American trio tuning up for Ipswich Swan gig with beer and curry

“Basically we’re all interested in food and beer,” laughs football, etc drummer James Vehslage when asked what the American band are looking forward to the most when they visit Ipswich.

Formed from the ashes of Tin Kitchen, guitarist/vocalist Lindsay Minton and bassist Mercy Harper moved to Houston, Texas and created football, etc with drummer Brandon Baker.

Their self-released 2009 EP First Down grabbed the attention from emo revivalists everywhere.

What the Houston Press referred to as their “springy bass lines, off-pitch vocals and gnarled guitar” characterized the band’s sound and were cause for comparisons to Rainer Maria, Mineral and American Football.

Last year ex-Austin shoegazer James Vehslage, former For Those Who Know and Ringo Deathstarr, took over drumming in time to go on tour and record the band’s first full-length effort, The Draft, which was released over hear earlier this month.

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Recorded with ex-Chainsaw Kitten member Trent Bell, who has also worked with The Flaming Lips, it brings together more indie-pop intricacies with layered feedback and catchy melodies.

“When I joined the band a couple of the songs had been written and a few more were in the works,” says 26-year-old James.

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“When we got back from our first tour we reworked those songs and wrote the rest within four months or so. Then it only took five days in the studio to finish recording, including mixing. Our sound tends to lean toward the pop/punk/dreamy side of indie rock.”

Built from the same sounds as many critically acclaimed acts on Polyvinyl Records and relative newcomers to the scene like Lemuria – football, etc fit nicely into the mid 90s sound revival going on right now.

“Certainly there’s an element of the ‘whatever happened 20 years ago is now cool again’ phenomenon,” says 25-year-old military brat Mercy, who in real life is a Ph.D candidate in US women’s history and has a class to teach as soon as they return from tour.

High school English teacher Lindsay, 25, says the 90s were a golden era for music for some.

“A lot of people playing in punk/indie/whatever bands right now grew up listening to 90s music. I think it’s natural for people to be influenced by what they listened to.”

James’ guess is as good as anyone’s as to why the mid-90s are getting a second chance right now, adding: “We’re not trying to sound like a certain genre or era in music, but I’m happy to be compared to bands that I grew up listening to.”

To support the release of The Draft this December, football, etc have launched their first UK headline tour, which arrives at The Swan, Ipswich, on December 28.

“We’re definitely looking forward to it,” says Mercy on her first visit to the country.

“The Swan looks like a cool pub and I am excited to play there with our tour mates Your Neighbour the Liar. I’m looking forward to seeing how punk and indie shows come together in the UK and to see the local bands we’re playing with, (a number of which are really good). I’m also looking forward to some delicious curry.”

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