It would be relatively easy to accuse The Bohicas of being ‘just another indie band’, picking up where the likes of The Strokes left off, but that label doesn’t entirely do the Essex four-piece justice; there’s something different about them, and their feel-good bluesy riffs means these guys are going places.
Frontman Dominic McGuinness is the first of the band to return to The Joiners after taking a few hours to explore Southampton, and after proudly declaring his purchase of new underwear (such is that rock and roll lifestyle), is joined by the rest of band, including guitarist Dominic John, who looked the definition of suave with his seemingly trademark huge black hat. There is a buzz within the camp; their debut album The Making Of hits stores in August, and their current tour is their first as headliners. McGuinness explains, “for the first time we’re playing to the people who are coming to see solely us, up until now we’ve always been the support band when it comes to a tour, so it’s really endearing to see people coming to see you”.
They’re a fun bunch, witty too. They fondly tell a story of a festival last year when they had a clock directly in front of them, making sure they didn’t run over, and when asked how surreal it would be to find their debut album in a HMV, McGuinness quips, “it will be surreal to find a HMV!”.
The fun doesn’t stop after the interview, either. On stage it is clear The Bohicas love what they’re doing; their irresistible brand of indie leaving the crowd right in the palm of their inevitably sweaty hands. “If they know anything of our stuff they know ten minutes” the band told me before their set. True, and in many ways this means the crowd can really experience the songs they don’t know, before going crazy for the ones they do. Singles ‘XXX’ and ‘Where You At’ go down a storm, before ‘To Die For’ rouses the best reception of the night. Talkative off stage maybe, but there isn’t time to stop for chat once they get going; only pausing for a quick “still having a good time?” every so often, before hurtling back into the big guitar solos.
What makes The Bohicas different from your standard indie band is the clever vocals. Whilst McGuinness takes charge of lead vocals, the other three members of the band share backing vocals duty, harmonising in ways unheard of in modern indie circles. This happens on almost every track, and gives them a clear edge and uniqueness to their sound; if it works as well on record as it does live, The Making Of has lots of potential.
And on the record itself, it’s been a long time coming, so were the guys pleased with the end result and the whole process? “We recorded around fifteen or sixteen, maybe, then cut it down to eleven, but we didn’t know which eleven it was going to be when we went in so we invested just as much time into each track, and the ones that sank it was quite evident towards the end, that that wasn’t happening.”
Based on this performance, The Making Of has the potential to be a solid debut album, if the energy of their live shows can be captured on the record. My final question to the guys concerns what they would ban at festivals. Their answers? Mud, urine throwing, and dreadlocks on white guys.
The Bohicas will be at Bestival between 10th and 13th September.
Their album, The Making Of, will be out on August 21st through Domino Records.