From featuring at Peaky Blinders Festival to now touring on their biggest tour to date, the five-piece band have a bright future and luckily, I had the chance to speak to the lead singer Abi Woodman and band member Max Hunter.
How did you all become friends and form ‘Marthagunn’?
Abi: Well we met just before we all stared university and Max was a friend; well he was living with a friend of mine and I was looking to play with some musicians. I wasn’t really into the whole solo act thing as I wanted to be in a band, so we had a jam together. We got on well and it just felt natural, then we met everyone else along the way.
Max: We were all in various friendship groups down in Brighton and we all came together, and it was quite organic.
As a band who are your inspirations and who do you aspire to be?
Max: That’s interesting because I think we all have loads of different inspirations individually but there is a lot of cross over. However, I think we all bring something different to the table and I think each of our inspirations says something about us.
Abi: Across the board, our main ones are Fleetwood Mac, Mystery Jets, and a bit of Prince.
Recently you performed at the Peaky Blinders Festival. What was that like performing alongside the likes of Primal Scream?
Abi: Yeah that was mad, we didn’t know till the day that Liam Gallagher was the special headliner and he was like three acts or four after us. There are only six bands on the main stage, so it was pretty mad, it was really cool, and it was one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to, not just for the music but the whole experience.
Max: It seemed like a real celebration of arts in general and there was so many cool acts; it was a cool day and nice to be on the main stage.
You also performed at Citadel and the Great Escape this year. What was that like as a band?
Abi: Great Escape was wild, we’ve been away for a while and we started to release music the beginning of this year, around springtime. So Great Escape was a month after we released music, so we weren’t really sure what it was going to be like and turned out there was a queue outside the door, but the venue has a capacity. It looked like it was only three quarters full when it actually hit capacity as there wasn’t enough fire exits, so we didn’t know that, but it was really good.
Max: It was an amazing venue and a big church. We just finished a mini tour of three gigs after we released ‘Saint Celia’ our first single this year and that was like the next gig after that so it was kind of like the end of it, which meant we were all quite pumped.
You released your ‘Love and Emotion’ EP this year. How did that come across and what has the outcome been like for you?
Abi: I think we knew we had to – we have got a lot of music backlogged – so it felt appropriate to release ‘Love and Emotion’, ‘Saint Celia’ first because they kind of tell a story of the journey we have been on. They were kind of two of the first songs that were written in this kind of process. It was a new time for us, so it felt right to come back with them and then we took down ‘Honey Let me Know’ offline and a lot of people kicked off about it so we were like ok do you know what we will put it back on. Then, we just decided to put them together as an EP, but we didn’t push it super hard, we just wanted to get the music out.
Max: I guess it’s a little time capsule for us, so it seemed appropriate to put them altogether.
An insider said if you add all your hair together, it could go around the world once. Is this true?
Max: I reckon so all though Frankie has cut all his hair.
Abi: I feel like I’ll be doing most of the work.
Max: You and Humphrey are doing the leg work and me and Ally and gingerly on the side
Abi: Is that a pun?
Max: No, it’s a good one actually. We got this thing Ally and Humphrey are ginger book ends, out on the stage left and right – keeping it altogether, the fire on the outside.
What has been your biggest achievements as a band?
Abi: You know what I would say it’s this.
Max: Yeah definitely this tour, this is gig two of seventeen and it feels great. As we said, the most we ever done is a five-day tour. It’s blowing out of the water and it’s all our own shows, so now it feels really cool and humbling to sort of go around and getting into the nitty gritty of it.
Abi: We have been doing this for years and it has taken us a long long time to just get here, so it feels like a massive milestone for us. Like we can tick the boxes and it just feels like the right time to do this. The work we have put in over the last few years, now mean we can go and play these songs live.
Max: The last year, it’s becoming more regular at gigs that there are people we have never seen before in the front row singing along, which makes us smile. Someone who I never seen before is listening to us and knows the words.
Abi: And we are going to places on this tour we have never been before as in like individually never been before. It’s really nice just to meet people and pick up some fans on the way.
Finally, what can we expect from you in the future?
Abi: You can expect a couple of EP’s in different forms.
Max: We can’t wait to do an album but it’s all about picking the right time.
Abi: We are working towards it eventually but in the immediate future it will be more touring and releases and I don’t know if you heard our Lizzo cover – I won’t say too much but that’s going to be part of some more things as well.