Thu 18th Mar, 2010 in Features
“Hype is a dangerous thing, and is something we’re still getting our head around.”
Delphic were immediately slapped with ‘next big thing’ labels the world over after faring very favourably in the annual BBC Sound of 2010 poll. If you aren’t already aware of the stigma attached to the poll, a look at the honour roll should provide some clarity, with names such as Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand and Vampire Weekend all appearing shortly before the release of their debut albums.
The band’s guitarist Matt Cocksedge is well aware of the reputation his band has developed in a very short period of time, and while complimentary on the surface, it’s the type of press that some consider undesirable.
While things appear to be cruising into the stratosphere for Delphic, Cocksedge admits to being “completely unprepared for all of it” and that the complacency he expected to find with success quickly went out the window. “You’re just in it and you just want to keep going and moving onto the next level and doing things better than you did them before at every chance. I think humans kind of adapt to situations and get used to the surroundings very quickly and we certainly just want to keep making good music and keep trying to push ourselves.”
“It’s weird for us, we’re just a band from Manchester who have written some songs with some big ideas about things, but to have people write about you is a strange thing for me and the band I think. I think the good thing is now we’ve got the album out, the hype around before the album without any material thing to back it up really is just hype. But if there’s something like an album there or whatever it just means that there isn’t so much pressure, because there’s nothing we can do about it, because we’ve already made the album and that’s that.”
Said album, Acolyte, is evidence that the nu rave trend of recent years won’t be ending in 2010, with Delphic taking on a darker, more brooding approach to the genre than most of their contemporaries.
“That was definitely what we were interested in at the beginning,” Cocksedge says when questioned about their sound. “To try and reconcile the euphoria of dance music with the melancholy of Manchester and indie music I guess. It’s a tricky thing, it’s a kind of clash, that juxtaposition, and that combination of two that’s interesting and a weird thing to kind of play with, feeling happy and sad. It’s just an exciting thing really, like having a jelly and ice cream toasty, it might work and it might be exciting!”
The Delphic trio, comprised of Cocksedge, James Cook (Vocals/Bass) and Rick Boardman (Synths), dumped their old bands and set off for England’s Lake District where the core of Acolyte was written.
“We took heaps of synthesizers and guitars and stuff and a friend of ours has a cottage out there with no TV or internet or even very much heating. But we were just kind of in this basic cottage going out in the day for walks and what not and really conceptualising what we were thinking of doing and getting excited about it, and in the evenings we’d come back and write.”
The finished product is expectantly euphoric on the whole, but delivers an enthralling variety from track to track, with punchy percussion the focus of opener Clarion Call, sweeping pop vocals guiding latest single Halcyon, and an unwinding trance-like anthem in the title track.
Asked for a theme behind Acolyte, Cocksedge is quick to offer a definitive explanation. “It’s really about finding a place in a modern world or in whatever world I guess. I think a lot of what we were going through when we were writing it and a lot of the ideas that we had were about identity and the thought that at a certain point in life whether you’re finishing school or college or just growing up, you look at the world and there’s so many opportunities in it and that’s really exciting but also quite a scary thing.”
Having already gigged comprehensively through Europe and its festival circuit in 2009, Delphic will be doing it all again on the back of Acolyte to, one would assume, a newfound and much larger fan base. Before that, Australia will get a taste in a whirlwind visit to the usual east coast beneficiaries.
“Basically what we like to do live is kind of join all the songs together like a DJ set, because we were just never very good at banter between songs,” laughs Cocksedge. “We like the idea of just having this continuous atmosphere for our gigs, and not giving people a chance to pause and talk amongst themselves and get distracted.”
“On the record we kind of took the position to concentrate on the songs and the intricacies, but live we thought ‘fuck that’, let’s beat it out and try and deafen a few people and maybe blind them as well.”
Delphic’s Australian tour
Thursday 25th March – Hi-Fi, Brisbane
Friday 26th March – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne
Saturday 27th March – Beach Road Hotel, Sydney
Sunday 28th March – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney