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Interview: Steve Nicholls, Guitarist for Baby Brave and Camera / Managing Director of Drum With Our Hands

Tell us about your role in the festival and how you’re involved.

Well, I’m just playing in the bands and actually me and my friend run a small record label, Drum With Our Hands. We had the stage last night, we did a stage. 

Okay, so you helped to book all the bands on that second stage at Central Station?

Yeah. We collaborated with the Focus Wales organisers, Andy and Neal. 

What was your thinking behind the bands on the stage last night? It was quite an eclectic mix.

To be honest, you’d sort of think it would be a complete disaster but it worked really well actually. I think of Baby Brave as sort of ‘60’s pop, almost bubblegum pop. And there were guys who came to see Bastions who came up to me and said that we were their favourite band. They liked Baby Brave, they loved it. One guy wanted us to come and play his birthday party. I said, “I’m not sure your friends would like it!” It was crazy.

How long have you been involved in the music industry?

Oh a long time. I started playing when I was really young and then played in bands as well. We [Camera] signed to Polydor in 2005 and then we left Polydor and signed with a small Cardiff-based indie label called My Kung Fu in 2006. We did the first album [Ashes and Dim Light] with them.

The industry has changed radically since then. Now a band can – because of the technology – they can just create an album at home and release it. They can do the whole thing themselves. I think actually that’s made the role of a record label different; you kind of become like a curator, in terms of trying to create a place where people can find a certain style of band. It’s not necessarily all the same style of music, it’s just a certain identity. And that’s what we’re trying to do.

How do you feel about being involved in something like Focus Wales?

It’s absolutely amazing. It’s brilliant for the University [Glyndwr] to be doing music and journalism, and sound engineering courses, because all those people get to have some experience of it. It’s great for all the bands and the musicians who are playing it. I think it just lifts the whole town for four days every year. It’s fantastic.


About Alex Watt

I’m a writer, not a fighter. Freelancer, NCTJ student and comedian. Write for the Mirror, 411mania, the Denbighshire Free Press and more.


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