Welcome to an introduction to Velvet Shakes. The Manchester-based quartet formed in June 2018 through a shared love of indie, disco and house and have wasted no time in establishing themselves amongst the city’s infamous music scene.
Speaking to vocalist and synth master Josh Bithell, we get to know a bit more about the ins and outs of the band and exclusive news on their next single. So go on, keep reading.
Velvet Shakes have five singles already under their belts, and their relentless gigging throughout Manchester and the North of England has made four-piece become a recognised indie name. They just finished a busy winter period with a defining opening slot at Gorillaz.
Josh said: “It’s been pretty mental – that run-up to Christmas was the hardest we’ve ever worked. It ended with opening up for Crazy P at Gorilla which was just something else.”
Armed with high energy and charisma-filled live shows, Velvet Shakes feel it is so important to keep grassroots venues alive more than ever. With the recent saviour of The Star and Garter in their hometown, Josh opens up on how crucial they are.
“They’re absolutely crucial. I don’t know where we’d be without them,” expressed Josh. “As well allowing us to build up a fan base that’s genuine, they’ve also allowed us to grow in confidence – both musically and personally.”
‘Only the other day I was doing some shopping and I overheard something someone said down the bread aisle – It got me thinking and eventually made its way into one of my tracks.’
The confidence has grown so much over the past 18 months, the band feel it is time to put on their own headline show in Manchester.
Josh commented: “We’ve been holding off doing one until it feels right. And the time is now. Well, not quite now. But soon. There’s gonna be music, videos, merch too. Big year ahead – we’ve got that 2020 vision.”
Speaking of 2020 vision, Josh has confirmed to ICM there will be a new single coming out in the Spring.
“It’s called ‘Believe It’. We’re recording it at Sugar House which is a big deal for us. Everything we’ve put out in the past has been done by ourselves so we’re looking forward to hearing what can be done in someone else’s hands.”
Talking about what influences the songwriting and overall sound, Josh explains it could be “literally anything,” including what someone says in the bread aisle of a supermarket…
“My eyes and ears are always open. You never know what you’re about to embark on. Only the other day I was doing some shopping and I overheard something someone said down the bread aisle – It got me thinking and eventually made its way into one of my tracks.”
Well, we’ve certainly heard it all now, but what does your average band get up to when they’re not writing lyrics or in a rehearsal studio?
“Ant loves a pyjama party, but I don’t even own a pair of PJ’s. We’ll usually resort to meeting in a pub for a casual game of billiards – Louie takes it far too seriously,” chuckles Josh.
Velvet Shakes look set to soar in 2020 so give them a follow on Facebook and Twitter and make sure you check out the new single ‘Believe It’ coming out in Spring.
Featured images by Ianthe Warlow
An Introduction to… is a new interview series which puts the undiscovered centre stage. If you would like to be featured email getintouch [at] indiecentralmusic.com with ‘An introduction to’ and the name of your band in the subject headline to be considered for a feature.