A new Crazy P album means Danielle Moore has to talk to journos about it. She talked to me about skewed media perceptions, club culture shifts and glitter. The record gets mentioned briefly.
There’s an element of thought but we’ll never let it overshadow the creative process,” says Danielle Moore, vocalist of the electronic music group Crazy P. We’re chatting about how the act write music and if they have to approach songs differently if they want to play them live.
Moore is in high spirits, her voice buoyant over the hum of traffic. “It’s a positive dilemma but ultimately you know you’re somewhere between having to write music that you hope people will play out and music you can play live. I’d say we tend to lean towards the latter but we’d never not work on music that we were all into. When we’re putting an album together and we’ve got 10 or 11 tracks on there we have to be aware that we’re expected to play most of them live because ultimately that’s what keeps you going.”
Crazy P started life back in 1995 with just Chris Todd and James Baron at the helm of the Crazy Penis project. Moore, Tim Davies and Mav Kendricks joined in time for the band’s second album The Wicked is Music which was released in 2002. Matt Klose came on boardd as Kendricks replacement and in 2008 Crazy Penis was given the snip to Crazy P, with Moore citing growth as the reason for the name change.
Moore met Todd and Baron in Manchester in ’99. She lived in a shared house that was a mecca for those seeking after-hour parties. A DJ at the time, Moore’s bedroom, with her decks and records, quickly became the focal point of many nights. “I was singing some top-whack Shirley Bassey impressions after Electric Chair one night when Jim and Chris came in and saw me holding court,” Moore laughs, “they asked me to audition. We came together by chance.”
When Crazy P signed to Paper Recording for the 1st and 2nd albums there were a lot of smaller, indie labels about that relied solely on vinyl sales. With the demise of the vinyl industry many record labels like that had to call it a day. “These days money comes from gigs,” Moore admits, “it can be DJ gigs, soundsystem gigs or full live shows but that’s where we earn our money from week to week. Times have changed.”
A quick dig around on Facebook tells me Crazy P have recently been to Kiev and Moore is quick to recount the city’s wonder. “The media paints a picture of the Ukraine but we didn’t see the problems. In Kiev there is no visible unrest, it’s a very beautiful city,” she tells me. “The people are very humble and very proud of what they’ve worked for. Everyone knows a hell of a lot about their history. I’d like to say I knew more about ours but I’d like to know more.”
“When you have everything at your call and you don’t necessarily have to strive for things we take for granted. We can go to the supermarket and food is readily available. We haven’t seen revolutions or uprisings. I felt quite embarrassed realising I don’t really know much. We’ve been fortunate enough to see some really interesting places. Columbia was a beautiful, varied country. I wish I’d had more time there than the usual hotel, airport, venue staple. The media bills Columbia as something very different to what it is.”
Crazy P’s latest record Walk Dance Talk Sing is an absolute belter, which I relay to Moore. She’s thankful for the praise and tells me it was a fun album to make and certainly carries influences picked up from their travels. “You’re affected by all your experiences in life. They give you an energy to get back into the studio. We’ve had a fallow period, we haven’t gigged much. When you’re getting ready to release an album you take your foot off the gas a bit.” I think she’s aware her statement could be misinterpreted as she jumps back in. “We’re absolutely gagging for the tour. We couldn’t be more hungry to do it. It’s the main reason I do it; getting on the road together having a laugh. It’s about more than music, it’s about looking after each other, staying up, sending each other to bed for an early night. When you step onto the stage you run the risk of people not liking it so you have to give it everything. You want people who’ve bought a ticket to see you walking away saying ‘that was brilliant, they gave it their all.’”
Festivals are a constant on the band’s calendar, with this year being no exception. Dates are already headed up for Love Saves The Day, Parklife and The Garden Festival in Croatia as well as a gig in Grand Canaria. Moore tells me that while the band loves the immersive nature of festivals which allows them to play fans for a while they can’t wait to hit the road on their own tour. “To be honest though, the festivals are a given, we adore them but I think it’s the smaller gigs I’m really looking forward to. As a live band, I think it must be six years since we played Sheffield. We’re really revved up for the tour and giving it some at those little venues.”
Moore is keen to talk about the shift in club culture when I raise the question, and she levels blame at social media and cheap booze, pointing out you can usually tempt a friend to your house with a quick text and the promise of four cans of lager. “There isn’t a need to go out as much anymore,” she says, “I love youth culture but I’m pleased I grew up in the time I did. It feels like there was less money knocking about and you really did strive to save to have a night out. If you said you were going to be somewhere you were. You couldn’t send a text message and back out at the last minute. I’ve got friends from their mid-20’s to my age and I do adore all of them and their cultures. It’s hard to talk about it without sounding like an old fogy but there’s an element of raw energy and loyalty that’s disappeared. I don’t think people were as affected by fashion. If you went out, you wore clothes to sweat in, you didn’t get covered in glitter. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great movement, but I do think we’ve seen a rise in personal egos compared to the dance floor ethic of my day. You danced solid for five hours, laughed your head off, went to an afterparty and gave it your all.”
Crazy P are playing Queens Social Club on May 30th, it’s gonna be sweaty. You in?
By Sam Briggs