Page last updated at 06:46 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

BBC Sound of 2010: Delphic


Delphic show us around and discuss their past, present and future

Manchester trio Delphic, who mix indie guitars and euphoric electronica, have come third on the BBC's Sound of 2010 music list.

The list, compiled using tips from 165 critics, bloggers and broadcasters, aims to highlight the most exciting emerging artists. We are revealing one artist from the top five every day until Friday, when the winner will be announced.

When you ask Delphic about who they are, they prefer to tell you who they are not.

They are not, they say, a bog standard indie band of the sort that was in plentiful supply when they formed in 2007. They are not one of the many electro acts that, they feel, caused dance music to lose its soul. And they are definitely not one of those groups still desperately clinging to the Madchester glory days.

Delphic on 6 Music

They are, they hope, the antidote to all of those things.

They are the sound of New Order embracing ambient techno, or Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant spending too much time at raves.

Their hypnotic songs are driven by pulsating beats and frontman James Cook's infectious hooks and their motto is: "The guitar is dead, long live the guitar."

"We wanted to be the anti-Liam Gallaghers," explains the band's Rick Boardman. Although - like the Oasis brothers - they have been known to have punch-ups, mainly as a result of sharing a flat as well as a tour bus.

If I opened the front door of the Delphic flat, what would I find?

Rick Boardman: It's very orderly and very organised. We're quite neat and tidy and like to be organised in the way we write. But it would be chaotic in a different kind of way.

I think we've got 15 synthesisers or keyboards in the flat. You go in the corridor, take the first right and there's a piano, a harmonium and an old organ. Two of which we've nicked. One from the back of a church and one from a flat over the road.

Watch Delphic perform Doubt on BBC Two's Later... with Jools Holland

You nicked something from a church?

No, no, it was outside - it was just kind of being thrown away. It was this old tatty harmonium, like a pump organ. It wasn't being used so we thought we'd have it.

Then you go upstairs and we've got a little studio full of synthesisers. It's organised chaos.

Do you often have rows?

Oh yeah - nightmare rows. I gave James a black eye last year. We're not usually a violent bunch but it got to the point where I just had to punch him in the face.

What was it about?

He'd kill me if I said. We fight quite a lot. But I think creative things can be born out of huge disagreements, with all the tension and release. You're constantly pushing each other. That's what happens when you're so close. We spend every day together on tour and then we come home and live together.

What's your first musical memory?

This is going to sound really cool, as if I've made it up, and the rest of the band hate me for this, but I have very cool parents. My first musical memory was getting a little Casio keyboard and playing The Model by Kraftwerk on it. That was the first thing I learnt.

What came first - were you indie kids who went to a rave or ravers who picked up guitars?

We all started out as indie kids when we were a lot younger. We used to listen to Doves and Radiohead but we also used to listen to the Chemical Brothers.

Manchester was in danger of drowning under its heritage - we wanted to help it look forward and were sick of the Madchester stereotypes
Rick Boardman

How do you know each other?

We'd all been in boring trad indie bands, not really getting anywhere. And then one night we got talking in this bar and were saying: "Aren't you just tired of all this sub-Oasis mush? Let's do something about it." We all realised we were into the same kind of music.

We thought, if we want to write something new and exciting, we've got to throw ourselves into an uncomfortable situation. So within a day or two, we all went off to a cottage in the Lake District, took a few instruments and went and wrote half the debut album.

Is it hard to do something new in indie or dance these days?

Every kind of new movement has been some sort of rebellion, or been defined by some new invention in technology. So where do you go?

It is quite scary, but there are so many different genres and styles out there that you can get really interesting things from combining things that haven't been done before.

Who are your three musical heroes?

They're all people who've had big careers and made albums. It may be a reaction to the iPod generation but we wanted to make an album where people have to sit down and listen to it for 50 minutes, so track eight makes sense being track eight.

So people like David Bowie - there's always a strong concept behind every one of his records and there's always a development. Bjork, and then I don't know whether to choose Kraftwerk or Radiohead.

How much does Manchester influence your music?

We're very proud of Manchester but we were inspired by what we didn't like in Manchester, and that was Manchester refusing to move on. We felt it was in danger of drowning under its heritage. We wanted to help it look forward and were sick of the Madchester stereotypes.

Our album's got this euphoria mixed with a real Manchester melancholy, and I think that's something that does run through quite a lot of bands, from Joy Division to The Smiths and Elbow. There's always this post-industrial sadness. I guess everyone's just waiting for the sun to come out.

Delphic were speaking to the BBC News music reporter Ian Youngs.

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