Candi's Dog Unleashed
Interview and photo by Dawn
Candi's Dog are a Tyneside trio specialising in acoustic folk-pop melodies topped with delicious Beach Boys harmonies. Their brilliantly brief biography states that they love "playing music and drinking tea". It fails to mention that they also love to chat, not to mention go off at so many tangents that they make Cramlington comic Ross Noble look succinct. Read on to see what happened when we collared them to ask about their upcoming debut album – and find out how successful we were at ensuring they didn't stray too far from the point.
Stephen (bass/vocals) and twin brothers Daniel (drums) and Matthew (guitar) have just come off stage having played a support slot for RJ Thompson to an attentive audience at the gorgeous Gateshead Sage. They are clearly pleased with how their set went – and heartened by the amount of people who bought a copy of their EP afterwards.
'I enjoyed the gig,' says Matthew.
'I really loved it, I have to be honest,' says Stephen – the quietest of the three and, according to the twins, the most sensible. 'The sound onstage was just perfect and it was just a pleasure to play.'
'Bit full of yourself aren't you?' smirks Daniel.
'What?' asks Stephen, innocently, then realises what his bandmate is getting at and hurriedly clarifies: 'No, I don't mean the music sound – this is a compliment to the sound engineer, not to the band. We play lots of venues where it's not.'
'I told you he was sensible,' adds Daniel.
Named after a character in the John Steinbeck novel Of Mice and Men (albeit with a slight spelling amendment to differentiate between them in Google terms), the band have spent 2014 working on their debut album whilst simultaneously securing support slots around the UK with acts such as Josh Doyle and Big Country. They have also been busy populating their website to capitalise on this, in particular with the introduction of a weekly blog with a self deprecating, tongue-in-cheek style which never fails to raise a smile.
'Stephen writes all the blogs,' explains Daniel.
'Are the blogs good?' asks Matthew. 'Cos I don't read them.'
There's a pause before Stephen, deadpan, adds: 'Just as well – I say some horrible things about you.'
Matthew comes clean: 'I like the blogs. We don't know what's on them until he puts them up.'
'It's also the only thing that Stephen does,' mocks Daniel. 'I do all the rest – Facebook...'
'I do very little,' admits Matthew.
'Matthew does Twitter,' offers Stephen, but is immediately corrected by Matthew:
'I don't do that either. I started, but I couldn't be bothered.'
And if the above exchange hasn't already given you an idea of exactly how laid back (read: easily distracted) the band are, even asking about a release date for the upcoming album fails to provide any concrete answers:
'Oh, who knows,' says Daniel.
'That's a good question,' answers Stephen, before Matthew continues:
'We're going to remix it. Stephen's meant to be sending me the tracks to remix.' He turns to Stephen. 'Have you sent them yet?'
'No,' says Stephen.
Daniel steps in: 'We've got all the songs recorded. We just need to finalise them,' he says, offering a little hope that we might hear the finished product sometime soon. There's a pause, before he adds: 'The album's going to be out before the end of the year.'
At last – a sensible answer!
'It's not,' says Matthew, in instant disagreement.
And so we leave the Sage not entirely sure whether we actually gained any useful information from our conversation with Candi's Dog or whether we're really no further forward. Either way, we look forward to seeing them play again soon – and to hearing the album, whenever it actually gets released...
With thanks to Daniel, Matthew and Stephen. Visit candisdog.com for more information on the band and to read the blog, and candisdog.bandcamp.com to hear the EP.