Getting to know The Samphires: Newcastle's finest all female alt-indie trio

Tell us a bit about yourselves, I gather you’re based in Newcastle, how did you all meet? How long have you been playing music together for?

We’ve been playing together for around 3 years now! We all met at school but became really good friends and decided to start a band because we suffered through GCSE music together.

We started off just playing some covers and didn’t have the confidence to produce our own music. But over the last 2 years, we have really explored our style and gained the confidence to put songs out.

Your sound – how would you describe it to someone who hasn’t heard you before? Are there any artists that influence/inspire your sound?

Usually, we would define our sound under ‘indie’ or ‘alternative’. People have told us that our music reminds them of artists like the Sundays and Cocteau Twins, which we sometimes feel might be too big of a compliment, but we’ll definitely take it!

In terms of influences, Big Thief has always been our main inspiration - people are probably sick of us talking about them by now - but their immense talent to construct beautiful and heartfelt songs is very inspiring. One aspect of our sound that we feel may set us apart is the pairing of two soft and vulnerable vocals with a juxtaposing use of heavier instrumental backing, with some inspirations from Nirvana in our most recent songs. This pairs with the lyrics which are extremely vulnerable and delve into deep insecurities our singer's face and the combination of the two styles allow for a cathartic release of these.

What has been your highlight as a band so far? Any gigs played or moments which have shaped The Samphires?

Most of our favourite gigs happened just before the lockdown, including supporting the amazing Mr Ben & the Bens. To be able to play loads of amazing gigs in such quick succession was intense but really fun.

There was a real unity and respect between the bands we played with and the audiences who seemed to just get our music, which is the best feeling. We also played the opening night of Star and Shadow a couple years back which is one of our favourite venues and so that was really special for us to look back on.

We absolutely love gigging but often our favourite moments as a band are when we are just laughing backstage together or driving to a gig filled with nervous energy and blasting tunes. We are really lucky to be super close friends as well as band mates and that makes every moment we spend together amazing, from a gig that didn’t go great to ordering dominos after recording - these moments are all incredibly important to us.

Have you discovered any new bands this lockdown? Any records that you wouldn’t have been able to live without?

I think in lockdown overall sadly we haven’t found much new music and instead have ended up regressing back to just listening to nostalgic music from when we were younger (maybe as an escape from the world right now).

That being said, we have definitely been listening to a lot more local bands. There were a few local bands we were scheduled to play with but obviously, those gigs were cancelled so we never got to, so to make up for that we have been exploring them more, VENUS GRRRLS being one that we have been a bit obsessed with at the minute because they’re so so cool. Again, I’d say the songs that are very important to us are from our childhood, all of us grew up in households that absolutely loved music which started our passion for it. Pink Moon by Nick Drake is one such song, personally, it was one of the first songs I fell in love with and it has always been able to ground me. On top of this, we would say Holocene by Bon Iver and Perfect Day by Lou Reed.

Both good song choices – I love Holocene!

What’s next on the agenda for The Samphires? Can we expect any new music soon?

Definitely! We are going to try and record as soon as possible because we have loads of songs we want to put out and we’d love to re-record our old ones to a better quality.

In terms of what’s to come it’s difficult to tell due to the uncertainty of gigs at the moment and we are all going to University in a couple of months (which is terrifying) but we are going to work to keep gigging and practising as often as we can! Even if we play fewer gigs we are determined to not give up on it.

Thankyou for your time girls, I shall keep an eye out for some new music announcements!

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