Thursday, July 03, 2008

¡Forward, Russia!

The absolute-beginner basics, for latecomers at the back: ¡Forward Russia! formed in Leeds in 2004, from the ashes of other bands that never truly went anywhere; they are Whiskas (guitar), Tom Woodhead (vocals, keys), Katie Nicholls (drums) and Rob Canning (bass). They released a much-admired debut album, Give Me A Wall, in 2006 following a series of equally respected singles. The album was released via Dance To The Radio, a label founded by, among others, Whiskas. Up to speed? Good. Here is where their story continues.

¡Forward Russia! are relative anomalies in a corner of the UK music scene rarely afforded its rightful moment in the sun. Where so many independent ‘alternative’ (read: genuinely progressive and ambitious) bands spark into so-brief flames of national interest, this Leeds-based quartet achieved the remarkable with their debut album, Give Me A Wall. Critically acclaimed, internationally as well as domestically, the 2006 album sold by the truckload. With its follow-up, Life Processes (on Cooking Vinyl), finished and ready for release into the wider world, the band are reflective, guitarist Whiskas admitting that Give Me A Wall “definitely punched above its weight”. Why? “The success was maybe justified as I think we captured peoples’ imaginations a little bit,” says Whiskas, vocalist Tom Woodhead adding, “We were probably in the right place at the right time, and we got a lot of breaks.” But Woodhead is the first to stress, despite impressions, that the band is yet to fully court the mainstream: “Ask the average person about the band and you would be met with a blank stare.” --Mike Diver

No longer the case for you, loyal viewer, after you check out the first single from their upcoming album, Life Processes.

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