So about a week ago we were at this party in Digbeth…
Swingamajig 2016 – the best dressed fest (in the West) has come & gone, and what a stonking 16 hours of debauchery that one was. The only dark cloud left hovering is the 12 months until we get to do it all over again.
Big thanks to all the artists, organisers & dapper/flappers who came to see us at the Swingamajig Review 2016 tent & Birmingham Review Chai Stall – mother is chuffed to buggery you liked the biscuits.
But don’t lose heart dear hearts – you can relive (or remember) this year’s festival with the Swingamajig Review 2016 – a 24 page souvenir from Birmingham Review, out in June.
Interviews, reviews, features, picture galleries & some dark discretion immortalised in print; it’s all in there. For a nominal fee, of course.
Pre orders / £5 + postage & packing – available through the Birmingham Review website & social media.
Meanwhile, back at the speakeasy… We’ll be feeding you teasers via the Swingamajig Review 2016 event page & on the Birmingham Review website. And as a starter for ten, a Q&D (quick & dirty) vox pop with the band who are one of the reasons we gave an Electro Swing in the first place – watch out for the full interview in the Swingamajig Review 2016.
Ladies & Gents, Mesdames et Messieurs, we give you the ‘definable Bristolian party band’. Drum roll please…
Q&D: The Rin Tins @ Swingamajig 2016
(watch out for the full interview – featured in the Swingamajig Review 2016)
(The Rin Tins, l-r: Ella Polczyk, Benjamin Leach, Jim Davies, Ryan Walker, Tara Baggott, Ross Labiak)
How was your set?
JD: Epic; the crowd was awesome. They were really on board with everything we played, really responsive and they danced like crazy.
RW: Every Swingamajig gig we’ve ever done has been absolutely fantastic – the Shambala tent in 2014, Hot Club de Swing was amazing, last year’s festival was amazing as well. This year has just been fantastic again.
How would you describe your music, and the sets that you do? Are you electro swing?
EP: We’re more gypsy jazz, with a swing feel to it as well. Some of the stuff we do could be compare to electro swing but I wouldn’t say that we were.
JD: We’re like gypsy swing but ramped up and faster, with more energy.
Were you friends before you became The Rin Tins?
EP: We’re still not…
TB: …we don’t like each other.
JD: We’ve been together, as a band, for five years so we’re very close. We’re like a family.
RW: I moved to Bristol from Devon and met Jim…
JD: …we didn’t know anyone in Bristol, so we met and formed a little band. Then I met Ben at a party and he moved over from Swansea.
How did you meet?
TB: Some of us knew each other through work.
JD: …most of us were strangers.
RL: I came to a gig and really loved the band so I joined…
JD: We found him roaming in the woods, so we combed him, deflead him and brought him into civilization.
RW: It was a struggle.
RL: …I’m finally house broken.
What made you play the style of music you do, as The Rin Tins?
RW: Initially it was Gogol Bordello. I was in a group about seven years ago and the guitarist started to get into Django Reinhartd and we started playing Django Reinhartd songs together. Then I heard Gogol Bordello and realised you could do the same thing but ramp it up and make play it a lot faster, and people would dance. At the time I was living in Devon and there just weren’t any drummers around – but with this music you could still add that percussive playing and get people dancing. But when you add a drummer it just goes crazy.
Swingamajig is a great and diverse festival – with everything from electro swing to drum and bass featured somewhere. But do you ever find the electro swing scene… cliquey?
JD: I think what we do is so energetic that anyone can dance to it, and it works across the board; the songs are catchy, the music is fast and fun. As far ‘scenes’ go we’re ready to play anywhere and everyone will dance.
EP: I think we’re quite luck because where we’re from everyone is quite friendly and open. But we also did a gig recently in Glastonbury and it was more of a sit down gig with people clapping in solos and that kind of thing, but even they enjoyed it.
RW: I’d agree with that. It does feel strange when we’re at those sit down gigs and we’re used people dancing like crazy– but they sit there quite happily listening and really enjoying the music.
RL: And they were sober too.
So being ‘the definable Bristolian party band’… is that making you money?
RW: We are earning money but it all goes back straight into the band – playing for EPs, travel, accommodation. We bought a van so we could get around and gigging paid for that.
I’m the One EP came out last year, and on your Bandcamp page you’re asking for a donation?
JD: The donation is optional.
RW: If you want it you can just download it, but you can also make a donation as you see fit.
JD: But do bear in mind how thin Ryan is.
Any plans for the summer?
RW: We’re playing Glastonbury, and we’re releasing and EP just before that gig. We’re recording four tracks down in London in the next month or so. We haven’t decided on a title yet…
JD: We’re in a heavy argument about it.
RW: I wouldn’t describe it as heavy… it’s more a convoluted discussion.
JD: A fight to the death.
For more on the Swingamajig Festival, visit http://swingamajig.co.uk/