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Live at Rough Trade Bristol
Sunday 24th October 2021
They’re surfers, they build their own effects pedals and they once sketched out the designs for a synthesiser played entirely by pigeons – but on their second full-length album, the endlessly inventive Isle Of Wight five-piece Plastic Mermaids are facing their dark side. This is their concept album, if you will, with their most raw and heartfelt lyrics to date filtered through the constantly shifting kaleidoscope of their music. It is the sonic adventure you’ve come to expect from an uncategorisable band but with a new emotional heft – a tale of hitting rock bottom and coming up again.
At the heart of Plastic Mermaids is the creative force of two brothers, Douglas and Jamie Richards, sons of a Gurnard boat-builder, who approach life like an art project, putting as much love into their band’s visual concepts and staging as they have into their unique brand of psych-rock and electronica. For Jamie, a tech genius who insists on making a piece of equipment for every sound he imagines in his head, the last two years have been busy with building and marketing his Neon Egg effects pedal – a machine that makes lush, swirling reverbs. It’s been used by Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, War Paint, Kurt Vile, Granddaddy, Olafur Arnalds, Wilco, Chvrches, Bicep, Patrick Watsons, Hot Chip and Glass Animals – he even gave an early model to Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne.
Plastic Mermaids’ music – neo-psychedelia, chamber pop, big-scale sound-scapes and innovative electronica – has often attracted comparisons to the Lips, but it owes just as much to their own personal melting pot of influences: Zappa, Pink Floyd, Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and classical. “We were always worried about how we’d get on to Spotify playlists, how to be pigeonholed,” says Douglas. “Now I’ve started to think, f*ck it, let it be. You’ve just got to love it for what it is,” – a sound world that is theirs and theirs alone.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Rough Trade Bristol, 3 New Bridewell, Nelson Street, Bristol, United Kingdom