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Jooles - Interview

  by Owen Peters

published: 16 / 6 / 2016

Jooles - Interview


Owen Peters catches up with Vintage Pop aficionados The Jooles on the Isle of Wight and gains insight into their mission to make people dance...

The Jooles are a four piece vintage pop band from Berlin. Their line-up is Daria Wabnitz (main vocals), Alexander Dommisch (guitar/ vocals), Katharina Dommisch (bass/vocals) and Richard Schaeffer (drums/ vocals). Their objective: To play music which makes people happy and have them dancing. Simple as that. The Jooles, however behind the sense of musical simplicity, may well have found their voice with a diverse offering of thirteen songs on their debut album, 'Moving Memories'. I catch up with the band in Ryde on the Isle of Wight before they play a late evening gig at the town's Black Sheep Bar, part of a twelve date European tour. When I arrive at the venue the band are in the middle of sound checks. With instruction and direction from the sound engineer, they move cables, adjust volumes, eventually cutting out reverberation from a rogue guitar. They play two minutes, at full tempo of a song with everything cranked up. They have great lead vocals and matching harmonies with a driving percussion which brings a smile to the sound engineer's face. “That’s really good guys,” he tells them. You know what? He’s right. As we find a quiet corner to chat, the Friday night revellers begin to fill the venue. I begin by asking “What is vintage pop?” “Well it can be anything,” Alex begins “We are inspired by all kinds of music from the 60’s/70’s, to Motown, soul, disco even a bit of garage at times”. The remainder of the band nodd in agreement. “We want people to dance, have a good time, enjoy themselves when they come to one of our gigs. But it’s also important we develop as a band as well,” adds Daria. The band members have played in and around Europe with other set ups before settling into a sound which works for the foursome. “We’ve played around the UK on many occasions over the years," says Alex. "We’ve just played a couple of dates in London, then we are off the Shropshire where we seem to have won over the locals, who ask us to come back when we can. On this part of the UK tour we close at the Cavern in Liverpool." “We are very excited,” interjects Daria. Their debut album has been a labour of love. Recorded and produced by Dennis Rux at YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! Studios in Hamburg, it was ready for distribution when they ran out of funds. A crowd fund appeal for 5,000 euros was set up. “It was frustrating. We had come so far but we couldn’t go any further with releasing the album until we raised the additional money. If and when we would raise the funds made us wonder at times if the album would ever get released,” Katharina explains. Well, the money was raised and 'Moving Memories' is out and available. The first sight and feel of the CD and vinyl indicate this is a well thought out production. The sleeve is a striking black on yellow typeface with cryptic square set stencils of the band alongside varying shapes and images. Which I’m told refer to each of the album's songs, if you can work out the puzzle. The band look and feel a comfortable which each other, be it over a beer, or on stage belting out their own brand of vintage pop. On the more upbeat tracks 'Somebody to Groove', 'Another Shot' or 'Crush on a Girl' they don’t just attack the songs it’s more of an assault, such is the infusion of energy. Not only is 'Break of Dawn' a fine arrangement, traversing a soul groove, it also conveys how easily the band could dip into the jazz genre. Whilst Alex and Daria lead from the front, it’s the bass and percussion of Katharina and Richard which keeps the band's pace and rhythm in check. It’s a small blessing the brass section (on the album) weren’t along for the ride, as otherwise a dancing riot make have ensued in Ryde. The arrangements are excellent which allows small interplay and mini jam sessions throughout the set. Richards tells me there isn’t a band leader, and they do everything together. Watching them play live it’s clear there's a collective bonding between them. They are having fun which permeates through the audience. The Jooles really can mix up their music. Yes, they do move from 60’s to Soul to late 80’s indie punk to psychedelic themes (album track 'Green Hills Lullaby') to covers, but only better - as per their closing song of the night Moloko’s 1998 hit, 'Sing It Back'. Like most bands they have a wishlist of success. “Now we have released the album we believe we can develop if we are given the chance. People can hear just what we are about,” explains Alex. With their energy, diversity and ability to change up and down the decades I see them as a real treat for summer festival audiences. Like he said, if they are given the chance. The Jooles now have their debut album, 'Moving Memories', and an excellent live set which on both accounts is sure to attract a plethora of new listeners. Well worth a listen? Yes, no doubt. Maybe the album should come with a dance warning!...as one lyric suggests…”We're having so much fun. Let’s dance until the break of dawn”.

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Jooles - Interview

Jooles - Interview

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