i’m older and i should know better: the call the doctor interview;

Like every blogger, I have my innate prejudices when it comes to band submission emails. Of course, prejudices work both ways (the linked example was a bad one, just in case that wasn’t clear) so if for example you are a female-fronted indie band named after my favourite album by perhaps my all-time favourite band you shouldn’t be too surprised to get an email back before I’ve even had a chance to listen to the tunes.

Which, by the way, are spunky and raaaaar and ace. So there’s that.

Call The Doctor hail from Bristol, of all places, although disconcertingly kitten-voiced frontwoman Patti Aberhart comes by way of New Zealand. Debut album Hands Will Shake is out at the end of July, with the buzzy “Seventeen” due on a Fear Of Fiction vinyl compilation a little before that. In the meantime, grab some freebies on Bandcamp.

Who’s in the band, and how did you get together?
Rob Hallworth (Guitar) Chris Davis (Bass), Jordan Cook (Drums) and myself, Patti Aberhart (Vocals/Guitar)

I had put an advert up online advertising for musicians to collaborate with and Rob replied. So we met up and started writing songs, made a myspace and after trying some rubbish people out we eventually added bassist Chris Davis – who was suggested to us by Rob’s childhood penfriend – and drummer John Raftery who responded to an advert on gumtree. Recently John emigrated to Australia and we replaced him with Jordan Cook who is the newest addition to the band.

Three words to describe your sound…
upbeat, danceable, seductive

What influences you?
The influences vary between the group but we all share love for strong girl-fronted bands such as the YYY’S, Blood Red Shoes, PJ Harvey and Sleater-Kinney: Sleater-Kinney being the band from which our name arose originally.

Love the album artwork, it really suits your sound. Was that the work of someone in the band – or, if not, where did you get the idea?
That’s nice of you to say! Yeah I design the artwork for the band. We have a strong DIY attitude and as I’ve always had an interest in art, the boys seem to have left that side of things to me which is pleasing. How I work is fairly random – I don’t tend to have an idea put in place to start with, I just draw then it develops from there. I do mostly portraits so as I began to draw the girl on the cover the dark imagery inside her hat fitted well with her unsettled melancholic expression.

What do you miss most about being seventeen?
If I’m honest, not much! Maybe being more naively carefree?!

You seem to be travelling just about everywhere but my bit up here in Scotland – but what’s the most exciting opportunity you’ve had to date?
Recently we have been offered a BBC6 live session slot on the amazing Marc Riley’s show up in Manchester [NB: This was last night, folks!]. This means we play live to many thousands of listeners over the UK which is a very exciting prospect! We’d love to play Scotland but it’s hard to find a promoter that will at least part cover the costs of the petrol to get there!

What releases/shows do you have planned at the moment?
We have a string of dates over the next few months both in the UK and Europe, most of these should be listed on our Facebook page. Stand out dates include 15th June at Mothers’ Ruin Bristol for our album release gig/party and a London date Death2Disco @ Notting Hill Arts Centre on the 8th August.

And what are you listening to at the moment?
I Can See Through You by the Horrors. Rob is listening to his new Record Store Day purchases: Slow Club, Mclusky, Refused and St. Vincent.

Call The Doctor live:
08/06 London, Camden Dublin Castle
15/06 Bristol, Mother’s Ruin (album launch)
23/06 Bristol, The Croft (FOF vinyl launch)
30/06 Abbeville, FR, Le Juke Bocks
05/07 Bordeaux, FR, i-Boat
06/07 Saint Simeux, FR, Pub Legabariers
07/07 Clermont-Ferrand, FR, Le Baraka
12/07 Metz, FR, La Chouee
14/07 Brighton, The Hydrant
21/07 Bristol, Harbour Festival
08/08 London, Notting Hill Arts Centre (Death2Disco)
11/08 Manchester Ladyfest
12/08 Swindon, SOLAM Festival
22/09 Bristol, Ashton Court (Brisfest)