Ninette & the Goldfish at the Slaughtered Lamb: Words from the Deep Down review and interview
Hailing from Barcelona, the duo Ninette and The Goldfish can really say they have got the best out of their first England experience. After the initial warm welcome received at the Great Escape festival in Brighton, the band moved into the capital for a few live shows.
Managed by Kong Records, a newly formed London-based independent record label, the band perfectly embodies the spirit of freshness and authenticity that Kong pushes forward. Nina, (main voice) and Francesc (guitar) insert themselves into the English indie music scene speaking Words from the Deep Down, as the title of the new EP seems to suggest.
Ninette and the Goldfish take a lot from contemporary music, but still succeed in perpetuating a singular and personal style, finding their own way of expression within folk rhythm and “camperos boots”. Showcasing a warm voice and folky chords, the gig at the Slaughtered Lamb Pub in London testified to the duo’s mesmerizing force.
Stuck with You broke the ice and set the mellow tone for songs like The Coward and Time is Against Our Senses. Down by Law, Shade on You increased the emotional pitch of the night and the finale Story Teller was a serene conclusion to the emotive playlist.
The Upcoming had the chance to have a chat with the duo:
How did the Ninette and the Goldfish project start?
Ninette: It was 2009, I met Francesc in one of his gigs when he was playing with another band and I liked them so much that I asked if I could be their manager. That didn’t really work out, but we really liked each other, musically speaking, so in late 2009 we decided to start writing songs and then we started performing in 2010.
How about the name, who’s the Goldfish?
Ninette: We don’t really know how the name came out! We were looking at Francesc’s daughter’s books and fairy tales and we liked the goldfish. Also I think the fish is a symbolic and attractive animal, that’s why we called our fist album Life In The Bowlfish.
How would you describe your music?
Nina: Folk, it’s probably the easiest way of describing it. We have been mainly influenced by American music, but also a bit of European Soul. Right now we feel really inspired by bands like PJ Harvey or Boni Iver, Ani Di Franco and Jeff Buckley.
Is there any specific way you’ve been objectively described by the critics that you particularly like or dislike?
Nina: To be honest there’s a bad one, but we actually liked it! He’s been previously defined as “strambotic”, Histrìonico in Spanish, like dramatic whenever he plays. We didn’t take it in a bad way, we liked it.
Francesc: They also said we have a brilliant sound, still not really defined, and we like this comment on us.
What or who do you talk about in your songs?
Nina: In terms of ‘what’ we talk about, well, love mainly. The undeniably universal topic. However, the song Shade on You has a strong political message. It’s a song constituting a sort of reaction towards the current political situation. It is not referred to anywhere in particular, it’s something we are all experiencing, it’s more like a general critique. In terms of ‘who’, I think we are storytelling about ourselves: he composes the music with the guitar first and then I put on the lyrics after.
Is this your first time in London?
Nina: Yes, this has been the first time. Actually, this is our last night of the London tour. We came straight from the Great Escape festival in Brighton.
Have you noticed any difference between the UK audience and anywhere else that you have played so far?
Nina: Well, it’s complicated, we come from a place there is no such a culture of going to gigs of musicians you don’t know about. People go to see bands they already know, they don’t really want to experience music or the live gigs of artists they have never heard about. The good thing I found about British audiences is that they go to festivals and they are absolutely into it and really respectful; they enjoy listening to everything and there is nothing like seeing an audience cheering at you at a festival!
Nina: Who are we? Well I am a film student, I do video editing, I am completing my course shortly, and I am also an H&M sales adviser! Two different lives actually, but I still manage to balance the two.
Francesc: I am a graphic designer and I am lucky as I can work from any part of the world. I am also a father of a beautiful six-year-old child.
Nina: I don’t want to hide the fact that our life right now is tiring, exhausting and complicated, but we can now see something moving on as we have been putting so much effort and work into it. So it’s a really cheerful experience, once you pursue your dreams, seeing that little by little things are building up and coming on around you, so we hold on, we are not giving up!
What are your plans for the future?
Nina: There are some plans for Mexico and South Africa, but we don’t believe in anything unless we have plane tickets and everything done! When we have tickets in our hands and we are on our way to the airport we start thinking seriously about it.
Is there any particular message you wish to convey to the audience?
Francesc: We think that the music we do is something that perfectly represents us. It’s an expression of our art; it talks about us and how we understand life in general, our conception of ethics.
Nina: But I want to specify that every song for me has a different meaning and its own message.
Is there any particular ritual you do before going on stage?
Nina: Yes, actually, we get together, we hold hands together and we say thank you. For everything. It’s a bit spiritual and it’s a good practice to get focused.
What is your relationship with Kong Records like?
Nina: We were really pleased to be contacted by them, because England was a territory that we hadn’t considered before and they sounded like they really wanted to work with us so we happily accepted.
Photos: Dylanne Lee
To listen to some of Ninette and The Goldfish’s tracks or to check their gig schedule, check out their Myspace page.