Computerman are a Nottingham band, who have been on the scene since January 2004.
They recently came to Hull, specifically to Fairview Studios in Willerby, to
record an eight-track demo CD. The demo will include tracks: Increasingly so, No recover, Watch
more television, Neon and Armed for Love. They chose Fairview because of the
excellent sound engineering of John Spence and Andy Newlove.
The pair record a lot of the local bands, resulting in quality demo and album CDs and are well
respected on the music scene.
All but one of the members of Computerman met up while studying at Leicester University,
from this connection of musical minds the band the Carolgees was formed.
They played venues around the country including Hull up until the end of 2003.
The move to Nottingham has been fairly recent, where Mark, Paul and Reyes share a house.
To start with, the band admits to having had quite a hard time in finding anywhere to rehearse.
Luckily, salvation came in the form of Footprint Studios.
During the day bands record there, but on an evening the space is let out to others for rehearsals.
The band speak very highly of Footprint; for the welcome to the Nottingham scene;
for helping them get gigs and getting them known locally.
I imagine there are a lot of bands who are crying out for this kind of help when they start out.
The name Computerman came into being quite by accident. Robert A.
Christ had his father make him up a name badge when he was younger and on the badge were
Rob's name and the word computerman.
When Rob came to try out for the band he was wearing this badge and it attracted the
attention of the other members of the group.
Rob was successful in his try out and the name appears to have come with him.
Other less successful names were suggested such as Zebrafish and Gulliver, thankfully
they were turned down in favour of Computerman.
The group believe they have an original collection of sounds and that they always stand apart
from other acts when playing live. When I first saw them, at the Adelphi,
the reason they stood out for me was they had married the guitar-based Indy sound with the
keyboard wizardry of the electro era. The band would like to collectively thank Paul Jackson
for paying them the largest fee for a gig to date and congratulate Jim for his superb engineering skills.
They claim to be ridiculously pop, incorporating catchy choruses and memorable lyrics.
They shy away from such labels as emo-pop but admit that many of the songs have an emotional depth to them.
The music they play is essentially sound based and grows from a particular idea, effect or melody.
They then, as a group, spend time working from that starting point until the song evolves from it.
Because they work on each song individually they feel very attached to them when they play live.
As a group they are very aware of the dynamics within, and have avoided having one person dictating to the rest.
They make every effort to insure that all five members are included in the decision making process.
The musical direction they are taking now seems to be heavily influenced by the electronica
boom in the Eighties. Bands such as ELO are favourites of both Adam and Paul, Adam
also admits to having a fondness, musically speaking, for Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant
(The Pet Shop Boys).
They also like the Welsh groups the Manics and Super Furry Animals, it is decided that
Queen suck, after a short protest.
They have managed to take the best elements of Brit pop, mix in some of the electro-feel
and come up with their own unique creation.
Some purists would have you believe a heavy electronically generated sound diminishes
from the more organic way of working, the so-called real Indy sound.
As Rob points out they still play notes on their instruments just as any other musician would.
Rob loves getting to a gig and setting up all the gear, in order that everything goes smoothly.
On the occasions when they experience delays in changeovers or technical difficulties, he is
then left feeling dismayed.
I get the feeling he likes to know everything is in place and can see the sense in putting in
the extra effort beforehand to create a better outcome.
As a group of young men, they love the enthusiasm of the audiences that come to their gigs,
especially the attentions of female fans. It appears that being out playing live, is the
glue that holds the group together.
Recently, long breaks in the schedule for song writing, have seen tensions arise and tempers begin to fray.
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