With their current UK tour underway supporting Bash and Pop, Rock n Roll veterans Dearly Beloved are set to bring the house down by any means necessary, if their latest album ‘Admissions’ is anything to go by. We spoke to the Toronto band about their favourite (and weirdest moments) on tour and what we can expect this time around.
Best show you’ve ever played?
Out of our own shows, I’d say the best one we’ve ever played was on our last tour of Germany in February. We didn’t have a guitar player for the last few gigs so it gave us the opportunity to reimagine our songs with only bass, drums, theremin and vocals. There was no time to rehearse any of it so it was all pretty much improvised. We bought a signal splitter and I plugged my bass into a bass rig and a guitar rig at the same time so I’d have two distinct sounds to switch back and forth from as well as the option to have both on at the same time. Niva played some solos on the theremin and I picked up some on the bass. We listened to each other onstage and worked together to find our way through the set. It was a blast. And the show in Freiburg, which was a packed house and a bill with two really good support bands, was both peak challenge and peak fun for us.
Most interesting venue?
Gigors Electric in the south of France. Those folks rule and their venue is one of a kind. It’s a centuries-old converted farmhouse nestled between two mountains just outside a small town. They host a summer festival there and there is an organic brewery on site as well. Playing there was special, a memory we cherish.
Most energetic crowd?
Krach Am Bach Festival in Beelen, Germany comes to mind. The outdoor stages were rained out and so the show moved inside a warehouse where hundreds of punk rock n’ rollers refused to let the festivities end. It became madness of the highest order and it was an honour and a pleasure to assist. Glasgow at King Tut’s opening for Swervedriver also comes to mind. That was great. Was stoked to play there again with Bash and Pop and Dead Cuts.
Weirdest thing to happen to you on stage?
At a show in Ukraine not too long ago a woman down front took to clearing my face of the sweat as it accumulated… as it does. That was weird.
Biggest mistake on stage?
Wow, where to begin? Saying the wrong city? Yup. Shorts? Yup. Wrong tuning? Yup. Forgetting lyrics? Yup. Apologising for something? Yup, sadly that happened. Once. A topical one would be driving Swervedriver’s tour manager nuts by relentlessly spilling our drinks all over the stage during our opening set. You may want to consider NOT enraging the headliner’s TM every single night of a 14-date UK run. Each night we’d set out to be model citizens and each night we’d make a complete mess or do something at some point during the show to piss him off. Luckily, for us, he’s a patient man. We could have been dealt with more harshly, all things considered. It’s topical because he’s the TM for Bash and Pop on our current tour so we’re going to try our very best not to knock things over while we play… That’s virtually impossible for us weirdos but we’re gonna try, dammit!
Biggest win on stage?
Biggest win on stage would have to be opening for bass legend Mike Watt in Southampton, England at Joiners. Just to be supporting him was a thrill but to see him emerge from the audience during our first song, an audience which had basically formed a horseshoe in front of us (usually a sign that we’re way too loud) was a sight I’ll hopefully never forget. He sort of hobbled his way right to the very front and leaned on my monitor. He was about two feet away from my tuner. And he didn’t move from there until the end of the set. He just looked right up at me the whole time with this kind, joyful look on his face. We got to hang out after the show and he compared my playing to some heroes of mine which was a mind-blowing thing for me and I don’t think anyone or anything could get the resulting smile off my face for days.
Favourite song to play?
‘Acceptance Corporation’. We don’t play it these days but hopefully, that will change soon. It’s strange but it’s a lot of fun to play on the bass and I kind of miss the experimentation and improvisation that comes with playing it live. A runner up would be Noise Submitted To Order, or maybe even Miles Around, more songs we rarely, if ever, play.
Least favourite song to play?
Aaron would say Acceptance Corporation, haha. Niva would probably say Noise Submitted to Order.
Favourite part about playing live?
That transcendent thing that happens when you’re all locked in and so into the moment that you stop thinking and the outside world just fades away.
Favourite location to play?
Anywhere live. It beats the studio. Which beats the rehearsal room. We love playing music in the desert outside Los Angeles. Southern California, in general, is an inspiring place for us. We’ve recorded our last three albums there. Playing shows in Europe can be a blast. So can ones in the US. Playing shows on the east coast of Canada is always amazing. Oettinger Villa in Darmstadt, Germany, is another spot that rules.
Dearly Beloved’s UK tour supporting Bash and Pop is currently underway.
28 June 2017 – Manchester Deaf Institute
29 June 2017 – London Garage
30 June 2017 – Ramsgate Music Hall