Midlands based songsmith, Alex Ohm, is back with his brand new single, ‘Going Nowhere Fast’, and a much anticipated EP set for release this May. Last Friday saw Ohm and his band kick off their headline tour to promote the single, with a sold out show in his hometown at Wolverhampton’s Newhampton Arts Centre; part of BBC Introducing West Midlands ‘Presents’ night, in association with Birmingham Promoters.
‘Going Nowhere Fast’ is his first single since ‘Fractures (Little Wonder)’ but the band have been busy working behind the scenes these last 18 months, since winning the inaugural Pirate Studios ‘Prodigy’ competition, in which they beat over two thousand other entrants. They recorded their new material at Pirate Studios in London and have recently mixed those recordings at RML Studios back in Wolverhampton.
We caught up with Alex Ohm, ahead of his Rough Trade, Nottingham and Dublin Castle, London gigs this week, to see what he’s been up to since his 2017 debut EP, At First A Drop, Then A Flood – which spawned the soundtrack (‘Through The Storm’) for John Lewis‘s Birmingham flagship store promo – and get the story behind his latest single.
You kicked off your headline tour with BBC Introducing in Wolverhampton last Friday, had did that go?
“It was a huge success. We couldn’t believe how quickly the show sold out and I think that showed on the night. There was a real buzz in the room; the crowd were great. It was good to be able to play some new material to our hometown crowd which seemed to go down really well. I think we’re all still on a high from it.”
What’s the story behind your new single ‘Going Nowhere Fast’?
“It was written in a time that I was struggling with where I was at with my music. I had a lot of people putting forward their advice or criticism into what we were doing; a lot of contradicting advice actually. At the same time, the country felt like it was in a bit of a stalemate with where it stood politically. It was quite a negative, frustrating time but this track was a positive from it. The song is like a beacon of hope amidst all the frustration.”
…They say the future’s vibrant / But we’re brought up on violence…
What can we expect from your upcoming EP?
“It’s a five track EP that we can’t wait to release. The songs that we have recorded are a great reflection of us as a band and a slight change in direction. I believe that they reflect the energy of our live performances which previous track may not have portrayed quite as well.”
Who’s your current band line-up, and how long have you been playing together?
“We have Ste Ashford on Guitar and Hannah Maiden on Bass duties. I’m lucky that they are some of the greatest musicians that I have ever worked with. There’s a real chemistry in the band and the whole process of bringing the songs that I write to life seems effortless. Sam Jenkins joined us on Drums but has recently left to pursue other musical ventures which we wish him all the very best in. We’re hoping to have a new stickman ready to go soon.”
You won the Pirate Studios ‘Prodigy’ competition in 2018, what did this mean for the band?
“Winning the competition gave us some great exposure. We got to play some huge festivals such as the Isle of Wight, Y NOT, Truck and Tramlines Fringe Fest. We also got to meet with some key figures in the industry and get some valuable advice to benefit our music. One of the other benefits of winning the competition was getting to record our EP in London at Pirate Studios.”
What are you working on at the moment?
“There’s lots going on getting everything ready for the EP Release. We’re already prepping ourselves to make the next launch show as good as the last. Apart from that I am currently writing new material with studio time in mind for new material to follow our upcoming release.”
You’re playing the Dublin Castle this Friday, what can we expect from your live set?
“Yes! We can’t wait to get back to London to play a full band show again. We’ll be playing a mix of new and old tracks. It will be a good chance for people to hear some of the tracks off the new EP.”
You’ve opens shows for the likes of Ian Brown, The Charlatans, Ocean Colour Scene and Peter Doherty… have there been any standout experiences you’d care to mention?
“There are so many to mention. I think supporting Ian Brown in Amsterdam was something that stays in my mind to this day. Having our own private gig while he sound checked was surreal, and then his history lesson about the venue was also something I could never have imagined happening. Peter Doherty was also good fun. He bought a T-shirt and a CD off us even though we told him there was no need. Respect to him for that.”
Anyone else in the Midlands we should be listening to right now?
“There are so many good acts coming out of the Midlands right now. Off the top of my head you should check out Sleepy Heads, Hunger Moon, Death by Stampede, The Jack Fletcher Band, Jack Cattell, Violet, The Assist, Ivory Wave, Luna Rosa. The list could go on and on.”
What’s next for Alex Ohm?
“We hope to get our EP out in May with some more dates around the country. We also have some great Festivals in the pipeline. One of them being the Moseley Folk Festival which has some amazing acts such as Richard Hawley, The Staves, Gruff Rhys and Jade Bird. We will also be heading back into the studio to get our next batch of music ready, which we already can’t wait for. It’s looking like we have a busy year ahead of us which we can’t wait for.”
‘Going Nowhere Fast’ is out now. Headline tour dates below.
Upcoming Tour Dates
12 – Rough Trade, Nottingham
13 – Dublin Castle, London
20 – Kazimier Stockroom, Liverpool
21 – 13th Note, Glasgow