The Shipbuilders talk exclusively about new single, Feeling In My Pocket

LIVERPOOL foursome, The Shipbuilders release brand new single, Feeling In My Pocket via Ocean Waves on Monday October 10.

The lads have been creating an infamous scouse rock'n'roll since as long as I, and anyone else can remember, relying on sea shanty's and the ancestral heritage of Merseyside.

Using influences from Bob Dylan to Jimmy Campbell, the band never cease to please. Whether it be on paper, live or through recordings - there is always this raw emotion and sheer grit that comes through time and time again.

Their latest single, Feeling In My Pocket, is like something from the Toy Story franchise. It's pure melancholy gold which you can't help but grin and rock along to with a bittersweet happiness.

The happy-go-lucky motive carries The Shipbuilders, lyrics of strife are coated in bluesy chords or accompanied by a harmonica and carry a mantra of pick yourself up, dust the dirt off, keep on going.

Remaining totally realistic and frank, The Shipbuilders are everyone's cup of tea. They're just four lads who really love playing music - and actually do it very well. 

The Music Manual caught up with them to talk about new single, Feeling In My Pocket.

What was it like recording at the Motor Museum - did you use any specific rooms?

It was fantastic, but very surreal.. it's mad how that places opens up. From outside, it just looks like a garage, but inside it's huge - it's got it's own climate in there! We recorded drum and bass in the echo room, which gave a few tingles down the old spine, knowing what's been there before us.

Do you feel there is a constant Merseyside influence your music?

Yeah, that's inevitable really isn't it?

Obviously the big guns are there, Shack, Coral, La's etc., but that's just a small part of the influences.. there's heaps of other stuff that goes into the pot too though, from surf music (old and new), old gypsy and European trad stuff through to the old masters like Tom Waits and Nick Cave. Basically whatever we're listening to at the time we write a song tends to bleed through, so looking back I can tell when I was listening to Galaxie 500 a lot, or listening to Lloyd Cole for instance.

Lyrics come from other places too, I'm a James Joyce bore, so he pops his heads up several times in there and the imagery and symbolism Leonard Cohen uses is a massive, massive influence.. he's the man to beat lyrically really, though I'd never in a million years put myself in that league!

What's your favourite track to play live?

At the moment, it's 'Same Star' for me.. it's the one where I reckon every part of the band is at the top of their game, the pounding bass and backing vocals, the shimmering almost Squire-esque guitars and Sully's monstrous drumming. When it goes right, it takes a gig to the next level I reckon. Now and then it can nearly fall apart, so it's a bit of a tightrope walk, but that's part of the fun isn't it.

What ideas did you throw about for your music video - are you happy with how its gone?

We're dead happy with it. In terms of ideas - and it was the same with the artwork - we started with what we knew we didn't want.

So we knew for instance that we didn't want anything psychedelic - that's everywhere at the mo isn't it, which is no bad thing, but we didn't wanna saturate that pool, so we stuck with a more olde-timey vibe - using old handheld cameras and artwork that took it's roots from old classic matchbox covers.. both fit the song well and we reckon are a bit different from what else is going on.

With each of the members of the band, can you name a legendary musician who you think is most like who and why?

Well I dunno about me, but live, I'd imagine all eyes are on Nicky on bass.. he gets totally lost in the songs, it's boss. His indefatigable energy and movement is something like Wilko Johnson, so I'll plump for that. Danny (guitar) is our John Entwistle, technically boss and so reliable you could boil your eggs to him. Sully is our Monster at the back, thumping away, screaming all the while.

How are you feeling about the new release?

We're dead excited, again, it's gonna be surreal seeing it on iTunes and the like, but we're just dying for it to get out there now. The single will be followed by an EP in a few months and we're made up with it.

Itching to get it heard haha!

What was it like to work with James Mellor? 

James is the main man. His ear and creativity were invaluable in the studio.. he really knows his stuff, but more importantly, he's one of the soundest blokes you could meet.

Is there a local venue that every time you get a gig there you just can't wait to play?

We played the downstairs of Heebies (EBGBs) the other week and that was great - a good old fashioned underground basement venue.. hopefully there'll be loads more gigs there.

Also, we played a thing for Pretty Green above the Blade Factory and that was a boss gig too, if that became a more permanent venue, that'd be a belter.

Can you dish out any gossip for The Shipbuilders future?

John Gibbo of Anfield Wrap has just started managing us now, so there are many a-thing in the pipeline for us, but if we told you...

To get your copy of Feeling In My Pocket click here.

Words Lauren Jones


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