Introducing Stagecoach

Stagecoach are a band from various villages in the Surrey hills. They started out as a two-piece, then added a member every year until they felt they could comfortably rock a stadium. Stagecoach wanted to make country music, but things evolved around the time they rediscovered their tape collections from 1993. Their songs are about the usual stuff: Hot dogs, chess leagues, Buffy. We hooked up with lead singer Luke Barham to have a chat about the band and some random bobbins...

Hi Luke, thanks for sparing some time to talk to The Music Fix. Some of our less cultured readers won't yet be acquainted with your music so could you help us bring them up to speed? If you had to give someone a cultural reference point who, or indeed what, would you compare yourself to?

I'd best describe Stagecoach as a smack in the face followed by a warm bear hug

OW! Put me down for God's sake...Look, your biog suggests that you’ve evolved from a two piece country rock outfit to a something far more all encompassing. Music has clearly always been hugely important to you so I’m interested in what your earliest musical memories might be? What inspired you to form a band?

My earliest memory would be sitting in a circle at primary school each kid with a different piece of percussion. I had a cymbal on a piece of leather and managed to turn it inside out by sitting on it. I've never been so scared, luckily it bent back into shape.

Stagecoach was formed through listening to bucket loads of Americana as I was so bored with the dire bands coming out of the UK and wanted to do something fresh to me.

This may come as a bit of a shock to you but, in order to ease the pressures of urban crowding, you have each been selected for relocation to live on your desert islands for a year. You can take one album, one book and one DVD to keep you amused. What will you be packing?

Album would probably be 'it’s a Shame About Ray' by The Lemonheads, I first heard it when I was 12 and am yet to be bored of it. I think Lord of the Flies would be a suitable choice of book because it's awesome and set on a desert island so may give me some clues for how to catch a pig. DVD? Can I have more than one? The entire Buffy series would be good or if I had to pick a single movie I'd go for Swingers.

Swingers it is then, now unfortunately you’ll be struggling to catch any live music out on the island so you may have to rely upon your memories. What has been the most exciting gig you've seen?

I loved seeing Saves The Day for the first time at Reading. None of my friends were in to them so I went along on my own not knowing if it would be half dead but the place went nuts, big sing a longs and I just had the best time. I've met loads of people since who were at the same show. It was just ace, maybe my favourite festival show I've seen.

Having no mates is nothing to be ashamed of, just look at me...I said look, not sneer. Now what’s the most memorable gig you’ve performed?

We played a secret show in a Barbershop at The Great Escape a few weeks back. That was surreal. It only fit about 20 people and we couldn't fit the bass amp through the door. We had no soundcheck and just started playing and it was perfect. The audience seemed really into it and we just had a lovely time.

The country seems to have been overrun with boutique music festivals this year. If you could curate your own mini festival at home, featuring any five artists you like, who would you choose?

I don't know about the other guys but I'd probably go for Wilco, Paramore, Pavement, Phoenix and something heavier.. perhaps Refused. That'd be just sweet.

How are you enjoying the World Cup? Have you thought about incorporating the infamous vuvuzela into your act for the future?

The World Cup has been no doubt disappointing although I've really enjoyed Ghana's run. I hate Vuvuzela's, terrible sounds.

What is the most cringe worthy track that you just can't bring yourself to delete from your i-pod? (or remove from your Dansette or any other choice of listening equipment)

I pretty much love everything on my ipod so this is a tough one. Maybe Len 'Steal My Sunshine' although I do really enjoy that song on a sunny day. Freed From Desire by Gala is another, great but also horrible in equal measure.

You may have been reluctant to delete those tracks but it gets worse I’m afraid. We just heard that new environmental legislation means that for every new album released in future the master tapes of an archive album have to be wiped and recycled. You’ve been twinned with The Smiths - which one of their albums will you elect to erase?

I'm not a big Smiths fan (burn the heathen - shocked Ed) so take your pick. Any of them but The Queen Is Dead I guess. Can't we be twinned with korn or something instead?

Ok, after that act of cultural genocide, what's next for Stagecoach?

We're hoping to get an album out early next year. There's some festivals still to come this year including End of the Road which Wilco are playing WILCO! We also have another couple of short tours planned before the end of the year and a remix EP. Exciting times ahead I hope...

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