Saturday 26 April 2014

Face-to-Face Interview with The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell

The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are one of the rising stars of the UK Hard Rock Scene. Signed to Rise Above Records they have just released their excellent 2nd album - Check 'em Before You Wreck 'em – which is an insane blast of great hard rocking riffs.

They released their début album - Don't Hear It... Fear It! - to critical acclaim back in 2012. These guys have a wicked sense of humour but they know how to write a great tune steeped in 70's Classic Hard Rock territory.

The band have just finished supporting Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats on their recent UK tour and I was given the chance to speak to the guys face-to-face at Glasgow Garage 2 on Wednesday 23rd April 2014. And this is what went down with The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell.

SL – Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How did the first date of the tour go in Birmingham last night.

Yeah. It was a mixed bag. Sound wasn't tremendously good to us. I think that every band struggles with their sound at the moment.

SL – Was that at Asylum or O2 Academy

It was at O2 Academy. Yeah. Strange place to play as the sound was pretty shit up front as well. I must admit it was really very boomy, slappy and horrible. The audience were non-reactive but at the end we done a good show. It was a mixed night. We had a good night afterwards.

Hopefully tonight will be a lot better and I think it will be a belter. As we supported Orange Goblin at Kings Tut and that was amazing. And it sold out as a result of us supporting them.

SL – You have just released your new album last week. Which we will be reviewing soon.

Yeah. Just been released. You heard it.

SL – Yeah I have. It's a great album and very different to the first album.

Thanks. You have to listen to it a few times as it's not as immediate as the début album. The first album no-one was meant to heat it. That was the instruction. People have to listen to the new album more than once to get the feel of it. We are really pleased with the new album as the sound on this one beats the first record hands down.

First one sounds good but nowhere near as good as this. As it's got a warmer sound. It sounds like a record we would choose to listen to. We used a different studio as we weren't comfortable wit the studio where we recorded the first album. It was in Wales and it's a long fucking drive.

We recorded the album in 3 days. If you listen to Sabbath's first couple of albums they did it all in 2 days and belted it out. They were obviously a touring and recording band. We don't have that luxury but at the same time we just thought – FUCK IT!!!. That's what you're supposed to do.

I think the 70s and the excess of having the opportunity to fart for half a day and playing the Kazoo for the whole afternoon. I think it ruins the whole vibe a bit. Just fucking get on with it. Knock it out and mix it as well as you can.

SL – You're signed to Rise Above Records. How did that came about.

We just hassled Lee. We said - “If you don't sign us then you're a fucking cunt.”. - I sent him an email saying if you don't sign us then you're missing a trick as we are into the the same shit you're into.

SL – What's the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group process or is it down to one individual.

John tens to do most of the lyrics and we and as a band come up with a few riffs and piece it together in the rehearsal room. We don't know what we are doing. We point at the microphone and look at the lights. It's probably a lot more technical than that.

The engineer is probably thinking - “What the fuck is this!!!”

But we don't care. It's sounds good. It's heavy rock. It's not Michael Buble. That's why we are playing bottom of the bill with Uncle Acid in a 300 capacity venue. And Michael Buble is at the O2 Arena eating caviar burgers and having it off with 5 women at the same time.


SL – Did you feel under pressure when making the new album.

No. We had a bunch of songs and put another bunch of songs together. And we thought 10 songs put them all together and that is the album. We didn't feel any pressure as we found a studio that was local to where we live about 6 or 7 miles down the road.

We were wondering where to go and I googled - “Old Fashioned Analogue Studio near Hastings” - I spotted one and was thinking what's that. It's been there 20 odd years and I didn't know it existed. Went down there to check it out. Owner was pretty friendly and he said yeah I can do that. Nice bloke and he was the same age as us. He turned out top. We highly recommend – BroadOak Studios. If you need an album or anything else recorded then go down there. Great place.

SL – Have you got any more tours lined up in the year.

We got nothing in the pipeline. We have got a couple of stray gig here and there. Leeds in October. We might be going to Spain for a couple of headlining shows. Going to Portugal with Kadavar as their mains support for a few days.

Plus we have the Freak Valley Festival in Germany as well. Though we are happy to do more gigs as we are very cheap.

SL – How would you describe your sound. Hard Rock, Rock and Roll or Proto Metal.

Hard Rock. Definitely. Hard Rock as we listen to a lot of classic US Hard Rock Bands. But we also dig Quo, Slade and their classic hard rock sound.

SL – Where did the name came from and why that choice.

Basically we were coming home from the pub one night and near where Johnny used to live, there is this old beam house in Hastings Old Town. It's got a big plaque outside saying - “This is where Sir Admiral Cloudesley Shovell mother used to live.”

He didn't live there but his mother did. He lived in Rochester. We thought. HA – The Sir Admiral Cloudesley Shovell. Lets call ourselves Cloudseley Shovell as that's a great name. But we said – FUCK IT. Lets go the whole hog.

Since then we were asked what's the name of your band and people are expecting – THE FUCKS or THE CUNTS. You tell them the name and they look at each other and go - “OH!!!”.

Then you know why no-one is going to find your album as they are spelling it wrong or try googling it.

SL – Well guys thanks to talking to us here at Sludgelord. All the best with the show. Really looking forward to it.


After that I saw The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell play a blistering set to a truly appreciative Glasgow audience.

I want to thank Aaron Pickford, Rise Above and The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell for arranging this interview.

Check 'em Before You Wreck 'em is now available to buy from all good stockists now on Rise Above Records.

Check the band from links below

Written by Steve Howe