Introducing: Clarence Oddbody

“Born on 4th July 2017, Clarence Oddbody; a no-nonsense rock trio, comprised of guitar, bass, and drums. Taking influences from late 60’s/early 70’s Rock with shades of Ska, Blues, and New Wave. We’re not trying to change the world, we’re just here to Rock!”

All questions answered by Paul Claxton – vocals/guitars

What are the origins of Clarence Oddbody, how long have you been playing together?

Hi. Well, we formed on the 4th of July 2017 under the archway of the district line near Hammersmith. I’m originally from Liverpool and our old bassist was from New York, Tom, our Drummer was the only Londoner. From 2017-2021 we released 5 EPs and have been gigging all round London. Unfortunately, as a result of Covid, Cliff, our old bass player, and his family had to relocate to Switzerland. So in stepped Jasper Osborn – bass player & keyboard player. Jasper already knew the songs as he mastered all 5 EPs for the band and both him and Tom have been in and out of bands together since being teenagers.

The very first rehearsal with Jasper we became a different type of musical beast we kind of went up a notch. The drums & bass were so locked in really tight but at the same time really grooving; it’s almost telepathic with Tom and Jasper and in all my long years I have never experienced a rhythm section as tight as these two lads. I have had to raise my game as well….

So the current lineup is:

Paul Claxton: vocals & guitars

Jasper Osborn: bass & keys

Tom Chittock: drums & BV’s

What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe Clarence Oddbody?

Our influences range from 60’s/70’s songwriters, 60’s Motown, 70’s Funk, 60’s & 70’s Hard Rock, Blues, Americana, and Jazz grooves.

You name it …… if it is old we love it. Anything from 1989 backward. We have our feet firmly back in the past, most of our heroes are from the 60’s and 70’s. I suppose we just want our audience to have a belter of a time. Everything goes up to 11 and we are just a good honest little tight Rock’n’Roll band that loves playing live. We have a little bit of everything for everyone. At the end of the day, it’s all about the songs….. if you come away humming one of our tunes then we have done a good job. Our tunes will get in your head!

How did you feel performing your first gig as a band, and how was it?!

It was like an out-of-body experience. I played my first gig in March 1989 in my lunch hour at my old school hall. It was packed….I just knew there and then that I wanted to be a musician.

The new music scene is bursting at the seams at the minute with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out to build a name for themselves?

To really stand out I think:

1- Be Tight

2- Enjoy Yourselves

3- Engage with the audience

4- Don’t be arrogant

5- Don’t be a dick after the gig, thank punters for listening.

6. And most important….don’t take yourself too seriously.

What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?

We released our debut album ‘Who Loves You and Who Do You Love?’ last month. We recorded 10 tunes in a day just like The Beatles ….all live mostly going with the 1st or 2nd take. It was recorded by a good friend of ours JB Pilon at Buffalo Studios in Limehouse, East London and it’s full of vintage stuff it’s definitely the best little studio in London… I highly recommend it. It was probably my finest day spent in a studio…ever! It means the world to us, we are so proud of it. It’s a proper rollercoaster of tunes, we have put our hearts & souls into it.

It’s available on all music platforms, for more info go to:

www.clarenceoddbody.com

But we always like to push our Bandcamp page as well:

https://clarenceoddbody.bandcamp.com/

In terms of a similar audience, which band out there at the minute do you feel Clarence Oddbody would be best suited to open for?

We would support anyone…..

We play both acoustic gigs and Electric gigs. Sometimes both on the same night, so we could adapt to a mellow evening or a full-on Rock Evening. If there is a crowd to listen to us…..anyone who will have us.

Excluding yourself, which new band would you like to see break out and become a success?

They aren’t new but they reformed over lockdown. It’s a band called – Sack, from Dublin. I first saw them supporting Morrissey in Liverpool back in 1999. They blew him off stage, and at the time I was a big Smiths fan. (Not anymore because of Mozzer’s behaviour and outbursts). They have just re-released their second album – The Butterfly Effect. It’s a masterpiece their singer Martin has a beautiful voice, in some ways like an old 50’s singer. Also, his lyrics are amazing.

What are your own first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

The real light bulb moment was at age 11 listening to Rain by The Beatles, I knew I wanted to be in a band. I started out as a bass player first, so bass is my first instrument then guitar a few years later. As soon as I heard the bass line from Rain…I still get goosebumps.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

Don’t really go to a lot of gigs nowadays. They are few and far between. I prefer classical concerts & opera, I know that sounds very high brow but these past ten years I have really connected with Classical music. The last concert was Beethoven’s 5th at The South Bank Hall last month. It was amazing and was performed by The London Philharmonic.

What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?

I have many but I don’t want to get on my soapbox about this, that, and the other. Loads of musicians use being in a band as an excuse to ram their views down your neck. To me, it’s all about the songs and the band.

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

I am a big Country & Western Fan: Hank Williams, Wille Nelson, Marty Robbins.

Also, I’m a big Public Enemy fan. Have been since I heard Don’t Believe the Hype in 1988. I think Chuck D was probably one of the finest lyricists of the 20th Century.

Although 2021 was another year to forget, there were some amazing new albums released, what would be your album of last year? And, what new music have you been enjoying so far this year?

It’s funny I really think we have come into our own roundabout June 2021. So don’t really want to forget it. Nothing new blew me away last year, (sorry sounding like an old man), but I did re-buy some old vinyl albums that I have worn out.

Like:

Born Under A Bad Sign By Albert King

&

Solid Air By John Martyn

Also I purchased them on the heavy 180 grams. I am a bit of a vinyl nerd. I have 2338 albums on vinyl.

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

We try and post as much as possible but only worthwhile stuff. You don’t want to see our supper after rehearsal. Probably Instagram is the best. But we are on all socials- www.clarenceoddbodyband.com

 

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