Narrow Plains are an acoustic-indie band based in London. The was band was originally a trio consisting of Charlie Ferriday (guitar/vocals), Roger Connick (bass/back-up vocals) and Stuart Connick (drums/back-up vocals; but is now a four-piece following recent addition Edd Simpson on guitar and keys.
While they all went to the same school in Caterham, Surrey, the trio first got together in early 2012 after writing and self-recording their debut EP “Somewhere In Between” which received a great response.
Following a series of gigs the band got the opportunity to play at the 02 Academy Islington, 100 Club and Cavern Club in Liverpool and quite a few music festivals and even in the USA.
The group have gone on to win a number of awards and competitions including the Hard Rock Rising competition at The Hard Rock Café in London in 2015, the 2014 Canadian “Live In Your City” contest of Uprise.FM. The band were also the Judges Pick in the USA-based, “Bands4Good” 2014 online talent contest, winning a recording session in his North Carolina Deep River Studios with the legendary John Davenport who has engineered major albums for artists such as Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon and the Rolling Stones.
In terms of discography; After releasing their initial EP “Somewhere In Between” in 2012, the band released a self-produced, double A single, “So Rewind”/ “Keep You Anyway in 2014 followed by, a live version of “Choices” recorded in North Carolina and produced and engineered by John Davenport, in 2015.
Their latest single “I Should Have Known” was released in 2016 along with their self-titled debut album “Narrow Plains” under the Smart Indie label. Five songs from the album have been selected as “BBC Introducing Track of the Day” while the influential BBC Indie programme, Rapal, named the album its “Album of the Week”
IndustryMe caught up with Narrow plains to discuss their journey so far.
IM:What sets you apart from other bands?
NP: Only our music really! We write all our own material as a band and write the kind of music that we want to hear.
IM: What’s the best thing about performing?
NP: We all really love performing live – there is no better feeling than playing your own songs to an appreciative crowd. The first time that we noticed that people were singing along to lyrics that we had written was very special for us, and it still is every time.
IM: How did the band start?
NP: As we mentioned, we all went to the same school but played in different rock and punk bands and never all played together. Stu and Charlie did eventually start playing as a two-piece acoustic band, playing and developing a few songs that Charlie had originally written and performed as a solo singer/songwriter. They decided that they wanted to record the songs and persuaded Rog to join them as a bassist. We borrowed Rog and Stu’s Gran’s house in Dorset for a few days, took our instruments and some recording software and bought a new mic for £80. The three of us then rearranged those songs so that they would fit a band format. We were really pleased with how the recordings sounded and decided to release them as an EP (“Somewhere In Between”) and become a band. Edd has joined the band more recently, in 2016, following the release of our debut album.
IM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
NP: Really difficult question! We genuinely love writing and playing our own music so the material side of the business is not really our motivation. However, as an unsigned band, it is really difficult to organize tours so we would really love to do a world tour and meet and play for all the people who have been following and supporting us on social media.
IM: What is your ideal gig venue and why?
NP: It has to be the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury! We have all been to the festival many times as fans and we really love the vibe and the atmosphere. It would be brilliant to play for such an amazing audience in such an iconic venue!
IM: what’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you during a performance?
NP: It probably wasn’t that funny at the time but we were playing at a May Ball in Cambridge when Charlie lost his voice entirely after just one song in. We weren’t too sure what to do at first but then one of us had the clever idea of asking the audience to sing along and fill in for Charlie. Unfortunately, they didn’t really know the lyrics to any of our songs so, after a couple of really embarrassing numbers, we decided to play some covers instead but we had no vocalist and had never rehearsed them so they sounded even more awful!
IM: What’s your favourite Christmas tradition?
NP: We have a bit of a Christmas tradition of getting together and playing music in the gap between Christmas and New Year. That was the period that we recorded our debut album and it’s always been a creative time for us. We then head for a New Year’s party afterwards and swap the real instruments for Guitar Hero and karaoke!
Now that’s what we call a Christmas tradition, we look forward to seeing more of the band in the near future.