The New Fabian Society hail from Glasgow (writes Andy Wood) and are a duo consisting of guitar, vocal and drums yet the sound they produce live is full of a searing intensity that belies the minimal set-up. Having previously released several EP’s on their own label including the excellent Exhibition of Hate and Exhibition of Love they have now found a home at new label The Electric Company who will release their new single ‘Cyclophymia’ on 7” vinyl and download in April.
As the titles of the records and songs might indicate, there is a vast darkness in the sound and worldview but also a sense of energy and defiance as well which makes the music more than simply morbid. There is a sense of space in the songs arrangements as well which comes to the fore in songs like the elegiac ‘I No Longer Remain’ which sounds like a ghostly Joy Division being pulled into a black hole, futilely fighting against the slow drag to oblivion but fighting all the same. The song moves between almost sedate moments to a wall of noise.
‘Cyclophymia’ is a faster paced song with a driving beat, ghostly noises and a haunting melody emerging on repeated listens from the maelstrom of sounds. It clatters the senses on initial playing but after a couple of plays it reveals itself as a strong song in the way those early Jesus and Mary Chain songs such as ‘Never Understand’ or ‘Upside Down’ did. Despite the bitter outer shell, at the centre of The New Fabian Society lies a pop heart, beaten and bloody but beating nonetheless.
Having witnessed The New Fabian Society live several times now it can still be an overwhelming experience watching them but a rewarding one.
Ahead of their forthcoming visit to Dundee they kindly answered a few questions.
Could you please introduce yourselves. Who are The New Fabian Society and how did you come to be?
We are psychotic 2 piece hailing from Glasgow we have been together for just over a year. The society was formed in appreciation of the dark wave movement of the early 80’s and was a movement which was born from self loathing and misery. We are the marginal men of society and are individuals who are totally disorientated in the current social environment we live in.
Why did you choose the name The New Fabian Society? Clearly it has political connotations but was this part of the attraction?
The name was something which was carefully chosen and one which we almost never went ahead with – we’re not attempting to be political troubadours or anything like that.
It isn’t to be intended to be as overtly political as more an attempt to capture and emulate the spirit of what was once a powerful and romantic sentiment but which like everything in history slowly but surely becomes corrupted, distorted, disturbed, ruined, anarchic and tainted – I think that we wanted to convey that sense of fallibility, aggression, failure and industrialism to the current musical landscape.
In our heads we wanted to start an industrial garage punk renaissance — history always has a habit of repeating itself even in music – TNFS – just seemed to encapsulate that intent perfectly – and exhibition of love is perfect snippet into that vision .
What are your influences musical or otherwise?
Oliver Reed, Thomas DeQuincey, Tom Paine, Horrors and 80’s Matchbox B Line Disaster.
You previously self-released your first E.P.’s. Are things easier now being on a label (Electric Company Music)?
Things are a lot easier being on a label and even more so being involved with a group of people that share the exact same beliefs and perceptions of the current musical landscape – one which is practically totally devoid of any sincerity or honesty.
How difficult is it to gain coverage and attention as a fairly new band?
Thankfully up to now it hasn’t been that difficult gaining coverage people have been pretty receptive. Our biggest challenge is that we always need to continue to grow as a band and develop our sound as best we can. Being just the 2 of us we need to ensure that we always grow with every performance, learn to make the next show better and more intense than the last. Only then can we expect to increase the strength and size of TNFS………..
What has been the best moment of being a member of The New Fabian Society to date?
The creation of the society and having our new single produced on vinyl by Electric Company.
And the worst / most awkward?
First gig – we were awful.
If you could play at your ideal gig (time, location, money and mortality no barrier) who would you have on the bill and what would the location be?
80’s Matchbox B-Line Disaster
Solo Jim Morrison simply reciting poetry.
How would you describe your music to someone yet to witness or hear you?
A sonic annihilation of the ear drums whether that be bad or good is down to the individual. We hope people take away sincerity and dedication to the belief that euphoria can still run through veins when witnessing a handful of musicians sonically terrorise their instruments. 2 guys pouring their life and soul into every sweat ridden show. Enough that it would make you want to violently cut yourself to see the adrenaline pumping through your pipes…………
What plans have you in the coming months?
We have the release of our double A side, 12th April in Nice and Sleazies followed by some dates in Scotland, We are also embarking on a small European tour late June with a couple of London dates thrown in for good measure.
The New Fabian Society play the Vladimir E.P. launch at the Cool Cat Club this Saturday at Beat Generator Live! in Dundee. Doors at 8.00 p.m. – entry £5.