SRGents Interview

Ahead of their show, “Un Je Ne Sais Quoi”, at The Kings Arms in Salford on October 9, where SRGents will be spinning tricks with their winning twist of Anglo-Gallic charm, we catch up with Gary (or is it Peri?!) and find out how life treats such an unusual trio.

Hi Peri, how are you today?

– Very well, thank you very much.

What do SRGents have planned for the near future?

– We have an evening of frivolities planned for Saturday, October the 9th down at the Kings Arms in Salford.  We are going to be filming and recording our performance, for a future video.  We are also giving away an EP for all who make it down.  We are very lucky to have Hayley Faye appearing on the bill for the night too.  It’s free in too, so there is no excuse for not coming really.

– After this night, we are planning on taking a song writing sabbatical for the rest of the year.  We are also having a bit of a holiday to recharge our batteries, as we have been very busy bees over the last couple of years.

OK. So a little bit of background information for the uninformed. Please describe how SRGents got together, and the origins of the name.

– We like to describe how we met through the medium of dance.

– Alternatively go to www.srgents.com and find the coffee cup.  There in lies the tale of how the gentlemen met.  Suffice to say, it is not the usual band biog.

– The name was actually a long and convoluted one, which we shortened to SRGents as no-one particularly fancied trying to log into our emails with such a long moniker.  We have found out through good old google that SRGents used to be a clothing manufacturer who made ladies underwear for Marks and Sparks, and that there is a barber shop in India under the same name.  It’s a long way to go for shave and a haircut though.

– We do get a lot of e-mails enquiring as to whether we would like to sign up for senior gents dating websites.  So far, we have politely declined.

Your music has an obvious Gallic element, which is pretty unusual for a Manchester based band. Where does this come from?

– Our singer, Jules is indeed, a bona fide Frenchman.  He did have to brush up on his O-level French to get the job though…

Antoine de Caunes (from Eurotrash) once said that he felt very honoured as, “Only one French person in every generation makes it in England”. Does the French element in your music ever attract antagonism, or do you think it gives you something unique that draws the people in?

– We have had some negative comments regarding the French language, but that tends to be from people who are not as cosmopolitan as what we are… We have been called pretentious in print for it, but most people we encounter on our travels really enjoy it.  I don’t think the music would be the same without it, to be honest.  It does make us make music in a certain way.  The stereotypical French image is something that we try to play on and have fun with.

And how do people react to your music when you play in Europe?

– We’ve only ever done acoustic stuff in Europe.  People tend to be much more attentive when you do things acoustically. It was a real blast playing in Prague a couple of years back. Awesome city.

I saw you guys play The Chapel a few years back, and I thought you put on a great performance. Do you find that the audience usually dances at your shows, as they did that night?

– Thank you sir, if I remember rightly, that was the last gig on a Sunday night where we had already done two gigs over in Liverpool. One in the late afternoon and another in the early evening, and we had to rush back to Manchester to fit that one in.   I remember being a bit tired after that last one!

– Dancing is recommended as a cardiovascular workout, so we encourage it at all our gigs.  We may just have the fittest audience in Manchester.

How does the band go about writing its songs, and what influences the lyrical content?

– Lyrically, Jules prefers to write in French.  He likes to be vague about the meanings for most of them, giving us a general jist of the subject matter. This allows us to concentrate on the general feel and ambience of the tune, not getting too hung up on the literal meaning of every word.  The tunes in English tend to be a lot more of a collaboration.  The music generally comes from a bounce around of ideas between the three of us, each bringing our own personal musical influences into play.

SRGents are currently unsigned so presumably you all have day jobs. What do you do, and how easy is to concentrate on the band with the pressures of work?

– Well, Jules is a full time Frenchman, Peri is a part time international playboy and Gary is trying to break into Manchester Uniteds first team.  Gary is finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate on the band as dementia has sadly started to set in.

One of our writers said, “They radiate such pure sex-appeal that I have to hold on?” How does this make you feel and is this a typical response?

– It did make us wonder what it was she had to hold on to?  We don’t know if it’s a typical response, especially from our male audience members, but if people feel that way about us, we could perhaps make some money by doing a calendar like the W.I. did…on second thoughts, no we won’t be doing that.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years time?

– Paying off our overdraughts.

Thanks Peri/Gary. Best of luck with everything.

– Thank you sir.

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