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13 Questions

13 Questions with The Ponderosa Glee Boys

The Ponderosa Glee Boys have become something of a Liverpool Institution and their December shows have become one of the year’s highlights.

It’s a shame then that this damn pandemic is putting a stop to this year’s trip. This is even more of a shame when you realise that they would be playing tracks from their forthcoming album, Demigods of Bedlam.

Their long awaited (over 40 years in the making!) debut album Wake Up was an unabashed triumph and one of last year’s very finest records, so we here at Sun 13 are practically salivating at the thought of a second long player. The demos that lead singer Carl Eaton has been leaking out have only made the waiting more unbearable.

The overall feeling of the demos is of intense, claustrophobic songs full of lyrical dread about the times we live in.

Carl lives in Australia these days, so the time the Glee Boys can spend together recording and gigging is limited at the best of times, never mind when Covid19 is forcing us into smaller and smaller lives.

This is one thing that makes their gigs so special, there is a real sense of their appearances feel like an event, a rare happening that you absolutely have to be it.

The Ponderosa Glee Boys are one of Liverpool’s best bands, and we hope that they can come back to our stages as soon as lockdowns permit.

In the meantime, we got in touch with singer Carl over the ether and subjected him to a set of our fiendish 13 questions.

Read on to find out more about being told off by your daughter, death threats from America and pissing in water pistols.

1. Where are you and what are you doing and how is that working out?
“At the moment I’m on the Gold Coast in Australia. Just got out of the recording studio working on the last 3 songs for the Demigods of Bedlam album. Recording time has been very limited since Covid so its taking longer than we anticipated. I’m healthy and safe and lucky enough to be enjoying the sunshine and cold beer so not complaining. Spending more time with my family has been a bonus as well.”

2. How have you been coping with the lockdown situation?
“Lockdown here I imagine was the same as most places around the globe though they seemed to have managed it a lot better than most places as they acted early and Queensland has been relatively lucky.

Borders are still locked down here between states and no international flights which will stop me travelling back to the UK this year. I’ve used the lockdown time to be more creative and hopefully that will be reflected with the album.

Lockdown has opened my eyes to how poorly some governments have reacted but that’s not much of a surprise.”

3. Who is the nicest ‘celebrity’ you’ve met?
“The nicest celebrity I’ve ever met is a hard one but would for me would be fellow Liverpudlian Joe (Jose’) McLaughlin from Gerry and the Pacemakers.

He kindly played additional guitars on a few of the tracks on the AWAKE album last year after we met him in Australia where he now lives. He loves everything Liverpool and is a beautiful human being.

He is extremely talented on many instruments and I love talking to him about his life. We still keep in touch.”

4. When did you last get into an argument?
“I try my best to keep out of arguments these days, I think you get smarter with age but the last one I had was in the form of a personal message on messenger with the person finding my lyrics not to his political taste and threatening to kill me If we ever went to America.

I don’t think the chances of that are likely as we would be refused visas haha.”

5. When did you last shout at the TV?
“Liverpool Leeds game at Liverpool’s defense.”

6. When did you last consider quitting social media?
“All the time.  There are so many people who need to be shaken to Wake Up.

I love it to keep up to date with what’s going on the to be fair. I don’t post much personal stuff anymore, just the odd PGB related stuff and a few like on friend’s posts.”

7. How would you describe yourself?
“I think I’d say over the years I have become a better person. I might upset a few people with what I say but I think I’m honest and I stand up for what I believe is fair and right.

Hopefully I’m not wrong.”

8. What words of warning would you give your younger self?
“I’d tell myself not to pack in the music for 35 years, I’d have written a few hundred master pieces by now.”

9. When were you last told off?
“My daughter tells me off all the time about my music taste.”

10. What’s your first memory?
“My first memory is a hard one but I have a memory of steam trains at Mersey Road station and being afraid of the smoke.”

11. What’s your guilty listening pleasure?
“You to me are everything by the Real Thing .. Is that bad?” (No it isn’t!)

12. Tell us a secret
“We used to piss in water pistols and spray the audience with them at Eric’s when some punks used to start the spitting thing.”

13. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

“I’d like to wish everyone all the best and hope they all get through this global nightmare. We look forward to playing over in the UK again as soon as possible.

The album Demigods of Bedlam is fantastic so far and we hope to get it out in a few months. Its been hard getting studio time and with Covid the band haven’t been able to get over to Australia this year.

I’ve had to play most of the instruments which has allowed me to experiment more. I’m really proud of where its at so far and I think there will be a few shocks in there.

Big Love to all X”

Categories
Singles

Campfire Social release new single Awake in the Wake of a Wave

Campfire Social released their new single Awake in the Wake of a Wave recently, on Mai68 Records.

Having worked with the Mai68 folk, I felt it only right that I should give their latest release a good listen. After all that’s what friends are for right.

Sometimes when placed in this position, the best reaction we can summon is one of forced politeness, trying to find something good to say about a record you may feel isn’t really that great. You know the kind of thing I’m sure; we’ve all listened to a friend’s new song, read their prose or admired their art with words that are kind but insincere.

But one play of Campfire Social’s new single made all of these concerns evaporate. Awake in the Wake of a Wave is an understated gem of a record.

My first thought is that the band are well named, as I can imagine myself sat around a campfire in the woods listening to this, its pastoral beauty perfectly suiting this setting. There is a summer air about Awake in the Wake of a Wave that conjures up images of unspoiled days and warm nights.

Scratch beneath the song’s surface though and we reveal the melancholia beneath, the lyrics pointing towards possible emotional turbulence with the opening line “I can see some trouble up ahead

The mixture of buoyant music and sad, introspective lyrics make this a song that gains more significance with each play.

The definition of introspective is given as “characterized by examination of one’s own thoughts and feelings, thoughtfully reflective” and that, admirably, does apply to the lyrics in spades.

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, I haven’t really had the time for anybody else” the song continues, before adding “I believe it’s time I should be leaving, and it won’t be long until I’m gone. I don’t belong

Awake in the Wake of a Wave is a heartbreak that comes wrapped in a velvet bow. As the song progresses, we realise that the music is sympathetic to the theme and the whole thing is beautifully executed.

Echoes of Belle and Sebastian could be made, but Campfire Social have a sound all of their own. To hear Awake in the Wake of a Wave is to fall in love with a new band. Try it yourself and you will feel the same.

A wonderful song from a wonderful band.