Norwich Box Office - UEA LCR and Waterfront tickets

The Clockworks

Saturday 27 January 2024, 6pm - 9:30pm

The Waterfront Studio

+ nixer

14+ (under 16’s to be accompanied by an adult over 18)

The Clockworks: A quicksilver band, pulling references from across music, film, novels and art to create weaving, tragi-comic tales of the Everyman. Formed in Galway and now living in London, The Clockworks are James McGregor, Sean Connelly, Damian Greaney and Tom Freeman. In 2018 the band made a plan: they were going to sell out the 90-capacity upstairs venue of Galway’s famous Roisín Dubh in May, sell out the 280-capacity downstairs in October, and then move to London. Having sold out both shows precisely as planned, in January 2019 the band moved to a flat above a bakery in North London, fuelled by blind faith and determination. By the end of the month, the quartet were signed to singles-only label Creation23. 

Described by NME as ‘shit hot’ and praised by CLASH for their ‘ferocious sense of purpose’, the band rapidly gained ground with a string of impeccable singles including Feels So Real, Enough Is Never Enough, Can I Speak To A Manager?, Endgame and Advertise Me. Hotly tipped by The Guardian, The Independent and Hot Press, the band have received repeated support from national radio including BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Iggy Pop, alongside Simon Le Bon, Radio X’s John Kennedy, RTÉ 2FM and the legendary Rodney Bingenheimer on Sirius XM. 

Delivering exhilarating live slots across Europe, The Clockworks have played at major festivals including Pukkelpop, Eurosonic, Electric Picnic, Dour and The Great Escape. The band have also played at Liverpool’s Sefton Park with Kings of Leon, performed on Sky 1’s Soccer AM and completed a run of US dates with Pixies and UK support shows with The Reytons and Inhaler in 2022. 

After an extensive tour of the UK at the end of 2022, the band decided to head into the studio to record their first long form offering. Following a passion for storytelling, they pulled together influences from Pulp Fiction to Fleabag, from Zadie Smith to Edward Hopper. They wrote relentlessly during 2022, diligently crafting what was to become this debut album. Released independently on their own Life and Times Recordings, Exit Strategy is a 13-track labour of love, recorded at Abbey Road Studios and Love Electric, enlisting the production smarts of Bernard Butler. The album is in two halves (divided literally by the two sides of the vinyl edition) entitled Galway and London and presents a multifaceted band, pushing themselves and exploring the limits of their philosophy.? 

Exit Strategy centres around a protagonist who moves from Galway to London in search of meaning, certain that, as the main character in the film of his own life, the solution lies in changing his surroundings and acting as someone he’s not. Both a mirror and a portal, the album promises encounters with manipulative bosses, evil ad agencies, a broken pact to flee to Australia, run-ins with the law, cheating boyfriends, drug fuelled youths, heartache, paranoia, social media anxiety and a drunk singer dressed as Jesus. Thematically the album races between emotions, between irony and sincerity, between soul searching and tongue-in-cheek finger pointing and ends where it all started, both musically and in terms of single rollout, with the nostalgic/euphoric first single Westway.   

Explaining the album’s genesis and cinematic influence, James McGregor says: “We were always sure we wanted the album to be greater than the sum of its parts, so decided to create the world of a film, entitled Exit Strategy. We envisaged the record as a series of snapshots, telling the story of a group of characters trying to navigate through life.”  

Hallmarked more by a philosophy than a sound, The Clockworks weave pop sensibilities with noisy, post-punk, rock-influenced stylings. The songs seem swaggering and dark yet often have an epic, nostalgic quality. They sit poetic introspection beside witty, kitchen sink drama to create something intense but playful.? 

With the release of Exit Strategy, The Clockworks have created a world to be explored, to be analysed and to be deciphered, but most importantly to be felt.  

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