Published: 15 December, 2011
by ROISIN GADELRAB
If the way Mucky Pups cemented their existence is anything to go by, this foursome have a bright future before them.
Frontman Daniel Woolf was feeding the jukebox at The Good Mixer – in the time-honoured tradition of many a promising Camden band member – when he found now lead guitarist Carl Pratley.
Both opting for the same song, The Libertines’ Up The Bracket, they bonded over musical tastes, and soon realised they were both musicians.
Carl was recruited to join Daniel and bassist Jason Duncan, who met at the now defunct Mean Fiddler in Charing Cross Road. Drummer Dan Ward came along a little later, a friend of a friend.
Their first meeting as a band was at the infamous dog-friendly Mucky Pup pub in Angel, hence the name.
Mucky Pups headline Barfly tomorrow (Friday) with support from The Raid, Ceremonies and Station Agents.
It’s not the first time they’ve played there.
The hardworking foursome, known for their energetic performances, played a storming Barfly set earlier this year, having built up quite a following.
Carl said: “Last time we played it was very busy, loads of people came to see us play.”
Daniel, who describes their style as catchy, melodic, indie rock, added: “People were on top of people’s shoulders, there was a stage invasion for the last song.”
Said Carl: “For the last year we’ve stuck to a certain set list, but for the next show we’ve been working really hard on two new songs we’re really looking forward to playing. We’ve finally got ourselves together and worked it all out. We can’t wait to play them on the 16th. People who have always come to see us have probably been waiting for new material for a while now.”
Lead singer Daniel does most of the writing, about “general day-to-day life, loss and heartbreak”. And while it is 99 per cent biographical, he describes the songs as uplifting.
“We feel like we put on an energetic performance and the crowd follows. I think we lose about half a stone when we do a gig,” he said.
While they give their evenings to performing as Mucky Pups, all four band members have other jobs. Carl and Daniel work for the NHS, Dan is a car salesman and Jason is training to be an electrician.
Playing indie powerpop, the four-piece draw upon influences from the 60s Brit invasion and 80s mod revival acts such as The Beatles, The Kinks and The Jam.
Former William Ellis pupil Carl, who lives in Kentish Town, was interested in music from a young age. He said: “We were just sort of growing up listening to music and we all started listening to bands that come from the 60s and 80s. We saw the attention they get from it and I just thought, ‘I want to do that one day, I want to be in a band’.”
And it sounds like they have a bit of a naughty streak after taking exception to the PA system being turned off mid-song at Cargo when they overran their set recently.
Daniel said: “We turned up all our amps to the max, I found out my mic was turned off so I kicked the mic stand into the crowd. We continued our set playing just on amps and bare vocals – there were a lot of people there just cheering.”
As a relatively new band – they’ve been together for just over a year – they’re used to playing for a varied crowd. But one night when they played to a particularly depleted audience stands out.
Daniel said: “We did a favour for a friend for Oxjam, but because we had another gig within a week somewhere in Camden you’re not really allowed to promote it so we had to play to one man and his dog. The one man and his dog went absolutely nuts on his own – that was something.”
Said Carl: “It’s very daunting. I prefer playing to a lot more people rather than a smaller audience.”