They supported Wolf Alice and Supergrass in 2019, scaled the heights of the BBC6 Music playlist and even have a Robert Plant connection. The band in question is Pattern Pusher, who I saw at Bearded Theory festival last year and was impressed by their upbeat, funky set, skittering summer beats and beautiful bass lines.
Now the Exeter three-man band are releasing a new single (one of several planned for this year), called Crazy Enough released on the 31st January.
What grabbed me on first hearing the new single is the distinctive sound of the sitar and it adds another dimension to the song. The sitar in question comes with an interesting story: it’s an electric one, a family heirloom passed down from vocalist Alex Johnstone’s dad Phil (songwriter for Robert Plant and The Levellers and co-writer on this song), and it’s Alex himself playing the oriental-sounding riff that floats on top of the heavy bass and disco beats of Crazy Enough.
I chatted to bass player Ben Greene. One of the first questions I asked him was about that sitar and what it was like learning to play it: “It is shaped and tuned just like an electric guitar and somehow they managed to get it to sound exactly like a sitar. We’ve fallen in love with the sound and have started using it quite a bit. It also means that Alex is free to bounce around the stage as he’s normally glued behind the keyboard.”
“We got to hang out with Michael Eavis in the Glastonbury fields”
The past year has been the best one yet and included several festival appearances, starting with Bearded Theory in May. They looked as if they were enjoying the experience. Says Ben: “That was the first main stage we’d ever played and it was surreal setting up our equipment next to Editors’ lorries and crew. We really enjoyed walking around and meeting the crowd after we played, everyone was so lovely and supportive. We gave a talk in the kid’s area about playing in a band which was fun too.”
More festivals were to follow: “A highlight was Beautiful Days festival where we formed a superband with backing singers, an impromptu saxophone solo (organised on the day) plus legendary musician Roy Harter (who can also be found occasionally joining in with the Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican and Celtic Social Club).
The band’s Glastonbury moment sealed the summer. “We won the Pilton Party competition. It meant we supported Supergrass (on their reunion gig) and Wolf Alice. We also got to hang out with Michael Eavis in the Glastonbury fields. It was an amazing experience.”
Crazy Enough is out now, 31st January 2020.
See Pattern Pusher at:
31st January 2020 Albert’s Shed, Shrewsbury
7th February 2020 Exeter Phoenix (Pattern Pusher presents)