Review: Purs at New River Studios

Written by: Sophie Taylor

Converted furniture warehouse, New River Studios in Manor House host a glut of facilities, made easily accessible to the local community. Run on a not-for-profit basis by a Community Interest Company, the studios support gigs, exhibitions, workshops and pop-ups to support local artists, help people find work and promote regeneration and well being initiatives in the area.

“By integrating diverse uses and users, we aim to create a place that is rich in activity, collaboration and connections, where artists, young people, educators, creative professionals and local residents can co-exist and learn from one another.”

North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios

London based shoegazers, Purs are a relatively new band currently dusting off their guitar straps after a cracker of a show at New River Studios last week. With a currently sold out single released only last month on Blak Hand Records, the Australian/Swedish/Warrington band aren’t doing too badly for themselves.

Described as pensive alt rock and compared to Sonic Youth and Pavement, you do start drifting off into a nineties indie film on first listen to their slightly more produced tracks. But live, well there’s a different cinema genre altogether.

Serra is all about the Big Muff.

The bass is growlier, the vocals raspier and Andy’s Fender takes on a sexy new life of it’s own. Largely North London rooted, Purs gather up their fuzz pedals and meet at Fat Tank Studios in Manor House to rehearse. I had a post gig chat with guitarist Andy about cosmic kraut and sleepy cats. 

North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios

Who else rehearses there?

“Our mates Thee MVP’s also rehearse at Fat Tank, also Hidden Charms and I’ve heard that Johnny Lloyd from the band Tribes is doing some recording there at the minute.”

Any local recommendations?

“We usually go for drinks at the Finsbury Pub which round the corner from our rehearsal room. It’s also a pretty good music venue, they always have great bands passing through.”

What did you make of performing at New River Studios? They seem friendly

“The guys at new river studios were fantastic!! the venue has such cool intimate vibe. We’re huge fans of Xaviers (the side project of Japanese noise rock band Bo Ningen) wanged-out cosmic kraut-jams are the best!

North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios

The café at new river serves really tasty vegan cuisine, has a great selection of ales and a lovely cat that likes to sleep on the stereo behind the bar.” 

So how many pedals do you actually own? And what’s your favourite?

“I (Andy) have 5 pedals (including EHX Little Big Muff Pi, EHX Deluxe Memory Man and Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb). Serra is all about the Big Muff and reverb. Mandi owns one pedal which is probably the bands fave called the ‘Fuzzy Agnes’. It’s a transistor fuzz pedal made by Ben from the band Saint Agnes and it sounds gnarly!”

I hear you’d love to play in Brazil, where else is on the map for Purs?

“Haha, yes Brazilians have shown quite a bit of interest in Purs, shoegaze is massive over there! We’ll hopefully be doing some European dates next year but we would love to tour Japan one day.”

North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios

Do you write together? Who’s in charge of lyrics?

“The band started off as a studio project by Andy so all the songs so far were written by him. Since we finalised the line up earlier this year we’ve been writing more together and developing the sound.”

What do you get up to when you’re not tuning up/buying pedals/writing intricate bass lines?

“We love cooking (Serra is working on an actual cookbook), making playlists, drinking coffee and researching our next pedal and guitar purchases.”

2016 has been a shitstorm, but exciting for Purs. What’s next, besides hopefully a big fat album?

“Well yes, hopefully a big album and lots and lots of touring.”

And who would we find on your most played from this year?

“Abjects, Temple Songs, Algiers, PJ Harvey, Warpaint and Sweat Shop Boys.”

North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios

North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios

Purs are playing at The Victoria, Dalston next Thursday 5th Jan. Make wise decisions in 2017 and get your Purs tickets asap.

Photos by Mike Barry.

North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios
North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios
North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios
North Four, North London magazine, Purs, band, gig review, new river studios
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