Dai Godwin - guitar/vocals
Darren Beale - bass/vocals
Simon Parson - drums/vocals
Style of music and influences:
Lemonheads and Sparklehorse.
Somewhere along the way, the traditional music-making cities of the UK got old and complacent. Look at Manchester, forever haunted by the Hacienda heritage of the Mondays and The Roses. London, a city slumped in front of the increasingly tawdry soap-opera that is The Libertines. No, right now, if you want to experience the cordite flash of real inspiration, you look to the provinces. Sunderland's The Futureheads. Leicester's Kasabian. Newport's Goldie Lookin' Chain. And The Caves.
The Caves hail from Swansea - that grey urban conurbation immortalised in 1997's Twin Town , the so-called “pretty shitty city” slapped down an hour-and-a-half up the M4 from Wales' border. They number three. There's singer/guitarist Dai Godwin, the deliberate, intense one that used to deliver Reader's Wives porn around South Wales from the back of a van. Bassist/vocalist Darren Beale, hair always in his eyes, fingers usually working on a fresh rollie. And drummer/ vocalist Simon Parsons - the missing link between Jarvis Cocker and Keith Moon, with a quip for every occasion. Watching them, you're reminded of a young Supergrass – in the sheer youthful elation they pour into every song, in the way that each member is a crucial third of the whole. Everyone writes songs. Everyone writes lyrics. That's the way it works with The Caves.
“The Caves is a form of escapism, definitely,” admits Simon. “Because we live in one of the drabbest places on the planet. But it's mad. You come here and there's no fucking rules. There's no scenes, no subculture. It's vigilante music! Taking the law of the gig into your own hands.” They met in the pub because that's where everyone meets in Swansea, and they were guerrilla gigging before the term existed. “It's more a case of needs-must. D'y fancy playing? Yeah. Where? Well there's a party – wanna go?” Their first proper gig took place last September, in front of a hundred friends and baffled onlookers in the band's local snooker hall. “You know Twin Peaks ?” explains Dai. “The room with the red velvet curtains, where there's the dwarf that talks backwards – it was that kind of vibe.” The next gig took place on top of a roof in Dai's back garden.
And gradually, bit by bit, rumours started filtering back to London: about this band of prodigies playing grandly optimistic, gritted-teeth amphetamine punk songs deep in the UK’s wild west. The first few A&Rs that traveled down to catch The Caves play in their Swansea rehearsal space, The Asylum, left ashen-faced – perhaps it was the way the band had to barricade themselves into the studio to stop the local scallies from breaking in and stripping the place bare.
All the same, it wasn’t long until major label deals started flopping on the table. The Caves, however, turned them all down, choosing to sign to new indie Main Spring. That’s why you hold this debut album, ‘This Way To…’, in your hands right now. And here’s what it’s all about.
“Taking the best bits from favourite songs…” “We want to be instant. It's like a smack in the face.” “As many hooks as we can hammer home…” “It has to be like that. Because there's a lot of fuckin' miserabalia about these days, isn't there?” asks Simon.
And then everyone laughs. Because he just made that word up.