Life has been good to Paul Orwell in the past six months, at least it sounds that way. His debut single and video “Little Reason” has gathered him fans as far afield as Antarctica, and his follow up EP (see interview and article on another Mysterion page floating somewhere) has been so popular with the downloads he has been forced to take it off Soundcloud.
But before you start crying into your mod designed handkerchief at the opportunity lost, fear not. His latest single “Tell me Tell me” is out now, with a new video and a new record label, Heavy Soul, making sure that this mop-topped savior of pop gets where he finally belongs to be – on a record shelf sandwiched between A Hard Days Night and anything by Phil Spector. Not that we’re accusing him of keeping his records in a mess – we simply understand that when it comes to pop music, it’s all a matter of priority.
Not for the first time in the past 6 months Paul Orwell has knocked our socks off with a cracker pop tune, which is why we at Mysterion Art Factory thought it only proper to ask him a new set of questions (with an endless stream of gushing nestled neatly in between).
Firstly, how have the last six months been in the life of Paul Orwell? The gigs have been flowing fast – have you still had time to write some new material?
I do have lots of unfinished tracks I’m still yet to get my head around. I’m always writing or thinking up phrases for new tracks, hopefully I’ll finish them soon.
Since we last spoke you have been busy forming your live band – The Night Falls. How did the group come together?
I was lucky to find top musicians with the same interests & goals as me, it worked out well. Michael Parrett, my best friend was kind enough to take up the roll of Bass player, Stuart Marsh (Guitar) & Scotty Roberts (Drums) contacted me through an ad I put out… All of them have the same mind set as me, which is odd.
Has playing live with The Night Falls altered your older songs in any way – or has the structure remained loyal to your recorded versions?
They are more raw, rocking and a tad more bluesy than the recordings, the dynamics haven’t been lost… but if you see us live, expect Fuzz.
Ok folks – it’s gush time! A new band that sounds more raw and rocking than Orwell’s previous solo recorded work? The ears are ringing with anticipation. The four of them are also fresh from a trip to Liverpool (it’s a lovely train ride), where they recently played at the legendary Cavern Club – the famed spot where another English group of longhairs shook up a storm about 50 years ago. Ok, ok – the original Cavern Club is really now a car park next door to the “new” one – but you’re getting my point. No-one wants to twist and shout in a car park. Especially if Paul Orwell is playing next door.
You recently played at the famed Cavern (or at least the modern equivalent). How was the experience – did you get Beatle-sized goosebumps of excitement? Were there any spiritual vibes felt from the hallowed turf?
All of the above happened. It was a dream come true, and we all took in & inhaled every magical second of it!
You’ve just released a new video for “Tell me Tell me”. Be honest – was any mod hair harmed in the making of the video?
Not really, but my eye nearly took some scissors a couple of times… that would of been a great ending!
Great news that Heavy Soul will be pressing “Tell me Tell me”/”Little Reason” on 45rpm. Do you see your first pressing as the beginning of the end for your “download” years – or can the two formats cohabitate in the mod world?
I’m not a fan of good people paying out money for fin air/mp3! It’s important for me to keep music a real product, especially at this stage of my career. As you know I’m a massive lover of Vinyl, so to have my own released I can die happy, it fits what I do perfectly.
In 1967 The Byrds sang about the traps of the music industry in their genius single “So you want to be a Rock and Roll Star”. In the song they pointed to the rules of the game – “You sell your soul to the company/ who are waiting there to sell plastic ware.” How ironic that now the young independent musician of the 21st Century is looking to avoid the very digital medium that was created for them, to revert back to the very piece of “plastic ware” that their heroes warned them about (then again – maybe the warning was about the company more than the object they sold). In France they would call it a revolution and hang something from the Eiffel Tower. Either way – ironies abound. If the Byrds were around today they’d probably write a song about it (Cue Mr. Orwell).
You’ve been vocal in the past about your love of “pre-1972” music. What have been the gems that you have picked up recently in your vinyl treasure hunts, and how have they inspired your writing?
The last thing I picked up was an early demo of The Peppermint Circus, the track isn’t on youtube, really cool little gem, written by the BeeGees.
What is on the recent horizon for you and the band coming into an English summer?
Just to play some really cool shows. I’m not a fan of doing the usual Indie events… more underground the better! Plus really would like to do a mini tour – in every gig I play I’ve always make great new friends, genuine music lovers… I enjoy that.
So there it is folks! The medium is simply the piece of the puzzle that connects the Artist to the music lover. Formats, major record labels and commercialism are the dinosaurs munching on the tops of trees while looking at the flames hurtling through the clouds. Paul Orwell and the Nightfalls are one of the meteorites making their way to Earth. Welcome to the change of the guard. Whether Paul Orwell wants to be a Rock and Roll star (shallow that the term is) is a moot point. We’re predicting that soon he simply won’t have a choice. And amen to that!
Paul Orwell's debut 45rpm "Tell Me Tell Me"/"Reason To Believe" is available now through Heavy Soul Records.