Whist fusing African-influenced guitar sounds and rhythms, idiosyncratic pop and western-style indie rock melodies, ‘Where Now From Here?’ represents a significant step forward for the band, who’ve ditched the live drums in favour of programmed loops, and used synths to give their sound a more overtly electronic vibe. “At the same time as the palette of tones and textures has expanded, our song-writing has become more focused,” says the band. “We’re not afraid of instrumental sections or experimentation but at the heart of every song is an undeniably catchy melody supported by tasteful instrumentation.”
The EP includes the slick summery lead track, ‘So We Go’ and the recent feel-good single, ‘Wonderland’ which was played by Steve Lamacq his 6 Music Recommends and premiered by CLASH, who wrote “From the tinkling guitar lines down to the buoyant beat ‚Wonderland‘ has shades of this African influence, but alongside this Cable Street Collective conjure a disco vibe that is all their own. A buoyant, intriguing return.”
There’s further elements of pop brilliance in ‘Anyway’ and the vintage feeling ‘Nobody Smokes Any More,’ which features an epic outro in 10/8 time. And don’t miss the EP’s excellent closing track ‘The Very Best’ which includes the line ‘Where Now From Here?’ picked as the title of the EP to reflect the development in the band’s sound.
Cable Street Collective released their debut EP The Best of Times in 2014, attracting critical acclaim and airtime on BBC Radio 6Music. Since then they’ve spent their summers tearing up the festival circuit with sets at the likes of Bestival, Secret Garden Party, The Isle of Wight Festival, Boomtown Fair and the Lake of Stars Festival (Malawi). Their music mixes African-influenced guitars with dance music beats to create upbeat, festival-friendly tunes. “We’re massively inspired by African music” says Tristan, “80s Congolese soukous artists like Loketo or Kanda Bongo Man, 90s South African music like Mzwhake Mbuli and more recent groups like Djaaka, Songhoy Blues and Mbogwana Star.”
In 2016 the band took a summer off as two band members left, and the core of the band took their sound in a more electronic direction. The original trio of Tristan Kennedy, Ashley Underwood and Fiona Jane have been joined by DJ and producer Dan Cat whose pumping, club-inspired rhythms now provide the backbone of their sound. His beats have been bolstered by the addition of Sam McEvoy on percussion. This new rhythm section is rounded out by the addition of bassist Aaron Gregory Brown, son of the legendary Afrobeat bassist Greg Kofi Brown (of Osibisa fame).