Your weekly go-to new music guide brought to you by our London music journo Peggy, as she uncovers the latest ‘bands and artists to watch’ in the post-punk, new wave, jazz and indie communities. This week she discusses a love of dried sweetcorn, introspective and imminent future releases with enigmatic frontman Sam Lance Jones of Bristol hailing three-piece, Sapphire Blues.
Having spread the good word of post-punk since 2016, how has your sound and set up developed to the present day? Do I detect that we’re seeing your darker side in recent months?
To be honest, at the start the sound of the band was quite distant from what it is today. The songs were borderline 60's revival. We used to have a keyboard player who had real pop sensibilities which pulled us in that direction. After a year or so that fell apart, 4 became 3 and we had to start from scratch again. The sound we have today I believe is from an amalgamation of what we’ve collectively experienced (to state the obvious), being honest, and a lot of introspection.
We heard that you spent a healthy amount of time writing in the humble confines of
Chris’ bedroom - did you learn any weird and wonderful home truths about each other?
We’d all known each other for a long time before that stage so I can’t say we had much else to learn - although we did develop a mutual love for dried sweetcorn which we picked up from the local corner-shop daily. What was good was that Chris couldn’t be late as we were going round to his, but then again at that time, Harry couldn’t play bass so it almost cancels it out. In Chris’ bedroom we recorded a lot of demos you can find on our Bandcamp and this was when the seeds of our current sound were planted.
What were the thoughts, influences, hopes and dreams that went into your latest single ‘119’?
'119' was influenced by a house Harry and I resided in. We were all getting up to a lot of nothing and I spent most of those long hours reading / writing. I like to think the song acts as a bookmark to what was going on in the minds of most who lived with us there. It’s amusing that many people think the song is written about lockdown when I wrote it about 3 years ago, but it’s no surprise when the main bloodline of the track was bred in isolation.
Can you talk us through the production process of the accompanying music video
(some impressive cinematic cityscapes in there)?
Of course in the depths of lockdown we weren’t able to go out and get any footage so we all searched deep into the pockets of our laptops for any video content we could find. When it all started I got my hands on premiere pro, It took a long time to get to grips with but now I think I’ve got the hang of it and hope the next videos will take substantially less time. The video has a lot of significant personal landmarks that fit 119 well, such as a view from the St. Werburghs mound in Bristol which I used to walk up most days.
With two stand-out singles already in the ether, what can we hope to consume next?
Due to the current climate, we’re just focusing on recording and getting out as many singles as we can. It seems to us the only viable way right now of making any progress and I don’t really fancy doing a livestream just yet. Our next single titled ‘Ourselves Forgotten’ is almost ready to go - I think that can be expected in late September.
Hailing from the West Country, which other Bristolian bands should we be listening to?
Football FC, Belishas, Grandmas House, DAMEFRISØR, The Pleasure Dome, JOY, The Love Handles, Kimbo Nice, Ratbags & The New America (apologies if I missed anyone out).
With the reopening of live music on the imminent horizon, which gig venue can we catch you playing in next (pandemic willing)?
If all goes to plan our next gig should be an all-dayer at The Mothers Ruin, Bristol - previously we had it booked up for November [spoiler] featuring the likes of Document & Deadletter, but I have no doubt the gig will be pushed back. At the moment we are pretty rusty so we’ll definitely have to play a couple of intimate shows beforehand to get our confidence back up again - nothing a bit of WD40 won’t fix.
“After a Sapphire Blues show we like to celebrate by/with…”?
I think this would be better if it remained undisclosed.