THE IMOGEN STYLES
Introduce yourselves and tell us what you've been up to recently?
Well, we’re The Imogen Styles, and we make and perform electro-pop music. We’re getting really quite good at it.
Recently we’ve been putting together ideas and writing new tracks for our forthcoming headline gig for Designer Magazine at Dry Bar, Manchester on Friday 2nd March (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFWy8oMhUxQ). We’re hoping to have some additional stage decor to complement the big screen projector set up we use, so we’re getting quite excited about that...
And how did you get together?
We met in a cocktail bar a while back. Syma was working as a waitress there, and Christopher picked her up, shook her up and turned her around. Now five years later on etc etc etc.
Who are your biggest influences?
The band’s biggest musical influences are acts like Pet Shop Boys, Black Box Recorder, Soft Cell, Fierce Girl, Human League... and in their down time, Christopher is partial to some Performance, Sparks, Mansun and Sophie Ellis Bextor, whilst Syma is a massive life-long card-carrying Madonna fan.
Here at Designer Magazine we're all about supporting the scene... which are your fave local bands and why should we check them out?
Well, you’ve got The Spiels, who are an electro folk music combo with a pleasingly dark edge. They’re unnervingly ace, if completely different to what we do. Manchester-based electro trio Performance are also incredible. Their two albums are works of proper genius – clever lyrics and huge pop hooks galore. The single edit of their song ‘Surrender’ is also probably one of the greatest pop records released in the past ten years – the best song Soft Cell never recorded.
What are your biggest promo tips you can give to other local bands? How do you push your band forward?
We’re still getting ourselves known on the Manchester live scene, but we’ve found that making some effort with the visual side of the band is working wonders. We’ve created visual accompaniments to some of our first demos (see https://www.youtube.com/user/theimogenstylesvideo/videos), and people have responded pretty well – those who are interested get to see what you look like, and also the image you’re trying to project. We’re working on more videos for our new demos, but for the time being we’re just polishing our live show and trying to ensure that we entertain those people who’ve made the effort to come along to support us. If people see you’ve made an effort, they’re more likely to come back for more.
Where do you go for pre gig food and where do you go post gig clubs in Manchester?
Bollox is a brilliant alternative club night over at Legends on Whitworth Street which takes place on the third Friday of every month – there’s nothing like hearing Morrissey followed by Girls Aloud followed by The Breeders followed by Prince... if you’ve not tried it, you probably should.
As for pre-gig food, Syma would plump for a Nandos, with Christopher deigning to snack on a Boots’ Meal Deal and several cans of Red Bull.
What do you like most about Manchester?
Aside from the pretty top-drawer music scene, the place is full of great bars which are useful for getting sauced in. It’s also a very nice place in which to wander around aimlessly.
Best gig you've been to of all time?
Christopher would probably plump for Pulp at V96, any Art Brut show or maybe some Primal Scream around the ‘XTRMNTR’ period. Syma states that Madonna’s ‘Girlie Show’ tour was probably as good as live shows get. That or the ‘Confessions’ tour. She can’t decide.
Fave movie or TV show of all time?
Take your TV pick from ‘30 Rock’, ‘Arrested Development’, ‘Nighty Night’, ‘24’, ‘Human Remains’, ‘The Day Today’... we won’t bore you. We violently differ over films, so to avoid argument and possible bloodshed, we’ll leave this question here.
And finally we're all about the live sweaty gigs - final chance to say why we should check you out live?
We’re not quite like other bands on the scene – all our music is supplied on a backing track, for a start. If you see an instrument on stage, it’ll be from one of the other bands on the bill – nothing to do with us. What we offer is nothing more (but absolutely nothing less) than an amazing, old-school Top Of The Pops style live performance, complete with flashy video screens, high energy electro synths, thrusting disco stabs and a surplus of double hand claps. If that sounds appealing, then do come down and get involved.
And if we want to know more whats your Facebook / Twitter addresses?
AT THE TIME OF GOING TO PRESS...
The Imogen Styles next gig is at Dry Bar Manchester on March 2nd
Tickets available here
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Magazine unless otherwise stated.
All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
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