Having read and heard all about Sparrow And The Workshop on Song, By Toad, I was super keen to catch their show at The Cavern but had already booked my ticket to Leeds to see Maps & Atlases. So I entrusted Dan with a pen and paper. Smart move indeed.
Sparrow and The Workshop – Blame It On Me
A little over a week ago I had no knowledge whatsoever of Sparrow and the Workshop. Usually, this is less than beneficial when conducting an interview. An hour before our scheduled chat, I had not broadened my spectrum of interesting facts beyond their intriguing name and an enjoyment of their music. I had never done an interview before. I saw the only way rectify the situation was an evening with our age old friend alcohol.
Surprisingly this worked a charm, we covered many many things noteably the lead singer’s stone-skimming ability and The Mercury Music Prize. Their favourite band to support was Brian Jonestown Massacre and they tip Fists as a band for the future. They were less complimentary of Mumford and Sons which I found quite easy to understand. They were friendly and even didn’t dislike my most ill fated comparison of ‘Bringing It all Back Home-esque’ Dylan. Upon reflection, they are darker, more brooding and the dramatic vocals are much more reminiscent of Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane.
Lead singer Jill O’Sullivan invokes maturity, fragility, atmosphere and pagan imagery skipping like a record from a haunting siren to a boudica-esque battle cry. It’s folk/rock at it’s most thought provoking, the clatter and crash of the drums from Gregor Donaldson provides depth and a stirring rhythm to what feels a medieval barndance upon occasion, aided somewhat by The Cavern and its lighting, or lack of it. Gregor’s backing vocals were also excellent and matched the character of O’Sullivan. Nick Parker on bass is certainly worthy of mention, all number of words are used to describe the bass guitar these days, it’s quite excessive. With Parker the bass growled angrily but I appreciated more how well the basslines were fit for purpose and tailored perfectly to the guitar whether it snarled, howled or whispered, it was a most willing adversary to the pulsing rhythm section.
Great gig, great people (they even gave me a free copy of their LP!), I wonder if all interviews run so smoothly? Gratitude offered towards the support of George and Alex who filled in the blanks when I slurred as opposed to interviewed.