Back in late October 2009, I was invited to a gig at Fiddlers in Bristol, UK to see Officer Kicks play live (thank you to the Artful/Music Tourist Board and Rocklands Management for the invite!) and I have to say that this band won my heart as soon as the set started: they just simply engaged and excited all my senses immediately.
Officer Kicks have a brightly brash, yet bright, tight and dynamic sound that is raw and pure rock n’ roll. Keith Wickham on drums and Michael Skorjanec on bass punch out a nice, tight, deep driving back beat, and Jamie Fisher on guitar puts a sweet icing over the rhythms with his characteristic guitar style. Jamie Scallion works like a true showman on vocals, and his stage movements as he loses himself to the music add so much to the show! Credit is truly due all around as Officer Kicks put on a great show and are natural rocking entertainers.
The band’s debut album, The Six Grand Plot, is a cracking collection of twelve great tunes, which kicks off with “Pictures Of Me” and really sets things going with a jump-start. A basic, but catchy bass line grabs you and as the drums follow suit, the vocals and guitar swing in. “Nip and Tuck” follows on with less of a swing, but more vocal harmonies and is again a catchy, jumping little number. “Love After Death” is a song with rocking reminiscence (lighters in the air for this!) and is a great showpiece for the powerful gentility that Officer Kicks can lay down so well. “Dog Day Rush” gets you singing your head off as it powers along and Jamie Fishers characteristic guitar style really stands out on this short, but sweet track. The remaining tracks offer much of the same greatness.
The band’s latest offering was released on the 12th of April and is called Citywide Curfew. Although The Six Grand Plot is a great album that expertly utilizes the sheer energy of late ‘70s/early ‘80s new wave, and blends it with good, honest hard rock, Citywide Curfew brings Officer Kicks up to a new level. Their sound has developed and gained strength and although the change is not huge, the effect is vast. It is rough and ready rock that is smoothly captivating.
“Murderland” sets the album going with a bang: jump around, sing along, turn it up and get it on. This song is spectacular! ‘’The Kraken” has a title which has no deception to it and this is a true rocking beast. “Control Sick” delves into social and political angst and “Mrs Anderson” is a slower, thoughtful tune that shows a great element of gentility and, as always, quality. The entire album is captivating and a real gem so, you’ll have to check it out for yourselves!
Officer Kicks’ guitarist, Jamie Fisher, recently chatted with The Rock and Roll Report about the band’s evolution, pastimes and future hopes – here’s what he had to say:
Q: How did Officer Kicks come together and form as a band?
A: Jamie and I had been talking about forming a band and then he went off to travel India. When he returned he had a bunch of songs, as did I, and it started from there really. We went through a few different lineups, then two-and-a-half years ago we formed OK.
Q: The first release, Six Grand Plot, and the current release, Citywide Curfew, have a slightly different feel to each other – can you describe the progression between these?
A: The main difference, in all honesty, was that we had more time on the second record than on the first, and I think in the time between the two being written and recorded we grew as musicians and honed a live sound that we couldn’t translate onto Six Grand Plot. We also spent a lot more time together and had a real chance to learn more about our influences and what inspired us as individuals.
A: I honestly don’t mind. If I let my ego answer this, it would be the big venues and festival stages, but I love being in a small room, rocking out and watching the walls start to sweat!
Q: Could you tell us a little about your Lugano gig at the Harley Davidson Rock Festival?
A: We did a show for Harley in Portugal a couple of years ago and we just had the best time. We made a lot of really good friends within the Harley camp and they were lovely enough to ask us back this year, which is a massive honor as due to the current economic climate, budgets are being slashed and bands being dropped all over the place. We must have done something right!
Q: Would you prefer a major label signing or to remain independent?
A: I think in the current climate majors are stumbling and indies are finding their feet at last. I would not want to change labels now, as we have a great team who really believe in us and I think that dilutes with majors, as they tend to run you like a business. A mistake as we are just musicians wanting to get our music out there. So, indie for me all the way!
Q: What are your greatest interests, apart from making great music?
A: Well, I am partial to a spot of lazy fishing! I just like the peace and quiet it affords you after doing all this crazy stuff; it unwinds me. For the record, I never catch a thing apart from the occasional cold! Keith loves to tend his plants, Jamie is obsessed with playing footy and Mike, well, I’m not sure about Mike. Probably drinking; he is a pro at it!
Q: What are your hopes and dreams and do you have more overseas plans in the pipeline?
A: I hope that OK get the recognition we heartily deserve. We have all put a million percent of ourselves into this and I think I speak for the whole band when I say that we just hope people enjoy the records and get on the OK bandwagon: it’s the bestest and funnest wagon out there! I think there are whispers of us going to the USA, but as the guitarist, I don’t really get told stuff until it’s happening. I prefer it that way!
Have a listen to Systematical Digital Breakdown courtesy of Officer Kicks and The Rock and Roll Report!
Music available for purchase right HERE
More Officer Kicks: www.myspace.com/officerkicks