Ahead of their first headline gig at Exeter Cavern , RAZZ President Senthur Shanmugarasa sat down with local favourites The Issues for a quick question and answer. After the Q&A RAZZ writer Niall Ivie reviews the gig.
- Senthur: Hey guys! How’s it going?, How does it feel to be headlining your first gig at Cav?
- The Issues: Pretty exciting, given its ours first headline gig but very nervous at the same time given we’re performing 5 new songs (RIP Kutcher)
- S: How did the band form and the name come about?
- TI: We all met in the Cavern smoking area (the intellectual music hub of the South West!) and decided to get a group together. We needed a singer. One night we went the comedy club where Joe (the lead singer was performing). He gave big frontman vibes and the rest they say is history! One day I walked past someone selling the Big Issue and thought that would be a good name. Better than previous incarnations of the The Jammie Dodgers/Jaffas!
- S: he Issues- Describe your musical style in 5 words?
- TI: Sloppy Indie Punk. Surfy & unpolished
- Who are your guys main musical influences?
- TI: We all come from different musical backgrounds. Anything out of the NME from the mid2000s plus a lot of older stuff such as The Cure and The Clash
- S: Dream Collab?
- TI: The Chats- it would be a very raucous gig!
- S: If you could have written any song what would have it been?
- Joe- A Certain Romance- Arctic Monkeys
- Tom- Walk on the Wild Side- Lou Reed
- Olly- Can I call you tonight- Dayglow
- Mike- Anything from Rush from a drumming perspective
- S: Obviously for certain reasons the personnel of the band changed, how has it been for the new members fitting in?
- TI: Like a glove, very nicely. We all knew each other before and had been involved in some campus bands (RIP Clockwork)
- S: You guys formed just before the pandemic. How did the lockdowns and the subsequent restrictions hinder your musical process?
- TI: Very Very Shit since we all lived in different parts of the UK. Miraculous that we released two singles during lockdown. It also gave us time to write songs.
- S: What are you guys looking forward to about touring/performing again?
- TI: The sesh but in all honesty spreading the musical joy that is The Issues
- S: What’s your favourite song you’ve written and what’s your favourite song to perform live?
- TI: My Ex Stacey *nodding in agreement*. It was written with The Issues in minds
- S: Describe the Issues in 3 Words?
- TI: Stupid, entertaining, mess
- S: what next for The Issues
- TI: We have a few gigs in Bristol & Plymouth planned. With gigs back in full flow this year and next summer is make or break for us. Dream in the summer would be to perform at festivals and support bands such as Courting
Review of the Gig by Niall Ivie
There had been a lot of buzz leading up to the Issues coming on. I had been told by a friend to ‘get rid of my drink’ before they started playing, and in retrospect I should have listened. Moments after the strum of the first chord, my half-filled can of room-temperature Red Stripe was lost in the mosh pit that had started, and that didn’t end until the band left the stage. The Issues wear their influences on their sleeve, taking inspiration from British rock royalty such as the Clash, the Smiths, and most notably to me, the Libertines. Despite not being able to keep a microphone in its stand, Joe Jenkins (a pint-size Pete Docherty) is an excellent frontman, and it’s clear this is one of the key factors to the Issues’ success. With some crowd surfing from the band and an excellent unexpected cover of ‘Boys in the Better Land’ by Fontaines D.C., their set was over, and I left the Cavern dripping in sweat and Strongbow Dark Fruits; I cannot wait to see the Issues again.
— Senthur Shanmugarasa & Niall Ivie