’ schedule, a reputation of being one the most terrific and high energetic live bands around, hand in hand with developing their own genuine songwriting style from the early ‘Is That Blood On Your Hands’ and Kim Fowley’s ‘The Trip’ cover to the recent anthemic psych gems of ‘Seven Circles’ and last single ‘Medusa’.
Their recent last show in Switzerland, part of their brilliant first European tour, was shut down by the police because it was too loud…what they could expect, it’s just bloody great ‘Heavy Garage Rock & Roll from Kingston-Upon-Hull’!.
Let’s have a nice chat with Hull’s finest.
Thanks so much for the interview! How did you start playing together? How did the name and the idea for The Black Delta Movement come up? What were your early influences and inspirations?
It all came from getting in to a lot more psychedelic and garage bands having a real feeling of “shit, this is the music I need to do!” Bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Greenhornes and Captain Beefheart were our biggest influences at the time.
Do you remember when and where you start getting passionate about music? What type of music were you exposed to as a child/teenager?
Thanks to my dad I’ve always grown up around music. The main ones for me growing up were The Jam, Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene, Oasis and generally those kinds of bands. I saw my first concert when I was 8 years old and it just went on from there.
When I think about Hull, The Housemartins spring immediately to mind (but also Throbbing Gristle were originally from there), I guess you weren’t even born at that time…Which impact did your town have and still has on you? Is there any good alternative music scene?
The music scene in Hull at the moment is really, really great. We could reel off a long, long list of ace bands in the city – we’ve toured extensively over the last 6 and a half years and I can honestly say that I don’t think we’ve ever seen a city with such a thriving scene as we have here in Hull.
Despite all the sad musical losses, I guess that 2016 was a great year for the band, releasing also the excellent first physical 3-track 12” EP ‘Seven Circles’, am I wrong?
Yeah it was a good year for us! It’s been an ambition of ours for a long time to release something on a 12” vinyl so that was ace. It was nice to get such a good reception for it too.
How is your songwriting approach? What are the main influences on the songwriting the band undertakes and who takes the lead within the process?
We tackle it from all kinds of different angles really – if we use the same method every time we come away with the same outcome every time. Lately we’ve been writing the drum beat first and working around that which is a fun way to work.
How and where do you think your own sound is developing? Why and when did the idea of the double drummer emerge?
We don’t really know where it’ll go to be honest! We started as a garage/blues band, grew into a psychedelic band and we seem to be edging more towards garage rock & roll these days. We’ve had a lot of The Stooges and Thee Oh Sees on so that’s inspired us a lot. The double drummers purely came from the idea of beefing the drums out and doing something a little different. Of course, we also took influence from Thee Oh Sees and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard on that.
In 2015, you made a cover of the 1965 Kim Fowley’s song ‘The Trip’. What made you decide to cover this song? Do you play any covers live?
We were in contact with Kim Fowley at the time so we thought we’d do a cover and see what he thought – luckily he absolutely loved it and gave us his blessing to press it on to vinyl so we went for it. We don’t do cover songs as much as I’d like to really. We’ve done a few in our time but they never stay in the set too long. I’d certainly be up for doing a few more in the future!
What are the highlights of your career so far?
There’s a long, long list! Supporting The Jesus And Mary Chain was certainly one and playing two shows in Moscow and recording with Ilya (Mazaev) was there too. They were really special experiences that will stick with us for the rest of our lives.
You’re a hard-working live band with rave reviews, whats your favourite part about playing live and can you remember your 1st gig as a band?
The sheer high of playing on stage to a big crowd is amazing. We’ve done shows to 3/4000 people in the past and it’s just incredible. I can’t even comprehend. I do remember our first show though, I was so nervous and, looking back at the videos, I was right to be. We were fucking awful!!
To coincide with the European tour, The Black Delta Movement are going to release the download-only track ‘Medusa’, recorded in Moscow with producer/engineer Ilya Mazaev, and the new related video. Please, could you talk about it? You have a special relationship with the Russian capital…
We will be, yeah! Well, we played two shows in Moscow and after the first one we got a message from Ilya basically saying “I’m a producer and I have a studio – would you like to come down and record a song?” so naturally, we obliged and it was such an enjoyable session. We really clicked and he came back with some killer ideas to add to the song. We originally put it as a bonus track on the ‘Seven Circles’ EP but we really wanted to just release it properly. We’re really proud of it and we’d love to work with Ilya again.
Your heroes and villains?
Heroes – for me, Steve Marriott, Nick Cave, Anton Newcombe, Paul Weller.
Villains – Piers Morgan, Beyoncé.
What artists/bands and songs are you excited about at the moment?
Thee Oh Sees’ last album was really, really special. They’re definitely one of my favourite bands around at the moment and The Black Angels’ new single is killer too. I’ve got a long list of albums I’ve pre-ordered this year that I’m looking forward to. I feel like it’s going to be a good year for music!
Many thanks for being our welcome guests and all the best for the upcoming European tour, just the last questions : your hopes and plans for the near future?
We just want to keep performing live, build on our crowd and release more music. It’s a bit of a cliche really but as long as we can keep on keeping on then we’re all good. Onwards!!
Photo credits: Syd Young