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If psychedelic prog rock gets you all hot and steamy, Purson should be top of your list to go see this month. Led by the charismatic and mystical siren Rosalie Cunningham, their second album is just about to come out. With a history of making music that nods along enthusiastically to the past, and a genre-busting collection of intriguing and just plain rockin’ tunes, Purson are a fascinating act. I spoke to Rosalie about her musical journey thus far and what it’s like to support KISS.

It’s seems that psychedelia is becoming a sort of revelation for younger people with bands like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard doing really well. You’re still in your 20’s, Rosalie. How did you first come to discover and love 70’s music, prog and psychedelia? It started for me as a child really with 60s pop, Te Beatles’ later stuff. I always loved that experimental, psychedelic sound although I didn’t know that’s what it was called at the time. I’ve always been attracted to dark, mysterious music that leads you somewhere as well, what we would call prog now. Working in a record shop when I was younger and my dad being a musician led me to be exposed to a lot of music from an early age I suppose. It was something that caught my attention, that I wanted to create really. Do you feel like you were born at the wrong time in some ways? Yes, all the time! Yeah, I mean, ideally I would have been around 40 years earlier. Which books or films have inspired your music in particular? Books for sure, I wouldn’t say films although my style has been influenced by films. Herman Hesse is my favourite author and the new album’s title and themes are quite inspired by his novel Steppenwolf. Movie-wise there’s a film called Dracula 1972 A.D..I only mention that because yesterday I went to the hairdressers and took a picture with me of Stephanie Beacham from that film to have them cut

28 / March 2016/

Ideally I would have been around 40 years earlier!

it like that, ha ha! I’ve come out looking a bit more like Keith Richards after a three day bender though.. Were you happy with your debut album Te Circle and the Blue Door in the end? I know your new album is pretty much almost a solo album for you. Te first album wasn’t a band thing, it was mainly me and my ex boyfriend. It was very personal, and essentially just the two of us. It was a heavy time in both of our lives, not a good time, so doing it this time on my own has been a very different experience because I’ve been happy and so the whole thing has been very light and for my own amusement really. I’m still very very happy with the first record, it’s just difficult for me to listen to now because it was such a difficult time. Te first single from the new album, Electric Ladyland came out last September; we haven’t heard anything else from the new album yet but is it indicative of what we can expect? It sounds more energetic and happier. Other than one other track it’s the most upbeat song off the album. Tere’s a poppier element on this record for sure but I wouldn’t say it’s indicative of the whole thing. It’s varied, and one track can’t sum up the whole album. I know you toured with metal band Ghost last year. It must be difficult to support other bands in a way because you don’t fit easily into any particular genre, so don’t naturally fit with many other bands? It’s a curse and a blessing being

in the position that we are because it means we can play to lots of different audiences from mainstream pop to metal and there will be people in the audience who get it and appreciate it. It means we reach a wider audience but at the same time we don’t have a target audience. Interestingly whenever we play with bands that are nothing like us we get a really good reaction. We’ve never had a bad reception. Tere are a lot of different genres going on in the music so there’s always something for people to latch on to and enjoy in a fashion. You supported KISS in 2014. What was that like for you? Tat was nuts! We didn’t know how we’d go down with the KISS fans because they are hardcore, it’s like their religion. We didn’t think they’d be interested in any support band especially not some flowery British thing, but they really loved us. Apparantly on their tour this year they were wearing Purson t shirts and asking for us back. Where do you and your band find your incredible clothes? All over the place really; I’m a bit of a magpie, a charity shop addict, and I also make things, from scratch or altering things. I’m constantly thinking about what I can do with various bits of fabric and bits of glue. A lot of it looks good from far away. It’s all smoke and mirrors to be honest!

Lizz Page

INFORMATION Purson play Te Waterfront on 11th March. Tickets available from Read this interview in full at

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