Berries have just crushed their set at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen opening up a sold out show for King Kartel and headliners Proletariat with a set that was highly energetic. Their enthusiasm was infectious with guitarist Holly struggling to stay still for a nano-second, bassist Lauren looking like a seasoned pro and Lucie providing solid rhythm on drums. The heart of their performance though are the songs and with the likes of Sirens and Wild Vow still rattling around my ears we sat down for a little chat after their set to find out what makes Berries tick…
Berries are currently based in London although originally they are from Norfolk (Holly and Lauren) and France (Lucie), “this line-up has been playing together for two years now” explains Holly , “I have known Lucie for three years and Lauren… we grew up together. Lauren and I have been playing in different bands alongside each other, but not together until Berries. Lauren is originally a very good guitarist and she played in her old band called Studmuffin (the mind boggles) and I was guitarist in The Hoodwinks.
“We played a lot of shows together but we never played in the same band and we thought we would compete with each other” says Lauren, “but there was too much rivalry and now she tries to do solos on bass” continues Holly.
And even in the relatively short time they have been together they have still managed to put out a couple of releases. Their debut EP, containing six songs, came out in November 2016 and their new single Wild Vow was released on 5th July and has already sold out of all the physical copies. “Yes, this is true, we have sold out of them” confirms Holly, all three of them beaming at this success, “we do have plans for an album but we are going to do another EP first and album could be next year.”
We go on to talk about the influences that they have soaked up to produce this music. “For me Hendrix” says Holly first, “a bit of everything, blues, a lot of blues so a lot of our songs are in a minory blues key but we try to keep them uptempo but they have taken on more of a discord these days, slightly heavier, also Biffy Clyro, Nirvana”. “Chilli Peppers” is a quick interjection from Lauren. Lucie is sat quietly at the end of the sofa so I try to prompt her, “I was listening to everything my dad was listening to: Bob Marley, Sting, The Police, bands like that.”
All of this produces a sound that very much leads to alternative rock with bluesy riffs “our first EP was a lot different to where we are going now” explains Lauren. But this is common with a lot of bands as they develop and start to find their feet, “we are starting to move towards drivey-garage rock with a bit of a grunge tinge to it” explains Holly, Lauren continues “Holly will bring a song to us at band practice and we will be like what would be good here would be a half time breakdown” “of my lovely ballad” is the response.
Tonights show is promoted by Scruff Of The Neck “we have played for Scruff a couple of times, we did our single launch show with them and we have another date booked in for 19th October which is a headline show at the Black Heart in Camden but between then we are playing in Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Ramsbottom Festival.”
Interest in the band is growing rapidly, especially from blogs and taste makers who are really into what they are doing “it’s a cool journey” quips Holly. Catch them before they hit the big time, surely an inevitability.
Words and Photos: Anthony Firmin