It was clear from the outset that Good Foxy — still college students at the time of their first Band on the Wall outing — had something special about them. The emerging rock outfit drew influence from a plethora of renowned artists: early psychedelic pioneers such as Cream and Hendrix, to the linchpins of Southern R&B, such as Allen Toussaint and Freddie King. They’ve since happened upon a sound which suits their own identity, recording some cracking original material, playing a number of British festivals and even establishing their own annual event in the Ribble Valley.
‘We’ve always been quite an eclectic band,’ frontman George Banks tells us, ‘we’ve never really followed one genre.’ His voice, capable of the raspy mids and high vibrato we might associate with an artist like Tim Buckley, is one of the key components of their sound, as are the retro licks brought forward by their new keyboard player. The band have shuffled the pack recently and George feels like things have definitely started to click.
‘We’re definitely an albums band,’ he states with conviction. ‘At the moment we’ve got 14 tracks pretty much on the go, we’ve got the foundations down for a quality album. This one I’m proper excited about.’ The band’s bassist, Elliot Dryden, has links to the studio at The Grand, where the group are currently laying down new material. ‘This album we’re doing now, we’ve decided to record live. We’ve done guide tracks live, to a click. We’re producing this one at a multi-million pound studio that we have to ourselves. We’re so spoiled in that respect, I can’t express how lucky we are.’
George suggests that they’re considering including Winning Man, the single released earlier this year, on the forthcoming record, but that they’re also spreading their wings and fully exploring the depths of their sound. ‘That’s probably one of the poppier tracks, it’s good to have a couple to lure people in, but then you’ve gotta stay true! I don’t think it’ll ever be the case that we put out a record and every track leads on to the following track, ‘cause I don’t want to do that, it’s boring. It’s not me. I like a wide range of music so I want to incorporate that in our sound…I love country music, rock music, funk music, soul…everything!’
The boys hail from Clitheroe, more or less equidistant from Manchester and Leeds, but have always gravitated toward the former. ‘I live here now, I just moved a few weeks ago!’ George exclaims. ‘The main reason I moved to Manchester is I really want to push our music in the city. Out in Clitheroe, you feel a little bit secluded. You don’t exactly feel like you’ve got all the opportunities in the world, but at the same time it inspires you.’
Prior to his relocation, the band operated solely out of Clitheroe, where their early material was produced. Touching upon the recent Love & Company EP, he explains ‘we basically recorded that in a little village called Grindleton. A friend of ours was renting this massive house, so we ended up moving all of our studio gear in there. We recorded Winning Man, Easy Money, Don’t Get It… it was quite a raw way of doing it.’ George feels their self-titled debut was a little too ‘robotic’ and that the band’s recent creative decisions have shown them the way they’d like to continue. He says much of the forthcoming record is tracked and that vocals, auxiliary instrumentation and tweaks here and there are all that really remain.
‘It’s up to us to get the right people behind us’ George states, ‘I just want to focus on writing music. The first record, we were quite young. We were only like, seventeen when we wrote it. Now we’re maturing a bit and realising that you don’t need to play your instrument all the way through a track. It’s just little things jumping out, it’s more about that actual feel of a tune. When you turn it on, how does it make you feel?’ In light of that approach, he has strong feelings about the pop music industry of today, but maintains respect for bands such as IDLES, who he feels are paving their own way. ‘It’s not too planned, too perfect, no one’s telling ‘em what to do! That’s why I hate the industry today, it’s too safe. It makes me sick…I know sure as hell if we’d been around in the sixties, we’d have been massive. We’re writing for ourselves essentially.’
Both Northern Sports Club and Louie Louie played at Good Foxy’s ‘Foxy fest’ earlier this year. The festival policy is for Good Foxy to book the bands they’ve gigged with and are fans of, meaning they’ve plenty of good things to say about their Band on the Wall support acts. ‘Northern Sports Club are amazing. They’re only like, seventeen or eighteen, but they’ve got a jazzy psychedelic rock sound but they’ve also got a rapper…it’s crazy! Louie Louie, I love them as well, they played with us at Free Vibes and packed it out.’
Looking ahead, their objective is plain and simple. ‘I want to be able to put this album out and for people actually hear it. I don’t really feel we’ve been given that chance yet.’ The band aim to complete the record and solidify some deals here in Manchester before heading back out next Summer, with a view to tackling even bigger and better festival stages. We’ve faith in their abilities and can’t wait to catch them live on Friday night!