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Punk-pop pioneers help Brownies

PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:40 29 October 2010

Kim Briscoe

They have inspired Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM, Bono, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, and now a member of seminal post-punk band Gang of Four has been helping to shape the songs of a Norwich group.

Further listening: The Brownies

They have inspired Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM, Bono, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, and now a member of seminal post-punk band Gang of Four has been helping to shape the songs of a Norwich group.

The Brownies will be launching their new album and single with a city gig this weekend.

When the alternative pop-punk five-piece signed to Norwich's NR ONE label in 2007, they agreed they wanted better recordings and boss Kingsley Harris told the band they could go for any producer they wanted, within reason.

One name that came up was Mercury-nominated Andy Gill, the guitarist from Gang of Four.

So they emailed the well-known producer with a sample of their music and were stunned to receive a reply within five minutes, saying he thought their sound was “fresh and exciting” and to get in contact with his manager.

After seeing them play at Artrocker in London, Mr Gill worked with the band in his private studio in the heart of London.

Although he could not produce the whole album, the group had a second surprise when they were put in touch with Jon Gray, who had worked with another of the band's favourites The Subways, along with artists like The Editors, The Zutons and The Coral, to record the rest of the album at the capital's Britannia Row studios.

The band, whose music has been described as “sexed-up fight pop” and who are all 19 or 20, comprise twin sisters Stevie, on bass, and Maxie Gedge on guitar and backing vocals, singer Sophie Little, drummer Mike Sheils and guitarist Nathan Pounds.

Stevie said they were really pleased with the resulting album.

She said: “It was just an incredible experience. We have never worked with anyone like Jon or Andy before.

“They really had an input into our songs - they would suggest ideas and had a real feel for our songs.”

Mr Harris said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I know the band know that, they've worked amazingly hard and been very professional, impressing some of the top industry people.

“They also had lots of fun in the process. We are getting some great compliments about the album and can't wait for its official release in June.”

t The Brownies will be playing a launch gig at Norwich Arts Centre at 8pm on Saturday

They will be supported by Bearsuit, the Uh Ohs and Glory Glory. Tickets are £5 in advance, £7 on the door and are available from the box office on 01603 660352 or online at www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk.

t The Brownies' single Cougar will be released on May 4, and the album Ourknife Yourback will be released on June 22.

Further listening: The Brownies

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