Band has big plans
In the latest of our In Tune features in The Guide, profiling the music scene, reporter SIMON WARD speaks to Strictly Commercial.
Strictly Commercial are a Lowestoft based band formed in 2015. Setting out to reject the formulaic nature of popular music they aim to push the limits of modern composition – incorporating film, art and poetry into their performances – with a diverse range of influences from jazz, classical and electronic music.
Q: Where does your name originate from?
A: The name is lifted from a Frank Zappa song called Nannook Rubs It. It’s a tongue in cheek name that hints at our music being commercial and manufactured.
Q: Who’s in the band?
A: Dan Ball - Guitar and pitched percussion; Sam Dunlop – Guitar; Jack Rumsey- Tenor Saxophone and Clarinet; Jonny Baker - Bass; Arthur Le Baleur - Drums.
Q: When did you start performing?
A: We started performing in the summer of 2015. We are all very experienced musicians. I (Dan) have worked with bands such as Mechanism, The Rich Culture and Midnite Voyage. Sam Dunlop has played with Cat Amongst The Pigeons and The Fools Moon. Jack Rumsey has worked with many classical ensembles. Jonny Baker has played with Little Big Mouth and Fight The Pirates. Arthur Le Baleur has played in The Invisible Movement and The Fools Moon. Midnite Voyage, The Fools Moon, Little Big Mouth and The Invisible Movement are all still getting regular work and are very good bands.
Q: What has been your best experience as a group?
A: So far our best experience as a group was either organising a charity festival in memory of two dear friends of mine. The line up was Solko, The Fools Moon, Little Big Mouth and then Strictly Commercial headlining. We raised £700 and packed the place all night.
Q: Where have you gigged?
A: We gig all over the place. This year we have a few various festival dates and pub gigs spread over Suffolk and Norfolk. Our favourite place to play is The Stanford Arms in Lowestoft.
Q: Who are you biggest influences?
A: It’s hard to say a biggest influence because obviously influence works both ways. We are heavily influenced by any musician that pushes the conventions of music, be it the musical or lyrical content. For example Frank Zappa, Peter Brotzmann and Bjork. All of which found a place in music where they can make a living off their creativity their own way. On the flip side of that we are influenced and driven by personalities such as Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne. People who can go through life contributing nothing to the world, erasing every sign of integrity and creative spirit from music. It always helps to know which paths the wrong one to choose from the right one.
Q: What can people expect at a Strictly Commercial gig?
A: You can never quite predict what will happen at a Strictly Commercial concert; with a tendency to include free improvisation, poetry and soon to be using film and art there’s a little something for everyone.
Q: Talents and hobbies outside of performing?
A: Dan Ball is a composer, poet, writer and painter. Sam Dunlop has a keen interest in philosophy. Jack Rumsey and Arthur Le Baleur both do there fair share of acting, both on screen and on stage. Last, but definitely not least, Jonny Baker has a keen interest in nature and dystopian literature.
Q: Where can readers listen to your material?
A: Readers can listen to three of our demos on Soundcloud but we are in the process of recording an album which will be posted all over the Internet once it is finished.
For further information visit www.facebook.com/strictlycommercialmusic