Torture and the Desert Spiders

Words and Photos by Gary Lambert

The hardest working band in Liverpool are playing two festival shows this weekend as they take to the stage in Birkenhead at Future Yard for She Drew The Gun’s All Roads Lead To The Future all-dayer and then over the river to Kazimier Stockroom for the sold out Saturday of Liverpool Sound City. Torture and the Desert Spiders are an incredibly exciting group to watch, filled with energy and style that can make any room feel like a basement in New York in 1973.

Popped Music: How are Torture and the Desert Spiders doing?
Anna : Heya, we are doing quite well at the moment thank you… and as a project I think similarly- we are having a lot of fun putting music out, merch into peoples hands and communicating with some new friends that have started listening. We’re also quite stoked to be heading back out to play around the UK this Spring and Summer which should be really nice. Lots in the pipeline, lots for us to be excited about.
Clara : Well, I think we are getting a lot of very exciting shows, with a lot of people we admire in new cities all the time which is great.. it feels like we’ve hit a point where it’s just going forward now and it’s all very exciting.

What are you looking forward to about playing Sound City?
Anna: I think getting to play for some new ears as well as old ones always excites us… plus we love playing the Kazimier cuz it’s our stomping ground so it always feels like home turf. Definitely excited to perform for the Tim Peaks stage as well as it’s our first one for Tim Burgess. Overall, just buzzing to meet everyone.
Clara: Well, it is the first time I have ever played, although I had been while I was a lot younger so it is nice to finally be on the lineup…. just excited to play with a lot of really great bands and to have it all be going on at the same time. Great to pop into all the venues and meet people as well.

Will you have any new songs to play at this weekend?
Anna: Yea, actually we are bringing out a new / old one called Scarlet, which the band has never played live so that should be really cool. We are also bringing out the original version of Riding on a Feeling / Kill Your Modern Soul which hasn’t been played since it was written in London when I first started out, so that’ll be pretty special to share.
Clara: We have a song we’ve never played before, we’re doing Scarlet, and a lot that we’ve been working on so they should all sound fresh with extra lil bits on em.

Are there any other acts you want to catch at Sound City?
Anna: Defo want to catch the homies, although we have a sort of hectic weekend.  Dream list would be to see Yard Act, and of course Crawlers (love em), Buggs, as well as Priestgate (who I saw supporting Walt Disco, they are immense), Thumper (who I met in some guitar store in Dublin when I was like, 18 lol), and TV Priest.
Clara: Ooh loads… em… obviously Crawlers again would be great. I’ve heard good things about Grandmas House, same with Prima Queen, ooo TV Priest definitely…

What makes festival season so important for you?
Clara: I don’t know, it is just nice for something to be happening, where we don’t usually get the chance to play with loads of other bands but it is nice to play an event where there’s loads of ridiculous bands on so it feels more like a community.
Anna: I think festival season sorta represents a time when everyone relaxs a little from the cold and wet winter in England and it feels like a great refresher where I am excited to meet and collaborate and make art again in a fresh sorta way. I also think it’s pretty special to be able to be on a lineup with bands that you look up to or listen to cause it means yer going the direction ya want to be? 

What are your favourite memories of festivals?
Clara: It is gonna have to be working at Glastonbury…. probably seeing the Chemical Brothers at Glastonbury with the sunset happening…. Actually…. I have a good one…. working at the shop behind the Pyramid stage and She Drew the Gun did a secret set there, acoustic, that was a very cool experience.
Anna: It’ll have to be Wide Awake from last year in the tent watching Lynks with Charlie Stein… pretty surreal to see so many friends dancing in one tent and just having a blast. Besides that, it was an American one called Green River Fest watching Dr. Dog and Femi Kuti and seeing hot air balloons flying with my dad. Really, really special moment there.

Do you have any other gigs coming up?
Anna: YEEEEEEEEP. I godddamn hope so. We’ve got…
April 30 All Roads Lead to the Future Festival
April 30 Sound City, Tim Peaks Stage
May 1 Beyond the Walls, Chester
May 3 supporting Mattiel in Hull for Loud in Libraries
May 11 supporting Peaness at Jimmy’s Liverpool
May 12-14 The Great Escape and fringe showcases
June 15 The Salty Dog, Northwich
June 17 The Lanes, Bristol
June 19 Torture and the Extended Spiders at ACIDFEST

Get tickets for All Roads Lead to the Future here and try to grab one of the last weekend tickets for Sound City here

Listen to Torture and the Desert Spiders here

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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