British indie-rockers the Wombats will be unfurling a barrage of catchy tunes and exuberant riffs at this weekend’s Lounge on the Farm as Neill Barston reports.
Downtown LA appeared to do wonders for pop outfit The Wombats.
While the raw energy of early stand-out tracks Let’s Dance to Joy Division and Moving To New York can clearly be heard on the latest offering, Modern Glitch, there’s an added level of purpose to their work.
“We’ve been busy working on new material and things are going really well for us right now,” said drummer and keyboard player Dan Haggis.
“It was great being in the studio in America, but it’s pretty intense. Having not played together for a while it was just exciting for us and we put down 34 songs, 16 of which ended up on the album and it’s nice to see that people have embraced the new material.
“People really like it, though there are some who moan there’s not enough guitars on there.”
Dan said he feels the group, consisting of singer Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy and Norweigan bassist Tord Overland-Knudsen, have come some distance in their nine years together.
Their accomplishments are indeed as wide-ranging as they are surreal, from knocking out spoof versions of the Fireman Sam theme tune, a priceless TV cameo on Neighbours, to touring the world for the past few years.
Then there’s the not so insignificant matter of their two critically and commercially successful albums – the first of which was created at the legendary Rockfield studios, which spawned the Stone Roses debut album. It’s all a far cry from Dan’s Liverpool roots.
He said: “I started out playing flute in a school orchestra, but realised that wasn’t very rock ‘n’ roll, so I saw the guy who was playing drums and thought that sounded like a cool thing to play.”
The band’s path was far from a straightforward one, but today the trio enjoy a strong bond of friendship.
Dan said: “Me and Murph were in the same class together from the age of 16, but it wasn’t for a while that we started hanging out together.
“We realised we had the same sense of humour and similar taste in music and it just went from there. We used to play some silly songs about goats and emus and we ended up playing the smoking goat song at the Cavern in Liverpool. It was just ridiculous.
“The promoter told us we needed a name to put on the posters and I just said, stick Wombats on it. We’ve done all right from it, especially in Australia, where they think we’re from over there!”
Kent music fans in the county will probably remember the band from their previous trips to the county including an early visit to Tunbridge Wells Forum and Folkestone’s Leas Cliff Hall last year.
This time around it’s the turn of Lounge on the Farm to play host and the Wombats will be flying the indie flag with a headlining set on Saturday.
Dan said: “We are really looking forward to coming down to Kent, especially as we’ve not actually headlined many festivals before.
“We love playing these kind of events as there’s always a special atmosphere. People just seem to let loose a lot more.
But I still can’t believe that we are playing music for our jobs. It’s something I’ll never take for granted.”
With plenty of fantastic acts across the three days, including girl of the moment Emeli Sande, the Charlatans, Chic and Example for company, it’s destined to be another memorable weekend.
Lounge on the Farm is at Merton Farm, near Canterbury. The festival runs from Friday, July 6, to Sunday, July 8. Weekend tickets £115. More details atwww.loungeonthefarm.co.uk