An Interview with Jo D’Arc

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THE MUMBLE :  Hi, Jo so we’re all raking our first tentative steps into 2017 – but 2016 was a year to remember for the Twistettes, what were your highlights
JO : It really was a whirlwind. Early in the year we played a sold out gig at the Glasgow Barrowlands Ballroom as part of a collective of local acts who put the gig together under the yellow movement banner. This was a totally DIY effort. It was amazing to be part of this…and to play the Barrowlands. Epic night!

We released our album a few weeks after this. This was really hard work but so worth it. We had lots of help from various people in the local scene including DIY label Traffic Cone Records who we released the album with. The fantastic local Glasgow artist Rebecca Scott did the artwork and local producer Robbie Gunn (aka Sundogs) engineered and produced the tunes. We were really lucky to be able to work with all these brilliant people and wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. The launch gig has to be one of the most memorable for sure. The crowd were amazing! The super talented Martin Windebank captured some of this in the video for ‘Is This It’ which has just been released.

We were really busy gigging for the rest of the year. This included playing a bunch of festivals including Knochengorrach World Ceilidh, Kelburn Garden Party, Audio Soup, Mugstock and Lindisfarne…we love festival season so it was amazing to be invited to perform at these events!

THE MUMBLE :   So when did you decide and what were the circumstances behind the idea of doing a tour of England
JO : We’ve steadily been building a fan base outside of Scotland. We got some great reviews for the album from across the UK and there was an increasing demand for us to hit the road so it made sense to look at some dates outside Scotland. We’re totally up for some adventures anyway so it works out well!

THE MUMBLE :   How did you find organising it.
JO : It’s been a pain in the neck to be honest! It’s really tough trying to pull it together so that the dates and locations are co-ordinated. We’ve been offered lots of good opportunities that we had to pass on due to logistics. Also, it’s a bit frustrating as we would love to go everywhere but time and money don’t allow it so we’ve had to be selective. It’s a shame when folks in an area want to see you but you can’t make it there. Hopefully we can catch some of these locations next time though. Big respect to people who book tours for a job…they must have computer brains haha. I suppose a lot of it is about contacts though. We’ve been lucky that lots of people have been really helpful…hooking us up with promoters and venues. This made it infinitely easier so many thanks to anyone who lent a hand.

THE MUMBLE : So where will you be playing & what will be the logistics on tour – will you be sleeping in a van, hotels, couch-surfing?
JO : These are the tour dates:

23rd March – Sound , LIVERPOOL
24th March – Fuel, MANCHESTER
25th March – The Fulford Arms, YORK
8th April – Conroys Basement , DUNDEE
14th April – Bar Loco , NEWCASTLE
28th April – O` Neills, ABERDEEN
29th April – Banshees, EDINBURGH
30th April – The Green Door Store, BRIGHTON
5th May – McChuill`s , GLASGOW
27th May – Knockengorroch Festival, DUMFRIES
24th June – La Belle Angel , EDINBURGH

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Accommodation wise…bit of all the above! Some of the promoters have offered us a place to crash which is ace. We will be in the van a couple of nights though…unless we have a good night on the merch, then we can treat ourselves, hehe!

THE MUMBLE :  What does Jo D’Arc get up to when she’s not a Twistette
JO : Well, as you know, I’ m also in the Girobabies. I also do acoustic gigs and write a bunch of varied music including electronic tunes. I’ve done a few remixes and have been known to do some DJ’ing as well. I don’t DJ regularly anymore but love a mix from time to time.
I also do community work for my day job so always really busy!

THE MUMBLE :  I see you’ll be Djing in Arran on the 20th May, what kind of set will the punters expect
JO : Yep…not sure yet!! I used to DJ techno but maybe do some more party type tunes. I’ve done a few sets where all the music is by female artists/performers which I like the idea of…will maybe do something like that.

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THE MUMBLE :  You write some cracking original tunes, what compels you to compose
JO : I just love playing and writing music. It’s not something that I think about really…I just need to do it and have done since I was pretty young. It’s just part of being me. It’s good to have a few avenues to go down creatively as well. I’ve got a really short attention span so it helps to be able to flit about between guitar, bass, computer, etc.

THE MUMBLE :   The Twistettes are a family affair – how does playing alongside your sister feel
JO : It’s great. We get on really well and know each other so well both personally and musically that it’s really easy to work together. We’ve been in bands with other loads of other people in the past which has always been great as well but there’s something really productive and enjoyable about what we are doing now.

THE MUMBLE :  After your Spring tour with the Twistettes, how is the summer looking
JO : We’re still booking summer dates but will likely be doing a few festivals…just not confirmed which ones yet apart from Knochengorroch. We are planning a ‘Twistettes Twisted Tea Party’ at La Belle Angele in Edinburgh on 24th June which will include a female heavy line-up of musicians, poets, artist and more. We are also hoping to do one of these in Glasgow towards the end of the summer.

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