Parrots and punk are an unusual mix – but one a quartet from a sleepy Staffordshire town are making work, something they aim to prove in Sheffield tonight.
Punk band Max Raptor have been on the road throughout January – and bring the tour to a close at The Leadmill this evening.
The co-headline tour with Hertfordshire rockers Fort Hope follows the release of their second single England Breathes – a song the band are immensely proud of – and debut album Mothers Ruin late last year.
Lead singer Wil Ray says: “People are still going on about the past and how it used to be, complaining, and all these clichés like ‘our jobs have been taken’ and all that rubbish.
“But England Breathes is about that’s the way it’s supposed to be in England, that’s just how it is. ‘Get over it, England breathes as it does’, it’s a lung with people moving in and out.”
The song followed single Breakers, the first track off Mothers Ruin and one which won praise and airplay from Radio 1’s Zane Lowe.
The band formed in the brewing town of Burton upon Trent in 2006 after Wil returned from working in a Central American parrot sanctuary, but became serious in 2009.
The 28-year-old says: “Burton is not the best – there’s not a lot to do. We started off as quite a tame funk band – our first gig was a Christian rock barbecue.
“Generally, as we got older, we realised everything was a bit rubbish. Past experiences, losing jobs, it’s a build up of events that led us to writing the songs that we do.”
And he said it was good to get out of Burton and take their music on a tour which has included dates in Norwich, Nottingham, Manchester, Bristol and London.
“It’s a nice departure to leave the Midlands, but we’ll never forget our roots,” he says.
And the band – Wil, guitarist Ben Winnington, Matt Stevenson on bass and drummer Pete Reisner – have been earning rave reviews for their live shows.
Wil says: “All our shows are energetic. but it’s all down to the fans. They always make the show.
“We have got an energy. If people are paying money to watch you play, you have got to give them their money’s worth.”
And £6 to see them at The Leadmill tonight certainly seems good value – doors open at 7.30pm and support comes from Only Rivals.