About + Bio
“A completely refreshing and encouraging type of ridiculous” – Fatea Magazine
Seas of Mirth have been stamping their own mark on modern music for the last decade, mixing up styles and song structures while also being known for their nautical and, perhaps, not-so-serious twist. This has proudly remained the case. However, the band have taken their sound to a new level on their third full-length album. Recorded at London’s Total Refreshment Centre by producer Kristian Craig Robinson (known for his work with The Comet Is Coming, Flamingods, Alabaster dePlume) Sub Marine Dreams is a deep-ocean inspired odyssey and various sub marine themes lurk within each of the ten linked tracks.
The nine-strong ensemble and extensive instrument checklist remains intact. Xylophone, bouzouki, clav organ, accordion, and theremin are all present (to name a few), joined by a shoal of effects and watery samples. The sonic span widens into areas of psyche, dark funk, jazz, disco, ambient, latin and chime-pop – a far cry away from the galleonic jigs that made up their 2016 outing Hark! The Headland Approacheth.
The band are taking their most ambitious 45 minutes of song craft on tour in 2020. Live, there is a huge emphasis to bring the tunes to life in an enthralling sensory experience made possible with big luminous sea creature props emerging through the course of the set, and a good old-fashioned tug-of-war to boot. Seas Of Mirth have played at some of the UK’s biggest festivals and have enjoyed many tours in the UK and Europe.
Seas of Mirth started to emerge out of maritime-based songwriting and rum guzzling which occured in the late noughties between Cannonball Paul and Al Judders. Lots of stupidity ensued, TVs were thrown out of windows, the sound of a pump organ summoned the onslaught of earthquakes and surely after – the band was born. After playing a few gigs in the corners of pubs, caves, house parties and the like, people somehow started to appreciate the in-yer-face erratic nature of Seas of Mirth’s live show. Older sets used to include the songs ‘She’s In Love With A Man With A Hook For a Hand’ – a waltzy love number that progressed into primal chanting, and ‘The Ghost of Tom Jones’ where usually an audience member would berate the crowd dressed in a white bed sheet covered in knickers, and a Tom Jones mask. Early days indeed.
We went on a pilgrimage to Edinburgh Festival those years and honed down the act to some extent, did some street performances and bellowed rather loudly. We got to play with Doc Brown, Richard Herring and Isy Suttie (Dobby from Peep Show), who let us borrow her medieval looking guitar for a gig – well good! …although it refused to stay in tune. We recorded our first release Post-Nautical Anti-Shanties in 2010 at Snug Studios in Derby. The lineup was vox, guitar, violin, accordion, pump organ, bass and djembe. You can listen to the 3 track EP here:
Although we were starting to play at prestigious venues such as Wilton’s Music Hall and London’s SE1 club, we were still blagging it a bit. But it wasn’t too long before we started playing as a full band (yeah, with drums and everything). It happened when we were booked for a gig at Falmouth FXU Students Union. We were struggling to find any decent transport to get us there. A friend of our mandolin player offered to drive us down in his van, on the condition that he played drums. It was a late call, and he had no rehearsals whatsoe’er. Fortunately he pulled it out of the bag and smashed a 45 minutes set in front of a thousand screaming freshers. Good job, otherwise we would have died on our arses.
The band developed more, and by now we had our extended family of members up to the twenties. Although there was 9 in the core ensemble… Cannonball, Judders, Zorba, Mindy & Shitluck, Mantits (now known as Glen Fingle) Mackerel Boy, Rear Admiral, and Sharkey on the Drums. By 2011 we started introducing the tug of war to the live show – damn knows how many injuries have been caused, but it’s the giggles that matters. Perhaps people have found love over a tug of war team-mate or opponent. Who knows… That was the same year we summoned the beast of the giant crab. I remember the gig, it was Headstock Festival (RIP) and most of the band had no idea that the actual crustacean existed in real life. And the dispute still hasn’t been settled between it and our Rear Admiral! Here’s a snap of that gig…
Interesting fact: the girl who made the crab outfit is the daughter of the guy who played Zippy from Rainbow.
We were finishing the writing of our first album that year as well, which we ended up recording at Phil Booth’s JT Soar Studio in Nottingham. Lots of all-night debauchery essentially shaped the sound, and we started to leak a couple of the tracks the next year until it was released at the tail end of 2012. Septopus! was the name of the album (due to the artist failing to draw all 8 legs) and you can listen here:
By then we started to get a proper festival band reputation. 2012 was our first year at Boomtown, which we’ve been at every year since! Then the following year we debuted at Beat Herder, Secret Garden Party, Bearded Theory and Alchemy. Also in 2013 we did our first European stint in Holland and Belgium. A videographic account of that tour can be viewed here:
Writing continued, dreads were cut off, wigs were lost, retro organs were bought, drummers changed, and we took a break at the end of that year to pen down the second album. It’s difficult to write when there’s nine of you, it’s essentially like writing for an orchestra. So it didn’t end up getting completely written for ages. Nevertheless, the gigs kept flowin’ and the oars kept rowin’. 2014 was our first time at Glastonbury, we played the Shangri-La Hell stage on a wet afternoon, to more than 20 people. Which for those conditions, is not too shabby! We returned to Europe that year too, playing a bit further afield this time and plundered Germany for the booty and wonderful grogs. Highlights were playing on the uninhabited island of Helgoland Dune, and getting a shoutout on national German radio!
We recorded the new album at JT Soar as well. We put out an EP with one of the tracks from the album as the lead track, on our new label I’m Not From London. You can watch the vid here:
We had a lot of fun filming it as you can imagine. Glen Fingle has joined the band again since changing his name and ditching the cringeful crooning. Good move, Glen. Listen to the EP here…
And so, the second album arrived! Here’s the artwork by Stuart Faulkner, and a link to the stream too…
Press reactions were good…
“It’s a trip and a blast from beginning to end. Bellowhead is so last year darling, the new gods are here”
– Spiral Earth Magazine
“An extremely refreshing and encouraging type of ridiculous” – Fatea Magazine
“A swag bag full of party” – Leftlion Magazine
“Great fun… irrepressible, with lots of good tunes and musicianship” – R2 (Rock ‘n’ Reel)
“A record that’s unquestionably daft, but also exquisitely crafted, varied, and at times beautiful – For The Rabbits
“A crazed yet fascinating and contagious romp from start to finish from a wildly unique and inventive bunch” – Slap
Touring continued and built up, in UK and Europe. Personnel shuffled a bit. Some members had babies. Shows were insanely good, including the Maui Waui stage at Bearded Theory, a packed out Hootananny in London, and a strangely immense party on squatted land in the centre of Utrecht on a Monday night. All the while we were thinking – what’s next? How long is this going to be happening for? Are we going to be doing this galleon rock forever? Al and Paul had a conversation. Man to man. Eye to eye…
The game needed to be changed. With a healthy obsession of the deep ocean, writing started and within a year, there were ten new tunes, all with a subtle nod to the twilight zone and sub-surface oceanic content. We couldn’t stop wriggling with excitement, as Sub Marine Dreams had emerged as a creature. Although there was more work than ever in the compositional and lyrical process, the studio hours were much less than that of Hark!… ‘The Seas Of Faff’ were no more, essentially. Heading between Nottingham and London over three weekends, the recording process was smashed between spring and summer of 2019, and the record was released just before Christmas, thanks to a £2k crowdfunder raised in three weeks. Inspired by the underwater glow puppets that aided a lot of their festival appearances that year, the new sound instantly went down ridiculously well.
Press have been enjoying it so far too…
“The perfect antidote to overindulgent chart music… it’s only if you tune into the lyrics that you realise the subtle and beautiful ridiculousness of it all” – Leftlion Magazine
“It is still recognisable as Seas of Mirth but shows how the band has developed and grown over the last few years. There is something on this album for everyone” – Fatea Magazine
“A multi-tentacled beautiful beast of an album” – Spiral Earth (5 star!)
…and so the journey continues. We’ll close on a big up for our fans. If it wasn’t for the fans who do crazy shiz and make us piss our pants in laughter at the shows, this wouldn’t be happening and we wouldn’t be doing this and I wouldn’t be writing this bio. Respect!
If you’ve managed to read all this, then double quadruple respect!