Fultons make a point (Fultons Point interview)

The commanding Manchester act Fultons Point have been wooing crowds and raising smiles with their retro sounds that have a modern kick. Passion and pride oozes out of this quartet who sometimes feature a soaring fiddler at their live shows, in order to add a touch of spice and variety to matters.

The line up of Sean Cartwright (electric & acoustic guitar), Brendan Cartwright (vox/acoustic guitar), Steve Vickers (bass) and Carl Atkin (drums/percussion), divulge information about the grass roots workings of the music industry and generally put the world to rights. It will not take you long to discover that Fultons Point are a band with a lot to say.

1. You have a sound reminiscent to your Liverpudlian contemporaries The Stands, in my humble opinion. How well do you fit into the Manchester scene with this sound. How would you describe the modern Manchester music scene for the uninitiated?

We don’t fit into the Manchester scene as far as we can tell. Playing in and around Manchester, all we seem to see are bands desperate to get signed and the music seems to come second.

We have no desire to fit into any scene to be honest anyway. We want to create music that stands the test of time rather than be swept along as part of a 5 minute trend that is soon forgotten.

2. Your stand out number is the vibrant ‘Roll, Roll, Roll’ it has a sense of release to complement your usual laid back style. What is the story behind this numbers and is making and performing music a cathartic experience for you?

The one thing that strikes us when talking to fans of the band is that each person seems to have their own favourite song – there doesnt seem to be one crowd favourite. Roll Roll Roll is perhaps our most immediate song and has enjoyed a some airplay (Clint Boon played it on his show on Revolution Radio).

Our usual style isn’t laid back – we try to put an intensity and passion into everything we play. At the SWAP festival we were told it was an acoustic event, so we modified our style somewhat but we primarily see ourselves as a rock n roll band.

3. Did you enjoy playing the much lauded SWAP Festival this year? How important are events like that to you guys?

We did enjoy it. As the name suggests, SWAP is about the art of song writing and we felt that by being asked to play, it was recognition not just for ourselves as a band, but for the quality of our songs.

It was also great to be on the same bill as a respected artist like Steve Earle.

4. you are a band that comes alive on stage. Do you have any plans to record a live album, perhaps even a ground breaking debut live album?

We all enjoy playing live immensely and releasing a live album is something that we would definitely be interested in doing at some point – perhaps when we are able to add horns, keyboards and piano to our sound but there are studio tracks being mixed as we speak and we want to concentrate our efforts on these first.

5. Were you alarmed about the recent court case in America where it emerged that record labels pay DJs to play their artists tunes? What implication does this have for struggling non mainstream artists trying to make it these days? Is the music industry up for sale?

We were alarmed about this when we first realised this sort of thing went on, but that would’ve been about a decade ago! The commercial music industry is a complete disgrace in every respect and we don’t know ANYONE who listens to the Top 40 anymore.

It doesn’t make it harder for bands who want 5 minutes of fame, because you can easily pretend to be the new Libertines or maybe get a pretty girl on bass (as one A&R exec told us about one of the ‘hot new bands’), but for those unwilling to compromise their integrity it certainly becomes an uphill struggle, but one that is ultimately worthwhile.

6. What was the last gig you attended as a spectator and does it feel strange watching other artists? Are you constantly making mental notes on their performance?

The band all went to see Steve Earle at the Academy 1 as part of the SWAP festival. It’s not strange to see other artists perform, but it can certainly be a good learning experience, such as seeing Earle captivate a large crowd with just a guitar and harmonica – the power and honesty of his songs showing through in such minimalist settings. You can always learn from an artist like this.

7. Who is your all time favourite Mancunian and why?

Barry Gibb – the artist Elvis could’ve been!

8. How close is a record deal for you guys and what do you imagine your debut album will be like?

We’re not in a desperate scramble to get signed. We feel what we are doing is right and things will happen in good time. We are moving in the right direction in that new people are being turned onto us at every gig and demand for a release is increasing all the time. We hope to have something out in the near future. We want our debut to be timeless.

9. What are your current musical influences?

Generally speaking, we all share similar musical tastes within the band. However, we are wary of listing influences as you put yourself in danger of being labelled and pigeon-holed, which is just laziness. Listen to our music and you will hear elements of bluegrass and rock-a-billy through to soul, blues and rock.

Fultons Point are to headline the acoustic night at The Rampant Lion in Manchester on Thursday 18th August (free entry) as well as headlining Plastic Surgery at The Late Room in Manchester on Saturday September 24th.

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