Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialEntertainment & SportMusic.

Doves: the Confidential video interview

Jonathan Schofield interviews Jimi Goodwin of Doves as their new album Kingdom of Rust launches - and we've got the uncut video too

Written by . Published on April 6th 2009.

Doves: the Confidential video interview

Doves have always been one of the more sophisticated bands of Manchester. Or is ‘sophisticated’ the right word?

What about ‘clever’ or ‘lyrical’ or ‘cultured’ or ‘complex’ or ‘crafted’. Doves are hard to pin down.

Confidential is interviewing Jimi Goodwin, lead singer, bassist, guitarist and co-composer of Doves in the top floor of an old spinning shed in Hallam Street, Stockport. This now forms the fabulous Moolah Rouge studios. So how does Goodwin tag the band?

“It’s impossible,” he says. “It’s like when one of your nana’s mates says ‘how do you describe your music?’ ‘Maybe, kind of melodic’, you say. And when you say ‘rock’, you go, ‘but not hard rock, nan, not like heavy metal and all that.’ The emphasis is on songwriting, the craft. We get lazy Coldplay assumptions, especially in America. We’ve even had Radiohead comparisons. It’s so far off the mark.”

Certainly is. People need tags, but Doves defy them. They are very much their own band.

As a unit the three principal members have been together twenty years. Jimi Goodwin and brothers Jez and Andy Williams, met in the mid-eighties at Wilmslow High. They started producing music in 1989 in Manchester. First they formed Sub, Sub and had a hit with dance track ‘Ain’t no love, (ain’t no use)’ in 1993. After a fire in their Ancoats’ studio they changed track, literally, and Doves were hatched. Studio albums to date include Lost Souls (2000), Last Broadcast (2002) and Some Cities (2005). Kingdom of Rust is the 2009 release.

Most Doves albums have a theme. With Some Cities the clue was in the title, so does Kingdom of Rust have a core controlling thought?

“You never know what you’re writing until the end,” says Goodwin, “then you see similarities between some of the lyrics and some of the themes. This was a bugger to wrestle down. There’s a lot of nature, there’s always travel or escape in Doves' albums or a desire to be somewhere or some place. This time there’s physical travel. The track ‘Jetstream’ is almost like a fifties vision of the future, the golden age of air travel,” Goodwin pauses, and seemingly apropos of nothing, says with a smile, “sashaying stewardesses in crimplene dresses.”

As the discussion continues about the album he quotes from the opening lyric of the song ‘Kingdom of Rust’, “I hear a sound, a sound above my head, a distant sound of thunder, moving out on the moor..” In a timely manner a plane flies over and the moors can be seen through the window. “It’s a positive album, all Doves' albums are,” says Goodwin.

Listening to it, the new album is just that and also – let’s add this to the descriptors for the enigmatic band - full of the most romantic word in English, ‘yearning’.

Title track ‘Kingdom of Rust’ has all these in spades, it’s a perfect Doves track, crafted, clever, complex, lyrical and full of yearning. Full of the travel that Goodwin talks about too. It’s also pleasant to see the mini-road movie of the video set on the moors on the M62 and A672 between Denshaw and Ripponden – check out the YouTube video link below.

Sense of place, sense of the north west, seems part of Doves as much as the yearning. Labelled occasionally a ‘Cheshire’ band, because they live out in Cheshire, their identity seems more rooted in the city. Jimi Goodwin, for one, isn’t sure about the Cheshire label.

“We met at Wilmslow Comprehensive but Manchester made this band. All our families are from there, my family are from Ancoats and Clayton. I spent half my life there. I have a funny thing about how much a place makes you and how much you make a place, or how much the people do. I’ve never been a chest-beating Mancunian, but it empowered us growing up.”

The conversation drifts off into how the citizens of this city, if not careful, can become professional Manc bores about their music. We return to the complexity of sound Doves generate, the layering of instruments one over the other. It’s no surprise the band has a ‘slow or measured’, as Goodwin calls it, reputation, but how on earth do they ever finish tracks and say ok that’s enough - after all it’s been four years since their last album?

“It’s when all three of us agree,” says Goodwin. “This can be anything from a week’s work to three month’s work per track. It’s like a relay. Someone’s not quite focussed, because other stuff’s going on in life, then we all try and pick up the baton at different times and have a vision or an idea. When someone’s drained with a track, it’s hang about, I’ve got an idea. Jez is the dominant character in this, his gift for melody is incredible and his drive. But what takes the time is that we do honour and respect each other.”

Does the respect every stray over into conflict?

“No, not really. Never any fist fights, not even proper blazing rows, just snipes and sideswipes.”

Doves are definitely not in the tradition of Manchester bands that includes Oasis. Given the long shadow the latter casts over the reputation of bands from the city, they’re a timely reminder that the Manchester music story contains far more intelligence than belligerence. Kingdom of Rust sums that up.

Doves play Manchester University on 26 April To see the video for Kingdom of Rust click here

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Heather Buchanan

link isn't working for some reason to play the music

 Read more
Heather Buchanan

don't be such a negative troll, post your face and name. There is absolutely such a thing where has…

 Read more
Beast is back

I managed to get tickets to this event and it was mesmeric. Never seen John before but it was a…

 Read more

Going to see John Grant at the Bridgewater Hall, cannot wait! Anyone unfamiliar with him have a…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2021

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord