I recently got the opportunity to interview Clubs and Spades a collective of 4 individuals who just ‘want to make music’ at Lock 17 in Camden and I must say they had me chuckling away. The group consists of 2 MC’s called Matic Mouth and Shinobi, alongside 2 producers Andy Nicholson and Manakin With a sound they would describe as ‘between Sister Sledge and Public Enemy’ just like when they performed at Tramlines Festival. With the release of their EP ‘Deal or No Deal’ on the 16th of May I was happy to go and get all of their secrets out of them, unfortunately Shinobi was unavailable for the day but that did not stop the men from having a very interesting talk with me.

The first thing I wanted to find out was thy dynamics of the group and I immediately found out that Andy is considered the joker, Marcus the ladies’ man and Manakin is the clumsiest. When it comes to anything embarrassing happening on stage Shinobi may have forgotten his lyrics once but like most solid teams they all cover each other’s backs and keep the performance going, Andy thinks this may mean however, “that the worst may be yet to come” let’s hope not. That unity is probably what gets them through the hard times they’ve been through. The leading track on their EP, ‘Deal or No Deal’ which is the same name as the EP talks about dealing with everything in life, from love to family amongst other topics. The video is one to watch with scenes of what looks like an estate and a casino, that explains why when asked, how they would make up a drink, Andy would be the ‘Ice’ Matic Mouth would be ‘Tequila’ and Manakin would be the Amaretto to make what they would call a ‘Teqalmond Ice’. If anyone is brave enough to make that let me know how it tastes?

The second video I have seen from the EP which has been premiered by Charlie Sloth was ‘Clearer Coast’ where a relationship is failing as the lead male in the video Matic, Mouth wants to concentrate on his music and a failing relationship needs to be halted to help this progress. The video finishes with Matic Mouth arriving in the studio to write, however, Matic Mouth said “inspiration can come from anywhere for instance the other day Andy had an idea for a song and he rang me straight away and said get those lyrics down”. That creativity can happen at any point as Andy came up with lyrics in front of me which you can see in the highlights of the interview above. So when it comes to love I wanted to know which lucky celebrities they would go for if given the opportunity and Matic Mouth had answers ranging from Beyonce, Kelly Brookes and Daenarys Targaryen played by Emilia Clarke. They were surprised when Manakin said “Amanda Holden” whilst Andy would like “Alesha Dixon” so with there ever growing fan base anything is possible.

The music they create is a fusion of hip-hop, pop, punk and rock but when it comes to musicians they respect, Kanye West one of the very few named, although in the mini video above artists they would collaborate with varied. Although they would collaborate they still want to be different as Andy stated “some people are scared to be different these days, which is less of a risk but less of a win” and Manakin feels these people are more “short-lived” in there worlds so being different and standing out is key. When they were asked to sum up the album in one word each “the beginning, the progression and refreshing” were the words they said they would use. They also account the fact that they are outside of London as a good thing as they can “represent something different” according to Manakin and they ‘cannot be influenced too much by the music scene’. With their home town of Sheffield supporting them, they have said that the people of Sheffield ‘taken it on as their own regardless of their listeners age’.

After finishing off the interview and set out to leave Camden I reflected on the advice they would give to people starting out “Be You, Stay True” says Matic Mouth whilst Manakin would say not to be ‘arrogant and be willing to know when you’re wrong” Andy would also back that up and add “be different don’t try and be the same as everyone else and follow the crowd”. After listening to the EP I would definitely say they are following their own advice and If I had to pick whether to ‘Deal or No Deal’ with them, I would Deal all day long.