In which 17 Seconds catches up with a hungover Nick Corbin from New Street Adventure, and find out from the singer about redneck weddings in Stoke Newington and why they’re not a political band.
17 Seconds: First things first, how are you?
Nick: Hungover. There was an event on Carnaby Street last night sponsored by a fashion magazine and all the shops were giving out free drinks. You didn’t even have to feign interest in what they were selling!
17 Seconds: How did the band come together?
Nick: Very gradually. It’s no secret we’ve had a lot of line-up changes but we feel very settled with the current outfit. (For the record this also includes Ashley Hayden (bass, backing vocals); Jeremy Paul (drums), Charlie Myers (keys, backing vocals), and Billy Farr ( guitar, backing vocals)).
17 Seconds: No Hard Feelings is your debut album – do you read your press, or do you try not to pay too much attention?
Nick: Yeah we do read it. It’s interesting to see how people interpret what we’re doing and, on the whole, we’re delighted with the impact the album has had so far- people are saying some very flattering things!
17 Seconds: There’s quite a concern with the world [understandably!] given lyrically on your album. Do you think of yourselves as a political band? Would you get involved with any political organisations as a band or play particular benefits?
Nick: I wouldn’t call us a political band. The songs aren’t written to be political, they’re written from personal experience and people should interpret them as they see fit. I’d feel uncomfortable being involved with politics because I’d feel out of my depth; I don’t want to be a crusader for the over-educated and under-employed! If people can relate to my lyrics that’s enough for me.
17 Seconds: Who are the artists that most shaped your sound?
Nick: Alex Turner for lyrical style and retaining my Britishness! Musically Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions helped me understand soul music and how to structure a song. Bobby Womack for delivery and groove. Gil Scott-Heron made me realise you don’t have to always sing about the same thing. You can open an album with “The Revolution will not be televised” and still come in with something as beautifully simple as “When you are who you are”.
17 Seconds: What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you at a gig?
Nick: We played at a weird little venue in Stoke Newington a couple of years ago and it was full of actors playing all sorts of weird characters. Charlie, our keyboard player ended up getting dragged into “marrying” this redneck woman in a wedding dress. We just wanted to get the fuck out of there.
17 Seconds: What new acts would you recommend that readers should check out?
Nick: Normanton Street from Brighton- brilliant jazz/hip-hop group. The Tapestry from Manchester- great indie-pop band we’ve played with a few times. Birdsworth from Woking- the singer, Jack, is a really good songwriter.
17 Seconds: What’s been the best part of the New Street Adventure, er adventure, so far?
Nick: For me it has to be releasing the album. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, shortly followed by our launch show at the 100 club, which was completely sold out!
17 Seconds: Who would be your dream collaborations?
Nick: Arctic Monkeys or Noel Gallagher for me. I can’t speak for the rest of the band though!
17 Seconds: Finally, what are your plans for the next 12 months as a band?
Nick: Touring our next single (which should be announced shortly) culminating in a headline gig at the Jazz Café on March 12th. Then we’ll see!
No Hard Feelings is out now on Acid Jazz.