Homerton band The Dolce Vita 'bring the party' to the Sebright Arms
PUBLISHED: 17:36 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:37 17 November 2017
© Rowan Allen
Michael-James Dent and Chris Jones of Homerton band The Dolce Vita talk about gigging locally and releasing music via cassette, ahead of their show on November 24
Everyone and their uncle are releasing albums on vinyl now. Each year is the “highest vinyl sales in X years” and all techie retailers now sell retro-looking record players. So how do you stay ahead of the curve when we’re all looking backwards?
“Someone said to me ‘the vinyl revival will soon be over, cassette tapes will be next’,” says Chris Jones, vocalist of The Dolce Vita who have released their debut EP on tape. “I’m still waiting for that to happen, but the EP sold out so I suppose a cassette tape is a nice gig souvenir, even if you do not have a tape cassette player.”
The band, who live together in “Fort Dolce” (a house share in Homerton), have only been playing as a quintet since the start of this year and were approached by record label Major Leagues to make their music in this way. Not wasting any time, they put out Brand New Bathroom in August.
“People might think that tapes are a dead format, or a pretty hipster way of releasing music,” says guitar/vocalist Michael-James Dent, “but it’s still a very pure and natural way of getting the tracks out there. The EP is a taster of what we’re about, so it’s a unique little keep sake for people who have enjoyed where we’ve come from.”
The psychedelic new wave five-piece have been friends for years, playing in other groups such as The Death of Pop, YOOFS and Hunck, but came together after Jones and Dent wrote an album in two weeks and “realised that there was something in this”. They sent the music to Angus Rudd (guitar/keys), Richard Dent (bass) and Cameron Black (drums), and recorded at a studio in Manor House.
“I feel that The Dolce Vita is special in that there’s no pressure on us to focus on anything but making music we like and having a good time doing that,” says Dent. “There’s no real pressure and that’s basically a big part of the vibe.”
Living in Hackney, the group are no strangers to playing locally – they’ve frequented The Shacklewell Arms, The Finsbury and The Waiting Room – and have their next gig coming up at the Sebright Arms on November 24.
“We live in a musically vibrant part of town and we are very fortunate to have such a variety of venues hosting acts from all over the world,” says Jones. “At the same time, there is a lot of generic nonsense floating around and I do feel the scene needs a big shake up.”
“As we’ve all been living in London for some time, and playing in bands for even longer, we’ve hit up all the regular spots a number of times,” says Dent. “It’s always good fun to have a drink and play the local hotspots, but we’ve reached a point now where we want to make each Dolce Vita show an occasion rather than just another gig. For the Sebright Arms show, we’re definitely going to bring the party.”
Armed with pina coladas, The Dolce Vita are releasing music to mirror their positive outlook, remembering festivals past, nights out in the summertime and embracing the dolce vita way of life.
“Living the dolce vita is a way of life that majority of Londoners are going through,” says Dent. “Working hard for the bare minimum, but using your life outside of that to take some time for yourself and celebrate the small victories that seemingly pass us by.”
He adds: “It makes more sense in the summer when you can enjoy the sunshine with a ice cold drink, but it’s still a solid lifestyle choice.”
As for Jones? “Now that it’s winter, honestly...? It’s being sat in the lounge in my dressing gown with a big pizza, a few tins of Guinness and a few rounds of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, or that fishing program that Robson Green does.”
The Dolce Vita play at the Sebright Arms off Hackney Road on Friday November 24.