The past 12 months have been full of promise for the Liverpool-based hard rocking trio SPQR. After gracing the cover of Bido Lito! last October, they followed up a very solid debut EP The House That Doubt Built with another in the form of the excellent Low Sun Long Shadows, released via Modern Sky back in April.
Made up of guitarist and vocalist Peter Harrison, drummer Bex Denton and bassist Nick Daniel, their weird and wonderful blend of grunge, alt and art rock has been very well received at gigs and festivals around the country, including performances at the BBC 6 Music Fringe Festival, Liverpool Sound City and Bluedot.
In the second of our series of interviews with the Future Yard line-up, we spoke to Peter Harrison about his bands music and their upcoming appearance at the festival.
For someone who may never have come across your work before, how would you describe your music? And if you could recommend them one of your songs, which one would that be?
Hi! Firstly, I’d recommend you ‘Slowly’ or ‘Josephine’ as starters, mainly due to their more normal structures and obvious choruses! Let’s not get to the weirder stuff straight away cos it’ll just scare you off and we don’t want that do we.
I think the music itself is… I suppose quite schizophrenic at times. There’s moments of real serenity coupled with moments of furiosity and stuff like that! And it’s all really honest and about me and my sad little brain. If that sounds like your thing we are onto a winner already!
Who or what have been the biggest influences on your sound?
That’s hard to say as the influences for my songwriting change ALL the time… it’s hard to explain. But the closest I can get is that although the songs often ‘sound’ like SPQR, the influences of that song and what made me write it a certain way and whatever can be really different! But really, I should have just said Pixies and left it there shouldn’t I?
How well do you know Birkenhead and wider Wirral area?
I’m from the Wirral! So I know it very well! Born in Chester but raised for 20 years in Neston on the Wirral. I just had a weird moment there as I questioned why I said ‘on the’ instead of ‘in the’ … I like it now. Didn’t used to. But when you see it for what it is it kind of becomes a nice little place. Plus my parents live there and they are 10/10 best parents to ever live. Trust me.
What’s your favourite festival memory, either as a performer or as a fan?
That’s easy as it’ll be from Bluedot the other weekend! I’m going to say the highlight of that was the little buggy ride to the stage. Either that or having the set list taped down to the stage for me. Haha. Felt like a fuckin’ pro. It was surreal.
Apart from yourselves, who would you recommend people go see at Future Yard?
LOADS of artists!!! The lineup has been so well curated that you’ll get a bit of everything, and by everything, I mean that you’ll get to see what Liverpool and it’s surrounding areas has to offer in terms of up and coming artists, alongside acts that are fully fledged and destroying the world with their great music! I’m MOST excited for Nilufer Yanya. I am a bit of a super fan.
Why should festival goers take time out to come and see you play? What can they expect from your performance at Future Yard?
I don’t know if anyone’s ever been indifferent about our show cos its quite… intense… or difficult or something. People either love it or hate it. Which is great!
I love singing and I love to enter that space while playing where you float out of your body for a moment and really LIVE, you know what I mean? So if you want to see someone go there then come. If you don’t, probably go and wait for Anna Calvi for some serious shred!
SPQR will be performing at Future Yard on Saturday 24th August in the Bloom Building at 21:45.
For more details about the festival, including how to purchase weekend and day tickets, head over to FutureYard.org