Normanton Street – Interview

Published On July 26, 2014 | By Tom Sayer | Music & Nightlife Features

Last weekend I had a cuppa with Ned Archibong, Nicholson Davids and Bukky Fehintola, the Bradford trio who make up half of Normanton Street to discuss why they love Brighton, how they’re makin’ Moves and their upcoming Valentine’s Day gig at Green Door store.


So tell me what was it like growing up in Bradford and how does the music scene there compare to Brighton?

N.A: There wasn’t much of a live ‘band’ scene in Bradford. The music there was all electronic – not necessarily electronica, but like DJs and the club scene. I was into the Grime scene, like early Dizzee Rascal and people like that. There was a big scene of dance music though and some subgenres started up north, like Bassline.

N.D: The Brighton scene has a lot more bands. To be overly general, if you showed up at a gig in Bradford with a guitar people thought you were a bit weird or were at least surprised by it. If you wanted to go to see bands you had to go to bigger cities.

What is your favourite part of living in Brighton?

N.A: I just like being able to walk around everywhere. And the buses are great here. Gotta shout out to the buses.

N.D: It’s a good size city. Like it’s quite small but it feels quite dense, with a lot going on but you don’t have to go too far to get away from it all.

B.F: I think there is a good fun to effort ratio here. It’s pretty easy to have a good time.

N.A: Yeah, like when we used to want to go to a gig back home, you’d have to go to Leeds or somewhere like that, which meant trains and buses and walking. From the town centre you can walk everywhere in Brighton.

You’ve had a few events on at Green Door Store. What keeps you coming back?

We first played there when we moved to Brighton as a lady we were working with knew the people there. The location is great, right next to the station. It’s got a great atmosphere because of its size too. Yeah and it’s got good equipment, it’s really popular there so you know you’ll get a good turnout, the projector on the wall behind the stage is great too. Also they put on a lot of free entry shows which are something we really support.

Who are you guys listening to at the moment? Any hot picks for 2014?

N.A: Frankie Stew. We recorded a couple of tracks with him on our Moves EP. He’s really talented. Also Ego Ella May and Time For T.

B.F: I like a lebel called Soulection. It’s like future soul music!

N.D: Tom and Laura Misch. And also some old Chet Baker, like the Kind of Blue album.

Ned, your lyrics have a very clear narrative style. Were you into reading much when you were younger of did you just pick up things as you grew up?

I wasn’t much into English at school. I preferred maths. I used to listen to a lot of aggressive rap. Then when I was at university I read a lot more. Most of the songs are just written about things that happened though.

Your new EP, Phoebe Freya (named after their new singer) is available to buy online for just £1! What was the thinking behind this price tag? Are you just trying to get the music out there?

N.D I think when you create something you always think that it’s worth say £100. But then you have to think what people will pay for it when they haven’t heard you play much and don’t know you. The price is actually a minimum of £1, with physical copies that we sell at gigs for £3 to cover costs. It’s interesting to see how much people are willing to pay for our music.

N.A The EP didn’t cost us that much to make because we recorded it in our house in Nick’s home studio. This meant that it was a relaxed process without the “time is money” mantra floating around getting in the way all the time. We’re really happy with the EP and think it’s our best sounding yet. We just want to get as many people as we can to hear it and don’t want money to be an issue. I mean everyone can afford a pound!

If you could perform with any musician dead or alive, who would it be?

N.A: Ooh that’s a tough one! Either Notorious B.I.G or Cleo Laine, though she’d probably not want to play with me!

N.D: Wu-Tang Clan. Or anyone produced by Rza really.

B.F: Justin Beiber. I love his new stuff.

Finally, why should people come to your Valentine’s Day gig and what can they expect?

We have some new songs which we have been working on for the new show. There’s gonna be mad visuals on the projector and the sexy sax is back for our first big gig in a while. Whether you’re with someone or not, Valentine’s is still a date to remember so we want to honour that and put on a great show for everyone! We’ve got a fantastic line up with Fifi Rong coming down from London for the show, and local artists Luke Fincher and Ed Sansom. We’re really looking forward to it and you should be too. It’s free as well so come on down and join us for a great night.

Check out Normaton Street’s fantastic new EP, Phoebe Freya here and catch them live before they explode: this band’s smooth blend of soul and hip hop goes down better than a cold pint after a long day so loosen up and make some moves!


About The Writer

Tom Sayer is a Music and Creative Writing graduate from Bangor University, born and raised in Hove. After completing an MA in Composition for Film he returned to his hometown and dived back into the local music scene, seeking out the best and freshest music to write about for welovebrighton. Tom's musical interests range from Acoustic and Indie to Film Music and Jazz and he hopes to one day write for a music magazine, so feel free to send in your job offers!