NEW Street Adventure – who entertain The Bowery tomorrow – may be part of a movement with a long musical lineage but just don’t use the ‘R word’ around them.
“I don’t like the word retro being attached to us,” confirms singer/guitarist Nick Corben. “I always wanted to do something fresh. What we do is modern, it’s soulful, and people of any age can get into it. We want the whole world to hear us.”
What the Sheffield crowd will hear is a band largely driven by sounds from the 1960s and ’70s, but tendering a modern and refreshing take on what soul music can be to a new generation. Their EP Say It Like You Mean It was a shot across the bows, displaying echoes of fellow, ahem, retro crusaders Alabama Shakes and the legendary Bobby Womack.
“I want to change the way soul music is viewed by people, to expose it as the fresh, fun and inspirational thing it once was,” says Nick, whose campaign includes a monthly night called New Street Soul Club.
“I love classic British songwriting. In the end that’s what it’s all about. People might see us as a soul band but we want to reach people who love good music, whether it’s Noel Gallagher or Smokey Robinson.”
The seven-piece formed just over a year ago after Sussex-raised Nick found himself bewitched by the revolving magic in his dad’s classic soul collection. His future vision was confirmed when he saw a Gladys Knight & The Pips show, aged 10. But it was Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys who showed him it was possible to write as well as sing.
“Alex Turner is a great lyricist. It made me think about writing songs about my own experiences, but in the context of a soul band. And to sing in my own accent.”
And he swiftly found like minds in bassist Ashley Hayden and co-vocalist Carmy Love.
“The connection we have is that this is the music we all love,” says Ashley. “None of us have got some set ambition as to what we can achieve. There’s an honesty to it. And anything honest, to me, is soul music.”
Carmy nods: “So much pop music these days lacks emotional substance. It’s all about the bucks and a catchy tune. I understand the feel good stuff, but if you’re going to do music it should come from the heart. Otherwise what’s the point?”
Charge your glasses people.