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09 May 2008 @ 11:44 pm
The argus  

The history of brothers in bands is short but fairly fraught.

The Kinks's Ray and Dave Davies regularly had running battles on stage, while there was a limited edition vinyl single released of an argument between Oasis's Liam and Noel Gallagher called Wibbling Rivalry.

For Jack Barnett, frontman and guitarist for Southend's These New Puritans, having twin brother George behind him on the drums adds a certain edge to the band.

"The friction between us is quite good," he says. "It creates arguments and means we get better."

Both dreamt of making music and being in bands from a very young age.

"This is the outcome of ten years' work," says the 20-year-old. "I used to have a four-track recorder in my loft. From the age of nine I was recording on this half-broken four-track. Then George started playing drums on them.

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"There are little sounds on the album from those recordings, things I made when I was about 12 or 13. I thought it would be a tribute to the music I was making when I was young."

The band itself, which also features Thomas Hein on bass and synthesiser player Sophie Sleigh-Johnson, came together about two years ago.

"We have always been making music and imagining bands," says Barnett. "We weren't seriously playing then.We didn't have any ambitions. We were just mucking around making music."

After playing a couple of "rubbish battle of the bands" These New Puritans were spotted at their first proper gig by Joe Daniel and Joe Margetts, the men behind the Angular Record Label.

"One of their bands were headlining and we were supporting," says Barnett.

"We didn't have enough amps so we had made our own out of an old stereo. It blew up so we had to stop, but they were trying to get us to keep playing. It was like our third gig!

"The next gig was with them and was our first in London."

After a slew of EPs and singles, starting with 2006's Now Pluvial, These New Puritans's debut album Beat Pyramid was released earlier this year.

It was followed by an impressive amount of touring, which including support slots with The Kills and Brighton's own Blood Red Shoes.

"The touring is going really well," says Barnett. "Touring with The Kills is really good. We're playing a few more dates with them and touring Europe too.

"We never really played live that much before. We used to spend most of our time recording."

This dedication to the recording craft continues, with Barnett hoping to release a follow-up album in January.

"We have got about five or six songs already," he says.

The band took their name from The Fall song New Puritan, leading to initial comparisons to Mark E Smith's band and Joy Division, not least because of Barnett's twitchy onstage persona and the dark, synth-heavy soundscapes produced on stage.

Things are changing though.

"It's so weird," says Barnett. "I saw an advert for a singer in a music shop window. In the influences, along with a load of bands I have mentioned in interviews, it said These New Puritans.