shoe gazing with ...

















Things are going well for Good Shoes, in fact, according to lead singer Rhys Jones this tour has, so far, been "amazing". Sat in the hallowed basement of Night and Day with Rhys, away from the almost (but not quite) baying crowd, there's a definite pre-gig buzz around this band. The fact the show is sold out is testament to that.


Rhys is hoping for a rowdy crowd in Manchester, previous shows played at Night and Day and The Roadhouse had been a little less packed than the one tonight, with more of an understated appreciation, times are a-changin though... Sold out shows at other 14 year old+ venues have proved to be nigh on hysterical in fact, with Rhys describing the youthful audiences as "a little bit scary, like they're on speed or maybe just having a massive sugar rush". It's to be hoped the latter.


It's at this point that a couple of Good Shoes (Joel? Steve? Tom? I'm really not sure) come boyishly running over and promptly trip and fall in a heap over the bench Rhys is sat on. One of them doesn't get up. "He's not getting up" I so succinctly state with all of the observational skills required of a true journalist and for a few seconds at least the evening's entertainment is in jeopardy... Thankfully he's fine and I'm suddenly interested in what this rowdy lot get up to on tour. Apparently it's Tom who's the worst (drummer and wannabe acrobat it would seem), climbing onto cars when drunk and then smashing his face when he falls off, but this can all be accounted for by the fact that "he's a lot younger". How old are you boys? "Tom's 19 and I'm 21". I feel very old.


When asked if there is a 'master plan' for Good Shoes it does quickly become apparent that Rhys, with his two years of additional wisdom, really does seem to be hell bent on making the most of this. Rhys provides the band with a form of identity through his artwork on flyers and record sleeves and states that from pretty early on his focus was always on getting demos out and booking gigs, always thinking that it could happen - fantastic advice for anyone in need of a bit of inspiration.


The hope now is that with more radio play and some bigger gigs booked in for London venues that things will really start to take off. The new single The Photos On My Wall is due for release on New Year's Day, the cover of which is going to be made up of the best pictures sent in by fans of them dancing to the Good Shoes. It's clearly good marketing but it all has a homegrown touch that endears you to this band even more that just through the appreciation of the music. Half an hour later I'm struggling to get down the front and it seems like Good Shoes have got their way, it's a rowdy one in Manchester alright.


WORDS : Helen Jones

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