This is the 500th article on Dear Scotland and somewhat appropriately, Peenko brings us an interview with a new Glasgow band by the name of ‘Fear the Fives’. Massive thanks to Peenko, Billy, Vic, Matthew, Colin, Kenny, Alistair, Saba, Alec, Shiner and Swatpaz and everyone else who has contributed in the last year.

Peenko’s Scots Way-Hay! – Fear The Fives

by Lloyd Meredith

Every so often something pops into my inbox that makes me realise what a privileged position I am in. The possibility that someone out there might deem me worthy of being a so-called ‘taste maker’ still feels pretty alien to me. Not that I’m complaining, as every so often something arrives that makes me feel that all the work I put into writing the Peenko blog is all worthwhile. The Fear the Fives would certainly fall into this category.

If you had mentioned their name to me less than a month ago I would have probably shrugged my shoulders in a state of bemusement, but one month on and I’m completely sold. Imagine Nick Cave fronting Beirut. It really shouldn’t work, but it does and then some. In a world filled with run of the mill indie bands, Fear the Fives have crafted something unique that should be treasured.

Would you care to introduce yourself?
Fear The Fives are, in no particular order, accepting subconscious bias: Blonder than blonde, but not whiter than white, bassist and future Emperor of Iceland, Ragnar Fjölnisson. Tim Sandys provider of primal rage and rhythm, smut and surprisingly high pitched backing vocals. Ex-mine clearer and bastard son of Hugh Laurie and Martina Navratilova, guitarist Ally Batten. Degenerate procrastinator Charlie Milne, tickler of small dogs, Serbs and The Ivories.

How would you describe the music you make?
I think perhaps at the start the idea was to have songs you could sing drunkenly around the piano but done with a full band adding more brute force and dynamics. However, as the band gets better and better options open up, new ideas come in so it’s starting to change now into something a bit different. We have a lot of new ideas and sounds we want to use as soon as we have time to rehearse things well enough to pull them off live properly.

How did you start out making music?
Ally came back from Angola and moved into Charlie’s spare room. For a year we did very little, then he moved out and we started to get things done – just acoustic guitar and piano. However, at heart we really want to make a lot of noise at least 70% of the time so we drafted in Tim and Ragnar because they were two people we knew could keep up with the rhythms and chord changes.

What process goes into the way you write songs?
Some songs are finished before they come to the rehearsal and they usually start with lyrics. Other times the idea happens in rehearsal and then the song is taken away to be refined and lyrics worked on. With some of the ones with compound rhythms the lyrics can be a challenge.

Who are your big musical influences?
We listen to a big mix of things but I think we are all into intrusive music that has quite a pronounced affect on the listener. Pixies, Fugazi, Afghan Whigs, Morphine, Talking Heads, HAM, Grizzly Bear and Gus Gus all come to mind though.

What are you all listening to at the moment?
BBC Radio 6, 4 and 3

What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2010?
A couple of singles over the summer. An album by the end of the year? We are open to offers.

Fear The Fives – Devil’s Tongue


Fear The Fives self-titled debut EP is available to download now on iTunes, Amazon and other digital media. If you fancy catching them playing live, then you’re in luck as they’re playing at Stereo in Glasgow on the 20th of May with Static Cult, tickets are only a fiver.

More from Lloyd at Peenko

Photo Credit: Fear the Fives