The Jamestown Brothers - Interview

The Jamestown Brothers are a nine piece original folk(ish) band from Somerset in the UK.

Formed in 2017 by singer and band songwriter Colin Batchelor and  inspired by the likes of Springsteen’s  Seeger sessions.

Alongside celtic folk influences and storytelling of The Pogues and The Men They Couldn’t Hang led to the recruitment of multi instrumentalists to compliment well crafted melodic songs which delve into the social and historical past of the UK.

How has 2020 been?

Lockdown has been a difficult and frustrating time for the band. We had just finished our debut album and had some fantastic summer festival slots lined along the likes of Seth Lakeman and The Lightning Seeds.

During the lockdown period it’s been a mentally difficult and challenging time for most of us,we’ve spent the time writing new songs and preparing our promotional campaign for the release of the album ‘Rebels Rogues and Regrets’.

What was your first introduction to music?

Certainly sifting through my parents eclectic record collection at a early age and finding the likes of The Seekers,The Beatles and Dylan really turned me on to a musical journey I’m still travelling.

Well at a fairly late age my father began learning  the guitar and it seemed a natural progression to pull at his shirt tails to take me to the local music shop for a guitar.. which of course he did and I’ve never looked back.

Who are you influenced by?

My biggest influences are the classic storytellers and songwriters those who bring imagery and challenge your emotions. Artists both in the Uk and the States,the likes of Springsteen, Dylan, Steve Earl, Tom Waits to Billy Bragg and Shane Macgowan.

The Jamestown Brothers sound  definitely leans to the folk side and has definitely developed as different instruments and musicians have come into the band and led to the various layers and arrangements that make up our sound. I’ve always strived for memorable and melodic songs   The type that annoyingly you can’t stop humming. Hopefully we’ve done that.

What is your creative process?

Our music or creative process generally starts with a lyrical idea. This initial phase Is quite a personal almost hypnotic experience. I’m a big history buff and keen to keep certain historical events in the public conscious which often (but not always)form the lyrical content.I generally write on guitar and record a rough acoustic version of the songs along with a general melodic accompaniment usually just hummed! The band then pick up the arrangement and melodies and the magic happens! Simples!

Who would you like to collaborate with?

I’d love to work with the likes of Marcus Mumford or Phil Odgers from The Men They Couldn’t Hang. Both great musicians seemingly down to earth guys and capable of creating and producing some emotional and gut wrenching stuff!

Wouldn’t mind supporting The Lumineers I love their songs sound and humble persona. I think we would be a different but complimentary warm up act.

What advice would you give?

I’m very saddened by the current climate of  worldwide and homegrown violence hidden under the guise of protest. I’d say ‘Stay Angry Stay Peaceful’.  Support grass Roots music, bands, venues, get involved !

Make a difference and spread some love!

What is the most useless talent you have?

I have a great talent for hand puppetry!! As long as I have the right light!! Keeps the wife entertained for hours!

What would you be doing without music?

I think without music I’d be pretty rudderless blowing around without any real direction or purpose!! The band would be off sailing, beekeeping and a spot of professional gardening! So Rock and Roll!!

Most memorable gig?

Playing the historic Old Duke in Bristol

Was a big thrill for us but that has to balanced up with the skittle alley scenario watched by an old man his half pint of mild and a deaf dog! Taxi please!

Who knows when we will be playing next!! Our website is constantly being updated!

Do you think the internet has changed the music industry?

The internet has been a double edged sword really’s been fantastic for self promotion and taking some control over your bands destiny, but as record companies ethos have changed and the chances of being signed reduced so the social media market has become saturated in a free for all , So we are fighting and  struggling to get to the top of the pile!!But we are getting there! We’ve just been approached my a management company. We count ourselves lucky so much reL talent out there.

Favourite songs to perform?

In terms of our songs the rousing anthemic tune of ‘Long Walk Home’ and the emotional ‘The One’ are great songs to perform and feel and connect with an audience.

Most trouble you have gotten into?

Many moons ago I was playing in Dublin was paid in Guinness tokens and in a drunken stupor pathetically tried to take the heads of parking meters whilst being followed by plain clothed Garda who bundled out of a van and let’s say.. dealt with us!! No animals were harmed nor property damaged during the making of such a mistake!!

Favourite song?

Got to be Born to Run hasn’t it?

Any under-rated acts we should listen to?

That’s a hard one.. so many underrated bands out there... check out Nick Parker and The False Alarms.

What is next?

Well it’s a busy keyboard time preparing for the album release.. lots of interviews radio slots and a new video planned. The festival slots are coming in and looking forward to sharing a stage with Seth Lakeman next year!! We are in discussions with a management company and just getting back into rehearsals!

About the EP "Rebels Rogues and Regrets"

The band released their first EP last year and the songs were being written at such as a fast pace it seemed the natural progression to begin work on an album.

As the title suggest the themes really are centred around ‘Rebels Rogues and Regrets’

The songs were written acoustically and then trialed at gigs to gage reaction so they’ve all been hand picked not only to showcase the theme but also to show some diversity in the songs and writing.

We wanted a simple production that resembled  live performance to kept it simple and stayed away from the temptation to play with all those studio buttons!!

Writing and pre production was a pretty simple affair the guys are great musicians all with good musical ears and picked up the theme pretty easily!

Where we did struggle was in mixing all of the instruments to form a consolidated sound. It’s was tricky at times finding the tonal space and  balance... so some lates nights!

We are looking to release the album August 31st with an on line party/ acoustic show in conjunction with a new video release of the song ‘Long Walk Home’

We really hope it is received well and we attract more supporters along the way.

The music and sound hasn’t really changed and for those who have discovered the band we have been overwhelmed by their enthusiasm and support!

Links soundcloud



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