Death and the Penguin’s new live video for ‘Bitumen’ is completely and utterly wonderful. And you should watch it. Again and again.

How long’s it been? 13, 14 months? Yeah, something like that. Well, it’s been just over a year since London’s Death and the Penguin released their incredible debut EP Accidents Happen – and still, it’s a fantastic piece of work. Yet, it’s worrying to think that there are people out there that haven’t heard it. Because they’re missing out.
Download Death and the Penguin’s debut EP Accidents Happen
FFO: Minus The Bear, Biffy Clyro, Marvins Revolt, Elbow

Death and the Penguin’s sound is a unique one. Progressive and ground-breaking, yet classic; grounded in its roots. And Accidents Happen shows that perfectly. It’s a brilliantly well-rounded record, with great production and great songs. Songs such as the diverse and ever-haunting ‘Bitumen’ – one of DATP’s most inventive, and immersive tracks. A track which is made somehow even better in the band’s new live session. Which you can watch above.

We recently caught up with Death and the Penguin to talk more about the new live video and their plans for 2015. Read our small interview with bassist Andy Acred below…

So this is the first thing you’ve dropped for a while…

It’s good to be back! For various reasons we had to take things a bit slower at the end of last year, but we’re back now and we’re ready for you, 2015.

‘Bitumen’ was on your first EP. Can you tell us a little bit about the song?

A heavy influence for this tune was the sound of old chain gang working songs from the southern states. We wrote it around the time Toby and I were both listening to recordings by ethnographer Alan Lomax. Swinging axes, group chants – its a very inclusive, raw, heavy blues sound. We wanted to recreate it in our own way. With riffs.

Are you ripping off CKY?

Let’s just say we all grew up in the late 90s/early 00s. It’s under the skin.

Tell us about the live version?

We can’t fully recreate the gang stamps and claps when we normally play live, which is one of the reasons we started to use keyboards and sample pads. We always wondered what it would sound like with a proper gang. So we roped together a group of talented friends one morning and went to work singing, yelling, clapping, stamping and hitting anything we could find. You know, chairs and stuff.

Instrumentally, we wanted to create a more acoustic arrangement, which ended up with Chris on sax. Because, well, why the fuck not? (see also: Mannheim)

You’re doing some remixes right?

We’re going to follow up the live video with a number of remixes some more talented friends have put together for us. We’ll be putting them out one by one over the next week or two. They’ll be available for PWYW download from our bandcamp, along with the original and live versions.

So, what’s next for DATP?

We’re back in the studio very soon and have some brand new tunes that will be dropping in the summer. We’re also on tour with those excellent mathstrumentals Alright The Captain in early August, which we’re really excited about. Before then, our next show is 11th June at the O2 Islington. It’s a charity gig, with proceeds going to Nordoff Robins, Childline and Teenage Cancer Trusts. It’s quite a special one so get in touch for ticket details. We may also be venturing beyond these shores in the autumn… but more about that later.