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On the radar: Shields
Personnel: Luke Elgie (guitars/bass/vocals), Rich Sutton (guitar/vocals), Dave Williams (guitar/keys/vocals), John Martindale (percussion/bass/samples) and Tom Larthe (drums/vocals)
Intelligence: "We didn't really set out with any fixed idea." So says Luke Elgie, multi-instrumentalist in five-headed pop monster Shields, who have been turning heads in the run-up to the release of debut EP Mezzanine.
All cascading vocals, killer synth riffs and ridiculously catchy hooks, Shields are the result of broad minds, broken bands and regular doses of close-harmony pop. "It's come out sounding quite focussed," says Luke. "We produced the EP ourselves, and we've all got quite a handle on that side of things, which is good – I think you can get your ideas across a lot better that way. Every song on the EP was started differently. Momentum was a synth riff that Dave came up with, and we bashed it about in the room until something fell into place. Turning Corners was pretty much a full written song by Rich, and then we just all put our parts on it. It varies each time.
"We're all quite into our proggy stuff, and older stuff – The Beatles, Beach Boys, anything with loads of good vocal harmonies, we like that. We like to make a feature of using the voices as an instrument."
Having already bagged Radio One airplay and grabbed the attention of the mainstream media thanks to some fine sock puppetry in their music video for Mezzanine, you'll likely be hearing plenty more from Newcastle's latest export. All of which is a pleasant surprise to them: "It's all come from experimentation," says Luke. "It's a complete accident."
Hardware:Telecaster Deluxe, Gibson 339, Fender Supersonic, Fender Straocaster, Gibson ES 339, Fender Deluxe Reverb, Fender Jazz through a Mark bass head and a Gallien Krueger cab, Logic or Reason and controller keyboard.