Even The Stars Interview


Ahead of their appearance at this weekend’s When In Manchester, we caught up with one of the more local bands on the bill, Gardenback. They’ve built a strong reputation with some great live performances as well as a couple of singles over the last year or so. We had a chat about their past, their favourite gigs and their plans for the future.

Could you introduce Gardenback please and tell us a little about how you got together?

We’re Ellis, Neil and Jacob James. We’re been playing together since our teens in various bands, but since 2016 we’re back together in Manchester and been releasing music as Gardenback.

The name is an interesting one, how did you land on that?

Ellis was reading a book about David Lynch and came across the word ‘Gardenback’, it was an unfinished project of his. We liked the word and struggled having an original thought.

What have been your highlights of being a band so far?

Our favourite gigs have probably been our Christmas ones, our last one we sold out Sacred Trinity Church and the time before we crammed The Castle Hotel. Last year we were lucky enough to play Cotton Clouds festival, it was amazing playing just down the road from home to such a huge audience, but really we love small sweaty intimate gigs and have had memorable nights at Manchester’s smallest and finest venues.

It’s been a few months now since your last single Bulldogs.  Do you have songs recorded and ready to go and when can we expect to hear them?

We’ve got a few songs recorded from earlier this year and are in the studio again imminently. You can expect within the next few months to hear something new.

You cover Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer in your live set. What made you choose that song, it’s pretty much a sacred cow in the eyes of many people?

For us, we were having fun with it during rehearsals and we’re big Talking Heads fans. We like to throw in a cover as long as we enjoy playing it.

You’re playing the When In Manchester festival at the weekend. Are you looking forward to be playing one of the most innovative and exciting small city festivals?

Yeah, we’re really excited to be playing alongside so many great emerging bands. It’s an amazing new festival and the team behind it have been brilliant. So we can’t wait for a day out across Manchester’s venues.

At the other end of the scale, you’ve also been announced on the Kendal Calling bill.  How does it feel to be among such illustrious company on the bill?

We’re excited to see the big name acts, but they’ve done a great job with the smaller bands as well. We recently played with Deja Vega and Scarlet, they were both great live and we’re excited to meet up again. Also bands like Pins, The Blinders and The Orielles, they’ve blown us away with their releases, we’re really excited to see them play a festival set. We’re also really excited to be playing the House Party stage, it’s got a great history at the festival and again the line-up for it is superb.

What else do you have planned for 2018?

We’re really focused on our live shows, new releases and writing more. We’re currently planning our first tour with Elephant Management for later in the year and hope to have a few more major announcements soon. We’re incredibly excited for our Manchester dates this year as we’re playing some of our favourite venues we haven’t done before, but also can’t wait to go further afield.

If you had to sell your band to someone who had never heard or seen you before, how would you set about it?

Music to soundtrack your disappointment.

Saddleworth Independent – Kendal Calling Announcement

A SADDLEWORTH band is celebrating after receiving recognition from one of the UK’s top festivals.

(L-R) Jacob, Ellis and Neil

Gardenback, who played on the main stage at last year’s inaugural Cotton Clouds Festival in Greenfield, have been invited to appear at this summer’s four-day Kendal Calling event.
The exciting three-piece, who rehearse at Sub Pressure studios in Diggle, will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Libertines and Ocean Colour Scene.
“It’s a great festival and we are thrilled to be part of the line-up,” says guitarist, Neil James.
“Our drummer, Jacob, has been a good few times. But I have never been so it’s really exciting.”
Kendal Calling is held at Lowther Castle in Cumbria and will take place from July 26-July 29. Tickets are already almost sold out.
“We had been in contact with the organisers since we played Cotton Clouds,” added Neil, who divides his time between his music and a job at Oldham Coliseum.
“There are some great headline acts on but also some good, smaller bands which we are huge fans of, including the Blinders and the Orielles.
“There is a diverse range of talent which we are keen to explore and to meet some new friends.”
Gardenback, also compromising of bassist Ellis James and drummer Jacob James, are currently in the process of organising a small UK tour and looking forward to other events.
“We have got a good interest in London which we need to follow up,” said Neil.
“We have played Manchester a lot but can’t wait to step further afield.”
There are dates coming up in Liverpool and Leeds as well as an appearance at the When in Manchester Festival on April 14

Kendal date is just mint for Gardenback

Live at The Castle Review

Northern Alive’s review from supporting Scarlet. at the castle hotel in Manchester.

Scarlet. | Live at The Castle | 08/02/18

‘Main support of the night came from local band Gardenback. After only hearing their material online, I was thrilled to finally see them and they didn’t disappoint. Opening the set with Motorway, the band played hit after hit which both old and new fans seemed to love. The highlight of the set for me was the track, Health and Wellbeing. The song sports an addictive, punk bassline coupled with vocals reminemcent of the Dead Kennedy’s, you couldn’t help but dance to their ever-growing beat. Playing crowd pleasers such as Bull Dogsand SleeplessGardenback brought their driving set to a close with Bury Me. The track showed the band’s more gentle and melodic side before it progressed into a sound I was more familiar with- lead bass lines with attitude, along with a powerful drum beat and reverberating guitar chords. You can listen to their hypnotic, garage sound here.’

GIGSoup Bulldogs Interview

“Back in July we went to Gardenback’s debut single launch gig at Jimmy’s and what a show they put on!

Now the trio are back with a brand new track ‘Bulldogs’. A rapid, dirty bassline fits perfectly beneath the roaring vocals and gritty riffs. “B-U-L-L-D-O-G!” gives an added bonus to a live set, as you can imagine the crowd chanting along to the bruising track. We spoke to the lads about their “music for the anxious loner” and what they’ve got in store as the year comes to a close.”

Read more below:

BOOM! : Gardenback ‘Bulldogs’


Emerging North – Bulldogs Review

Huge thanks for Emerging North for our first review on our latest single ‘Bulldogs’

“The crys of ” you bark like a bulldog!” and “B-U-L-L-D-O-G!” imply that Bulldog has all the attributes of being a big fan favourite whenever Gardenback take to the stage.”


Click through this link here to read the full review:

Gardenback- Bulldogs



Jimmy’s live gig review – HEY magazine


“Gardenback’s set never let you sit still, no matter how much you wanted to because of the sweat box venue we were in. From their new mesmerizing songs to their killer covers (“Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads and “Temptation” by New Order for their encore), it is easy to say they stole the show with their passionate playing, constant energy and an overall tight set. “