Hi Fliss. It’s great to see the Nightingales heading out on tour again. How are the preparations?
Can’t wait to be back on the road. We’re well oiled now, rehearsing a brand new set of old & new material weekly. T-shirts printed, LP’s en route to us, van is booked, accommodation sorted… there’s a lot of planning involved before we set off.
Be great to see you back in Norwich. Do you still visit from time to time?
I do. I have a lot of love for Norwich, my Dad still lives there and I even went to a gig at the NAC last time I was in town. It’s great to see the city blossom even more each time I visit.
You spent the majority of your formative years in fine city. What are your earliest memories?
Yeah, from the age 10-26. Being allowed to go ‘up town’ on a Saturday with my two friends and spending most of the time in Tammy Girl / Mr Shoes and BHS cafe (odd one, but they did the best sausage rolls in the city at the time).
You have a great reputation as drummer. When did you first take to the sticks?
Thank you. At the age of 14 I asked for drum lessons and went to this amazing drum school run by a woman called Janel, in Dereham. Did that for 3-4 years and then found my own style from there. It was a really encouraging school to be part of and my first band – Violet Violet – rehearsed there too.
Can you remember the first gig you went to in Norwich and was it any good?
I can, but it’s not the coolest. Embrace at the UEA. I fainted, but not because it was rawkus … I wore a huge woolly jumper.
While we are on the subject. What was the best gig you went to in Norwich and why?
What I loved about about the music scene in Norwich when I was part of it in Violet Violet, was how many amazing local bands there were playing every night. I would go to gigs most nights without really knowing who was playing. I miss the days of that kind of discovery. So on that level, I would have to say The Neutrinos. Stumbling into one of their shows without any preconceptions was mind blowing.
In a perfect world, how would you best spend a relaxing weekend in Norwich and Norfolk?
I’m not an easy relaxer, but when I do visit the North Norfolk coast I immediately feel lighter. As a dream weekend, I’d kick off the morning with breakfast at Wiveton Hall, have a walk through Blakeney to Cley, lunch at Gunton, swing by Itteringham Cafe for a sausage roll and then head into Norwich. First stop The Playhouse for a pint of Pilsner to meet some old friends and then the night is ours… it’s been a while but Plasterers Arms & The Garnet spring to mind.
Is there anything you miss about the area and wish you could take with you?
When I moved I quickly realised how lucky I was to live in a city full of independent businesses. Wolverhampton didn’t have an independent coffee shop til’ a year or so ago (!). You take it for granted when you’re surrounded by so much creativity and choice, so I would like to bring a few of the cafes and bars with me next time!
Before we let you go, can you recommend any new bands/artists we should really be looking out for in 2022?
As someone who championed the local scene in Norwich, I’ll keep with that theme and recommend two bands from Birmingham, where I’m based now. The Nature Centre & Into The Zoetrope!
The Nightingales play Epic Studios on Tuesday 26th April. You can find ticket availability and additional information here – https://epic-tv.com/events/event/the-nightingales/