The Little Hulton brain-pop outfit are back with a great new single and live performances. Whenever you attend a Patchwork Rattlebag gig, there is an uncertainty as to what kind of performance is on offer. It's sometimes only on arrival that you discover whether it's a full band, a duo, or a solo acoustic performance by frontman, John Lowndes.
Often they perform as a collective with John and Adam delivering faultless harmonies, or as a collective with Chantelle providing an unusual rhythmic electro backing. It keeps things interesting, and it also means that the songs that are strong can be interpreted in various ways by a gifted group of musicians.
It's reassuring to encounter an act that engages and challenges. Their work is experimental, interesting and smart. And well worth a visit to the Fuel Cafe this Friday for a gig hosted by the Other Sound Society...
"This coming gig is going to be a stripped-down, psychedelic set with myself, Chantelle and Brandon M. Bizzle" says John "We're performing with effected acoustic guitar, vocals, synths and samples."
To see how this manifests itself have at look at the Live in 305 video (click here)... Other acts on the bill will be the very interesting electronic Mutabase, and touring Glasgow all-female outfit The Twistettes, with a powerful Alt/punk set.
Patchwork Rattlebag will be performing their new single On My Own. It is a tune inspired by Nietzsche and comes with the off-beat strap-line 'celebrating 232 years, 17 months and 745 days since people started to realise the pointlessness of marking years, months and days'.
On My Own is due for release on all digital platforms (Spotify, iTunes etc.) via the Against Method label. You can get your hands on the track for free as John explains, "We're running a promotion whereby we will send a free, differently mastered, bootleg mp3 version of the single to anybody that contacts us..."
One of the most appealing aspects about Patchwork Rattlebag is that they are almost impossible to compare to other acts. There are folksy, psychedelic elements to the song-writing and vocals, but this can often be set against a dramatic electronic background.
The one constant factor that can be guaranteed however is the unmistakable voice of John Lowndes. John has a haunting melodic quality that is reminiscent of Cat Stevens or the great Jeff Buckley. His undulating delivery is evident on On My Own.
For the immediate future, John says the band will be working towards a special set for the Resonant Edge Festival, in Ormskirk June 14-17th... "We will have a full compliment for the gig, featuring also Adam Hart, who is in Copenhagen giving a presentation on his computer music programming this time round.
"We will be focusing on a more sonically varied approach for that one, including ambience such as Remember What The Fish Ignored, and electro acoustic sounds such as Fragments of the Ship Canal Project*, as well as songs like On My Own and electronica such as Bokononist**" he adds.
The festival also features a collaborative performance by composer Stephen Davismoon, legendary Liverpool poet Roger McGough reading his Poem for the opening of Christ the King Cathedral, Liverpool, 1967, members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and many other contemporary classical or experimental electronic acts.
It's well worth having a look at Patchwork Rattlebag. They are the greatest brain-pop, psychedelic, arty, vocal harmony, acoustic, electro dance act you're likely to hear.
Patchwork Rattlebag, with The Twistettes and Mutabase
Friday 24th March
448 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 3
For further details of the gig see the Facebook event – click here
*To see some Fragments of the Ship Canal Project - click here
**To hear Bokononist – click here
For a preview of On My Own - click here
See also previous Salford Star interview with Patchwork Rattlebag - click here