What I personally would like to achieve more than anything else with this band is to play festivals and I spent most of last weekend at The Ramsbottom Festival in my home town where the acts across the four stages ranged from local unsigned indie bands such as Feed the Kid, regular festival bands like Canadian band Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys right the way up to Sunday evening headliners Fun Lovin’ Criminals.
What struck me was that the memorable bands, the ones that left you feeling like you’d had a great time, were the ones that engage with their audience. I saw Smoove and Turrell, a funk and northern soul band from Newcastle who I’d never previously heard of but they have played Glastonbury, Festival Number Six and other festivals all over Britain and beyond. Their songs were alright, nothing amazing, but their on-stage presence, their ability to draw the crowd into their performance, and the overall ‘experience’ of watching them makes them fantastic festival material.
It concerns me that we don’t have that. We lack that outgoing personality across the band, and this isn’t just a criticism of Pete, our singer, because with a lot of these bands it was more or less all of the members participating in making their 40 or 50 minute slot an event, rather than a simple procession of songs. I don’t think that Cinic contains the necessary personalities to engage with an audience in the right way to make people want to see us again.
Singers, guitarists, drummers and all members of the bands were telling us humorous anecdotes, explaining meanings and histories of the songs they were going to play, having banter between the band members and making the people off stage feel as much a part of the occasion as those on it.
No-one’s going to come and see us and feel like they want to see us again, simply based on our music. I think our music is good, but there’s a massive difference between listening to music, and watching music being played live. There are different things that people look for, and I’m confident in our music, but it is the rest of the package that I am concerned about.