Artist Feature #8: Pocketbooks


Pocketbooks are a fun indie pop band from London. I had the pleasure of watching them play last week at the Luminaire, I highly recommend catching them live if you can. No tricks or gimmicks, just great songs and a great live performance. You can expect their debut album in spring this year, in the meantime you can head to their Myspace or website to hear songs and find out more. My personal favourite is the charming Falling Leaves, you can hear it on their myspace player and also download it for free! Everyone loves a freebie. Jonny kindly answered the 10 questions:

Name/role in band:

Jonny Pocketbooks / drummer

What was your first musical instrument and where did you get it?

Not technically an instrument but my dad had a pair of big old 1970s headphones I used to wear and sing into the jack plug when I was 3. Apparently I enjoyed singing “In the jungle” by the esteemed Tight Fit. I know someone who was friends with one of the girls from Tight Fit. These are the sort of circles I move in. (She and the gorilla are still together) -http://uk. youtube. com/watch?v=0cD9cBEaNBc

My first real instrument was this little wooden second-hand drumkit that my dad bought off a friend of his, after over a year of pestering my parents for one. I had to stuff the drums with pillows and put sheets over the cymbal to be allowed to play them in my room. I think it held back my development as a drummer, having bed-linen-covered drums. That’s why I can’t do any big fancy drum rolls. I pretend to have a minimalist style.

Do you download music or buy hard copies? Or both?

I used to be a vinyl junkie – I would only buy vinyl, and read every single bit of text on it and marvel at the artwork and design. But recently I decided to give in and embrace the wonders of modern technology, so I’ve started buying cassettes.

Favourite music venue to play and why?

The Luminaire in Kilburn, because the giant disco ball on the stage is just this side of high camp. The steam train at Indietracks festival is pretty special too.http://www. indietracks. co. uk/

Last book read:

A friend pushed a copy of “I Am Legend” into my hands recently and I’ve been having seriously disturbing dreams since. I wouldn’t wish to inflict that on anyone. I hope he’s reading this.
And I was on a train coming back to London and this Mancunian kid saw me reading it and said “What, you’re reading ‘I Am Legend’? Haha! Why don’t you just watch the film?”, like I was the dumbest person he ever met. Then he tried to sell me a watch.

Last movie watched:

“Thank You For Smoking” which I thought was really good. Great cast, well written. And the director’s dad made Ghostbusters. I wish my dad made Ghostbusters.

5 hopes for 2009:

1. I hope I stop dreaming of vampires

2. I hope Obama isn’t a disappointment

3. I hope I don’t disappoint anyone close

4. I hope Pocketbooks’ debut album is a critical and commercial smash, reinvigorating the music industry and single-handedly turning round the economy.

5. I hope there’s always hope (aaaah)

Best moment on tour?

We’re pretty rock ‘n’ roll on tour. I once threw a TV Times out of a hotel window.

At ‘Rip It Up’ festival in Sweden I shared an umbrella and, subsequently, friendships with some inspiring Swedish indiepop fans. I love meeting people with real talent and no big egos.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?

On the roof of Chunking Mansions on Hong Kong island. It holds special memories for me. There’s a hammock and a miniature Buddha waiting there for me.

Favourite band/singer/album you discovered recently?

It was my birthday on January 4th, and a friend introduced me to a Marlene Dietrich song called “Johnny Wenn Du Geburtstag Hast”, so I’m listening to Dietrich right now. Get me, always on the cutting-edge of popular culture.

If you could get any two musicians to collaborate with each other, who would they be and why?

Marlene Dietrich and Tight Fit. It would just work, you know?

Thanks to Jonny and Pocketbooks! Please head to their website and keep an eye out for their new record.

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