Lord Nelson, Poole

Between The Void

I caught up with local band Between The Void at their recent Lord Nelson gig to talk about how they formed, how hard it is to build a fan base and oh what it would be like to play with Mr. Bungle?!
Between The Void haven’t been established for that long, in fact they’ve just celebrated their one year anniversary with a series of gigs across Dorset and Hampshire.

They bill themselves on their Facebook page as alternative rock. Consisting of four people – John on vocals and guitar, Oli on lead guitar, Pippa on bass and Marc on drums – the band took a while to come together in the current format and line-up that is getting them the attention they deserve in the local scene right now.

Singer John explains, “Ten years ago Oli and I were in a band and then he went to Tanzania for a while. When he came back we both still had the bug so we advertised on Gumtree and Join My Band and we got Pippa, after going through quite a few people who weren’t really appropriate; they didn’t like what we were doing, we didn’t like what they were doing or they didn’t necessarily fit. We went through about eight drummers before Pippa found Marc.”

Now complete, the awesome foursome recently played across Poole, Bournemouth and Southampton, in favourite local venues such as The Anvil, Talking Heads and The Joiners. Tonight’s show on the quay marks the end of their mini-tour, although there is one date left to come in August in Winchester.

With a couple of demo CD’s under their belt, but only a small catalogue of songs to call upon, I wondered if it’s difficult to find appropriate venues to play locally for a band that cites musical influences as diverse as the nineties Seattle grunge scene, jazz, ska and punk?

“We’re not idiots,” guitarist Oli informs me, “we realise that if we rock up here at the Nelson and play an absolute chug-fest then it’s not going to do down very well. I’m not saying we play to each venue, but with the songs we’ve got from start to end it varies a lot”. Marc adds, “I think that plays into our hands with venues like this. We have the flexibility and opportunities to play in a much wider area. We have heavy riffs, but we’re not shouting and screaming. Anybody and everybody who can appreciate a little bit of this or that in a certain song can latch on to us – that’s the idea I suppose, isn’t it?”

They certainly seem to be doing something right; although 200 Facebook likes may seem like a relatively small number to some, John is pleased with the reception that they have had over the last couple of months, stating that “you don’t necessarily hear from everyone who sees you, but we’ve had people come up after shows and say that they like it”. His tone is self-deprecating, yet I get the sense from both him and the rest of the band that they are quietly proud of the impact they’ve had so far. “We’ve had a few follows on social media, which is nice and promoters have asked us back. We’re making steady progress”. I ask how hard it is to build up a fan base when you’re a new band and sticks-man Marc is stoical, advising that “The difficult thing about a new-ish band is that once you’ve brought your family along to a couple of shows, they don’t want to come any more because they’re bored or have other things to do. It’s difficult to build a fan base from that”.

Between the Void
Between the Void 123

Unfortunately, I know all too well what he means, it’s a situation I often see repeated with bands old and new across the country, especially with the decline in attendance at live music gigs in many areas. So, in a perfect world, who would be the ideal band to play with? John doesn’t hesitate with his choice of Led Zeppelin; Marc is more vague, citing “any” punk band from the 1970’s and Oli surprises with Stevie Wonder. So what about Pippa? “I’d play with Mr. Bungle but I would be star struck by Mike Patton the whole time, so I wouldn’t be able to do anything!”

Interesting choice, and frankly I’m not surprised; Between The Void are a complex, interesting bunch of musicians. Although we missed support band THUS, Chinners and I stuck around to see BTV play and, despite technical difficulties with the guitars, it was still a good gig, particularly the funked up cover of classic Beatles track “Day Tripper” towards the end of the set. Crowd (and band) favourites “The Silence of Alex Marshall” and “Relax” drew good applause and overall the sparse pub audience were appreciative.

The band’s collective grunge influence was present in the cover of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” and the original track “Recover”, which featured some dirty riffs. It was also interesting to see Oli and John swapping lead guitarist responsibilities, although whether that’s due to the issues they were having or is a regular feature, I’m not sure. I feel that BTV fell victim to the apathy of the local music fan as they surely deserved a bigger crowd, but I’m convinced that bigger things are on the way for this band. Catch them at the Railway in Winchester on 22nd August before they hit the studio.


For the full interview with the band click here.

Words By Vikkie Richmond.
Pictures by Chinners.

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