Sugarmen Interview: Musical influences, Industry Politics and Playing Gigs on Boats


The Sugarmen (titled with an obvious nod to cult folk/rock legend Sixto Rodrigues) are building a name for themselve, coming out of Liverpool with a blistering live set of upbeat, guitar led power pop.

They will be playing the next Cooking Soup night featuring Sugarmen, The Delaplains & The Broxton Hundred and Phil Smith (Oasis Tour DJ) on the Bar & Co boat, Temple Pier. Cooking Soup tickets are available now here.

Our favourite northerners in exile, Cooking Soup caught up with the guys recently, this is what they had to say.

Who would you describe as your formative and current influences, be it music, film or other areas of popular culture?

Formative influences is pretty wide like with a lot of bands! The clash, The Velvet Underground, Orange Juice, Bob Dylan, Rodriguez, BRMC, New Order, T REX, B.A.D, Gang Of Four.  the Big Lebowski. Fargo, Harvey, The Naked Gun… we love Columbo too.

What’s your take on the current music scene?  Where do you see yourselves as fitting in?  Do you want to fit in?

The Music scene in Liverpool is pretty good right now. There is a lot of great bands all doing different things. The eyes of the music world are starting to shift on to Liverpool again I think and it feels like a good place to be right now.

Liverpool its self is developing rapidly too and the baltic triangle area is becoming a sort of hub for all the arty types and bands so it feels like somethings happening again. As for the UK I think we could compare ourselves to a few bands and I think there is still always good music coming through.

There is a lot less guitar bands simply because they are so expensive to run or look after I think. But we love all music it just so happens that right now were playing guitars and if anything if your good enough, and we are, it makes you stand out.

Does politics play any part in your music?  Do you agree with the argument that ‘the middle classes have stolen our music’?

Politics does play a part in some of our music yeah. Some of our songs could be labeled political but we just sing about what we want to or what we think is right or wrong. Its important that some people in popular culture are singing about politics or talking about it because these are the people that people listen to at the end of the day. Im sure if keith lemon came out with a save the NHS campaign it would do alright.

I don’t agree that anyones music has been nicked but if it has, its nothing new. What I do think, and this has probably always been around is that if you already have money and don’t have to work or sign on etc it leaves you all the time in the world to write music, form bands and all the rest.

When there was many more big labels with lots more money I guess they would sign more bands so if you were a band that wasn’t from a wealthy background you would get a big advance to give up your jobs and be able to live while you write, record, practice and tour. This probably meant that more people might of got a shot. Now that there is not many big advances around it seems that the artists and bands who are breaking through and sticking around are mostly from more wealthy background.[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]London can expect a good night on a boat![/quote]

This is probably why at a time in the UK when you would think there is something to sing about were not hearing it because its not affecting the people breaking through. I don’t think it at all matters where you are from either, its about you as a person and the music you make but when music becomes something for people only with money, that seems wrong. Thats just my theory on it anyway!

Any famous fans or surprise faces at your gigs?

Yeah, Mick Jones from The Clash invited us to play at his studio for a show him and his friends The Rotten Hill gang put together once a month. We had to play a cover that influenced us so we did hanging round by Lou Reed. The show was called The Rotten Hill show. I know they are planning on doing something with the film. There is some great people on there. Were huge Clash fans so it was a big deal for us.

What are your thoughts on playing a boat and what can London expect from you ?

My thoughts on playing on a boat are good man. If I was going to be cheesy I’d say something like the river is in our blood because of the Mersey. Ha! London can expect a good night on a boat!

When can we expect a new release?

Next month or 2. We have some stuff up our sleeves.

What’s your favourite soup?

Chicken and sweetcorn . Or even better Cream of Chicken because it reminds me of Andy Warhol.

The next Cooking Soup night will feature Sugarmen, The Delaplains & The Broxton Hundred and Phil Smith (Oasis Tour DJ) on the Bar & Co boat, Temple Pier. Cooking Soup tickets are available now here.

Check out Sugarmen on facebook here:

About Adam French

I write about all of our upcoming events, plus features, competitions, playlists and anything else I feel like.

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