The Tides started off as a sensitive acoustic duo whose early gigs got compared to the likes of Turin Brakes and David Gray, by the time they'd expanded into a full band they'd started to have scraps with Mark E Smith of the Fall. The last few months in Manchester have seen them as one of the hottest tickets in town playing with the likes of Puressence, The Chameleon's Mark Burgess and the Inspiral Carpets Tom Hingley. With a set of songs that don't so much drag you by the neck, but slowly lure you in until you can't leave, this years ITC could be the making of them. Designer Magazine caught up with The Tides frontman Liam Pennington.

Q: When the Tides first started it was as a duo between Liam Pennington and Mark Boswell. Was it always a plan to turn it into a full band or did it head that way organically?
A: We were a bit unsure about the way we wanted to go at first, as we were getting a really good response from being an acoustic duo. But it didn't take us long 2 soon realize that we wanted to form a band. For one Mark's a big Radiohead fan so he was itching 2 get on lead and make some noise as for me I knew I couldnt go on hearing myself sing forever. The good thing was is that we knew we could always go back to acoustic if things didn't go to plan...but as it happens we've not looked back since.

Q: I never saw the original incarnation of the The Tides at the Puressence Lowry shows. How did the band sound at this stage?
A: The Lowry show was a great test for us at the time and we both relished the challenge, our sound at the time was just back 2 basics really - one guitar and one voice - but we both complemented each other very worked. We did get compared to the likes of David Gray and Turin Brakes if i remember rightly.

Q: Were you in any bands before The Tides or did you just play across the singer-songwriter circuit?
A: and Bozzy had both done our time in other bands before the Tides....infact I actually auditioned to be the singer for Bozzy's first band "Downrisin" but I didn't get it enough said!!!

Q: Your first big break was when you hooked up with Puressense's manager Andy. There will be lots of bands out there reading this or coming up to ITC without a manager. How important would you say it is for a band to find a good manager?
A: Finding Andy at the time we did was a godsend to the band and i`d strongly recommend any other band to look out for a good manager cos it really does make a difference to the cause. We'd been trying to do it all ourselves for a while and its not an ideal situation...having someone doing all the paperwork side of things has probably made us 50% stronger and more professional as a unit.

Q: For people outside of Manchester who may not be aware of the band, how would you describe the Tides sound?
A: Ummm....I hate this question, I would have to say we are a melancholic dream of emotions... our music isn't very direct or in yer face but if you give it the time it deserves it becomes rather addictive and infectious. We are not flash in the pans we intend to be here for the long haul.

Q: Ian Brown, Oasis, Doves, Badly Drawn Boy....through to 2005. Would you like to tell non-Manc readers about the scene in Manchester at the moment and where the Tides fit into it?
A: Umm...another toughie. Manchester is legendary for producing outstanding and unique artists and bands and long may that continue...but personally i wouldn't say that there's much of a manchester music scene..dont get me wrong there's still plenty of local talent around but i feel we are still being let down a bit by the money men in the business. Although Clint boons new show on 96.2 the revolution is starting to break some boundaries which is great to see.

Q: Over the past 12 months you've supported The Fall, Kasabian and The Bluetones amongst others. Any tales or gossip from these gigs?
A: Tehee...for me personally supporting the Bluetones was a great moment in my career as the first ever CD single I bought was "Slight Return" by the Bluetones, so yeh having a beer and a chat with Mark Morriss was a highlight for me but it wasn't very rock n roll i'm afraid....unlike The Fall gig which was a blinder!!! After our set we went for a beer in the bar only to find out that our rhythm guitarist is strangling "Mark E Smith" in the dressing rooms we later found out that Mr smith decided to blow Bozzy's amp up which we didn't even know they was it's all fair in love n war

Q: Tell us about the tracks on your EP / Myspace profile?
A: "Lights" for me this is the song that defines what the Tides are all about..good energy, while passionate and melodic but still creamy and dreamy in parts, this is definitely a personal fave of mine.

"You'll Never Change", this track is our live anthem or so to always goes down well at gigs as its got great hooklines and an infectious chorus, but its the uplifting end to it what grabs the attention the my mind its our strongest single.

"Flames", just another dreamy ballad really..not too complicated, easy on the ear and a nice uplifting feel to it...its the kinda song yer mum would like.
"One Amongst equals", this one shows a different side to our sound..starting with the raw guitars and there's a real urgency about it in parts...another live favourite.

Q: You have a lot of label interest at the moment. How close are you to signing a deal and what are your plans for ITC and beyond?
A: Unfortunately you never know where you stand in this business but we have got interest which is nice but we are not gonna be rushing to sign anything just yet as we've gotta be sure that the label will be the right one for us. ITC can only do one thing for the Tides and that's improve our profile and give us a real chance to shine, we are all very confident that we can turn heads when given chance but its turning the right heads that's the hard part.

The Tides play Walkabout on Oct 2nd as part of Break In The City
The band also play Designer Magazine's gig at Night & Day on Nov 29th
For more info

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