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405tv Interview: Cloud Boat

July 25, 2013

Like any decent label, R&S Records continues to evolve with the times judging by the signings of the past two years – and this includes London-based duo Cloud Boat.

Debut LP Book of Hours is one of our favourite releases of the year to date, a haunting, minimal and truly immersive experience that takes some of the elements of James Blake’s sound but runs off to the darkened woods to create a soundscape of its own world. We had a chat with Sam Ricketts and Tom Clarke of Cloud Boat prior to their show at The Great Escape in Brighton where they discuss the debut album, the dangers of being a hype-band and the troubled life of their mascot – a porcelain hedgehog named Hodgkins.

Book of Hours is available now via Apollo Records – after this interview be sure to watch a god-damn beautiful session with the chaps of ‘Godhead’ here.

You can watch the interview below, or via our TV Section. It’s also available via our Youtube page (please watch in HD when possible).

Created by Tim Boddy
Interview by Robbie Wojciechowski & Hector Barley

Liked that video? Check out a few more questions Cloud Boat answered about their live shows below, including more highlights from touring with Ghostpoet – not counting the death of their porcelain hedgehog, Hodgkins.

By Gareth O’Malley


How does the live Cloud Boat experience compare to the studio incarnation?

We’d like to think it’s more of a physical and visceral experience than listening to our records. We often hear how our music is soothing, relaxing or a ‘headphone listen’ and like how it’s presented slightly differently live. We aim to make things very dynamic, with the loud parts very loud and quiet parts very intimate and quiet. The aim is to always lose ourselves completely, which can sometimes lead to nearly falling off our chairs.

You just headlined The Lexington – how was that?

It was really, really nice. We’d not really played a significant headline show in London yet, so to do one with such a large and receptive audience to celebrate our album launch was fantastic. We were very happy with the sound on the night, and had some amazing lighting from our friend Dan (there’s some evidence on youtube!). It was great to finally play with our labelmate Nadine Shah, hopefully we’ll get to do that again soon. The hangovers the next morning were testament to what a great night it was too.

What was the best thing about your recent trip to Germany and Switzerland as support for Ghostpoet?

Beyond getting to know and playing with Ghostpoet and his band every night, it was great to be able to re-visit cities we’d been to previously and there be people who were interested in us. Other assorted highlights include the euphoric first night 11pm schnitzel having left London at 9am; headlining Conne Island in Leipzig; the lighting engineer at Lido in Berlin; the catering at pretty much every show; seeing Deafheaven play after our set in Cologne; Uebel & Gefahrlich; Snapchat exchanges with Nick (Ghostpoet’s driver) and annoying our manager/driver with the same Slipknot and Deftones albums over and over again.

Are you excited about playing festivals later in the year?

Very! We’ve not actually done that many before, so we’re also slightly nervous. It can be bewildering having to play to lots of people without the usual lengthy preparation you get on show day. You’ve essentially got to get set up and perform the best you can very quickly, sometimes at times of the day when you might not even be awake. The Pukkelpop lineup is incredible, and we feel very lucky to be able to play an event like that!

Your music has a rather intimate vibe to it – how would that translate to a festival setting, or are you still working that out?

We’re always trying to work out ways to improve the live set. We’ve definitely learnt to tailor sets to the environment of each show. Occasionally we’ll have very captive audiences where we can get away with the very quiet moments, whereas with support slots you often have to go for the jugular. I’m sure we’ll aim to hit festivals hard, they’re good places to elongate sections of songs and improvise too. Satta Outside festival in Lithuania last year was quite possibly our favourite show to date, they had an amazing light rig which felt a little like playing in space and a perfect audience. If we can experience even a fraction of that again we’ll be very happy.

Finally, given how much has happened in the last few months, where do you see yourselves at the end of the year? What’s on the horizon for Cloud Boat?

Hopefully we can tour a little more in the UK and Europe in support of the record. It was a long time coming, so it’d be nice to play the songs live now that people can get familiar with them. Aside from having massive festive beards and drinking too much, by the end of the year we hope to have stockpiled a host of new material designed to make you both bang your head and weep uncontrollably.

Book of Hours is out now via Apollo.

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