In order to get some peace and quiet I leave the Northampton Roadmender with Joe Stretch, lead singer of Performance. We leave Blackbud in the midst of their soundcheck for the Club NME night. Joe admits that their sound doesn't play too well on his ears. So, what does he like?

"I saw The Maccabees in Brighton and they were absolutely incredible," says the self proclaimed Depeche Mode and Leonard Cohen fan. "They reminded me funnily enough of the Artic Monkeys. They are similar in their writing but even better. Another rock and roll lyrical based band, which is good."

The Artic Monkeys, now there's a sound. So much has happened from the one single release, but as we both know there are more good songs available to hear if you look in the right place.

"What makes me laugh of course is this is what music is all about. It's that moment when you haven't heard them but you're expected to hear them and then it's rock and roll. I was watching a band the other night and they made me think that bands ought not to be allowed anymore. With other cultural practices or projects someone would have come along and said to this band 'No' too many times. This band had abolished all emotion of a band and it can't go on any more in a cultural form. It's a very negative view and I don't fully believe it but sometimes you do find yourself, when you listen those tipped to be the next big thing, it's just more rock and roll."

Indeed, Performance themselves were tipped, okay, featured along with the likes of Battle, The Apartment and Editors in the NME earlier in the year as new bands that some say had a touch of 'New Order' about them. According to the article, Peter Hook himself claimed, "Performance makes me pine for the old days of New Order". The article ran not long after the band was signed.

"I'm not sure how we got signed. We spoke fluent bullshit, lied and joked our way in," laughs Joe. "I don't really know. We always wanted to make an album that made some kind of gesture towards what you might call popular, stylistically and in terms of its openness. I always suspected that the album that we had wanted to make would be one that went beyond where we'd been and kind of reached out to a wider audience. How did we sign to Polydor? By writing good songs? I don't know." >>

pg1 :: pg2 :: pg3 :: pg4
More interviews
There's more great interviews from the vaults here and much more that you may have missed recentely...
official site