Interview with Sub Doves

Sub Doves are as far as I’m aware Doves first tribute band. They kindly agreed to do a Q&A for Doves Music Blog. They reveal why they started up a Doves tribute band and give us details of their first Manchester gig which will be in July. A big thanks to Sub Doves for their time.

Tell me a little bit about how you guys first met.

Me and Phil have known each other for at least 10 years as he is one of my best mate’s son’s friend. Ant is Phil’s mate and finding Craig was the biggest stroke of luck as he is amazing on keys and sound tech.


What other bands have you guys played in past or present?

Craig: too many to name! My most regular gig is with popular Merseyside 6-piece folk-rock band Jessica’s Ghost, but I work with various singer-songwriters and bands in a session capacity too.

Phil: I have played in The Watershed since I was about 16 and play additional guitars for another local band as a session musician.

Ant:   The watershed that is an Indie band based in Warrington

Pete:   Sound Garden, Three Imaginary Boys, Undone and other covers bands


Why Doves?

Craig: I’ve spent the last few years playing an awful lot of funk and soul, and I’ve always been into the Manchester indie scene since primary school age, so when the opportunity arose to get involved with something different like this, I couldn’t really turn it down. It’s allowing me to put my tech gear to good use again; there’s only so much programming and synthy magic you can include on 70s funk!

Phil: it was Pete who first suggested the idea to me, and I was interested from the start as I am a fan of Doves and enjoy listening to and playing there music.

Ant: They are a fantastic band with equally fantastic songs which are brilliant to play

Pete : Doves are my favourite band and I miss the terribly, what better way than to feel contacted with them than by playing their music and if we can bring a smile or two the fans whilst we are enjoying ourselves, what more could you ask for?


Have any of you met Doves?

Pete:  I am sure I would have rubbed shoulders with the guys at the Hacienda as I was a regular their when they were. I live in hope of meeting them one day!


How are you deciding on which tracks to play?

Using the best of compilation, set list analysis from web sites and feedback from Doves forum members.


Is it challenging to play Doves music live? If so what has been the biggest challenge so far?

Craig: Compared to a lot of the music I play, Doves is relatively simple. The trickiest aspect has been working out how we’re going to emulate the Doves sound live, and then making the tracks sound as authentic as possible using the gear and computing at my disposal. I’ve spent a lot of hours in my studio coming up with inventive ways to make this work, layering sounds, sampling, and twiddling lots of knobs and dials!

Phil : Yes it is quite challenging, due mainly to the layering of samples but Craig is a very accomplished sound tech so luckily it’s his forte, as a guitarist it is reasonable simple but very enjoyable music to play.

Pete: Trying to emulate Jimmy’s voice is quite challenging as he has such a unique voice and technique. That and learning bass at the same time, as I have always previously played lead and rhythm guitar in previous bands.


What are your favourite Doves tracks?

Craig: Here It Comes and There Goes the Fear

Phil: They’re all great, but my favourite tracks are Words and Pounding. Words has a great Guitar Riff.

Ant: There goes the fear for the drumming mainly and Kingdom of Rust

Pete:   Difficult one for me, you probably be better asking which ones I don’t like! If I had to pick one at this moment in time it would be Snowden, as it still sends shivers even after all those years of listening to it.

Favourite Doves gigs memories.. For each member if poss.

Ant: Both myself and Phil watched Doves at the Reebok stadium, they were awesome!

Pete:   Watching your favourite band in your home town is always special so Parr Hall in Warrington for me, it was so surreal.


What are you listening to right now?

Craig: mainly my 4 week old son crying!

Ant: Doves Greatest hits

Phil: Doves, a lot lol

Pete: Doves, Doves, Doves and for a bit of variety Arcade Fire


Who are your biggest musical influences besides Doves of course!

Craig: My all time favourite band are Jamiroquai. Most of my influences are the greats of soul, like James Brown and his band members such as Maceo Parker, but are as diverse as Queen, Pulp, Fania All-stars and Debussy.

Ant: The stone roses, Smiths, Radiohead and the Pixies

Phil: I have a lot, but mine would be the smiths and the stone roses probably.

Pete: Joy Division, Stone Roses, New Order and Radiohead


How are the rehearsal sessions coming along?

Craig: they’re running surprisingly smoothly! I live about 45 minutes away from the rest of the lads, so I have to do most of the keys arranging and programming, and some bass, from my own studio. So far though, when I get down to Warrington and it all gets thrown together, everything just fits. It obviously helps that all the lads know the Doves catalogue inside out.

Ant: They are going really well, we have gelled very quickly and it’s extremely enjoyable whilst also being hard work.

Phil: very good, progress has been rapid and we have all been pleasantly surprised at how quickly we have gelled as a band

Pete: If I am being honest it is going really well, it is such a pleasure to be working with top musicians who all love the music we are playing and are enjoying every minute.

Can we expect a Sub Sub track or two in the live set?

We are working on SpaceFace as we all like it and it will showcase Craig’s keyboard skills. Took a while to find the main Space Odyssey sample though! We are also thinking of writing some lyrics for either Crunch or Heads will role and see how that pans out because they are top tunes with some cool rifts


Any memories of Sub Sub/Your favourite Sub Sub track if any!?

Craig : I love the groove on Ain’t No Love; acid jazz has always been a fav of mine, so that’s a great track. Obviously the 70s-esque clavi part on Space Face is made for me too, given my love of ‘da funk’. If anything, the Sub Sub material is even more my cup of tea than the later Doves stuff.

Phil: This time I am not wrong would be my favourite.

Pete:   Lost in watts, love that bass line!


Tell me about your plans for live shows in the near future

We are looking at playing a few warm up gigs in our home town of Warrington, so we can refine the set list, instrument changes, keys arrangements etc. Our first official Sub Doves launch gig is scheduled for Saturday 21st July at the Ruby Lounge in Manchester.  Advance Tickets will be available from our Website via pay pal soon.


Anything you want to add that I did not cover?

Pete: My biggest regret, not being able to see the Doves at the Eden Project and Delamere forest……gutted!


Sub Doves performing Words

Link: Sub Doves website