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Three Sheets T'Wind

Three Sheets T'Wind are playing this weekend at a great fundraising event at Scarborough's Roscoe Rooms, 'Decadence & Decay', alongside Joe Solo, Jarmean?, Peachum's Morning Chorale and headliners Bleeding Hearts.

Hailing from Pontefract, Three Sheets T'Wind are folk-inspired-punk, or punk-inspired-folk - as they put it. 'whichever way you fancy'.  We spoke with Johnny Campbell (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Whistle, Harmonica, Piano, Banjo, Fiddle) prior to their visit to the Yorkshire Coast.

So, first of all, I gather that you are currently going through some line up changes – what is the shape of Three Sheets T'Wind right now?
At the moment we are going out for this performance and others as a two piece, vocals, guitar, accordion, which may seem daunting but we've had great receptions in the last few gigs. We're still creating Folk/Punk music but not doing it with so much of an obvious line-up of electric bass and drums.

You seem to have a pretty packed schedule, touring in Europe as well as the UK and recently at Galtres Festival in Yorkshire. 
We toured in Europe as part of a group of musicians touring together and performing together on each others' performances, where we found that especially James Bar Bowen, a political folkpunk songwriter (check him out on YouTube!) picked up the songs really quickly, so he joined us at Galtres Festival on guitar and bodhran; it is very exciting to perform with musicians who can join you just like that after a small rehearsal and keep the audience interested, as we often throw in unexpected covers and original material.

Now we're lucky enough to have chance to catch you locally at Decadence & Decay, a charity event at the Roscoe Rooms in Scarborough on 21st September. How did you get involved with that?
Becky (Laurence), who booked us for the show maybe around half a year back, is a great musician in her own right and we used to live in the same town, so I guess it seemed natural to book us and of course we respect the cause of the show.

What can the audience expect on the night? Any surprises up your sleeves?
We couldn't possibly say. Not because we like to keep tricks up our sleeves, it's very much a process of deciding on the night, how we feel, and how we feel the audience would react to certain songs.

Are you familiar with / are you looking forward to seeing some of the other acts – Bleeding Hearts / Joe Solo / Jarmean / Peachum's Morning Chorale?
I'm familiar with a couple of the acts on there, especially Joe Solo, whom we've seen many times and would be great to catch up with him too. I understand the mix of music is eclectic so it's always great to get introduced to new acts.  We'll look forward to performing at the gig, catching up with old friends in sunny Scarborough and making sure we spread the word of Folk Punk wherever we go!

You get compared to The Pogues. A lot. You even played one of their post-show after-parties a while back. How do you feel about the comparison? How would you describe yourselves?
It used to bother us, in the early days mainly. We rarely got it over the past couple of years, folk has become a lot more mainstream as a genre now and people don't compare you to 'The Pogues' anymore, perhaps Seth Lakeman, Bellowhead sometimes. Sadly we've been compared to Mumford & Sons in recent years, who are an Etonian pop band with a banjo.

I understand that your new single, commemorating the Lofthouse Colliery Disaster, will be released soon – is there a date for that? Will a new album be following shortly after?
Lofthouse Colliery Disaster is still in the process of being mixed, ideally we'll be releasing it in the next six months with the Lofthouse Brass Band. We've got many songs which personally we would love to record with a band, as many of them had been road tested for many years; whether we'll do that is a different matter. If the musicians come along and they tick the boxes, who knows...

How would you describe your process when you are creating new material?
Generally I will write the song on my own and about eight months later I'll take it to a rehearsal and mess around with it. I haven't been writing songs for about a year now, a few sparks of inspiration now and then, but now as we are going out as a two piece, with that comes more time to yourself to write, so I'll be looking forward to getting into the swing of things.

Decadence & Decay is at the Roscoe Rooms, Roscoe Street, Scarborough, from 4pm Saturday 21st September.  Tickets cost £6.50 on the door, £5.50 in advance, free for under-14's and £3.25 for 14-16 year olds.  Charity stalls and raffle, plus special guest speaker John Ellam, Third Engineer aboard the Steve Irwin on their ninth Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign. For more on the campaign, visit SeaShepherd.org.au/zero-tolerance.