Scarecrow Boat are an indie punk quartet based in Southampton, made up of Dominic James, Toby Robinson, Tom Webb and Joe Burgess. They’re all Popular Music Performance and Production students at Solent University.
After releasing their debut album ‘Tell Me I’m Fine’ last year, and two singles ‘Pathetic’ and ‘Jerk Soleil’ this year, the band is fast becoming a part of the UK’s upcoming modern punk scene, sharing stages with international touring bands such as The Flatliners, SWMRS, Sorority Noise and Creeper, as well as doing several of their own DIY tours of the UK.
I caught up with the boys after their performance at The Hope and Ruin, as part of the Washed Out Festival in Brighton. According to Toby, the band formed in 2014. “Me and Dom went to college together and started the band off, then a few people left when we went to uni, and we needed a drummer and another guitarist. We met Tom and Joe through our course and it went from there”.
I have to say Scarecrow Boat is an interesting choice for a band name, so I had to ask where it came from. “Chris Pratt’s character has a band in this TV show Parks and Recreation’ Dom explains. ‘There’s a scene in the first season where he lists all the bands he’s ever been in, and we just looked down the list and thought, that’s the one.”
You can’t deny that their songs are, at first impression, quite catchy and upbeat. But when I started listening to the lyrics, I realised that they’re cleverly thought out, quite intricate, and very well written. After asking about the writing process, I learnt this was down to a joint effort. “Dom comes in the studio with an idea and we build on it, but it’s a bit of everyone.” I also learn that the boys are releasing a new track, ‘Woes’, at the end of the month, and they agree it’s their favourite song to play so far. (Apart from Toby, who stands passionately and wholeheartedly with Mr Brightside).
You can tell these guys are genuinely best friends both on and off the stage. They seem so at ease with one another, which is unsurprising considering they spend almost every day together. Their performance style itself is energetic and enthusiastic, and that with their upbeat style makes a good contrast to their moody lyrics. It’s also worth mentioning that individually, each of these musicians are equally talented. I didn’t get the impression that there’s one or two picking up the slack for the others, which is sometimes the case. A highlight for me was Dom’s complicated guitar solo at the beginning of ‘Tap Tap Revenge’, which displays the extent of his commitment and musical talent.
The boys are also off on another tour next month, starting in London, and finishing in Newcastle. All the dates are below:
23rd May: London, Flashback Records
24th May: Nottingham, JT Soar
25th May: Leeds, Santiago Bar
26th May: Newcastle, Think Tank