Yorkshire Coast Gigs - A Community Interest Company

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Two Spoons

Two Spoons play regularly at the Hole in the Wall, and this is where we choose to meet. It's a treat to turn up to a pub for an interview to find the band have brought along their kit specially, in order to 'set the mood' as you arrive. Of course, even best laid plans go awry as Jack tells me that Max has unfortunately been held up en route back from college in York; nonetheless, a nice touch.

Once we do sit down to talk, I learn that they've been together as an act for about a year, having met on a production of 'Alice by Heart' at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Jack was Musical Director and Max was performing. They've both since become members of TFI Music and worked on another SJT Youth Theatre production recently, 'Don't Feed the Animals', as part of the National Theatre's National Connections Festival. I then ask about the story behind the name.

M: It goes back to my childhood. When I was really little I had a terrible temper, and the solution to this was, weirdly, to give me two spoons and then I'd sit there, playing with them, blissfully happy...
J: And of course I found this out and it just had to be the name.
M: However odd it was, my parents found that it worked!

So what brought you to Scarborough Jack, and where were you before?
J: France originally, briefly; then several parts of London and various areas of Surrey before coming here to University. Before I got here the sense was that coming here might be a 'last resort' but when I looked around, I was really impressed by what was on offer with the course and it just seemed so much better than other options, plus the whole Scarborough community was so welcoming.

And now they're talking about cutting those courses...
J: Yeah, that's a bit of a pain in the a**e! Since I've been here, I just love Scarborough and the people here are great. I just can't imagine Hull being able to offer anything like what we have here.

In terms of the acting we've mentioned, have you ever tried that side of things, Jack? Do you both find that the one discipline can help you with the other?
J: Yes. I've tried it. And now, I'm a musician. Firmly!
M: I guess it helps as a frontman, yes; it's having the confidence, the balls to be 'there' really.
J: I've watched Max progress, and seen that the more detail you go into with one, it can inform the other.

Don't you teach music as well, Jack?
J: Yes. Keyboards, theory, sax, woodwind instruments, piano, vocals, drum, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar... most rock/pop instruments.
M: When we were doing 'Alice by Heart', Jack seemed quite scary at first...but he's a good teacher!
J: But I didn't shout at you. Did I? Maybe only once...

So what are your own influences?
J: Progressive metal and jazz fusion for me... so I've no idea why I'm in this band...!
M: A lot of acoustic stuff – local bands, Stony, Tom Townsend, and I played in-between slots with The Pieces from the age of about twelve. I prefer to listen to live music rather than recorded, but I like a lot of stuff by Maroon 5, for example.
J: Yeah, we seem to have about 4 Maroon 5 covers in our set... I think it's really easy to be inspired here in Scarborough, there are so many great musicians, and most are very supportive.
M: Yeah, people like Daz Cooke...
J: ... and Tom Davenport.
M: Various others too, can't name them all! But you just find going to Open Mics and seeing other people play things, makes you want to try new things too.

Do you write your own material?
J: We do. We have a song that's (Hole in the Wall landlady) Anona's favourite actually...
M: Oh yes. It's called... erm... 'F-You'...
J: Or 'F-dot-dot-dot you'... But we usually ask if anyone minds us swearing before we play it!
M: We haven't written anything together though.
J: There is footage of Max on YouTube doing one of his own songs called 'Taking my Time'... aged about thirteen.
M: Oh yeah, that was Acoustic Gathering, Daz Cooke kindly let me do a song during his set. I like to try different things, some rocky, some ballady, some jazzy.

I ask them if they have anything they want to tell people about themselves, and it immediately becomes a back and forth of 'Max is a ****' and 'Jack is a ******', there's quite a brotherly vibe which may explain, apart from the abundance of 'big' hair both of them have, why they often get mistaken for siblings. Max reveals that Jack is a bit of slave driver during rehearsals, often clocking up eight straight hours at a time; between this and the good-natured profanities, Jack describes the process as 'Musical S&M', then admits that they can both be very, very blunt and honest with each other. They also talk about some of their favourite venues; they enjoy the Spa Pub, especially as it has a piano on site, but their favourite place is the Hole in the Wall, a venue they're very fond of; apart from playing regular gigs there, and attending 'Cookie's' Open Mic nights, Jack currently runs the Thursday night live music quiz, 'Jack's Name That Tune'. The landlords also have no objections to them setting up their kit in the middle of the afternoon, ready to just play a few songs as 'backdrop' to this interview. As I prepare to leave, they finally get to give the brief set they wanted me to arrive to; it certainly wakes up the early tea-time drinkers, whose attention all turns to this fun duo.

How to book/contact them:
Get in touch direct with Max or Jack; or via thier Facebook page