Following the announcement that local band Creepin' Six will be headlining the first day of Festival 8 - we sat down with the blues boys in The Dog and Doublet to talk their origins, best shows, their upcoming debut album, and how they're bringing the Black Country into the blues.
The band - Ashley Edwards, Sam Gould, Elliot Sayce, Dave Matthews and Ash Wall - formed in 2014 from a simple passion to play the music they all held dear.
"Basically I wanted to break away from the sort of music I’d always played previously and play music that I loved." says guitarist Ashley.
"It was real tricky finding lads that wanted to play blues music, but then I happened to come across Sam through a friend. Basically we both love blues and then it just started off with a joint passion for blues music and now it’s evolved into what we are now, a new sort of blues music.
"I knew Elliot from playing in previous bands and knew how much of a good bass player he was, we had to basically bribe him into doing it at first but now it's all he wants to do"
"Following that we were then joined by Dan Billings and Luke Blackham our former drummer and harmonica players, both immensely talented musicians that featured on our first release but who had to leave for their own personal reasons, which left us with Dave, our new drummer." vocalist Sam continues "A few months down the line we found ourselves Ash, our keyboard player and then we became Creepin’ Six."
"The name came to me whilst listening to one of my favourite Eagles of Death Metal songs, Midnight Creeper on the way back from one of our first practices" says Elliot. "I just like the word creeper which turned into creepin’ and we just needed a little more. There were six of us, so Creepin’ Six".
Following this, the band then went on to play their first live show which has led to various supporting and headline slots in venues across the country and festival performances to boot.
Sam gave us a nostalgic insight into this performance, saying " We haven’t actually gone back there, it was at The Wagon and Horses in Digbeth playing with our friends in Maycomb. They needed a band to fill a slot and we stepped up to the plate. It turned out to be a really good gig for us though, apart from one member not turning up. Our very first harmonica player, before Luke, just decided to not turn up to our very first gig so he left swiftly after that."
"If I could talk to the band back then, I think what I’d say is don’t focus too much on trying to sound like an old-school, classic blues artist and try and just be ourselves, and be confident in what we want to play and not try to sound like someone else." says Ashley
Sam builds on this advice saying that "I think as you go along you organically drop into your own type of style. When you start everyone has their own idea of what they want to sound like and it takes a while to fit into everyone’s idea of the perfect sound. I’d want to tell us to not try and hit the spot straight away because it will take a long time."
On the subject of live shows and taking a trip down memory lane, we talk about the best live experiences the Black Country boys have experienced.
Drummer Dave believes that "the best is definitely every gig we’ve played at the Dog and Doublet. We’ve had so many great memories here. We’ve also managed to generate a really good turnout which has led to some really good shows. We hosted our E.P release show here and we have many more fond memories surrounding this venue"
"Dave's first gig was here, and really it was a turning point for our band as it was the pinnacle in which our sound changed" adds Ashley.
As for worst gigs? they don't think they've had any.
don’t think we’ve had a stand out worst gig" starts Sam, "we’ve had gigs where we haven’t
played as well as others and there’s been gigs where we’ve had less of a
response but I think we come away from every gig with something under our
After extensively promoting themselves with a series of local performances, the band recorded their debut E.P Extended Play in just three days.
"We recorded three songs over three days after staying up each night til the early hours writing and drinking to somehow try and bring some fun to it." says Banjo player Elliot
"Writing the E.P was simply an experience, it pushes us to work very hard and to also enjoy ourselves at the same time. It was pretty well received, and our sound now has developed so much from then" adds Ashley "You can still hear our origins but we’ve evolved so much since then. The third day was a real challenge, Sam was a little bit worse for wear, well really we all were."
Since then, they have worked tirelessly to find their sound and self-record their debut album, which is as-yet untitled.
"We aim to do what Mumford and Sons did for folk, we’re bringing blues into the 21st century" states Ashley
"We’re taking influence from something that happened before and we’re bringing it into the future and people can expect that from our debut album in abundance" enthuses Sam.
Along with this, the band have also achieved the headline slot of the first day of Festival 8 in Lincoln, a festival that champions well-being, enlightenment and more with a series of interactive activities and live music.
great to be asked to come and play. This is the biggest gig we’ve been offered
so far and features all of the classic elements you expect in a festival as
well as something a little different" says keyboardist Ash. "It gives the band a chance to go camping,
experience some yoga, take in the eclectic line up and see a new area of the
country. It’s a festival that is big enough to keep you in awe but small enough
to still keep its heart. It’s pretty much a not-for-profit festival, it just
happens because people want to host and have a good time and we can really get
on board with that".
Back home however, next week the band are set to play Wolverhampton's Slade Rooms in support of rising-stars Federal Charm.
"Next week we're set to play the Slade Rooms, which will be so much different to the festival" says Elliot "We
have a lot of friends and family that come to see us which makes us
comfortable, it’s nerve-wracking playing away because it’s a different setting.
It has more of a natural feeling to it. You don’t know what the response will
be when you’re elsewhere."
"Home is home" summarises Dave short and sweetly.
With so much going on, the band couldn't have achieved what they have without a little help from the people around them back home
"Ashes mom is our biggest fan" the band collectively joke.
"We have been really lucky that she’s had a massive part of what we’ve done. She allows us to practice in her home, record, do photo shoots, everything in her own home and she’s been a mother to us. She’s put up with hours of arguments, the same song for hours on end, mindless noise and she’s always been so helpful." Ashley states proudly.
Along with their family and friends, their local area is something that the band hold dear - and they're out on a mission to give something back.
"I don’t think we fit in with the local music scene, we bring something different to it. I’d love to think that we can influence other bands into listening to the blues and being influenced by older bands and try and revitalise it’s roots." Ashley says.
"I’d love to think that in years to come that we were the influence for an up-and-coming band, to see us as a local band that did really well. If we can do that then we’ve done a job well done." Sam continues, and if they carry on at this trajectory, the idea is not that far-fetched.
By Becci Stanley