The great Abbey Road experience
Gogo Penguin are on tour on the back of a new EP recorded live at Abbey Road studios.
The three-piece – drummer Rob Turner, double bassist Nick Blacka and pianist Chris Illingworth – play Brighton Dome on November 2.
“We have released the EP quite recently,” says Chris. “We did it as a limited vinyl, but now we have done the digital version.”
Featuring three tracks from Man Made Object (Branches Break, Initiate, GBFISYSIH), the EP also features the recording debut of Ocean In A Drop, an extract from their live score for Godfrey Reggio’s film Koyaanisqatsi.
“It was our first time at Abbey Road, and it was amazing. The whole atmosphere was incredible, walking into this place where so many great musicians have played. We were playing in the main room where, I suppose, The Beatles recorded. But actually, it just felt like a bit like an old school gym. It was the atmosphere that makes it special. And we had a small audience watching us. They do these sessions from there, and so we had like a small crowd which made it feel more like a gig. It was just single takes. We thought let’s just take it as a gig and try to get a different energy. The tunes are recognisable, but hopefully the way they are played will be rather different. To be honest, I haven’t listened back to it. I never listen to our music. It feels to me like once it is done, it is out there for other people to listen to. I try to get a bit of a distance from it by always thinking about moving on. We have been together for about three years, maybe a little longer. We originally started it in 2012 with myself and Rob and a different bassist, but the bassist left and luckily we got Nick. We had been mates with him for a long time, and immediately he stepped in, it felt like this was the version of the band we had always wanted. I remember at the first rehearsals, me and Rob grinning at each other, thinking ‘This feels good!’”
It can be difficult when there is a change-over: “But you have got to remember that it is all about the band. It is not about the individuals. The individuals contribute and they make it, but it’s about how the individuals work together. That’s the most important thing, and we just felt like a band when we got Nick. It is difficult to find a way for three people to work together, but we did. It just happened. And I think it is really interesting how we work. With the three of us, there are a lot of times where we are just in complete agreement. But we always try every single idea that any of us comes up with, even if the two others think it is the most ridiculous idea ever. The music has a lot of improvisation, more like a continuous improvisation, and when there are three of you, you really get a tingle because you can bounce ideas off each other.”
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