March 2015 – supported by The Engineers
November 2016 – supported by Adam and the Digweeds
How Was It For You?
Posted on Fred’s House Facebook November 2016: “A fantastic night had at The Ace Space, Newbury……a warm reception……Mexican food as part of the rider…..great sound….new housemates made….and a standing ovation! What more could we want??”
Fred’s House are an award winning band based in Cambridge. Mixing elements of Folk, Blues, Country, Classic Rock and West Coast with a definite vintage feel to their music, echoing the 70’s but creating a fresh new sound that is very much part of now. Their songs feature the vocals of real-life couple and song-writing duo Griff Jameson and Vikki Gavin, who voices blend to create a beautiful and powerful sound. Enriched with a third part harmony from bassist Gafyn Jameson (Griff’s brother), virtuosic lead guitar playing from Lachlan Golder, who is also one of the band’s song-writers, and completing the line-up is Paul Richards, aka ‘The Happiest Drummer’, a fantastic percussionist playing full drum kit or conga and cajon. Among their many influences are bands such as Fleetwood Mac, The Civil Wars, The Swell Season, The Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel, C.S.N.Y., and Fairport Convention.
Published in the Newbury Weekly News, March 2015
Fred’s House who hail from Cambridge are very much looking forward to stopping off in Newbury as part of their Shut Up and Dance Tour to promote the release of their brand new single Shut Up and Dance, out on 15th March. Charlie Griffiths-Jones talks to front woman Vix about what the band will be getting up to on tour…
Charlie: Is this your first time playing in Newbury and at the Ace Space?
Vix: Yes, it’s the first time we have appeared at the Ace Space and indeed in Newbury. We have been looking for venues and arts centres who actively promote live music to a gig-going audience and the Ace Space does just that!
Charlie: How did you all meet?
Vix: Griff and I met doing a show as actors back in 2008. We fell in love, got together started writing music and 6 years later have a band and are engaged! Gafyn our bassist is Griff’s brother and he was in a band before with Lachlan our lead guitarist. We acquired our drummer Paul on the gig circuit in Cambridge about 2 years ago and most recently our new keyboard player, Ali.
Charlie: You’ve probably been asked 100 times before, but why Fred’s House? Did you have your first rehearsals as the house of someone called Fred?
Vix: Good guess!! We had our first recording session with producer Fred Cox in 2010, who had a great home studio at his house in Coventry. He was a friend of a friend and we got connected. Rehearsing… we’ll we didn’t really do any before went to make the demo as they were originally meant to be for some ‘Griff and Vix’ songs we had written when we were just a duo. We asked Gafyn if he would play some bass lines for us and as his band in Cambridge had just lost their lead singer, so he invited the rest of the band to join. It was a very organic beginning but it just seemed to work. After the weekend recording session, we said, let’s be a band together!
Charlie: So, fast forward 4 years; you’ve toured the UK, played big festivals, and released a critically acclaimed debut album ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ last year. What’s your favourite part about being in a band?
Vix: We love playing live and being on tour. There’s nothing better than getting in front of a new audience and seeing their reaction to your music. It’s instant. First hand. We equally love playing for the fans who come to gig after gig and support us constantly, we are very lucky for those people! To hear great feedback about our songs, it really spurs you on when people write to tell you that your songs mean something to them. Also, the banter we have when were all together is what makes being in a band so great. We really do have fun touring around and enjoy playing together, I think that comes across in our performances. Although, what happens on tour, stays on tour…
Charlie: How does the song writing split – are there specific areas of responsibility? Is it words first or music first?
Vix: Most of the songs are co-written by Griff Jameson (the other lead singer) and myself, and Lachlan our lead guitarist also writes a few of them. Usually we bring the basics of the song: the melody, chords and a general idea for the feel. Then we present it to the band. Sometimes as a songwriter you have a very clear idea of how the song should pan out and other times not. We like to let everyone put their own stamp on it, like Paul our drummer will come up with an interesting groove on the drums, Lachlan will find a guitar riff that compliments the vocals and then Gafyn, Griff and I will work on arranging the three-part harmonies. We all pitch in ideas for general structure and jam it through until it starts to fall into place. Sometimes it can completely change and turn into something you didn’t intend but then, that’s the beauty of working in a band. I am so lucky to have found such talented and passionate musicians to work with.
Charlie: Why the love of West Coast sounds? Who would you pick out as particular inspirations? Is there anyone you would say has been a major influence on your style?
Vix: We have all grown up with the like of the Simon and Garfunkel, CSNY, The Eagles, Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac, as well as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and it is some of our favourite music, but more importantly, we are just playing to our strengths. We’ve grown up singing in three part harmony with our siblings and Lachlan grew up in California, so I think his guitar style certainly gives it that American 70’s West-coast edge.
Charlie: Who would enjoy your music?
Vix: I think a good proportion of our audience would be lovers of the classic rock era. They probably also enjoy a touch of folk and acoustic music and would probably have a healthy appetite for collecting Cd’s or perhaps some vinyl. The show is quite varied; from the soft ballads, to the country hoe downs, to the more upbeat numbers that really get the room rocking. There’s something for everyone!
Charlie: So what’s next and what’s the aim in five years?
Vix: I hope it’s not too clichéd to say that if we can make a living from our music and quit the day job then we would be successful in my opinion. I hope for us to have a loyal fan base, tour all over the world and getting to make the music we want. That would be a dream come true.