Clench press your ears back to fitness

The Clench - credit Paul Cantrell
The Clench - credit Paul Cantrell
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IF music is meant to transport us to other places then The Clench could definitely be your musical passport to somewhere other than Fargate.

Sounding more Arizona plains than deepest Sheffield, the band tendered one of the more entertaining albums from the local crop in 2011 and revive their campaign this Saturday.

“It is certainly about escapism to some degree,” says singer Joe Meredith of the band’s distinctive wares.

“I find it amusing that epic tales of Spaghetti Western vengeance are being rolled out by a group of northern lads, but the Morricone / Calexico influence comes into play, as does my love of epic song-writing that actually tells a story; old school murder ballads, for example, the way Johnny Cash used to serve them up.

“Add to that a love of overblown Italian westerns and there is a rich seam to mine.”

Going off piste from the indie trail that so many follow in these parts is no bad thing, of course, but to aspire such a definitive style is certainly brave.

In their début album, Walking In The Devil’s Tracks, the lads nailed it, pulling off an alternative take to the Americana bug that has engulfed so many singer-songwriter types.

“There are many indie bands in Sheffield, that much is true,” says six-string bassist Hal Walker.

“It was never a reaction against them, though; they’ve got their thing and we have ours. We could never be an indie outfit due to the sheer volume of influences pervading through the band - if we did end up with a sound like that I would have been very surprised.

“There’s a strong interest in narrative in the band, be it movies, comics or books etc, so these ripping yarns are borne of that, one would assume.

“The penchant for the dramatic is Joe’s own.”

So, all in all, one less identikit band.

“Our rhythm section can’t really get down with the skinny jeans/pointy shoes look,” adds rhythm guitarist James McVeigh, “so it worked out rather well really.”

The Clench open their 2012 live account at Plug on a bill that also features This Party Kills, The Blame and Monoking.

Get their album from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and on CD at