ModWear5 – E14 – The Middens February 18 2016

ModWear 5 with The Middens – Episode 14

The Middens – We keep seeing the name. First in an interview last year as part of Merc Sounds, then we see them listed on two of the March of the Mod line ups, then we see they are playing with The Spitfires next month. We wanted to find out a bit more, so caught up with the bands guitarist and lead singer, Aaron Duff.

Photo by Derek D'Souza 

1. How would you describe your sound and what track would you say you are best known for?

It would be hard to put a stamp on our music really. It’s sort of a mash up of everything, I try to take in as much music as I can, it just depends on what I’m listening to at the time. A lot of our songs are quite heavy, it just sort of comes out like that, but we can be subtle when we want to be. Songs like ‘Smoking Caterpillar’ and ‘Hole in the Wall’ are at opposite ends of our musical spectrum, but the bare bones are pretty much the same, all our songs have a strong sense of melody, I feel. 

Locally, we’re probably best known for our cover of ‘When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbing Along’ that we did for North Shields FC as sort of their ‘Road to Wembley’ song when they won the FA Vase last year. We got to go down and hear the song being played in Wembley Stadium which was massive for us! Our most well known original is probably ‘Reverent Son’ which was put out as part of a compilation CD on the front of Viva La Rock magazine. 

2. You’ve previously supported and will be supporting The Spitfires in March, if you could have any band support you (signed and unsigned) who would it be?

That's a tough question, it's normally the other way around so it's not something I've really considered, but if I have to, there’s an Elvis fronted Nirvana tribute band gigging around at the minute. They would be good. Having said that, they’d probably be a pretty hard act to follow.  

3. The band take’s its influences from bands and artists spanning five decades, but speaking clobber, who do you draw your influences from? Past and present.

I think we really take influences from a lot of British sub-cultures, mods, skins, punks, casuals etc.. As a band we tend to style ourselves towards a mod’ish’ kind of look, we wear Merc, Fred Perry, Pretty Green, and we wear loafers or Doc Martens etc, but we really do take in influences from all over the place. I think present bands like Slaves always look cool, they’re another band that have been influenced by that kind of thing, both musically and aesthetically. 

4. If we were to take a trip up to the North East – where would you take us & what would we do?

I’d take you for a cheap (£1.80), but very nice pint at The Prince of Wales in North Shields. Then we’d head along the coast to take in the views. Probably cram into our favourite venue, the Surf Cafe in Tynemouth to watch a band. It’s just been voted the best small venue in our area, and rightly so I’d say. 

5. In March you play March of the Mods in Gateshead and Hartlepool – what do these gigs mean to you?

It means a lot to us to see lots of like minded people come together for an event like that. We’ve played a few of these already and we’re really happy to be asked to play again as I know a lot of the bands playing only do covers. Being an originals band it means a lot to think that people want to come and hear our own stuff. It’s a great feeling to see people singing your own songs back to you. 

The Middens have got a busy 2016 lined up. Aaron told us that there are few gigs that really stand out:

“On the 16th April, we play with Bruce Foxton’s From the Jam at the Phoenix Theatre in Blyth. It’ll be great to play with them so we’re really looking forward to that. Before that we’re playing with Man Made at the Surf Cafe in Tynemouth on the 12th of March. They’re fronted by Johnny Marr’s son, Nile. That’s sold out now, so we know it’s going to be packed! We’ve also got Fleecetonbury Fest on the 27th March, the day after our gig with The Spitfires at The Cluny in Newcastle. We’re also headlining a scooter rally in Pontefract which we’re really looking forward to, and The Great Mod & Ska Festival later on in the year on the 28th of August”

You can catch The Middens at a number of other gigs in-between the dates mentioned, Check out their website for all dates: 

Keep in contact with The Middens at the following: