Gloria Cycles

Gloria Cycles


Confident, charismatic and somehow subdued but incredibly intense on stage. The band have been compared to ‘The Lovin Spoonful’ and ‘The Magic Numbers’. Gloria Cycles have something in common with The Go Betweens here, in that they are within touching distance of perfect pop.


Gloria's first sons, founding members Kenny McCracken and Julian Ward, first met at Brighton University, a south coast petri dish breeding creative talent. Both were studying photography, achieving their own merits along the way and it wasn't until degrees were done and dusted that they decided to enter into a musical partnership. This was sealed in the Brighton boozer The Basketmakers Arms, where the name was taken from a tin sign on the wall advertising an‘Agency for Gloria Cycles’.

Kenny's first musical experiences were on a piano in his parents' garage in Glasgow, aged 4, while Jules, who grew up in Sussex,had always carried a passion for music heavily influenced by his father's vinyl collection and acoustic guitar. Both progressed through teenage bands (in Kenny's words: "shit bands playing shit cover versions") and student bands. Through mutual friends the pair later met Jen Dalby, who had moved from Newcastle to Brighton to study fashion. Raised on her father's record collection, she had recently taken up the bass, but unknown to them all she also had a beautiful, harmonic voice.

But Gloria needed something extra to make her whole, which they found in drummer Jack Hannan and the picture became complete. Born in Abu Dhabi, he spent 10 years in Boston USA before returning to England over a decade ago - his drumming experience is similarly comprehensive. From musical theatre to punk rock, urban hip-hop and everything in between, he landed in Gloria's lap with his sticks in his hand.
Far from being another run-of-the-mill indie guitar band, Gloria Cycles songs are as diverse as their characters and musical references. "I'm influenced by everything from elevator music to rave," says Kenny, who pens all the lyrics. "Via Dexy's Midnight Runners, The Cure, Supergrass, Randy Crawford, and My Bloody Valentine."

And many 'Cycles songs are conceived without their author even being wholly conscious. "I often record them while drunk, go to bed, find them in the morning, then work on them," says Kenny, making it sound as if any fool with a guitar and a computer can do it. They can't. He has a rare talent for observing our surroundings and taking note of the little things - such as the pleasure found in checking out girls from the top deck of a bus (Wonderbus).

Gloria Cycles is a musical democracy though and the songs are the fruits of her collective labours. While Kenny pens the lyrics, every member twists and turns and manipulates a melody with guitars, drums and bass until it reaches its final glorious form, and songs including Astronaut Swapshop, Sauna and Wonderbus were conceived by the whole band in the studio.

The resulting tracks on Gloria Cycles' debut album stick two fingers up at classification, straddling everything from indie-rock to Northern Soul and 60s dancehall.

'Wonderbus and 'Chancer' are influenced by mod bass stemming from The Jam and The Who, 'No Zeroes' demonstrates the faster, janglier, guitar end of the 'Cycles spectrum, 'New Law' has strong political messages disguised by a catchy, playful tune, while 'Bag' and 'Diplomatic Dining Tables', with Jen's haunting vocals, whip your breath away and send shivers up your spine with their harmonious beauty. The epic 'If I Wanted' is melodic and emotive.

The album was recorded in Cornwall and Brighton with the latter produced by Lee Baker (James), who has been influential in the final Glorias Cycles sound. It was mixed by John Cornfield, the renowned producer who has worked with The Stone Roses, The Verve, Oasis and Supergrass among many others.

The ever-swelling fanbase in Brighton has certainly taken Gloria to their adoring hearts - at the 'Cycles gigs the home crowd now sings every word back to them. It's impossible not to, with their catchy riffs, soaring harmonies and wise, observant lyrics. You just try to keep your feet and your lips still to melodies like these.

And with the new club night the foursome will be hosting, 'Gloria's Big Night Out', they will bring not just great music, but also table tennis, bangers and mash and fake tattoos to the edge of the dancefloor too.

As Jen says: "We don't take ourselves - or anything else - too seriously. We'll happily dress up as Mexicans and Cowboys and stick it on Youtube, and we sing about everything from space to saunas."


Vegas 7" released June '08.
No Zeros 7" released December '08.

Set List

Sets range from 30mins-1hour depending on opportunity. What follows is 30-40 mins.

New Law
Astronaut Swapshop
No Zeros