Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Band of the Week: The Carter Manoeuvre

Band of the Week:
The Carter Manoeuvre


The Carter Manoeuvre are a band of four lads in their early 20’s who are about to celebrate the end of their exams in style, playing live music and getting drunk. Then it is more celebrations as they play their 50th gig at the Coventry Godiva Festival. Even flooding hasn’t stopped them from bringing us experimental rock tunes based on everyday life.

Based at Warwick Uni, The Carter Manoeuvre are made up of James Ellis (Reading/Warwick Uni) who is main vocals, guitar and anything else he can get his hands on, Tom Grundy (Leamington Spa) plays guitar,backing vocals, squeezebox, Hammond Synth with an ability to learn quickly. Stuart Knight (Leamington Spa) bashes his drums passionately while James Turrell plays bass, does a spot of vocals when he’s not hiding inside cupboards!

This Saturday (23rd June) The Carter Manoeuvre will be taking the stage at Coventry’s Colosseum as part of The Rrrs Look Good, Feel Great! EP launch” (also featuring Half of Nothing).

The Carter Manoeuvre

The BOTW15 Question Interview:

1. When did The Carter Manoeuvre form?

The four of us came together in July 2006, started gigging in August and just kept going.

2. Which artists have influenced your lives?

I suppose the three bands that changed the way we thought about music are Radiohead, Broken Social Scene and The Dismemberment Plan.

3. What’s all this talk about your basement getting flooded?

All as it sounds really, torrential rain hit Leamington while we were out, when we got back we found all our stuff ankle-deep in water! We had an all-night rescue operation, involving one of us throwing out countless buckets of rainwater into the street wearing nothing but pants. We've lost quite a lot of our gear...

4. Name your favourite albums of all time?

Well anything by the three bands we mentioned earlier ranks highest, but aside from that some other favourites include Biffy Clyro's "The Vertigo of Bliss", Bloc Party's "Silent Alarm" and Death Cab For Cutie's "Transatlanticism".

5. What do you think about the Coventry/Leamington music scene at the moment?

Leamington has promise for the future with The Assembly being built, there's talk of an incredibly big name band to christen it but we'll keep schtum about that. If that supports local acts then suddenly bands in the area will have a platform to get some experience alongside touring bands, which is pretty valuable. Some of us are also involved with Superconnected, a monthly showcase night in Leamington, which we dare say is the best night of live music around at the moment..! We actually avoided Coventry for over a year because every time we'd played there or gone to watch a band the venues were empty, there seemed to be virtually no interest in live music from anyone who wasn't in a band. Fortunately things seem to be healthier now, perhaps because of a couple of bands have received national press, or maybe because it's the summer and everyone's feeling optimistic. Music scenes tend to wax and wane fairly regularly, and Coventry's is moving towards a high point at the moment.

6. What has been your favourite gig venue?

Locally it would be The Colosseum or The Jug and Jester. The best thing about the Colly is that they're not afraid to crank the sound system for local acts, so everyone there ends up sounding gut wrenchingly loud, which of course is better.

7. Did you see Cov's "Kombat Breakers" on TV's "Britain's Got Talent" - if so, have they got talent?

We don't actually have a TV in the house, but we'd guess that the title of the show is meant to be ironic?

8. There has been talk of a Hollywood style "Stars of Coventry" in Priory Place - What one person would you put there first?

Philip Larkin. This guy was a champion cynic: "Man hands on misery to man / It deepens like a coastal shelf / Get out as early as you can". Deep-seated pessimism is what drives us on, or at least what drives us violently into the ground.

9. Who would you duet with, if you had the opportunity?

Leslie Feist, no question. She's got the most powerful and expressive voice we've ever heard, she could elevate anything she sang on.

10. What’s the craziest thing that has happened in the band?

In our history we've had monitors fall on drummers and cymbals severing guitar cables all in one night. However our favourite experience so far was a great gig we played in Oxford, where we ended up at a house party. One of us got kissed by a slightly crazy girl who'd just drank vinegar and eventually we had to make our escape headfirst through a window because they'd barricaded the door and wouldn't let us go. I think someone ended up getting thrown out of our car that night too. It was vulgar but strangely life-affirming.

11. Who's your favourite superhero?

It'd have to be Burnt Face Man. Google him... (I did and got distracted watching Episode 2! Visit: to see what is so funny!)

12. If you could turn back time, What one thing would you change?

We would go back four days and build a makeshift ark for all our equipment.

13. Where would you like to be in a years time?

A little farther? Over the years we've been in bands where the line up's changed and we've had to start from scratch, which is refreshing but ultimately a frustrating process. This summer will be the first time we've had the same four guys for over a year. Next year it'd be a good start if we can maintain the status quo and see what we can build on it, we'll take any other developments as they come.

14. Give us your ‘Tip of the Year

There's a band called Godwits from Newbury, they play an energised, urgent breed of folk-tinged bittersweet songs about civil wars, heartbreak and death, wonderfully bleak lyrics too. They're our favourite band around at the moment, we're bringing them to Leamington for Superconnected on the 6th July, it's going to be incredible. Check them out at - if we controlled national playlists we'd give everyone an hourly dose; they could and should be onto big things soon.

15. What plans lie ahead for the band?

Getting some fresh recordings down and pushing ourselves forward musically. We've written over fifty songs in the past year but finished very few of them as we're always trying to improve the music we've already got! We just invested in some colourful electronics that should form part of a new stage setup we dreamt up a few weeks ago. Every few months we try and change how the band works to keep things fresh; we're dabbling in some electronic beats, guitar loops and vocal layering at the moment. We'll see where that leads us, it's all sounding surprisingly poppy so far.

Coming Up:


23rd - The Colosseum, COVENTRY

24th - Evolve, LEAMINGTON (retro set)

24th - Lockstock, LEAMINGTON (sexy set)

28th - Hope and Anchor, COVENTRY (acoustic)


5th - Walkabout, READING

6th - Superconnected, LEAMINGTON

9th - The Vic, DERBY 12th - The Cellar, OXFORD

13th - Godiva Festival, COVENTRY


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Official Website -

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1 comment:

  1. lol what a nice way of celebrating their end of exams, just after 1 year of getting together they've started to progress as a band, that's pretty cool.


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