Emma LeeDelphic's manifesto is to put Manchester back on the musical map and make it dance again. Tipped to be one of 2010's biggest new bands, Norwich gets a chance to see whether they live up to the hype next week.Further listening: Delphic
Delphic's manifesto is to put Manchester back on the musical map and make it dance again. Tipped to be one of 2010's biggest new bands, Norwich gets a chance to see whether they live up to the hype next week. EMMA LEE speaks to synth-man Rick Boardman.
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From New Order to the Smiths to the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays to Oasis, Manchester has spawned some of pop music's greatest ever bands.
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As the critics compiled their lists of ones to watch for 2010, another band from the city was among their tips for the top.
And there's a chance to see whether Delphic live up to the hype when they play Norwich Arts Centre.
A little bit pop, a little bit rock and a little bit dance, one of their mottos is 'the guitar is dead. Long live the guitar'.
While their music encompasses a wide range of influences - they've been said to fuse New Order's indie disco intellectualism with the arms aloft euphoria of the Chemical Brothers, plus some Muse gone minimal - Rick Boardman says that when the band got together they were more inspired by the music they didn't like.
He explains: 'We'd been playing in other bands in Manchester but we hadn't really made music together before. Then one night we were talking about all the boring sub-Oasis bands there were and how we wanted to make the city look forward. We were aware of the great musical heritage, but there wasn't really much going on since Oasis.
'We said let's put Manchester back on the map and make it dance again.'
So Rick, Matt Cocksedge and James Cook got on their laptops and became Delphic. And they'd only played a handful of gigs when they found themselves at the centre of a record company bidding war - with one of the music industry's biggest players getting involved. What they were certain of is that they wanted to do things their way.
'We had this mad week where I was getting 25 calls a day, probably even more,' Rick says. 'One day Chris Martin from Coldplay phoned me up to try and convince me to go with one of his mates.
'We quickly realised we had a lot of power - we were quite precocious. We worked out we could have a deal where we set up our own label and get complete control over everything we do.'
No only does the trio work together, they live together too.
'We were so excited about these conversations we were having about music that we moved in together. We'd never lived together before, but it's essential to the way we work.
'We had the BBC wanting to come to film here at the flat and we didn't like to let people into our world. It's quite tidy. There's synthesisers and equipment everywhere. It's organised chaos,' he says.
Their debut album, Acolyte, is released on Monday. Half of it was recorded in the Lake District ('The three of us ran off to this cottage with some synthesisers,' Rick says). And although they're about as far from the rock and roll clich� as you can get (Rick describes himself as naturally retiring and says he gets the biggest buzz from sitting at his computer making music), when the record was finished they 'freaked out', went to Paris and ended up making a film at the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre at dawn.
When they play live, Matt plays guitar, James plays bass and Dan Hadley joins them on drums. Last year they gigged with Orbital, Friendly Fires and La Roux and, showing that they're equally at home at rock and dance festivals they played Reading and Creamfields.
Does Rick worry about living up to the hype that surrounds them? 'It's a funny one. Everyone's asked about this. Had we been in a position where we were just starting to record we would have been scared. But we put so much pressure on ourselves to make a good album that it's all come from us.
'Now we're handing it over to people.'
t Delphic play Norwich Arts Centre on January 14, supported by Mirrors.
t Acolyte is released on January 11.