In the 1990s Portishead and Massive Attack popularised a distinctive sound known as 'trip-hop'. Now,in the 21st Century, Pinner-based Hiding Giants tell BARRY O'SULLIVAN how they hope to emulate that success with their own unique take on the genre.
ORIGINAL music is a rarity these days. The radio airwaves tend to be clogged up with pretentious bands doing pretty much the same thing.
It is therefore refreshing to come upon an outfit such as Hiding Giants. With their haunting melodies and funky beats they are a break from the norm. Best of all, they're based in our borough.
Having only formed two years ago, the five piece band have become regulars on the London circuit playing such venues as the Soho Revue Bar, Cafe De Paris and the renowned Water Rats in Kings Cross.
Drummer Jon Colville, now 28 and working within the courier industry, explains how the band was formed out of a previous incarnation known as Big Casino.
"All the members of Hiding Giants, apart from our vocalist Lucy, were in Big Casino. A change in musical direction however saw us lose our vocalist. Eventually Lucy came into the fold and Hiding Giants was formed."
Vocalist Lucy Bartlett, a 24-year-old support worker, shared the same musical vision as Jon and the rest of the band including lead guitarist Sean Durkan, 26, a site manager for a building firm, BBC researcher and keyboard player Amy Gibb, 24, and Nick White, 32, a bass player who works as a welder and pipefitter.
Despite sharing the same vision, each member of the band has varied musical influences.
Heavy rock, classical music and guitar-based r'n'b are just some of the genres which have helped to create an original Hiding Giants sound.
"It is quite difficult to describe or categorise our sound", explains Jon.
"Musically we are probably closest to the trip-hop genre, however, our main aim is to produce music which is different and original".
Songwriting is a shared process, with each member contributing their own ideas and suggestions.
"One of us will have an idea and show it to the rest of the band", says Jon.
"We then jam it around and see how it develops. Sometimes it happens very quickly and other times it requires alot of time and thought."
The band are currently focused upon recording new material before launching a more extensive series of gigs in the local area.
Their desire to perfect the Hiding Giants' sound means that they will be performing only one show within the next month at The Good Ship pub in Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, on Friday February 27. Jon is in no doubt about the band's proudest gig to date.
"Performing at the Bush Hall in Shepherds Bush was a real thrill", he recalls. "It was made even better by the fact we performed to a crowd of well over 300 people."
The Hiding Giants are intent upon bringing something fresh to a music industry in dire need of reinvention.
If they are successful in their aim, these giants of the local music scene will hopefully be hidden no more. [25cf] Hear the Hiding Giants music on www.harrowobserver.co.uk or see www.myspace.com/hidinggiants.
Hiding Giants are:
Lucy Barlett - lead vocals
Sean Durkan - lead guitar
Amy Gibb - keyboards, saxophone and backing vocals
Nick White - bass guitar
Joe Colville - drums