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Interview with Patch & The Giant

Patch & The Giant are bringing their fresh indie-folk sound to this year’s Dulwich Festival on Thursday 18th May at Belair House. They will be playing tracks from their recently released their debut album, ‘All That We Had, We Stole’, which shows off their eclectic take on folk music fused with indie, rock and the blues.

We spoke to lead singer Luke Owen and singer and musician Angie Rance about the band and asked them to give us a flavour of what audiences can expect from their upcoming performance.

How did Patch & the Giant get together and how long have you been performing?

ANGIE: All in all we’ve been performing for 5 years or so. The origins of the band lie in an earlier project Luke started and which I joined. This project never really took off but it was the foundation of what then became PATG… we spent 3 years running our own night (day – in fact) at The Boogaloo and met so many of our musical friends and collaborators here. During these 3 years we also really cemented the line up of the band, often stealing people as we met them!

How would you describe your music and what are your biggest musical influences?

ANGIE: Our influences span so far and wide. We’ve all got different musical and geographical backgrounds and not entirely what you’d expect from a London-based folk band (Gabe used to be a drummer in a punk band in Scotland, me in brass bands in Wales – for instance!) so we each bring something quite different and we all really love being exposed to new musical influences. We play a game in the tour van often where we’ll take it turns to introduce each other to new music and it’s wonderful, we’re always opening each other’s ears to new ideas and these eventually come out in the music. Our tastes grow and develop and with this so does our inspiration. There are many common influences though and these are probably where most of the comparisons people draw come from (The Decemberists, The Levellers amongst others).

Where do you get the inspiration for your songs from?

LUKE: It can come from all sorts really. Stories, music, words, phrases, people. Often a melody will come first and then the theme and lyrics will come after. But in some ways it’s more interesting when it happens the other way round. I guess that’s because it doesn’t happen very often. For me Melody comes more natural than words.

Tell us about your songwriting process.

LUKE: There’s no strict process that we adhere to. Often I will write something on the guitar and then take it to the band. They’ll then flesh it out and give it life. All the songs are written for the band so even in the early stages when I’m working it out on the guitar I’m still imaging violins and trumpets in my head. Sometimes I’ll have an idea of what I want them to do and other times I’ll turn up to band rehearsal without a clue. It’s great both ways.

What can audiences to the Dulwich Festival expect from your performance?

ANGIE: We just released our debut album ‘All That We Had, We Stole’ so we’ll be playing a lot of material from this – which is a huge mix really, the whole tracklisting was put together to show every side of us so we tend offer a bit of everything – from the somber to the celebratory to the outright raucous. We’ve also been working on some new material which we’re hoping to share with you! We’ve recently started playing with a double bass too so we hope he (Bertie) might make an appearance.

The theme of the Dulwich Festival this year is ‘Home’. What does ‘home’ mean to you and have you ever written anything about this subject?

LUKE: It’s a theme that crops up in our music many times. The majority of us have moved to London from different parts of the UK so home is something that we hold dear. It’s a different place though. There’s something in the past about it. A place of comfort and safety. A place where we start our journeys and long to return to. It’s the womb I guess. There’s something so natural and maternal about it. As much fun as we’re having in this crazy city there’s always this yearning. It’s just constantly pulling at us. Like the moon.

Photography by Marcus Duran

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