It’s the Lexington in London. Bobby Gillespie is here. Andrew Weatherall is here. Hundreds of fans are here, with a long line of ticket holders stretching back out the door and down the stairwell, each one eager to catch a glimpse – to catch something – of September Girls.
Yet the band themselves remain remarkably unaffected by all this hype. Stood outside, Jessie Ward and Caoimhe Derwin are all chatter, excitement and relish, bubbling over with ideas and speculation.
“It’s so exciting to play tonight!” exclaims Ward, before pausing to dwell on Bobby Gillespie’s obvious stamp of approval. “It kind of makes your stomach do a flip!”
Formed from the ashes of two Dublin bands in 2011, September Girls began with a real sense of purpose. Frustrated with their previous endeavours, the five musicians pooled resources in order to accomplish something they felt important – to please themselves.
“We tried being in a band, but it wasn’t really working so we scrapped it,” says Derwin. “We were kind of experimenting, really. In a way, what we learned from that experiment turned into September Girls.”
“We had one band meeting,” Ward explains. “Paula (Cullen, vocals) went: 'Look, I want to be in this kind of a band and if you don’t want that then let’s call it a day.' The aim was to make the kind of music that we would listen to, because we realised that at that time we weren’t doing that. That was our aim.”
A fusion of Spector pop, uncontrolled feedback, Krautrock textures and '60s girl-group innocence, September Girls’ debut album ‘Cursing The Sea’ (reviewed) is a full realisation of this aim. Arriving remarkably fully formed, the musicians looked to their own lives to inspire its dark/light, sweet/sour dichotomy.
“A lot of say, the subject matter, is genuinely from our hearts,” says Ward. “I think, in life, there’s bright and dark. We’re into that kind of pop music. We’re into the undertones, the second meaning."
“One of the things we said from the start,” adds Derwin, “is that because we’re all very good friends we’re not embarrassed to bring very private, personal lyrics to the band. It’s a way of working through stuff. That’s a real girl thing, isn’t it? Instead of going off and having a glass of wine, we go into a dark studio!”
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What: Perfectly formed fuzz-pop which will break your heart
Get 3 Songs: 'Green Eyed' (video above), 'Ships', 'Hells Bells'
Fact: Caoimhe once sang lead vocal for a toy advert on Irish television.
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Words: Robin Murray
September Girls are set to release new single 'Green Eyed' on February 17th.