All artwork and photography credits to Carl Battan unless indicated otherwise
Southsea Sound is a recording studio and rehearsal space based in Portsmouth on the South coast of the UK.
We work with artists from all over the country producing the best in new music.
To showcase this, it’s time for the 4th in our series of Southsea Sound Icebreaker Showcases 2023.
Six video sessions. Six different acts. A one-day multi-venue inner-city festival.
Baudelaire are, from top left to bottom right,
Alex – guitar, Liam A – Bass, Jacob – Drums,
Arthur Jones – synths/vox/percussion, Liam M – guitar and Danny – vocals
Arthur and Danny were kind enough to spend some time answering our questions and giving us an insight into who Baudelaire are, as individuals and as a band.
How did you get into music?
(Arthur) “We’re all listeners that know how to play. The tastes and interests in the band range quite far, but we all come together creatively on the important things. I remember when I was in High School listening to Royal Blood, Jungle and Bombay Bicycle Club. Bands which we admittedly share very little with sonically, but I think it ignited my love of live music, and I’ve pursued it ever since.”
(Danny) “We all come from different musical backgrounds which massively contributes to how we interact as a band. Most of us began learning our instruments in our early teens. Some of us because we had been taught by elder relatives. For others, it was because there was that one record that we just had to learn to play.
Before we got together Liam A was playing in metal bands, I was singing involuntary acapella at open mics, Alex was playing in indie bands while questioning their fashion choices, Liam M was a singer/guitarist in Mild Headache, Arthur was probably off playing Bach (he’s that good), and Jacob was taking his aggression out on pillows with a pair of Vic Firths. However, we’re all united by our love for music, shared sense of humour and outlook on life. The quaint trivialities of life and seeing the stumbling blocks that people from working-class backgrounds experience daily are what drive us to push ourselves. We want to create music that people can dance to while the old pubs and high streets crumble around them.”
What is a cause you feel passionate about?
(Arthur) “Although the music isn’t overtly political, we want to reflect on our feelings of isolation and abandonment cultivated by an apathetic political system marred with cruelty and selfishness.
However, an important cause that springs to mind is safety at gigs. We’ve worked with Safe Gigs for Women in the past and think it’s a great cause. I know plenty of people who’ve been approached inappropriately or assaulted at gigs and live music spaces. It’s reassuring to see a group of volunteers do their bit to create safe spaces for all.”
(Danny) “We’re also passionate about the human condition and questioning life in modern-day Britain, specifically the Midlands, where we’re from. Facade is written about our experiences and views of growing up and living in post-industrial towns. We’re all Black Country boys or from areas around the big cities like Birmingham where everything is a little old and a little worn.
As a band, we want to tell the truth as we see it without viewing a subject through rose-tinted glasses. There’s a balance between being too blindly self-involved and being too out there in the real world. You’ve got to take time to think about what YOU want. We hope to find that balance somehow and help other people to find it in their lives.”
What inspired the track you sang for us on 4th Feb?
(Arthur) “As previously mentioned, Facade focuses on towns abandoned and left to decay. The managed decline of the north or the slow withdrawal of funding from small towns in favour of metropolitan areas in the West Midlands is clear to see the hopelessness and fear it has caused, providing the inspiration for the song. Facade switches in an instant from melancholic and evocative to furious and mechanical, a dichotomy of emotion found in the small towns of the UK.”
(Danny) “I’m a big fan of artists like Jarvis Cocker and Mark E Smith. They use realism and tongue-in-cheek humour to get across what it’s like for the average person living in less fashionable towns than London. The lyrics and delivery on Facade were somewhat inspired by The Fall, Hit the North in particular, as well as other artists such as The Smiths and Soft Play. Growing up as Black Country folk we were introduced to the mighty Slade by our parents. The way they used colloquial language and talked about life in their songs is something to be admired, and we like to think Facade has the same down-to-earth humour and attitude. We want our music to have a definite identity and our local area makes up a huge part of that.”
What are you up to next?
(Danny) “We’re building pre-production demos for our next singles as we’re eager to return to the studio. So far they’re looking really good, and we can’t wait to get them down on tape, so to speak. Elsewhere, we’re playing a couple of festivals, one in Shropshire, one in Brum and one in Porto, which sounds absolutely amazing. We adore playing live and can’t wait to test our new material in front of a live audience.”
(Arthur) “We’re quite excited about our next single. It has some similarities with Lethe in its composition but has a new ‘No Wave’ feel to it which we are keen to integrate into our sound. Then in August, we’re playing with The Rills, a fantastic band. For the festival in Portugal, we’ll be playing alongside Ditz who everyone and their mums should be listening to.”
What artists should we be listening to?
(Arthur) “The new LP from Model/Actriz might be the best piece of literature I’ve ever had blasted through my headphones, it is completely enthralling from start to finish. Gilla Band continue to dazzle us not only with their humour and style but in their live performances, they will blow you to pieces. After speaking with Danny Nedelko, he insisted that Heavy Lungs would be dropping an album later this year. If you haven’t already listened to their EP Half Full, now would be a good time to wake the dead with all its cacophonous beauty.”
(Danny) “Our good friends Headshrinkers are ones to watch, they’re also a Black Country band, and their last few singles have been immense. We look forward to playing with them again whenever we get the chance, they’re a great band and always have a good laugh afterwards.
We all went to see Gilla Band in Brum last year which was an incredible night for us all, Arthur and Liam got to have a photo with the lead singer. Vlure and Joe Unknown, are two more we love.
I’m mad about Walt Disco; they’ve been around for a while, but I’ve just stumbled upon Strange to Know Nothing, which opened my eyes a bit. I’ve also been listening to a lot of funkier stuff recently, namely Talking Heads on repeat. We recently played a gig with Heartworms whose debut EP A Comforting Notion is amazing. Definitely check them out.”
(Arthur) “Many thanks for all you do in the Southsea music scene and beyond. You’re a lovely bunch to work with, and we hope to see you all again soon!”
We hope so too. Thank you for the kind words, great music and for working with us after a long stressful drive.
To everyone else, do yourself a favour and go fall into a post-industrial no-wave rabbit hole. El x
Are you interested in working with us? We’d love to hear from you!