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Blanche Hudson Weekend - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 21 / 2 / 2011

Blanche Hudson Weekend - Interview


At a rare London gig supporting the Primitives, Anthony Strutt speaks to Caroline and Darren from Leeds-based pop punk band the Blanche Hudson Weekend about their group's three EPs to date and forthcoming plans

The Blanche Hudson Weekend consists of Caroline on vocals, Darren on rhythm guitar, Chris on bass, Matt on drums, Sasha on lead guitar and Lee on keyboards. They are a Leeds-based group that play music that combines the distortion of the Jesus and Mary Chain with the pop punk sound of the Primitives. They have to date released three EPs, 'The Letters to Daddy' (Squirrel Records, 2009), 'The Rats in the Cellar' (Oddbox Records, 2010)and 'Hate is a Loaded Gun' (Squirrel Records, 2010), all on vinyl, and at the end of of last year 'Reverence, Severence and Spite', an album which compiles together on CD all these EPs. Both Caroline and Darren were previously in the Manhattan Suicides, who released several EPs, largely on their own Squirrel Records. as well as an eponymous album and a 27 track compilation CD, 'Burnt Out Landscapes' before splitting up in 2009. At a rare London gig in which they supported the Primitives, Pennyblackmusic spoke to Caroline and Darren about their new band. PB: First of all some Manhattan Love Suicides questions. There is a film which was made in 1985 with that name. Is that where you got the name from? D: Yes. PB: Why did you choose that name? D: Because we have always been fans of Sonic Youth and Sonic Youth worked with Richard Kern on their 'Death Valley 69' video. I really liked that video, so I checked out Richard's short films and one is called 'The Manhattan Love Suicides'. I thought that would make a great name for a band and it was as simple as that really. PB: The band lasted three years in total. Was it also like the Blanche Hudson Weekend Leeds-based? D: Yes. PB: What else has come from there musically? Caroline: The Wedding Present, the Kaiser Chiefs, Age of Chance. There was a really good 80's band called Girls At Our Best. D: The Utah Saints. Soft Cell, but not really as they both came from elsewhere and went to university at Leeds. Surprisingly for a big city there is not a big musical heritage. PB: Does 'Burnt Out Landscapes' feature everything that you ever recorded? D: There is everything on that except for the tracks on the album. There are a couple of extra tracks on 'Burnt Out Landscapes' that only on appear on the vinyl edition. It features all the singles, a couple of radio sessions and a few odds and ends. PB: And there is a DVD that came with 'The Manhattan Love Suicides' album. Does that feature every video that you ever made? D: Yes, there is every promo we ever did on that and four songs that weren't singles. PB: The Manhattan Love Suicides also released through Odd Box Records, 'Dandelion Radio Session', a six song mini album which you released in both a mono mix and a stereo mix. What was the idea behind that? D: There was a mistake when we came to master it and it came through in mono. The mono version, however sounded much more vicious and also mono mixes are really, really good. I think the mono mix makes it much more intense. Everything just hits you from both speakers, so we thought we would give people a choice. You can have the clean clear stereo mix or the evil mono. PB: The Beatles mono mixes were always the better mixes. D: It's kind of a homage to that and to the remastered Elektra/Love albums which came out in both stereo and mono. PB: Now onto the Blanche Hudson Weekend. Is that named after a film as well? C: It's taken from a film called 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?' Blanche Hudson was Joan Crawford's character in it. PB: How long was it between the Manhattan Love Suicides splitting and the Blanche Hudson Weekend forming? D: One minute (Laughs). We did our first ever recording with just Sasha and then Matt, Lee and Chris joined. The first EP featured all the people now in the band. PB: You have done three EPs, but you didn't tour and only played your first London gig at a show at the Wilmington Arms which was put on by Trev McCabe at Odd Box Records,at the time of their third EP. D: We wanted not to go out immediately. We wanted to get some material out there. We had no plans to play live apart from for Trev and the Indietracks Festival. We wanted to make gigs rare and we still want to do that. We want to make gigs like an event. PB: How would you say the two bands differ? D: The Blanche Hudson Weekend has more clarity and melody and less volume. C: More texture less fuzz. D : With the Manhattan Love Suicides we didn't care what we sounded like on stage. It was just twenty minutes. If it sounded crap, it didn't matter. We try to be more focused in this band. It doesn't always work. PB: How did Trev get involved? C: Trev liked the Manhattan Love Suicides, so he liked us and just stuck with us. PB: Is there enough material for a debut album now? D: Yes, we want it to be poppy and straight. It is strange not make it sound the same all the way through as did with the Manhattan Love Suicides. There's stuff that's influenced by Nico's 'Desert Shore' and 'The Marble Index'. PB: What will you do next? D: We have just put together the 'Reverence, Severance and Spite' compilation and will start on a proper debut, which if Trev wants to put out will be great. If not we will put it out ourselves. PB: Thank you.

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Blanche Hudson Weekend - Interview

Blanche Hudson Weekend - Interview

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live reviews

Wilmington Arms, London, 20/7/2010
Blanche Hudson Weekend - Wilmington Arms, London, 20/7/2010
At the Wilmington Arms Anthony Strutt enjoys a night of Velvet Underground-influenced punk from Leeds-based group the Blanche Hudson Weekend at their first London gig


The Rats in the Cellar EP (2010)
Blissful Velvet Underground and Jesus and Mary Chain-influenced second EP from London-influenced duo, the Blanche Hudson Weekend

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