One of the one to watch acts at the inaugural Cotton Clouds Festival will be psych folk rockers The Sundowners; a band that evokes the original spirit of the 60’s festivals whilst cutting a modern day guitar band vibe.

GIGsoup’s Jane Davies had a chat with Sundowners vocalist and guitarist, Fiona Skelly after their first festival appearance of the year at Liverpool’s Festevol to find out how preparations were going for a summer of live appearances and to discuss the background behind their new album, ‘Cut the Master’.

Fiona was pleased to report that the band had been busy putting in the hours to prepare for their festival dates. Band practice had gone so well that their rehearsal room neighbours had complained that they sounded even louder than The Coral! This had pleased the Sundowners no end that they had scored one over their musical siblings who will be sharing the bill with them at Cotton Clouds Festival.

Are you looking forward to the festival season and Cotton Clouds in particular?

I’m looking forward to Cotton Clouds yes, the scenery will be stunning. I’m looking forward to every gig this summer; it’s going to be exciting. I love any chance to be out with the band, playing with my mates. It’s very much a labour of love for me. In the last six years we have gigged all over place. It only feels like it has been two years, time has just flown.

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The festival set will feature a mix of songs from the first album and the newly released second album; there is a noticeable change in direction with the second album, can you tell us more?

The first album produced at Parr Street Studios, Liverpool had a more poppy feel to it. The new album was produced by Alfie and Tim in a home studio with pro tools, so has a more lo fi feel to it. It builds up more slowly as opposed to the instantly catchy feel to the debut album.

‘Cut the Master’ is about corruption in the world, like the banks, the higher powers keeping everyone in their place. It’s not just a global issue; you see it locally, in the workplace for example. We should stop criticising and judging others and burdening ourselves with issues that are not our concern and instead help our neighbours.

There is a very natural feel to your new album, is this something close to your heart?

We do get inspiration from nature, particularly as we live right by the sea. I and Niamh are basically big hippies. We love nature and going for walk on the beach and in the woods. We are lucky to live quite near to Wales too.

I notice your latest promotional photo shoot was taken in Wales wasn’t it? The one with the VW Camper Van. Tell us about your road trip.

Yes we went over to North Wales. It was a beautiful day out. We were in our element in a 1970’s VW German Police van. It had “Mission Control” written on the front in German,” “and a working siren” chips in drummer Jim, who had stopped for a breather for a few minutes from shifting the bands’ equipment.

We wandered round woods, had a laugh and a few drinks. It was a great trip. We would like to do it again, maybe film a video in Anglesey next time” adds Fiona.

Live dates

June

2 Chester – Telford’s Warehouse

17 Middlewich – FAB Festival

July

21-23 Stockport – Blackthorn Music Festival

August

12 – Saddleworth – Cotton Clouds Festival

The Sundowners - www.gigsoupmusic.com