Pictured Above: Clock Opera: Guy Connelly, Andy West, Dan Armstrong and Che Albrighton
Published: 19 April, 2012
by ROISIN GADELRAB
Sometimes with our music you end up talking about the process a lot.”
Clock Opera’s Guy Connelly is musing on questions about the band’s reputation for complex productions and banging assorted items onstage.
It’s true, interviews with Clock Opera tend to focus on the unusual items – chains, cutlery, etc – incorporated into the band’s epic materpieces, created by the four-piece’s obsessive focus on producing the aptly described pocket symphonies for which they have become known.
Guy promises their upcoming Camden shows will include some distinctly locally uncovered treasures.
They play two shows at the Camden Crawl Festival (May 4-6), launch their debut album Ways to Forget at Scala on April 24 and support The Temper Trap at Koko on May 22.
Their single Once And For All provides an emotive soundtrack to film of a tragic tale of unrequited love between pensioners in a York Way laundrette.
“Our input was mainly choosing the pitch,” said Guy. “That one stood out to us so, other than my brief cameo which was very powerful I’m sure you’ll agree, that was our only input.”
Guy plays a convincing laundrette customer in the clip.
Although he previously operated solo as Clock Opera, guitarist Andy West, Dan Armstrong (keys/vocals) and Che Albrighton (drums/samples), complete the line-up.
“We went through the rite of passage living in an east London warehouse,” said Guy of his time living with Andy.
“We’re equally obsessive – that’s our shared trait,” he added, coy as to individual personalities, except to say: “Dan tends to enjoy himself and we’ll be discussing why he woke me up last night.” Dan had forgotten his key.
It’s this obsessive nature, which explains their focus on tour.
“We do a lot of our work,” said Guy. “I’m often remixing and Andy’s often making a video or art. We’re all quite productive.
“There’s something about the process of moving that helps in making things.”
Describing the album, he said: “They’re very much songs to involve people with, create a kind of atmosphere, one that’s kind of euphoric, that other people will get, that’s certainly what we feel.
“I’m really proud of Once And For All. Another one... is 11th Hour – it’s quite different to the rest of the stuff we’ve done, it ends up in a totally different place to where it starts, I like that about some songs.”
Inspiration for Guy comes from the past: “Yesterday we were in Newcastle. I went to university there. I was looking for the house I used to live in. I couldn’t remember which one, was it 121 or 131? I walked past 131 and felt quite nauseous.
“A lot of the album is about how you used to be affects how your brain works and how it fed into who you are. I had this idea about going to these places where you had really strong memories that affect who you are. I haven’t done that yet.”
They have played the Camden Crawl before: “It was really good. It’s a lot of fun, there’s loads of things going on. I like that you can walk into any venue and don’t know what to expect. We’ll be playing a lot of shows before we get there so we’ll be ready.”
He added: “I went to see Wild Beasts in Koko a while ago – that’s the kind of experience that makes you want to be in a band, to get to play places like that.
“I was sat up on the very top floor that you can only get to once you know about it.”
Further details about the Camden Crawl from www.thecamdencrawl.com
Clock Opera’s debut album Ways to Forget is out on April 23.