Photos: Lauren Quayle
The Far North formed in mid 2019 as Lee Wylding (Vocals/Guitar) and Andie Packer (Drums).
The band’s ethos is “To go back to a traditional way of crafting songs, where every lyric is wrought out, every drum beat and guitar line is played from the heart. In turn making the songs meaningful and of value. We wanted to make an album which can be played in full at once, rather than just cherry picking the best songs and releasing 10 singles. This approach isn’t something at the forefront of popular music in 2020.”
To realise this vision The Far North hired revered UK producer Nigel Stonier, who is famed for his work with such luminaries as Lindisfarne, Joan Baez, Robert Plant and Martha Wainwright. Recorded at Manchester’s Airtight Studios, their debut album “Songs For Gentle Souls” will be released through Red Lantern Records on November 20th 2020. They were additionally supported on this journey by The Analog Music Fund.
Steeped in influences from the 1960’s and 70’s, The Far North are actively contributing to the burgeoning UK Americana scene and have already enjoyed airplay from radio stations in the UK and globally, including BBC 6 Music (Chris Hawkins), Regional BBC, and Liverpool Live 247 (Billy Butler). Their debut gig was at Old Trafford Stadium in March 2020.
You are a duo from Runcorn/Manchester how did it all begin for you?
Your sound is described as UK/Americana, what were your influences growing up?
Growing up i really liked Oasis, Manic Street Preachers & The Smiths, but as i got older i started getting into Neil Young, City and Colour and Springsteen, I’d say in terms of my music influences they’re my holy trinity. All the aforementioned artists get me right in the heart, they not only influence my music but they influence who i actually am.
Congratulations on the release of “This House Is Ours”. What’s the story behind the song?
Thanks! Basically I wanted to write an upbeat sea shanty type of song so i sat down one day and it just fell out of the sky like the majority of my songs do, it took as long to write it as long as the song actually is, it just came out, so on reflection i think its about spending time with loved ones and making the most out of your lot, it’s a hope song i’d say.
Before lockdown you played the legendary Old Trafford Stadium, what was that like?
Incredible! We beat City too so it was amazing! Yes to play for the lovely people of Manchester in my favourite venue was such an emotional experience for me, we know the wonderful guys at MUTV pretty well and I can proudly say (Ex Manchester United defender and treble winner) David May is a good friend of mine so it’s always lovely to catch up with them at the theatre of dreams.
You recorded your album in Manchester, a city known for spawning some amazing bands, who are your favourites from the classic era?
Where to start really, Oasis are one of my first loves, I was 15 when Definitely Maybe came out and it blew my mind, it literally inspired me to become a guitarist, singer and Songwriter. The Smiths and the Stone Roses too, true one offs with incredible back catalogues. I’ve been lucky enough to meet the members of all 3 of those bands on my musical adventures so to me they’ll always mean the most in terms of not only being quite local to us but my early inspirations.
What were the challenges and triumphs that you’ve found in putting the album together?
What bands are you into at the moment?
Living up North what are your three favourite things about the north of England?
What is in your live set up?