Interview: The Rebellion Tapes (After Party Edition) – Continental Lovers

Festivals always have great after parties, that time to not only celebrate but to look forward too. so we thought why not celebrate in the depth of winter with a special one off after the event interview? Let’s take you back with Continental Lovers and conga lines, sold out records and headlining shows as they reached new highs and achieved new goals. Aggy Gillon sat down to chat with the rock n rolling quartet and what is so striking is the bond they have with one another. Joe, Ben, Keri and Rick discuss how they got to where they are now and what they envision the future looks like and they have a good laugh while doing so.

I hear you had a jolly good time down the seafront in Blackpool.

Joe: Yeah we were a part of a conga line with an old man. There were about 25 people in the conga. What was the song? *sings* I love you, baby! It was so good.

Ben: Led by a man of 100 years it was amazing.

A 100-year-old man?

Joe: We’re estimating, let’s say 85.

Ben: A chap of about 80. It was this man and he was sort of hunched over and he was having a little boogie you know. Keri and Joe were in the middle of it. I was a few blokes back *laughs*

Amazing! So was this your first performance at Rebellion then?

Joe: Not for me. I have played a couple of times before. It was the first time playing as The Continental Lovers though yeah.

So what did you guys think about your set then?

Ben: I think it was really good. I really enjoyed it. The sound on stage was great. It was high energy.

Keri: Fast sweaty 28 minutes. Perfect.

Joe: We’re a party rock n roll band so we just went for it and had a good time. It was very late but yeah we had lots of energy. It’s what we do best, isn’t it? Just go out and entertain people.

So how long have The Continental Lovers been going? I know you Ben and Keri haven’t joined that long ago, Well doesn’t feel like too long ago…

Joe: The band has been around just under two years. Rick and I are the original members of the band. We have another bass player, Debbie who got pregnant and had a child. Selfish of her!

I know right! *laughs*

Joe: Terrible *laughs* So we got members of the band that can’t get pregnant *laughs* So we got Keri in the band and we were a three-piece for a while. Then we decided last October we got Ben in and became a four-piece and fleshed our sound out a bit.  

So how did you get together? Keri and Ben are Nottingham-based, what about you Rick and Joe?

Rick: South Wales

Joe: I live in Nottingham as well.

Oh, do you!

Joe: Yeah so when I originally put the band together we decided the band was going to be a London-based band but that was just a waste of time. So when Debbie went on maternity leave I asked Keri because I knew Keri just from the scene a little bit in Nottingham. I thought he looked good and thought he was probably gonna be alright

Keri: And I can’t get pregnant!

Joe: So yeah we just kind of got together. We had one rehearsal with Keri and then did a tour. We had five dates, just a short tour. Then a couple of months later we had a chat and said let’s get another guitarist in. Ben had one rehearsal with us and then we had a gig the next day.

So you all must have clicked right away?

Joe: Yeah!

Ben: Yeah we were like this works. This looks cool it sounds cool let’s roll with it

You all do look and sound very cool. So yeah you haven’t been around that long but you are getting really good spots at shows and festivals. You have really taken off very quickly. You guys did Call Of The Wild too. Obviously, you are talented that’s why but a lot of bands are talented and don’t get such shows so quickly. So what would you say you put it down to?

Joe: I think we have got good songs. I think people really like our songs.

How does it feel to start this band, have your vision and be able to get such success so early on?

Joe: It’s awesome. I guess I’ve been playing in bands for ten or fifteen years. This is my favourite band I have ever played in. This is the band that’s probably got the most buzz about it that I have ever been in. There’s a lot of people that are really interested in us. We have had some great feedback. And like you say we have had some great gigs and have had some great offers but we never actually go out and look for anything. People always ask us to do stuff and I think if you’re in a band, this sounds awful, but if you don’t have to try and people just want you it makes it easier doesn’t it.

Ben: We are getting some really great offers and doing some cool things.

So you guys aren’t your typical punk band, kind of punky but I feel you guys can fit into all kinds of different festivals. What did it mean to you to play Rebellion?

Joe: We were actually announced in October last year. We were one of the earliest bands to be announced for Rebellion and we had only been gigging for six months. So it was great! I think we aren’t your typical Rebellion band but with our songs, we always think of Johnny Thunders, Hanoi Rocks, Cheap Trick, and Joan Jett. That’s our influence. We’re a New York inspired punk band I guess.

Keri: Punk is such a vast terminology. It spans a lot of stuff. You could be Blondie or The Exploited or whatever.

Absolutely. So what releases have you guys got out at the minute?

Joe: Our latest single we have released is called ‘Paraffin Lips’

Joe: We put a four-track vinyl EP out at the beginning of this year called ‘Dale Arden’. It was pressed by a Spanish record label and that was fantastic. It’s pretty much sold out now. It was great that the first thing we released was put out by a label so we didn’t pay for it. We fucked up the customs when they sent it to us and that was an absolute nightmare. We have ten copies of it left

What is the story behind the name? When I have mentioned to my friends Continental Lovers it’s always something I have been asked.

Joe: It’s a weird story right. I watched a documentary about a wrestler in the early 80s and his nickname was The Continental Lover. He’s famous because he went on TV and showed the world how fake wrestling was. He basically exposed wrestling right and then he never worked again

So what shows have you got coming up after this?

Joe: We have a couple of festivals towards the end of the year. We are headlining Winter Rocks.

Ben: And Rockmantic in November got a headlining spot, Yardbirds in Grimsby.

What is the future you guys want or envision for this band?

Joe: I want this band to be internationally famous obviously, like everyone else. I want us to be a good band, have a good time, and put on a good show and for everyone who comes to see us appreciates what we’re doing.

If you guys could say anything to your fans, those you come out to the shows and buy the records, what would it be?

Joe: First of all everyone who came to see us last night we’re genuinely grateful as it was late and we were up against a lot of major headliners. It was wicked looking out on the crowd and seeing people with our t-shirts on. We really appreciate the people taking the time to come out and see us. It still blows my mind that people want to go and listen to songs that I have written.

Continental Lovers – Facebook

Interview and photos by Aggy Gillon