Colin, Kay and Dee of

Nouveau Bleach


1. Nouveau Bleach - is there any reasoning behind this name or is it just plain old impishness trying to get people guessing?  Also give us a brief history into the band please?

The name started off because of a propensity for slightly silly puns in this case Nouveau Riche. There are a few dotted about in our songs as well. It is also one of the first songs we put together, the song actually came first. Then when we were casting about for a name we decided that it had a ring to it and went with it.

The band started really from the ashes of a previous band The Rioters, where Colin played drums, Kay was on bass and Dee was briefly the vocalist. After that project ended we decided to form a new one. This time Dee is on the drums and backing vocals, Kay on bass and Colin guitar and lead vocals. In large part because both Colin and Dee play drums but Dee doesn’t play guitar. That rare occurrence of having too many drummers.

Since then we’ve been gigging, mainly in and around London but we also venture around the country a bit. We’ve released our self titled EP and more is to come.

2. How would describe your sound and general ethos. Is there any approach you adopt whilst weaving your merry way around the labrynthine chaos of the sonic scene?

The sound is a mix, it probably sits most comfortably in the description of post-punk, which is a pretty nebulous term in itself. Both sound and the ethos are informed by an impetus towards being willing to give it a go. Try something out, if it works great and if not try something else.

The approach is quite open, it might start with an initial bit, a riff or some lyrics, or a certain drum pattern and we build it up from there. Other times there will be a song written in advance and that is bounced around between us to get to the final sound. The development of the songs is fairly organic.

 In terms of weaving through the chaotic labyrinth, there isn’t necessarily a clear route, just enjoy yourself and hope you don’t get too lost, revel in the unexpected diversions. 

Also unless you have a good reason and communicate it beforehand make sure you stay and watch the rest of a show if you’re on the bill.

3. How would you describe your fellow band mates. Use two sentences per member, with a sci-fi twist?


(on Kay) she has some extraterrestrial qualities and has been known to go by Kalien, emphasis on the alien! 

(on Colin) Like a more competent musical version of Holley the computer from Red Dwarf.


(on Dee) I don’t wanna be harsh, but he’s like a wannabe version of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

(on Colin) For some reason  I’m thinking of HAL 9000 the computer from 2001 A Space Oddyssey.

Colin: There’s a theme of me as a sentient computer emerging here, but I’ll take it. 

(on Dee) Dee you remind me of one of the exotic denizens you’d meet in a market place in Star Wars. 

(on Kay) I could see you in a Philip K Dick novel, maybe you could be an android.

4. What are your niggles and joys of the DIY music scene?

The joys of the DIY scene are getting to play music, meeting like minded folk, we get to hang out with a load of fellow oddballs and  travelling to places we might not otherwise have thought to visit. There is also a freedom in that our output can be what we want. 

One niggle is the travelling, even though we love going to new places and playing out and about none of us drive. So it's probably more specifically a niggle about travelling on cramped coaches and buses. Sometimes also cramped trains, though they are generally quicker. That said, we do love an away day so hit us up if you’re interested, we will come.

5. If someone was going to be put in solitary confinement for a period of 100 days and could only be allowed to take 10 tracks to listen to and pass the time, what Nouveau Bleach track would you recommend they take...and why?

Kay: It would be Pox Americana, it's quite catchy and I could listen to that one a lot. 

Dee: I’d say Kondonauts, it's got a fair amount of variation in it and it goes down well at shows.

Colin: Hostile Architecture,it feels like the start of the route that our songwriting is heading towards at the moment. It’s also the titular track from the next release.

6. I am always keen on listening to music that stretches the suffocating boundaries of sub-scenes - how would you describe your own sound and where do you feel your greatest influences have come from?

Dee: We get quite a range of influences suggested when people are describing what we sound like. Probably the most unexpected one was the B52s. I’ve no idea where they got that from but thanks.

Kay: Bands like Idles, Gang of Four, The Fall are all influences and Postpunk is probably the biggest reference point. There are some grunge influences and also Goth and New Wave. We all listen to quite a lot of different stuff so it tends to coalesce into a glorious mess. 

Colin: I also keep smuggling chords I’ve learnt from playing bossa nova on my nylon string into our songs. So there’s probably shades of influence from people like Jaoa Gilberto and Stan Getz. Not that you’d probably be able to pick that out too clearly. The Bossa Nouveau album is still a long way off.

7. Can you tell us about some of your favourite gigs that you have played so far - the people, the gaffs, the reasons why they were specific highlights?

Kay: We played a gig in West Hackney in a church hall space which was a fundraiser queer homeless charities. It had a great turn out, raised loads of money and all the bands and punters were like minded and created a supportive inclusive space. Some great bands like Rites of Hadda, T-Bitch and Caution Elderly People to name a few. 

Dee: I enjoyed the trip up to the Alma Inn in Bolton. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and the crowd got really into it. You definitely feed off the energy of a lively audience. Plus the beer prices were exceptionally cheap.

Colin: I particularly liked a gig we put on  last September at Four Quarters Bar, which has a sweaty basement section for bands. The ceilings are low and the room is dark but with a few people in there the place feels heaving. It’s always satisfying to see an event you organised go well and we had all our mates from around the country to play and watch so that felt really good. Plus we pinned Rae down to actually playing a date which is a rarity. It also has nothing to do with me being pleased that it was my Birthday gig and the plentiful drinks I was plied with… 

8. The recent years have been a challenge in many ways - how have you dealt with the whole fiasco and what are you views on how things have changed both generally and in the music scene?

One major thing that helped us is that we all live in the same house which is a definite advantage. We have a midi drumkit and basic amp set up so we were still able to practice. We did a couple of live streams with The Punk For The Homeless crew which kept up some semblance of gigging.

In terms of the after effects people seemed up for going out to gigs again, there was a bit more fervour given that the opportunity had been taken away for so long. Unfortunately it accelerated the decline and closure of lots of venues, which was sadly happening before as well. However if you made it through as a band, then you felt more determined to get out there and get back to it. It's a shame as lots of good bands called it a day.

9.  A new range of Action Man is being lined up - this time the man will not be a macho prick and come complete with a make-up kit and an optional musical anus.  Would Nouveau Bleach endorse this, for what reasons and, would they be up for contributing a track for use in the rhythmic ring?

This is an initiative we would wholeheartedly or should that be hole-heartedly endorse. Any challenge to the staid acceptance of long out of date patriarchal norms is worth at least considering. If it takes a musical anus to combat the toxic masculinity implied by toys that glorify in the trappings of the military industrial complex we’re in. We would contribute a track and that track would be Thoughts and Prayers.

10.  I am a great believer in the outsider and things off the general radar - I consider these people and these areas life-affirming vestiges of reality and unaffected wonder?  Are you, as a person, and a band, happy to do just what you do and do it for the love of it rather than chase a dream and watering down your principals.  It does seem to happen in all areas of life, I am always curious as to different people's approach.

This is an interesting question, the nature of what we do, the subject matter and general approach is probably not widely marketable. That's not really an issue to us. If what you're saying has authenticity and you deliver it honestly it will make some connection. It may not yield money or fame but that isn't my end goal. That said if we could do this as a full time thing then we would. 

This seems unlikely to happen anytime soon if at all and that's not a problem. We do this because we enjoy it and we are passionate about the music we make. If we have fun along the way and people enjoy what we’re doing then great. If they don’t then that's fine too. If we are chasing any dreams then we would want to do that in an undiluted fashion.

If the primary means of supporting myself could be through creative means I would be happy. 

11. Please give us an insight into your political approach (if any) and what messages you try and relay through your music - as we know, even the apolitical has leanings (nudge, nudge).

We are all interested in politics and the band is inherently political. Given that the content of most of the songs focus broadly on current affairs and issues it would be hard to not be engaged to some degree. This country and indeed the world at large are in a fraught and dangerous position currently, with reactionary and quasi fascistic agendas being openly pursued at the highest levels of power. Obviously we are fundamentally opposed to this and find such developments disturbing.

In terms of our response to this it is probably more one of attempting to make sense of and critique the mess we find ourselves in. Are we politically informed, yes; would we endorse any particular party, probably not. If there is any core message that percolates through our admittedly dour and somewhat ironised presentation of ideas, it’s to remain questioning, challenge not just ideas you oppose but also your own positions and don’t take yourself too seriously. There’s still room to laugh, even if its a mirthless chuckle. 

I have been accused of Nihilism or insufficient political engagement at times. 

I think art holds up a mirror to what is happening and can play some role in facilitating a change in attitude or advocacy. However I don't perceive that as the core driving factor of our output. It is a means to make sense of the mess we find ourselves in. 

Obviously we stand opposed to the political direction of travel in the UK and large swathes of the world more generally.

12. Finally, give yourselves a push and tell us why we should tune in to your sonic vibrations and why on earth should we leave the comfort of our favourite armchair to see you guys 'live'.  Hey and please tell us what stuff you peeps have in the bunged-up pipeline.

Well the pipeline is bunged and getting more so which is good news. We have a new EP which comes out on February 24th called Hostile Architecture. We also have a run of a few dates to support this, hitting up Sheffield, Nottingham, Ashton and Stockport over March and April. Plus some more are pencilled in for later in the year.

We’re excited to get out and play more live dates as this is where we really have the most fun as a band. You can’t beat the feeling of a bustling sweaty little venue full of pissed up onlookers shouting at you while you make noise. Leave the armchair for an evening, that arse groove will still be there when you get back and you might just discover a new band worth listening to. It won’t be us, but we play some varied bills so who knows eh…