Festival favourites The Correspondents, compiled of Mr Bruce and Chucks, recently spoke to TFF's Amy Dyduch about some of their most memorable performances, favourite venues and what makes the perfect festival.
With Chucks residing behind the decks in trainers and baggy jeans, bopping his head melodically to the hip-hoppish beats and gruelling baselines, the stage is clear for the spindly lycra-covered limbs of Mr Bruce to dazzle crowds with his self-taught dance moves to a mixture of electro, swing, jazz and dubstep. Oh, and not forgetting he’s on a treadmill.
The contrast is elusive. But it works. It’s one of the many reasons why The Correspondents have become such a hit at festivals, performing no less than 22 gigs last year including Lovebox, Standon Calling and Sunrise Celebration.
The sheer volume of festivals they performed at in 2011 meant the pair often had to shoot off after their set. They do, however, find time to stay for the duration of the weekend at annual favourites Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and Bestival. “We enjoy a lot of festivals but those are the ones we tend to have a lot of mates at – not that I’ve got loads of mates or anything – but the ones our friends tend to go to as well,” explains Chucks.
In addition to the infamous treadmill Mr Bruce spins and bounces to the beat on, they added an infra red light podium to their stage props for last years’ festival season. It also saw the singer with some new attire, replacing the flamboyant skin-tight costume he usually sports. “It’s a bit more subdued, more military style,” says Mr Bruce about the outfits designed and hand-made by friends.
Although the pair love the festival atmosphere they admit there can be some downsides to slogging it in a field. “Chucks got his computer nicked from his tent while he was sleeping once!” says Mr Bruce, “rascal!” adds in Chucks.
Pinpointing a favourite festival can be tricky for anyone, but when considering The Correspondents’ wide exposure to many of the famous field-parties out there, it becomes near impossible. “They’ve all got their charms, some more charms than others,” says Chucks.
So what makes a great festival? “The ones that really transport you,” offers Mr Bruce, “the ones which make you feel like you’re in your own little society and everyone forgets about anything outside of that perimeter fence, that’s what every festival should be trying to do.”
Secret Garden Party was where The Correspondents first performed on a main stage. “It was a real watershed gig,” says Chucks.
Mr Bruce agrees and thinks the festival succeeds in his idea of creating the perfect atmosphere for the event, “they spend a lot of money on production so when you walk in you’re like ‘oh wow’ and there’s so much to look at.
Everywhere you wander there’s little secret venues and whatever else, and that’s really good because it’s so different from anything you’d find in an urban environment.”
It’s not uncommon for the duo to perform more than once at a large festival, as they did at Bestival last year, and 2010 saw another main stage performance for the pair which they say was an unforgettable experience. “Bestival main stage was amazing,” confirms Chucks.
The Correspondents are playing some sporadic UK shows in the next few months and are working on an album. Their current single, 'Cheating With You', is out now available on itunes.