Strangefruit
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Strangefruit

London, England, United Kingdom

London, England, United Kingdom
Band Rock Alternative

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“Strangefruit is about great music, great songs, that’s it…” Jamie Perrett, April 2011

It’s not every band that can boast they played their first ever gig in Japan. But then Strangefruit are quite a long way from being like every band. Strangefruit have taken their favourite, most affecting parts from plangent folk and vintage jazz, fuzzed-out psychedelia and crunchy indie-rock and created something that sounds quite startling, quite unlike anything you have ever heard. This is a young band, but they sound fully formed, like they know precisely what they want and they know precisely how to go about getting it.

Peter and Jamie are the sons of Peter Perrett from The Only Ones. The brothers first played together with Polar Bear’s Seb Roachford, Patrick Walden and another Peter, Doherty, in the original line-up of the infamous Babyshambles. Doherty invited Peter and Jamie to record with him in Bethnal Green – that was where the first version of Killamangiro was realised. Doherty even moved in with the brothers for a while, but a trip to Thailand, via The Priory, put an end to all that. Since then, Strangefruit have played with both Dizzee Rascal and Florence + The Machine.

There is serious history here, a band who honed their sound playing long hours in Dalston’s Jazz Bar, a band in love with the spirit of Bob Dylan and Billie Holiday, with the freedom of Fairport Convention and the Velvet Underground, the soul of Mary Margaret O’Hara and Patti Smith, the attack of Arcade Fire, the vision of David Lynch. “We like music with soul and passion,” Will says. “It doesn’t matter what era it’s from, as long as it has bite.”

Peter recognises how, “there’s a dark edge there, something unsettling too. A lot of our songs are euphoric, but very reflective. There’s always a tension and an undercurrent…” A few weeks ago Strangefruit went into the studio to record one song. They came out with seven. Recent sessions with Matt Paul who’s worked with Adele and Amy Winehouse and Pink Floyd’s engineer Andy Jackson have been similarly productive. Creatively, this is a band on one hell of a roll.

Jenny spent years singing in churches and choirs – her voice is impassioned and powerful with an incredible range. She’s convinced there’s no safe route to success anymore, no set way to do things. Strangefruit know you have to take control of what you do and how you do it. “It’s really important to make your music an experience in itself. Build your own artistic community around yourself. Create your own world – that’s part of the thrill. Be headstrong. Believe in your music. Stick at it.”

Jamie nods. He knows the band’s strength is in their love of music and writing.

“You have to love what you’re doing – and if you don’t feel it, don’t play it,” Jamie says. “When you try to guess what other people want you’re in trouble. If you’re genuine and you love what you do it becomes infectious. Music isn’t a route towards celebrity, it means so much more than that. Everything more than that, in fact!”

Rob Fizpatrick (The Guardian, The Word, Sunday Times)