20 Questions with… West on Colfax

So following up on my review of the great debut – Barfly Flew By – I wanted to know a bit more about this fantastic new band.

Thankfully they agreed to answer 20 Questions – and this time the whole band did it so you get 5 for the price of 1 –

Over to you Colfax lads:

  1. Who are you?

       Alan, Ian, Mike, Pete and Scott

  1. Where are you from?

      Alan : Blackpool via Dumbarton,Scotland

      Ian : Wigan

     Mike: North Wales

     Pete: South Manchester, now live in Westhoughton

     Scott: Manchester now near Clitheroe

  1. What do you do in the band?

A: Lead  Vocals, Guitar

I: Banjo, Mandolin, Keyboards and Vocals

M: Drums

P: Lead Guitar and Vocals

S: Bass

  1. Who else is in the band? What do they do?

See above!

  1. When did you form?  Whats the history of the band?

       A: Scott and I first met when I answered an Ad for an Americana covers band looking for a vocalist back in 2016, it was pretty casual but I thought we had something so Scott and I suggested we have a go at writing our own stuff and take it a bit more seriously. We’ve had a few line up changes since then, Pete came along in 2018, then Mike and most recently Ian.

  1. Describe your sound? What is americana for those that don’t know?

Sunshine Americana /Melancholic Power Pop. Americana is definitely a very “loose” term and you’ll get a different answer depending on who you ask but I’ll have a go – I think it’s any style of music where you can draw a line directly back to traditional American music: Country, Blues, Roots etc. For example, it’s not traditional Country but it’s influenced by Country music. For us we belong to the strand first started by The Byrds, then REM/Green on Red/Long Ryders then Rain Parade then Wilco/Richmond Fontaine

  1. Who are your favourite bands/artists/influences?

       A: Bob Dylan, Wilco, Felice Brothers, Radiohead

       I: Steve Earle, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Waterboys and some old prog I’d probably best keep quiet about

      M: Phil Collins, Smashing Pumpkins, Eric Clapton

      P: Whiskeytown, lots of Americana, old country, Wilco, Sunflower Bean, Verve, John Martyn, Bert Jansch, Aphex Twin stuff, Love, Byrds, Stones etc.

       S: Richmond Fontaine, Delines, Wilco, Son Volt, Peter Bruntnell, Tortoise, Nick Drake, Townes van Zandt 

  1. What’s your favourite record?

A: At the moment it’s the new Bob Dylan LP, by next week it’ll probably be something else

I: Not sure I could just pick one

M: In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins

P: The one I’ve listened to regularly every year since it came out in 1993 is A Storm In Heaven.

       S: TNT by Tortoise (most played) currently Savage Pilgrims – Matt Hill & The Scenic Route – Dropkick and cant seem to stop playing King of Madrid by Peter Bruntnell

  1. Beer, Wine or Spirits?

A: Beer, I don’t get on well with Wine and Spirits

I: Yes

M: Beer

P: Beer in pub, wine at home, spirits occasionally

S: Gin

  1. Best night out?

A: Beer, good company and a live band

I: A gig and stay over for a few drinks

M: With wife on way back from private party, snuck into a french bistro in Preston

P: With old mates in Manchester

S: All Tomorrow Parties 2000 (went to a few) Super Furries, Stereolab, High Lamas all on one night

  1. Curry or Fish n Chips?

A: Curry

I: Curry

M: Fish and Chips

P: Fish and chips by the sea. Curry at home.

S: Fish n Chips – plenty of vinegar please

  1. Hopes for 2020/21?

A: I firmly believe that the vast majority of people are good people, but the last couple of years and recent events in particular, have really tested that belief. I hope that 2021 somehow restores my faith in humanity. Also, plenty of gigs and the next album to be the best album we can make!

I: Plenty of good gigs and maybe a new instrument or two

M: Plenty of good gigs

P: More songs, more good people to meet, health and happiness.

S: A vaccine for CV19, a new lp for us and get back to gigging

  1. Favourite biscuit?

A: KitKat

I: Ginger Nut

M: Malted Milk (the cow biscuit)

P: Don’t really eat biscuits

S: Orange Club

  1. Favourite TV Show?

        A: The Office (US), True Detective

         I: Later with Jools Holland

        M: The Simpsons

         P: Stranger Things, Mindhunter, Gogglebox

         S:The Wire, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fleabag

  1. Red or brown sauce?

         A: I’m alright, thanks

         I: Brown

         M: Red

          P: Brown

         S: Brown

  1. How can I get to hear you?

        Go to westoncolfax.bandcamp.com to buy dl/cd or stream from any major provider

  1. Favourite new band?

A: Orville Peck and, not new but new to me, Jenny Lewis

I: Winter Mountain

P: Sunflower Bean – not new as such but need more exposure. And Elephant Tree.

S: Futurebirds, Erin Rae, Dropkick

  1. Is there an Americana scene in the UK?

        Yes a healthy one. There’s quite a few big Americana festivals around the UK every summer, The AMA UK do a lot of good work promoting the scene and also sponsor artists to attend Americana Fest in Nashville every year. Read Americana UK blog for lots of great reviews of all the bands new and old. There are lots of radio shows: Mike Ritchie, The Garden Party, Russ Broadbent, Wireless Warbles, Standing in the Shadows of Lev, Americanaville,  Mystery Train with Alex Hutchinson, Richard Leader, Radio Troubadour, Iain Anderson, Charles Christian, Radio Wigwam and more that have supported West on Colfax

  1. What do the Americans think of it? Have they heard you?

       We have been constantly playlisted on RadioFreeAmericana, Hanks Americana Show, Lonely Oak, Good Music Radio – and we have had people from the States buying our music. Not only USA but Australia, Europe, Japan too

  1. Wheres the names from?

      It’s from The Delines lp Colfax, Colfax Avenue is a recurring location in the songs and books of Willy Vlautin – it also gets a mention in On The Road by Jack Kerouac.

So there you have it – everything you need to know. Thanks to the lads for their time and effort. Some great bands and artists mentioned as well so make sure you check them out.

I encourage you to check out their album – you won’t be disappointed as its a masterclass in great song writing.

Any comments welcome



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