Meet Bristol's country-punks Langkamer who burst onto the scene in 2018 with their debut self-titled EP. Hoping for a music filled year with tours and festival they had to take a step back like the rest of us. I had a virtual chat with Josh and Ed to talk about changed band dynamics, stylish band members and their love for cycling.
Please give us a little intro about your band. How are things at the Langkamer camp?
Josh: We make rock music in the key of G. The G stands for ‘good’ because life is good.
'Langkamer' is an unusual name – can you please elaborate on that?
Josh: It’s an Old English word for ‘courage’ and also an anagram of ‘Mr Anal Keg’ which was Dan’s nickname at secondary school.
Ed: My dad calls the dining room ‘the long room’ because it's a few feet longer than the others in their house. His great aunt was a quarter Dutch. The rest is history.
How would you describe your style to people who aren't familiar with you?
Josh: I think overall we’re a very stylish bunch. I’ve got a shabby retro chic going on, whilst Dan wears a lot of black and has a much more classic punk style. Ed’s style is a sort of 1969Haight Ashbury vibe. Tom is eight foot tall so his style is more limited to finding clothes that will actually fit him.
You had a recent change in band dynamics with Tom and Ed are joining the band – did that change the sound of Langkamer? What do the new members bring to the band?
Josh: The guys have added some amazing new elements to the sound. They’ve both got their own unique flair I reckon. It’s brought some fresh life into the creative process. When you’ve got such great new people involved, all of a sudden you’re looking at songwriting in these exciting new ways. Plus Ed’s a classically trained clarinet player and it’s very cool to have that on some of the new material.
Ed: Yeah Ed brings so much. He is probably the best person I've ever met. He changes the lives of everyone he meets. Seriously, I owe him my life. Tom’s okay.
What makes Bristol special for you? What are your thoughts about the Bristol music scene?
Josh: I could probably write a dissertation on these topics. I’ll paraphrase to save my keyboard the butchery - it’s a great place. Not sure I’d want to be anywhere else.
What’s your creative process? Do you have any hobbies that you turn to to rejuvenate your creativity?
Ed: Us Langkamer's are fans of cycling. Nothing better than a few hours in the saddle to get the creative juices flowing and the thighs burning.
Are you working on any new projects right now and when can we expect new music from you?
Josh: We may or may not have some very nice new treats for you very soon. Maybe.
The dreaded subject “Covid” - how are you staying motivated through all of this as it's not the best time to be a musician or for the music biz in general?
Ed: It’s been a tough year. We’ve had lots of great shows and tours cancelled so we've really shifted our focus to writing, which has been really exciting and energising for all of us. Josh has a big list of lyrics for us to work through, so we’re keeping busy.
Josh: Because we’ve all lost out on so much in 2020, I think it’s easy to overlook the silver linings of a year like this. For me personally, taking time out from the brouhaha and spending more time alone became a really cathartic process of introspection, which led to a lot of inspiration. I’ve probably been more motivated in 2020 than any other year. Plus, with all the free time we wouldn’t otherwise have had, Ed and I did some amazing cycle touring throughout the summer. We saw so much of the South West. That in itself was super inspiring. I dunno - it’s been a tough year in a lot of ways, but it’s cool to have had so much opportunity to reflect on what really matters.
I am myself putting gigs on and therefore know how different it is now due to all the regulations etc. – You can't interact with the crowd, no one is allowed to dance etc - how is it for you as a band playing these socially distanced/ table service gigs???
Ed: Socially distanced gigs have been our first shows with the new line up, so we were still super stoked to play and put our new songs to the test. We played a distanced festival in Dorset, where the punters had to stand in sheep pens if they wanted to dance. Very odd.
Josh: It’s weird yeah, but it still feels fun and rewarding. I’ve got a huge amount of respect and gratitude for the promoters who’ve managed to shoehorn live shows in amongst such rigid restrictions. It ain’t easy.
What’s the best/worst advice you ever received?
Ed: Join Langkamer / Join Langkamer!
Josh: You can’t catch a squirrel with your shoelaces untied.
What's next? What are your plans for 2021?
Josh: More cycling. More rock music. Less hand sanitiser.
Check out the live footage of Langkamer at Left of the Dial's Parallel Universe:
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