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A Magazine for Sheffield

Dead English Gentlemen

Those of you who pay close attention may have notice the mention of these local lads in last month’s online issue. Dead English Gentlemen, a rock trio born and raised in the Steel City, have been firmly printing their mark all over Sheffield this year, playing some of the most well-known venues we have to offer alongside releasing a new EP, We Don’t Tell Lies… We Just Keep Secrets. The launch was held at Plug on 6 June and was an incredible show that really cemented the fact that these guys are worth every piece of success they lay their hands on. I caught up with drummer Kyle Hall to chat about the fantastic opportunities the band have had this year, and what’s still to come. First things first – give us an introduction to the band. The band originally started from me and Ryan, Brothers’ Hall. We’ve always played together – starting off as a two-piece, looking to lead the niche market of instrumental prog rock. In 2013 we found ourselves a piano player who became our third part, and essentially the voice of the band. Things sizzled out at the end of that summer when we realised that things would become far more accessible if we had a singer, for potential fans to connect with lyrics. When Rob joined us in September we didn’t want to bin all the tunes we had, because Ryan and myself had worked fucking tirelessly to build these tracks. Instead we took them to pieces, deconstructed and re-wrote them to fit around vocals. Ryan and Rob have a massive history of being in bands together, so we’d always wanted him to be our front man. Obviously that – even before we started writing together – was like, ‘We’re complete now. This is going to go really well’. It brought a massive third dimension to the band. How did you grow so quickly? In November, Ryan and I were asked to play a Jammed Together session and play with a handful of people to make an off-the-cuff track. From then on we were contacted by Ron Adams – the wonderful wizard of Ron. He explained that he was going to start his own independent Sheffield label and gave us the offer of being the first band on it. We’ve basically met good hearted people who are willing to spend their time and money on us. Ron really kind heartedly said, ‘I think you guys sound really good and I really want to know where you’re going next with this’. He’s gone from what was basically a YouTube station of his handpicked bands and has turned that into an actual label. What has been your personal highlight of the year? Being offered to have a record funded full stop is a massive highlight. Also, bearing in mind the fact that we hadn’t actually had a gig until this year, playing Plug as an EP launch was mad. Receiving the test pressing of the vinyl was another big moment, and of course recording it in the first place with Dave Sanderson at 2fly. Why did you choose to release the new EP on vinyl? We chose vinyl because for the last 20 years it’s been a dying breed which is now making a fashionable comeback. Not only is it the quality of the sound, being massively contradictory to a digital mastering mix, but people don’t buy CDs anymore because you can very quickly download an album. I remember being really being obsessed with buying DVDs to be in my collection – ‘I’ve not watched it but it’s there’. A vinyl collection is something to be proud of. Also, Tom J Newell has done the artwork for it so we didn’t want to smash that down to CD size. This is physical. It’s a collectable object. It’s like a piece of art about everybody who has been involved in the whole process. What’s next on the DEG agenda? Is there anywhere you’re aiming to play? Considering that we are only six gigs in, there are a million places that we still want to play. Our next step is going to be to go backwards almost, and play local venues. We need a fan base. We need to showcase ourselves. We’ve been fortunate enough to be pushed ahead by Ron but we now need to play as much as we can, anywhere and everywhere, to get people who are genuinely interested in us to come to the gigs. We plan to build our fan base modestly and then write more material to prepare for a third release, hopefully by 2015. )
by Tasha Franek (she/her)

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