The Grizzly Folk grew out of a need to do something a little bit different. At the time, I was living and working in Fukuoka, South Japan, and I was playing in a band called Cut Flowers – a weird but loveable hybrid of British indie guitar music and Prince-esque funk. When that came to an end, I had a deep desire to put the electric guitar away and try something a little bit more… avant garde.
Having been introduced to my good friend, Jon Nice, in about 2007 (mutual acquaintance: “you should meet Jon Nice – he knows how to make bleepy music”), I was keen to write songs that were based on some kind of shared experience, even though our musical interests were vastly different. We started off by playing sea shanties that we’d learnt at school back in England – things like “What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor” – and seeing how we could fuck about with them a bit.
Our version of “The Wassailing Song” was founded on a shared love of Blur, who had recorded it in the early 90s as a fanclub flexidisk. It has since become our “hit”, garnering thousands of listens online each Christmas. It’ll never pay the mortgage, but it does pay for an eggnog latte each December.
During the early days of The Grizzly Folk, Jon and I found ourselves with a lot of time on our hands. We recorded tonnes of stuff together, just to see what stuck. In 2013, we decided to collect it all up and put it out as a digital-only release called “Gurning At the Moon”.
This includes songs such as “Friday Night”, which was briefly used to help advertise the iPhone 6, the aforementioned “Wassailing Song”, and plenty of our own favourites. We’re of the firm belief that “Mixtapes” contains the finest guitar solo this side of Graham Coxon. See what you think.