On the radar: The John Knox Sex Club
Play: John the Revelator »
The John Knox Sex Club are a band without an agenda.
Built, in part, from members of long-rested Glasgow favourite Piano Bar Fight and Washington Irving, they make music for no other reason than to play live.
"We have just finished recording three songs at Chem 19," says singer Sean Cumming. "When we first started the band, I didn't really want to record anything. It was always meant to be a live thing and nothing else.
"That might seem odd in a culture where bands seem to rush from the practice room into a studio to cut a demo to get gigs in order to get a deal, in order to 'make it' but I don't see the band as a money earner, I think the name has put paid to any chance of that. I just really love performing."
Cumming's onstage persona is that of a sin-purging preacher. His poetic, traditional, Scottish-laced vocals are spat out with a firey-tongue and a pointed finger. The rest of the band are just as chaotic; summoning an assault on the ears that winks at a range of comparisons, from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to Dananananaykroyd, but pulls on nothing specific.
Under the Radar: showcasing the best new music in Scotland
"I'm not worried about being different," Cumming states. "I suppose it's for other people to decide if we are interesting, different, original, etc, or just another bunch of whiney, white guys with guitars.
"I would say that we aren't afraid to make mistakes, to be unprofessional, to improvise, to cover songs. I hope we convey something during our performance that stays with people after: be that the sense of joy I feel playing or something in the lyrics that resonates, or anything at all - positive or negative."
At their recent gig at the National Portrait Gallery, they had music illustrator Jenny Soep draw them live, with the images projected on to the wall. The gallery itself, with no stage and recently painted in an eclectic fashion by young artists, was a fitting setting for a band who like to play at audience level.
Cumming enjoys such occasions: "I really love playing unusual one-off gigs. We would really like in future to play all our gigs on the floor in the crowd, although this might not be possible.
"We have other ludicrous ideas but I will keep them under my hat for now. I'm really looking forward to working on and playing some new material and possibly more recording. Beyond that there is no great plan."
Intrigued? Watch The John Knox Sex Club live at the Captain's Rest, Glasgow on 3 Oct.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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