We pinned down the band to uncover their eclectic influences…
From the intro to recent single ‘The Memory Junkie’, you know that with Club Kuru you are set for something a little different. From the sparkling psychedelia and sultry funk groove, the track unfurls with the understated flourish of frontman and vocalist Laurie Erskine, an artist who has long struggled to get his most complete vision of his music heard.
Having spent the past few years battling his previous label for rights to old songs and subsequently erasing them from existence, Erskine’s return in the past year has been a welcome one. Taken from from their forthcoming debut album Giving In (to be released March 23rd via Absolute) ‘The Memory Junkie’ is the perfect introduction for the uninitiated, showcasing their unique splicing their sounds both new and old with aplomb. Rest assured; this is Club Kuru 2.0.
With the imminent release of Giving In in mind, Erskine and guitarist Laurence Hemmerton took some time out to tell all about the songs and artists that have influenced them most as musicians…
The Animals – ‘Bring It On Home To Me’
Until very recently I always thought this version was the original! But this is the version I’ve always listened to. When I was little my Dad had this Rickenbacker bass which he sold to buy my brother a guitar. I know that Rickenbacker is worth a lot of cash these days and the guitar we got in exchange, isn’t. I always get angry knowing that the man in the guitar shop talked him round to selling it. My Dad loves the Animals and ‘Bring It On Home To Me’ is a song he would try and get me and my brother to play with him. We always refused! The poor old man just wanted his boys to jam with him.
Shuggie Otis – ‘Strawberry Letter 23’
When I first heard Shuggie Otis I was appalled I didn’t know him already. I thought ‘Where have I been my whole life?’ ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ is an obvious choice but ya know, sometimes the big ones are the best ones. Theres something in his laid back nature that I cant put my finger on but it just feels like theres a lot of joy in here. I don’t usually like happy happy music but Shuggie he knows something I don’t.
Wayne Shorter – ‘Dance Cadeverous’
In my teens I might listen to the Beatles or Neil Young, but really I was madly into jazz above all else. In Bristol, where I grew up, I’d drive to college in my Peugeot 106 listening to Wayne Shorter’s album Speak No Evil (1966). I wasn’t quite sure if jazz was cool or not so I’d keep the windows wound up. This is still one of my favourite records of all time. Later on I learnt most of Herbie Hancock’s solos on the album.
Sands – ‘Listen to the Sky’
Sands were a band my Dad was in during the 60s. When he first played it to me I thought he was pretty cool and he inspired me to want to learn guitar and make music. I loved hearing stories about his life in London during the 60s; how they had Pink Floyd support them and were managed by Brian Epstein.
The Stokes – ‘Is This It’
This was the first piece of music I performed with some mates at school. I snapped a string shortly before playing and tried for the first time, to put a new one on. I didn’t play it in properly, so my top E string went really out of tune. I stood in front of the whole school, in an oversized leather jacket, looking small behind my Strat, thinking “I’ve really fucked this up!”.
Santo and Johnny – Sleepwalk
This song incited a confused emotional response. Theres melancholy and optimism in this tune which makes it hard to define. When I was little this song made me feel like the world could end but at the same time everything would be ok.
Club Kuru’s single ‘The Memory Junkie’ is available now. The band’s debut album Giving In is out March 23rd.