Super Producer For New LP

It’s one of the more unlikely collaborations of the year.

Our favourite braces-wearing indie-rock vagabonds are about to hit the studio with the tabloids’ favourite sharp-suited pretty boy. Yes, The Rumble Strips’ second album will be helmed by Mark Ronson, after the latter heard the band’s rework of the Winehouse/Ronson cut ‘Back In Black’, invited the boys out on tour with him, and one thing led to another. So have they got it all tightly planned out?

“Not really, no,” admits frontman Charlie Waller. “I don’t really know how it works. I suppose we’ll just meet up and talk through it and play him some demos. We’ve been in doing some today and there’s enough written really, but I’d like to do a few more. So we can edit out the really terrible stuff.”

The pressure’s on, with the added burden that Ronson is now also their boss. The Rumbles have signed to his new label Allido for the new album, although Waller doesn’t envisage a radical change in their methods. “For us it’ll just be like getting a different A&R man,” he says.

Getting the populist Ronson production sheen on your record can do wonders for your media profile, however – look at Winehouse and Lily Allen – and it could be an interesting few months for the Devon/London quintet. They’ll be hunkered down in the studio throughout September and will then head off on their long-delayed first US tour in October, after a few Visa problems in the past. The band “haven’t had a huge amount of press” in the States so far, according to the singer, so what sort of reception is he expecting?

“Well, I don’t think we’ll be stepping off the plane to crowds of people,” he laughs. “There might be a few rattling about, but it’s alright, that’s what you’ve got to do isn’t it? It’s for a month and it’s pretty much every night, so it’s going to be loads of driving. It could be quite a test.”

Let’s hope they don’t go a bit Amy/Lily in the head while they’re out there.

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