Introducing... The Cut Purse Rascals
Hailing from the south west of England, The Cut Purse Rascals are purveyors of Americana, folk, and seventies-style vocal harmonies. Currently unsigned but with a support slot for The Wurzels newly in the bag, we spoke to sticks man Dom Jinks about the band, their music, and their tweed lederhosen.
Please introduce the band to the TMF readers!
We are The Cut Purse Rascals, a five piece band from Exeter. We are Nigel (lead vocals & guitar), Olly (lead guitar), Rachael (keys, backing vocals), Rich (bass, backing vocals), Dom (drums, backing vocals).
What about the name? What’s the story behind that?
A Cut Purse Rascal is a Shakespearean insult and features in Henry IV part 1. We quite liked the idea of a name that poked a bit of fun at us, yet made out we are all highly cultured individuals!
Can you tell us about your EP The Heavitree?
This is our first recording as a band. We just finished it at the beginning of 2014 after a few sessions in the studio up in North Devon. A feature of our own songs is about penning narratives of the South West (Devon) and so three of the tracks are specifically about the area. For example, Heavitree is the name of a place in Exeter and was the site for hangings back in the day.
Our work has a feel of tunes more akin to 60s & 70s alternative music of the likes of The Band incorporating 3/4 part harmonies and a rich lead guitar sound overlaying this. The tunes are an eclectic mix and you'll hear a range of influences permeating the songs.
Do you have an earliest musical memory? Was there a record or act that made you think 'I want to do this!'?
For me, I specifically remember music in my dad's car. Two of the albums in the car were Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits) and Graceland (Paul Simon). Both albums are very led by the drums, especially with drummer Terry Williams on the former. Whilst Dire Straits aren't particularly cool, it did switch me onto drums.
For the band and talking about us now, there's a few of us who were very much influenced by watching The Last Waltz which was the final concert of The Band. The gig is littered with famous artists popping up and playing with the Band, but it is The Band who captivate us and so we try and capture their spirit and ethos.
If we were to look at your MP3 player(s), is there anything on there you'd rather we didn't see?
Nigel has admitted to having 'Gangnam Style' which he claims is for the benefit of his son - a likely story, you should see how he moves at our gigs (very familiar). I've also just found 'Pure Shores' by All Saints. Ouch!
Do you have your own stuff on there?
We haven't had time yet to load up the EP, but it will go on soon.
What other artist(s) do you enjoy listening to?
We have acts such as The Band, The Doors and Rolling Stones that we love. There are also more contemporary acts such as Dawes, Houndmouth, Avett Brothers and Deep Dark Woods that we're into. As we're working on honing our sound we're interested in acts such as JD McPherson and The Shouting Matches.
What next for The Cut Purse Rascals?
We're now working on new material and honing our sound so we're not so eclectic. There are also some fun gigs coming up with support slots for The Wurzels and Sheelanagig. We've just signed up with a booking agent and so hope to play a few summer festivals.
Is there something we should have asked today that we haven’t?
Oh yes, we're developing our sartorial appearance and working on a new look. We're trying to convince our keys player (Rach) on the merits of tweed lederhosen!
Cut Purse Rascals debut EP The Heavitree is available now on their Facebook page, and will be reviewed in February's Campfire Tales.