Nana White Pepper are a Blackpool-based four-piece whose brand of guitar rock has seen them support Bang Bang Romeo and garner huge support from This Feeling. Their recent release ‘Tear the World Apart’ hits hard and is a testament to their growth as a band, something that led them to be named as one of Fred Perry Subculture’s ‘One to Watch’ for 2019. I caught up with frontman Patty and asked about that accolade as well as the band’s recent rise.
Lewis) How does it feel to have the backing of Fred Perry Subculture? How did that come about?
Nana White Pepper) It’s great. It’s better than great actually! Fred Perry Subculture is becoming a solid foundation for up-and-coming music, and you see bands featured there rising through the ranks again and again, so we’re grateful to be part of it! It all came about through our connection with This Feeling, who we’ve worked with at a number of events all around the country. In fact, we were part of Blackpool’s first ever This Feeling show, and we must have done something right as they keep inviting us back!
What's the best show you've played?
Our first hometown headliner! We worked hard to create something really special to thank everyone who had supported us for the previous couple of years – we wanted it to be more than just a gig. So we decided to lean into Blackpool’s reputation and throw a massive beach party. We completely kitted out Bootleg Social with decorations, lifeguards, inflatables, Hawaiian shirts, the perfect soundtrack – and we even invented three Blackpool-themed cocktails. The place was absolutely packed, and we’ll definitely be stepping it up a notch at Easter next year, so watch this space! I’ll never forget that feeling of walking out to the Wurlitzer and having hundreds of people screaming at you. It was class!
You've had a great 2019 so far. What have your highlights been?
1. Bardfest. This was one of our first festivals of the year and it was an absolute blinder. The weather held out for our set but the heavens opened as we hit our last chord, which caused the generator to blow. While the crowd was waiting for everything to get back up and running again, we grabbed our guitars and played an impromptu singalong set in the crowd. Everyone was belting the tunes out with us for just enough time for the crew to get the generators running again. Mully [bass] got so excited that he jumped off a bench and broke his ankle.
2. Our first nationwide tour. We first started working with our manager Arianne Jessop at the end of last year, and the first thing she wanted to accomplish was booking a UK tour for us, and she absolutely nailed it. Incredible gigs in places we’ve never visited, meeting some amazing bands and promotors, seeing faces we didn’t recognise singing our tunes back to us, everything. The Hideaways from Bristol supported us on our first night. They were incredible lads and it really started our tour off with a bang!
3. Glastonbury. It was so hot! It was amazing to see bands that we’ve shared the same stage with playing the festival. Highlights were definitely The Blinders, Elvana, Fontaines DC and Pond. Put in the effort and that’s where you can get to. A proud moment was seeing Idles play. From seeing them play to 70 people at The Ferret in Preston, to packing out our hometown stomping ground, to then get reception they got at Glastonbury – it was emotional. Again it highlights how great this world can be when your hard work pays off. We’re slowly catching them up – each gig’s getting bigger and bigger. There’s no better feeling than seeing ‘Sold Out’ branded over your band’s picture.
If you could curate a festival who would the three headliners be?
The Hives, Queens of the Stone Age, Idles.
Any upcoming acts from your neck of the woods we should look out for?
Strange Bones are always setting the bar that little bit higher every time they play or release something, and they were a big influence on us when we were getting started. Betty Kendrick is a great dark-folk singer-songwriter who really captures the attention of any room she’s in. Those Fucking Snowflakes are shouting up what needs to be shouted! They’ve got it all from wigs to quick drum beats. But to be honest, there’s never been more talent in Blackpool than there is right now. The scene is alive!