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London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Hip Hop EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Experimental Poster Boys For Why Downloading Music Is No Bad Thing"

Like most British towns smaller than London (so all of them), Southend-on-Sea, Essex, is defined by its stereotypes. We know this because it’s Loud And Quiet’s hometown. It’s where boob-tubed girls and protein shake addicts go to clubs called things like TOTS (which means Talk Of The South) and throw their manicures up to DJ Luck & MC Neat (still), where cars rule and boot-cut jeans sell. That’s what most people presume, and most people are right. For the optimistic few, a more flattering, five-year-old typecast is what springs to mind when Southend is mentioned, made up of The Horrors and These New Puritans listening to rare garage records and The Fall. Not even a TV show like The Only Way Is Essex can change some people’s minds – Southend has a burgeoning, subversive music scene, and it’s very cool.

Fuel on that particular fire comes from experimental five-piece CLOUT! – a group of instrument-swapping childhood friends familiar with the perils of TOTS and its magpie culture. “I worked in Debenham’s for a year and everyone there was exactly like the people from The Only Way Is Essex,” confirms Chris, the band’s programmer, guitarist, drummer, synth player and bassist, just like CLOUT!’s quietest member, Jordan, their saxophonist (Chris) Schubert and the more chatty Grant and Bradley.

“We’re not really the kind of band that has a moody bass player and a drummer with his shirt off,” says Grant.

“No,” agrees Bradley, “and because I’ll play guitar when writing one song and someone else will on another song, it’s a completely different approach and you get a different type of song by doing that.”

Bradley reasons that “people with similar interests will always find each other”, but there’s little denying that CLOUT! have been lucky in coming together. Their approach to making music is not normal. They don’t jam or practise like most young bands are keen to – they assemble their songs by using the Internet as a kind of virtual conveyor belt.

“I’ll like meet up with Schubert and have this record I’ve found or sample I’ve found, or intro, or break,” explains Bradley, “and I’ll give it to him thinking he’ll use it in one way and he’ll use it in a completely different way. He’ll then email it over to Grant who’ll muck about with it and he might email it over to Chris, who’ll clean it up a bit and muck about with it, and it might then go back to Grant and so on, and then someone will eventually have the guts to do a vocal take on it, and that’ll completely change it. And then we’ll come together to record and mix it and someone will turn up late and be like, ‘What the fuck are you doing!?’ And that’ll change it all again. It’s a very gradual process.”

“Of course we get pissed off sometimes when we think a track should go one way and we pass it on and it goes another,” says Grant, “but we’re all totally open about that. It’s totally fine because we’re all friends.”

“I’d rather people say that the vocals make you sound like a wanker,” says Bradley. “I’d rather that than go out there and not know. The point of passing the song on is so that we’re not too precious of it. It’s not my song, it’s our song and we can all criticise it openly.”

Grant: “If you’re too precious over it it’ll sound too considered and lose the sense of spontaneity…”

Bradley: “And even if I made an initial demo, for me it would be a privilege for someone else to feel like they had as much ownership over it as I do. It’s far more gratifying.”

Describing how CLOUT! sound (or rather attempting to) is a similarly convoluted affair, only without the pleasing end result. Tracks like ‘Maxwell’s O’ and ‘Maybe Another Day’ make for cold-wave-ish neighbours that share a similar dark and dreamy likeness, but then ‘The Pre Party’ is a ghostly jazz interlude and the lyric-less ‘Blossomshoes (For You and For Me)’ (free to download via the band’s Myspace page now) more blatantly highlights the band’s fascination with hip-hop.

“I was thinking about how we’re a generation who’ve been able to download music for ten years so we’re not necessarily leading on from the previous thing,” explains Bradley. “We’ve had the availability to listen to any type of music from the last forty or fifty years, so consequently, when we’ve come to be writing songs, we’re not going to be referencing one particular thing. And I think especially in the last five or six year there’s been a lot of bands who haven’t honed in on one particular thing from the past and recreated it. Fundamentally, hip-hop can be made from anything, and I see it as a documentation of music made up to the point of that hip-hop song being made. So we take hip-hop as a main source of inspiration.”

It’s a neat antidote to the usual doom-and-gloom line of how free downloads have killed the music industry. There’s still an argument for that that will rage on way past the fall of Sony, EMI and every other label in the world, but as CLOUT! see it, all of this free music can act as i - Loud And Quiet

"Wir stellen vor: Clout!"

Die entscheidenden Veränderer der Welt sind immer gegen den Strom geschwommen. Frei nach diesem Motto arbeiten Clout! an ihren Songs. Nicht mit dem Strom schwimmen sondern mal entgegengesetzt. Einfach mal was Neues ausprobieren. Weniger ist manchmal mehr. Genau dieses Prinzip lies die fünfköpfige Band aus Southend nach nur einem Jahr Bandgeschichte solch ein Werk auf den Mark bringen!

Minimalistische Beats die durchdacht in Percussions- und Electro-Sounds gesplittet eine eigenständige Klanglandschaft ergeben. Metallische, undefinierbare Sounds im Loop programmiert und ordentlich mit abgedrehten Synthie und leichten Subbass Klängen gewürzt. Bei Songs wie “Maxwell´s O” sind die Kickdrums zeitweise so tief, dass sie über ein normales Küchenradio nicht mehr zu hören sind und man vergeblich versucht, diese herauszufiltern. Der Gesang kommt eher zurückhaltend daher und ist mit viel Hall und Delayeffekten bearbeitet, so dass er sich manchmal zum Flatterecho entwickelt und nicht mehr so eindeutig als Gesang zuzuordnen ist.
Konkludierend ist es ein Erlebnis sich die Platte von Grant Armour, Bradley Steptoe, Chris Le Monde, Jordan Cunningham und William Cunningham über Kopfhörer durch die Ohren zu blasen und sich von den sphärisch-rhythmischen Klängen in eine andere Welt ziehen zu lassen.
Die am 09. Mai veröffentlichte EP der Londoner Buben ist auf jedenfall mehr als nur gelungen und zeigt schon, dass die Band auch live sehr interessant sein dürfte. Zur Zeit touren sie zwar nur in der Heimat, aber wir dürfen weiter hoffen, dass sie in naher Zukunft auch deutsche Clubs zum erklingen bringen werden. - JMC

"Every Clout! has a silver lining"

Every CLOUT! has a silver lining
Hailing from the sometimes sunny shores of Southend-on-Sea, CLOUT! are the thoroughly 21st century, experimental five piece who are here to challenge our conceptions of what a band should be.

Constantly switching instruments during their sets it’s plain to see the musical punch that CLOUT! are packing. With their topcoat still wet, the boys have only played a handful of gigs (several in support of i-D faves S.C.U.M.), after setting three years aside to rehearse and develop their sound in studios between London and Southend. Constraining CLOUT! to a certain genre is tricky; their far-ranging, free-falling tastes result in diverse inspirations from 60s and 70s psychedelia as much as from 80s dancehall, all stitched together by sampling and beats from the 90s ‘Golden-era’ of hip hop. Their first EP, released 9th May, features a clutch of CLOUT! crackers as well as remixes by Kwes (Micachu and Hot Chip) and Tom Cowan (The Horrors). i-D Online caught up with the boys for a live session and a chat about their past, present and future...

What’s the story behind the name CLOUT!?
Grant: It’s just a hip hop word really. There’s that Gangstarr song 'Speak Ya Clout' which we really like. It means power I guess, that and empowerment.

How did you meet and how long have you been together?
Grant: We just knew each other from Southend going to the same places, recording demos every now and then. Then we started playing as a band maybe a year ago after writing for ages and we decided to start gigging recently.

Is there any message about music in general you are trying to express through your tracks?
Jordan: The message of love and to treat each other fairly. We’re just making stuff we like to listen to, I mean obviously we have people in mind but the majority of the time I think that’s what every musician does, play what he likes.
Bradley: We're all young musicians and so the reason the songs are so varied is because we grew up with the internet as a facility to listen to everything ever made, and that means anything can become a relevant contemporary resource or influence. Also the fact that now we have access to a whole world of electronic instruments, you can now source Joe Bloggs in America who makes this particular bizarre machine which you can then use to create both familiar and new textures.

Tell us about your recent gigging?
Grant: The last one was the most enjoyable because it was a mess, the sound guy was like Manuel from Faulty Towers!
Jordan: There is a fine line between enjoyment and the gig actually going well. I would say our most prolific gig was Offset, that was the driving force behind it all.
Chris: We were the first band on that day, I remember the last couple years I have been to that festival, people wouldn’t usually get out of their tents until 3 o’clock; we were on about 11 or 12 and it really filled-up. Everyone came out to see us, it means people got off their arses and came to watch us which was really nice.

What was the first record you can remember listening to?
Chris: Jimmy Nail, 'Crocodile Shoes'.
Bradley: Michael Jackson's album, History, I absolutely loved 'Earth Song' when I was a kid.
Grant: Fugees, 'Ready Or Not', the CD single.
Jordan: I was brought up in a very Beatles-driven background but I don’t like The Beatles so I’ll say Fugees too.
Chris: Motown compilation.

- i-D

"Live Review: Clout! @ Hoxton Bar and Kitchen"

There’s only one moment tonight when Southend five-piece CLOUT! don’t look like the most original and enviably learned band you’re likely to come across all year. It’s when wearing the influence of hip-hop on their sleeves (something that they do proudly and often) results in a couple of choruses of “Heeeyyy, Hooo”. Tawdry like ’80s rap 101, or The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air once you’re older than twelve, it’s a blip made minute by the band’s surrounding mix of abrasive noise and laconic dub grooves.

Most impressive are the early industrious tracks that soon berate the Led Zep thunder drums of opener ‘Maybe Another Day’ with a squally of precise feedback and zombie vocals, like LA’s HEALTH. But, then, the semi-skanking joints (there’s no other word for them) are largely no mid-set fillers either. They have sometime-singer Bradley leading the busy room in a baggy ol’ dance, winding and twisting to the band’s break beats, loose limbed and soft at the knees. And this is on a Sunday night! There shouldn’t even be this many people here; nobody should be enjoying themselves enough to move. They are because CLOUT! take a number of subversive influences and mash them into all kinds of wonderful shapes. Sometimes they’re baggy little pop songs that pull in reggae, dub and hip hop; other times they’re controlled sonic experiments. Always they’re more unique than most of what you’ll hear right now… minus a “Heeeyyy, Hooo” or two. - Loud And Quiet


EP 'CLOUT!' May 9th 2011. Dirty Bingo Records.



"CLOUT! are the thoroughly 21st century, experimental five piece who are here to challenge our conceptions of what a band should be." i-D

"CLOUT! take a number of subversive influences and mash them into all kinds of wonderful shapes. Sometimes they’re baggy little pop songs that pull in reggae, dub and hip hop; other times they’re controlled sonic experiments. Always they’re more unique than most of what you’ll hear right now…"LOUD AND QUIET

CLOUT! are: Grant Armour, Bradley Steptoe, Chris Le Monde, Jordan Cunningham & William Cunningham