Circuit Sweet Interview, Circuit Sweet Introducing, Feature

Jealous Lovers Club & Juxtaposed MicroFestival Line-Up Special- Cleft

April 3, 2014

1912044_592109937537232_41082815_nJealous Lovers Club have teamed up with Juxtaposed Club Nights to provide what will be one of the best live events this year- in association with Circuit Sweet and Cardiff’s Quench Magazine.

On the May 4th Bank Holiday Sunday, Jealous Lovers Club & Gwdihw’s Thursday night regulars Juxtaposed are teaming up to bring a day of outstanding music to Cardiff. With 12 bands from all over the UK set over two stages, one inside the quaint Gwdihw Cafe Bar, the second in the adjacent car park that transforms into a full festival stage.

By now you should all be familiar with one of the UK’s best music promoters Jealous Lovers Club. The hardworking JLC team are no strangers to our site. Last year we teamed up with the company to promote their fantastic array of live gigs. Jealous Lovers Club are a renowned promoters company who host regular nights in Cardiff, Newport & London, bringing you a mythical spectrum of music with math rock at one end and indie at the other. Every show they’ve put on to date is a must see and always has a talented line-up of artists across the UK and further afield. Their extensive lists of live artists that have played their shows is like something out of a music lovers dream. To date they’ve put on shows for the likes of Enemies, Tall Ships, Rolo Tomassi, Dads, El Ten Eleven, Physics House Band, Gnarwolves, Playlounge, Tera Melos, The Chapman Family, Native, Dinosaur Pile Up, Oh No Yoko ,Catfish & The Bottlemen, Man Like Me, Towns, Playlounge, Fight Like Apes, Stagecoach, Let’s Talk Daggers, Talons and Gunning For Tamar to name a few!

When Connor, founder of Jealous Lovers Club, told Circuit Sweet about another event he had in the works, we knew it was going to be unmissable. Every show with a JLC touch is something out of this world, be it from the talent that’s introduced or the atmosphere at each event. The forthcoming Microfestival on May 4th is a date all music lovers should mark on their gig calenders.

Having already announced an outstanding line-up which hasn’t yet been fully revealed, this is already THE festival of the year.

Tellison, Olympians, Playlounge, Her Parents, WOAHNOWS, Cleft ,Cardiff’s Samoans and Nai Harvest have all been announced to play on the day’s proceedings, with a few more acts still to be unveiled.

Please note sadly Kutosis are now unavailable to play the festival but check them out regardless.

To coincide with the May 4th date, from now up until the Bank Holiday, Circuit Sweet will be hosting a special Jealous Lovers Club & Juxtaposed MicroFestival Artist Feature. Taking a closer look at all the talent playing and introducing our readers to each act in a more personal manor; as we talk to the musicians to find out more about their musical endeavors, their live sets and what we can look forward to from them on the day.

In the second of our Micro festival artist installments we introduce you to a 2 piece who are already having the best year yet, Cleft.

CleftPicCleft are a  turbo-prog two-piece band from Manchester consisting of Dan on guitar and John on drums. Together they create an intense explosion of filthy instrumental rock- all tracks are just huge and thunderous, each more impressive than the last. This hard hitting duo are creating something phenomenal.

Describing themselves as playing “turbo-prog” for a laugh when they first formed in late 2011, the odd genre title now seems to have stuck.After releasing two EPs called “Utter” and “Whale Bone” in 2012, they loaded their gear into the back of a petulant automobile and toured around the UK, surviving on service station coffee and houmous alone. When this ran out, they started working furiously on their debut full length release, which they describe as “slightly better than a kick in the face” this release saw light 10th February 2014. Since the start Cleft have been condensing 14 minute prog songs into 3 minutes and having a lot of fun doing it. Cleft are influenced by all types of new music and love to hear new things, so get in touch if you’ve got something you want to share. They’ve been featured on WRIR Radio’s British Breakfast in the USA, Amazing Radio and BBC 6 Music in the UK, plus a bunch of podcasts and other radio shows.

Their debut album BOSH! is now available on CD, download and 12″ orange vinyl here. The release is streaming in full below- get excited.

We were extremely lucky to spend some time with the talented members of Cleft to delve deeper into all things band and to get you more excited to see them in a few weeks time…
Firstly thank you for spending time with Circuit Sweet.

Thanks for asking us!  You look nice today.  Oh you guys- CS

Before we get to the details of your forthcoming live appearance at the Jealous Lovers Club & Juxtaposed MicroFestival on May 4th. We want to get to know more on you. Please introduce yourselves and your role within the band- How long have you been playing and performing live?

John – I play drums.  I am called John.  I like to stroke cats, eat all the things and ruminate over the nature of humanity.  I’ve been playing drums for 16 years (although I originally started on keyboards 23 years ago), but Cleft has been going for just over two of those.

Dan – I play guitar. I am Dan. I like to do bendy leg dancing, eating posh veggie food, drinking too much and aiming microphones at things. I’ve been playing guitar for ages (about 20 years from the day I learnt my first set of chords up til now).

What was it that first got you to pick up your instruments- and then to write your own compositions and direct your creativity?

John – A friend of mine played the drums in the swing band I was in during high school, and it looked like a lot more fun than playing the piano, so I stayed behind whenever I could and tried to work out how to hit them in time. After many expletive-filled attempts I finally figured out how to not sound like a smashed octopus.  With Cleft we write mostly by jamming stuff in the rehearsal room – little bits of songs just turn up out of nowhere, probably from the collective musical experiences Dan & I have each had, and we then hit them repeatedly with our musical-bludgeoning-device until they make some sense.

Dan – My dad taught me my first 3 chords and the status quo version of the 12 bar blues when I was about 8/9 years old, but I didn’t start taking guitar seriously (as seriously as I take anything) until I was about 14 when I started getting into Deftones, Rage Against the Machine and lots more embarassing nu metal bands. I locked myself in my bedroom for hours and hours a day trying to work out riffs from my favourite tunes. As John said, basically all of our tunes come out of jamming now. In previous bands I’ve been in, songs have mainly arrived at the practice space fully formed. I used to demo everything with full arrangements – fully programmed drums, bass parts, guitar layering etc, so that everyone in the band will have been sent the track as I hoped it would sound for them to learn. We’ve only done that once really for Cleft. The results are so much better when we come up with stuff on the spot, little flashes of inspiration pop up seemingly from nowhere. The majority of BOSH! feels a bit like someone else wrote it actually. I certainly wouldn’t have come up with these tunes had it been me just riffing away by myself at home.

How did you form and where did the name come from?

Dan – Myself and John both moved to Manchester (from Brighton and Lancaster respectively) at the same time, both with the intention of starting or joining a band. We both had adverts on the joinmyband site (I can’t remember which of us replied to who) and we met up for a drink and a chat about riffs and drums. I knew I wanted to start a mad, instrumental 2 piece band, so was looking specifically for a drummer that could play some pretty wonky stuff and not think I’m too mental for some of the ideas I come up with, and John was certainly the man for the job!  I came up with the name Cleft after some extensive Wikipedia-ing/Wikipeding/Wiki-ing/Wiking, I was looking for a single word that meant 2 or something to do with pairs of things. I stumbled upon a definition of Cleft that said something like “A Cleft is the product of cleavage” and that was enough to satisfy my juvenile mind!

So we want to know more about what you guys project live, we are so excited to see you live at the Microfestival in May,  and we want other music lovers to be enticed to come share the day with us all.

How would you personally describe your own sound in one word?

John – Crunch.

Dan – This is pretty hard. Erm… BOSH!

Describe what you think you each bring to your live performances, sell your showmanship, sell us your sets.

John – I bring some pretty bad gurning to the proceedings, and Dan is known for his excellent bendy legs whilst playing.
Dan – I bring a fairly ludicrous pedalboard, bendy leg dancing and idiotic banter. Collectively we bring songs that go intro, loud bit, quiet bit, LOUD BIT, quieter bit, EVEN LOUDER BIT, pretend ending, LOUDEST BIT, end.

What is it that you personally get from your performance?

John – An inconvenient erection.

Dan – YUCK! An oversized self-congratulatory slap on the back.

How would you describe the reception to your presence?
John – This one time, I bought my mum a mouse mat in the shape of a pair of tits for Christmas and it didn’t go down well.  Incorrect present choice.
Is there a particular track that you all just love to play?
Dan – I don’t really have one in particular. We almost never have a set list, so we just play whichever tune we fancy doing at the time (which is mostly great, but does allow the element of chance that we’ll UTTERLY bugger something up). Gulch was amazing to play at our album launch as we had a full crowd singalong with the verse riff – easily a life highlight of mine that.

John – I like playing all of our tracks, though the ones I enjoy the most depend on what mood I’m in that day.  Sometimes I’ll forget how much I enjoy smashing one of them out until we play it again and then I’ll suddenly remember that it’s awesome fun.

What can we look forward to from your live performance on the day?

John – Riffs, sweating, flailing of limbs in all directions, occasional expletives and lots of noisy fun.

Is there an artist you can’t wait to see at the festival, if so why?

John – Samoans, those guys are great.

Dan – Samoans for me too (not just because John said though!).

Have you played a renowned ‘Jealous Lovers Club’ show previous to this special event?


Enlighten us to what can we look forward to from you in the future- many other plans set for the rest of this year, be it touring, recording, releasing etc?

John – We’re pretty much always on a sporadic tour and we’re also writing some more tunes, though we’re not sure what they’ll end up being a part of yet.  Expect another release of some kind from us within the next year.  Oh, also we have a 6 track Live EP called ‘Exit…Stage Cleft’ due out in the summer.

Before we finish all featured artists are asked this- What album or track has been stuck on your turntable, ipod, cd player for a while now?
Dan – I have been re-obsessed with Volcano! from Chicago recently. Check out their video for “Africa just wants to have fun” and try not to smile, if you manage it, you have no soul.
John – I’ve been listening to a lot of Dub Trio of late, mostly the IV album.

And Finally any last words from you?
John – REALLY looking forward to this micro-festival, and we’re very happy to be included in it.  We’re playing in Ulverston and Bristol the two nights before it, so we should be well greased up by the time we get to Cardiff.

Dan – See you there you freaks!

A huge thank you Dan and John, we are so excited to see you live on the 4th! It’s been a pleasure having you on the site.  

Now you’ve discovered another fantastic band from the incredible line-up get excited to hear more. If you haven’t already got your early bird tickets, get them whilst you can!!

Limited early bird tickets £6

Event Info

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