Allo Darlin’ are a band that I like to listen to when I want to lift my spirits. With half the band being Australian and the other half hailing from Kent, they currently make music in London. Having cleverly written songs, a unique sound anchored with trademark jangly guitars and Elizabeth Morris’ sweetly embracing vocals, it’s easy to see why they ring up the play counts on my iPod. We had some questions for the group, so we spoke to their guitarist Paul Rains to see what Allo Darlin’ have been up to lately!
AMBY: How would you describe your music to others?
PR: It’s pop music made with ukulele, guitars, bass and drums. The kind that bands used to make before gated snares and auto tune ruined it all. These days some people would call it indie, I suppose that is a close approximation.
AMBY: Your latest album Europe is filled with well crafted songs, who inspires you as songwriters?
PR: Paul Simon, Robert Forster and Teenage Fanclub.
AMBY: You are about to embark on a tour of Australia and then Europe, what is the funniest story you can share from the road?
PR: There have been many incidents, some funny on reflection but they mostly range from the bizarre to the downright scary. The most memorable, probably driving around Europe for a month in a van that was practically gaffa taped together. The windscreen wipers stopped working before it finally broke down a few hours before our last show. That story is pretty well documented. The last time we were in Montreal a guy from off the street decided to attack the barmaid outside, before smashing into the locked venue with a sledge hammer. Allo Darlin’ ran to the parking lot out the back like a bunch of wimps whilst the support band armed themselves with some conveniently placed snow shovels until the cops came to save our asses.
AMBY: Your Covers EP has an eclectic mix of songs, what are some other songs you would love to cover?
PR: We’ve come very close to busting out into Call Me Al on a couple of occasions. We rehearsed ‘Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard’ a while back but I don’t think we ever played it live.
AMBY: What do you do for fun outside of music?
PR: Allo Darlin’ like to go swimming when we’re on tour, except me, I prefer drawing. Doing an illustration on soggy paper really sucks.
AMBY: I really dig the use of the ukulele on songs like Tallulah and I Wanna Be Sedated, are there any other uncommon instruments that you may incorporate into your music?
PR: We already have lap steel on our records, and guitars in high strung tuning. Saxophone is criminally uncommon in pop these days so I would like to see it make a comeback.
AMBY: What is your guilty pleasure song?
PR: I should probably to pass this over to another band member, I don’t really feel guilty about any song! If I must though, Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi.
AMBY: With the recent passing of astronaut Neil Armstrong, have you been getting a different response to your song about him?
PR: I haven’t noticed anything different, but I’m glad we have a song that references him. It’s possibly my favourite Allo Darlin’ song.
AMBY: What is the best song of 2012 so far?
PR: The Business World by Monnone Alone
AMBY: Who do you wish would just go away?
PR: No one I can think of in a negative way. My friend Georgia hasn’t had a holiday for ages so I really hope she gets to see some sun sometime soon.
AMBY: What do you have planned as far as a next release goes?
PR: We’ve got a Christmas single coming out, Only Dust Behind. It’s coming out on WIAIWYA records. We’ve not started making the third album yet but we’re all certain we want to make another one.
AMBY: Tell me something about you that nobody knows, yet!
PR: I’ve probably shared most things about myself that I’ve been willing to reveal, so I’m not going to drop any bombshells here. Um, I share a house with Duncan from Tigercats and Sarah from Fever Dream. I guess that’s quite a fun fact that some people might not know. It’s a very musical and arty household.
Have yet to listen to Allo Darlin’? Then you’re missing out! Check out their video for the great song Capricornia! The band have also recently began a new tour, so take a look at the dates here. Last but not least, thank you so much Paul, for giving me your answers!
Alicia & Yaz Atout