Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature

NOZSTOCK: THE HIDDEN VALLEY- LINE UP SPECIAL : RAPTOR

July 17, 2015
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It’s almost time for that must needed weekend of mud, music, comedy, galaxies and all things Nozstock. From Friday 24th – Sunday 26 July , Bromyard’s Rowden Paddocks Farm will reopen it’s quintessential grounds after another hard working year of constant organizing, planning, booking, promoting and building for their 17th annual Nozstock festival.

Sticking to their rural and local roots, the 3 day festival is set to welcome the right balance of local and national talent, provided by the family run team behind the event they effortlessly unite festival goers from across the country. When you’ve experienced Noz you realize why this is such a cherished event with its own unique amalgamated community.

Having already announced an outstanding line-up which features Wu Tang Clan, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Fuse ODG, Neville Staple Band, Beardyman, Hollie Cook, Molotov Jukebox, Will and The People, By The Rivers,  The Computers, Electric Swing Circus, Beans on Toast, Skinny Lister and many many more-  this is already THE festival of the year.

With only a week to go we are continuing our special installaments which will end the day before Noz begins. In our special Nozstock Artist Feature we take a closer look at all the talent playing and introduceour 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 during the weekend.

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Continuing our next Nozstock special we introduce you to local talent Raptor. Raptor are a ridiculously powerful and promising duo hailing from Herefordshire. Consisting of brothers Kurt Fletcher on lead guitar and vocals and Adam Fletcher on drums and percussion, together the pair bounce off one another and create a unique blend of honest psychedelic hard hitting blues rock. Raptor are performing next Friday on The Bandstand stage at 3pm and frankly you need to check them out. We were lucky enough to find out more about their forthcoming Noz experience.

  • Please introduce yourselves and your role within the band- How long have you been playing and performing live?

Kurt: Hello I am Kurt and I play lead guitar as well as singing lead vocals, my brother Adam plays the drums and sings backing vocals. We’ve been playing together for 10 years and performing as Raptor for over 6. We are currently recording as a duo but always perform as a trio, at the moment we’ve got our buddy Elliot Teague on the bass.
  • What was it that first got you to pick up your instruments- and then to write your own compositions and direct your creativity?
Both: There is always music being played at home either on the radio or coming from the turntable in the corner. Our Dad has thousands of LPs and CDs, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa and The Stones were always on.
Kurt: I was first inspired to pick up the guitar after watching a school friend play (who made me jealous – haha!), being around music all the time just inspires you I think. My first proper electric guitar that I owned was a bright red strat that I loved to bits! There is something about the sound of old records that I enjoyed (and still do) – so you could often hear us in the early days jamming old rock & roll. I guess what inspires us creatively was the feeling of having to make a statement, to prove yourself – ya know? We still throw the odd cover in, but for me there is no feeling greater than playing your own song live.
Adam: I started on the bass about the same time Kurt started on guitar. I found that pretty boring though and soon pick up the sticks.
  • How did you form and where did the name come from?
Both: There was never really a ‘forming’ of the band, it just seemed obvious… it just clicked straight away. The name just came randomly after being booked for a gig when we didn’t have a name!
  • How would you personally describe your own sound in one word?
Adam: We try not to pigeon-hole ourselves. No matter what we’ve played it’s all music, just as long as it sounds good to us.

Kurt: If we had to squash a huge variety of sounds into one word I guess it’s just rock and roll at the end of the day.

Adam: Kurt, that’s three words man…
  • What do you think you each bring to your live performances, sell your showmanship, sell us your sets.
Kurt: I use some weird guitars and plenty of fuzz pedals live. Performing live is my favourite thing to do, I can’t keep still! The crowd can often be seen parting as I come bolting through, guitar in hand heading straight into the audience.
Adam: I play a 60’s drum kit live that I restored myself. I like to use as few drums as possible, the more limitations you give yourself – the more creative boundaries you can break!  
  • What is it that you personally get from your performance?
Kurt: I always look out and enjoy the faces staring back in amazement, I’d love to think that’s how it would have felt for bands back in the day. Getting up in front of people and being able to sing and play guitar is a huge privilege for me.
Adam: It just feels good man, I just like putting smiles on peoples faces and getting people up grooving. That makes my day.
  • How would you describe the reception to your presence?
Both: Every time we play we like to think we get better, when people come up to us and praise us it never fails to blow us away. The best feeling for us is when we get the occasional old hippie who lived it and tells us they haven’t seen a performance like that since the 70’s.
  • Is there a particular track that you all just love to play?
Kurt: It varies all the time but at the moment I love playing ‘Been Too Long’. We wrote it about 3 days before we recorded a live Introducing session, so the first time we played it live was on air… I had the lyrics taped to the wall and everything! We usually throw in a Black Sabbath cover, they are always great to play.
  • What can we look forward to from your live performance during the festival?
Both: You can expect what we always try to achieve in terms of music. As for appearance expect long hair, big drums, pointy boots and bellbottom flares! 
  • Is there an artist you can’t wait to see at the festival, if so why?
Both: We are just to the festival vibes and always enjoy any proper live bands.  
  • Is this your first Nozstock experience?
Both: This will be our first Nozstock performance, but we went to Noz in 2007 and 2008. We always joke between ourselves that we went before it became cool to go!
  • What else are you looking forward to from this years Noz?
Both: Just playing at a festival, having a drink and sleeping rough in a tent for a few days – we’re used to that.
  • This years theme is ‘Nozstockers Guide to the Galaxy’- will you be participating with a sci fi look? Or performing a special GttG related track?
Kurt: You will see me sporting my spayed silver wellies and I may pick up a pair of silver winkle pickers too – haha!
  • What makes a festival special to you?
Both: We love going to festivals whether we’re performing or not, getting to play too is great.
  • Give us some festival advice – what one thing would you urge everyone to bring with them for this weekend?
Adam: Bottles of beer and Cigarettes
Kurt: A bottle opener and a lighter
  • 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?

Kurt: I’ve recently got hold of a Lap Steel which I will start to introduce into the set soon, we’ll be throwing it through some crazy effects to upset all of the Lap Steel ‘purists’ – ha!

Adam: We’ll be working on some new material in the autumn. I’m really getting into playing the organ and piano at the moment. Also I want to co-produce the next Raptor recording to have maximum creative input.
  • And Finally any last words from you?

After Nozstock, our next headline show is at the Victory in Hereford on 31st July. We’ve got a load of dates over the summer and on early autumn across the Midlands and the South. You can check out gigs, news and other updates via www.raptorliveandloud.co.uk

Thanks for the interview, peace & love x
Thank you Kurt and Adam, a pleasure. Really enjoying watching you two develop and grow, alongside your fan base!

Now you’ve discovered a  fantastic act from the incredible line-up get excited to hear more. If you haven’t already got  tickets what are you waiting for?

www.nozstock.com / @Nozstock

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