Interview: Ferris and Sylvester reflect on their Summer of Festivals, their EP Made In Streatham and more

Ferris and Sylvester and one of the UK’s finest duo’s across any genre. Their Bluesy, country, folk stylings are so beautiful that you easily get lost within their music both on record and in a live setting. There is something about Issy and Archie that is truly captivating. Their on stage chemistry and personalities shine on stage and their crowd is always won over.

Ferris and Sylvester toured like mad over the summer and have been a part of almost every Festival going. The perfect festival act, it isn’t hard to see why this duo constantly get booked as they appeal to just about anyone and kids included (which will make more sense in the interview below).

Since we spoke with Issy and Archie, they have released a couple of videos.  One video for my favourite song of theirs Sometimes which is a spectacular animated video.

The beautiful animated video captures the boundless power of love addressed in the charming ballad. It was brought to life by creative director Neil Pymer (Aardman Studios) and Shiny Eye Studios.

Regarding the single Ferris & Sylvester say “It was such a huge honour to work on this with Neil. There is really no end to his creativity and we were thrilled when he became so passionate about the song and its meaning. We’ve been working on ‘Sometimes’ with him and Shiny Eye throughout this year, and the end result is more than we could ever have hoped for.”

The duo have also released the video for London’s Blues. The video is the second in a series of videos directed by Neil Pymer (Aardman Studios) and features the band performing in a private members club as women seduce an overwhelmed guest. Both songs are from their EP Made In Streatham.

We caught up with Issy and Archie a short while back at Countryfile Live and talked about their summer and EP Made In Streatham and more.

Enjoy!

Hi guys how are you? How was Countryfile Live?

Issy – It was incredible. It was a really interesting crowd because they were all so quiet and polite and then at the same time they clapped along and sang along which is like the dream scenario.

And you had a little boy in yellow in the crowd?

Issy –  a little boy in yellow yeah

Archie – Joshua –  he was on his mums shoulders for Better In Yellow and London’s Blues. He was singing along. He was our number one fan, top geezer.

It is so great when kids get involved.

Archie – Yeah it is nice watching kids enjoy music because music is just the simplest way of feeling enjoyment. It’s an art, a way of communicating and kids just get it, it is so nice.

How was Wilderness Festival?

Issy – Wilderness was amazing, we were on the main stage and the crowd were amazing. It is such a beautiful festival.

And you have done LeeFest, Countryfile of course, Cornbury and Cambridge Folk Festival.

Issy – It has been an amazing summer with so many wonderful festivals with different crowds.

How did playing Counyfile come to be?

Archie – We played a gig for Countryfile at the Houses of Parliament for their 30th Birthday. That was at the start of May and from that they asked us to do it. They asked us to do it just before we did the set there and I said “Are you sure you don’t want to see us first?” They said no no, it’s done your booked.

Issy – Bill Lyons is the producer of Countryfile and is quite a fan which is lovely, he likes our songwriting so he has been a real mentor and has championed us in the world of countryfile.

How was British Summer Time?

Archie – That was amazing, we had such a great crowd and the line up was unbelievable. We got to meet Ryan Kinder who was such a nice guy and had the biggest hands, he had a very firm handshake. You can tell a lot about a person by their handshake. It is a good sign that they are a decent person.

What has been the festival highlight so far?

Issy – Well Countryfile has been a real highlight but we did Bath Festival supporting Robert Plant and that was one of our first festivals in the summer so that has a real special place in our hearts. Barn on the Farm which is a smaller crowd but a great crowd and we gained a lot of fans from that day. They have all been amazing though. This is our second time at Bleinhem, we played with Gary Barlow in June.

Archie – I loved that one.

Issy – We played with James Blunt. We have had a really great summer, there have been so many amazing festivals.

Archie – We haven’t got used to it yet.

Issy – Yeah it feels a bit of a whirlwind but in the best way.

Archie – We are still learning every time we go up on stage, we learn somethjng new about playing in front of a crowd, it is different each time. You never get used to walking out in front of a big crowd. It is such a great feeling.

Tell us about the label you have set up?

Issy – So, we were producing our own stuff and we were proud of what we were doing and wanted to get it out. We recorded our EP (Made In Streatham) in our kitchen and had a great time and then we were figuring out for ages how we were going to release it and how we wanted to do it, why we wanted to and what we wanted to achieve. We decided that the best way to do it is to be independent about it and set up our own label. So we had a team of people who are passionate about the record and we created Archtop records and released our EP through it. We are very happy with how it did and it has got us to the next stage. So to any musicians who just want to get their music out there, it is the way forward.

You released a new version of Better In Yellow?

Archie – Yeah, we are proud of the version we did originally. It was about a year ago that it was released and over that year we have learned a lot about ourselves and about playing live a lot. We have developed a lot as an act and there was a slight feeling that we hadn’t quite done the song justice. I love it but we felt like doing it in a proper studio having learned what we learnt recording in our kitchen. We had the chance to work with our favourite producer and the three of us get on really well, we have a really good rapport between us so we asked him to become the third wheel. The new version is a sample of a project we have been working on with Michael over the last few months. That is a snippet of whats to come.

I am excited. How do you put a set list together for a festival?

Issy – Half an hour feels like a long time but when you actually break it down with live music and all its unexpected things you really only have time for about six songs. So it becomes really difficult to choose which songs to play. 

I guess at festivals too you kind of want to get the crowd going?

Issy – Exactly!

You did a couple of covers this set..(CountryFile Live).

Issy – Yeah we did two covers.

Archie – I don’t think we have ever done two covers before.

Issy – It is a family crowd so we want to get them going and also people know us here because of our Radio 2 performance where we did Waterloo Sunset so that was our opener.

Thanks so much for talking today and hope to see you again soon.

Both – Thank you.

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