Published in: The Stool Pigeon – Fifth Birthday Issue Out Now!
The press release would make you believe that London’s Veronica Falls are the most fortunate band to have ever formed: ‘[In a] twist of perfect serendipity, the band had their Myspace page site up for only a hour before they were contacted by Black Dogs kingpin Mike Sniper, who quickly snapped up the band for a release on his much revered Captured Tracks label in the US.’
You would think that lead singer and guitarist Roxanne Clifford would feel excited, auspicious, humbled by such fortuitous circumstances? “Yeah, I suppose so,” she offers in way of contentment. “The thing is [Mike Sniper] kind of knew Patrick [Doyle, drums] from New York so that helped. I’m sure they liked the music as well, but I think it was kind of inevitable before we even put the songs up. He will literally put anything out.” We’ll presume apathy, arrogance and an industrious amount nepotism instead then.
What about guitarist James Hoare, also of Your Twenties fame – you must be content with the situation? “The lead singer [Gabriel Stebbing, also of Metronomy] kicked me out of Your Twenties because my level of commitment was not strong enough.” So you’re pretty pissed off then? “I was pretty pissed off in terms of knowing him for sixteen years and him not asking me to leave. It was quite severe actually.” So you’re bitter then? “You can print that. It’ll make him feel bad.”
Not one for ‘toeing the line’ with press relations, Veronica Falls, it has to be said, are not great at selling themselves when quizzed. The band formed over a year ago when Roxanne and Patrick moved from Glasgow to London in the wake of their previous efforts in The Royal We and Sexy Kids. “We kind of broke up before the [Royal We] album came out,” explains Roxanne. “Sexy Kids was just a bit of fun with friends.”
The pair were introduced to James Hoare (guitar) at a Comet Gain gig and bonded over a shared over for the quasi-punk band. After press ganging their friend Marion into the band by teaching her to play bass in a month (“I still can’t,” she explains in a jovial manner. “I’m learning fast but trying.”), they set about to “start a band that sounded like Galaxy 500,” explains Roxanne. “A bit shoegazey, Velvet Underground sort of drums. Quite simplistic. I don’t think it sounds much like them, but we’ve made it our own.”
This they have, and if anything has been learnt, the quartet can at least rely on the rhetoric of their debut UK single “Found Love In A Graveyard / Stephen” (released March 1 on Trouble Records) to speak volumes above their inability to verbally sell themselves. Imagine the haunting urgency of The Shop Assistants cajoling the spectres of C86 era jangle pop out of the closet with Roky Erickson-inspired lyrics, and they are a band to get talking about and listening to…even if they can’t advocate themselves to you.