The Clientele
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French version
   THE CLIENTELE - Bonfires On The Heath (2009)

The Clientele - Bonfires On The Heath
 01. I Wonder Who We Are
02. Bonfires On The Heath
03. Harvest Time
04. Never Anyone But You
05. Jennifer & Julia
06. Sketch
07. Tonight
08. Share The Night
09. I Know I’ll See Your Face
10. Never Saw Them Before
11. Graven Wood
12. Walking In The Park

Formed in 1991 The Clientele are a London-based British band with Alasdair MacLean on vocals and guitar, Mark Keen on drums, James Hornsey on bass and Mel Draisey on violin, keyboards, backing vocals and percussion. After the album "Suburban Light" (2000), "The Violet Hour" (2003), "Strange Geometry" and "It's Art, Dad" (2005), they released in 2007 "God Save The Clientele" recorded in Nashville on Merge Records. This album is the first to feature the brilliant Mel Draisey as the official fourth member of the band playing a wide range of instruments.
Their forthcoming new album "Bonfires on the Heath" is planned to be released on 6th October.

Interview with Mel Draisey multi-instrumentalist and member of The Clientele :

Mel Draisey

S: How and when did all begin with music? 

M: I learnt piano and violin classically as a kid then gave up as soon as I had finished my classical grades determined never to play again! Then moved to London and got bored 2 years later so decided to play in a band. I found my first one on gumtree, it was a posh boy punk band with me on violin....then gradually met more people and more bands to play with.

SWhat are the positive and negative sides of being a musician in UK?

M: The positive is you don't get so sweaty onstage negative would have to be the terrible riders you get given. I don't even like beer.
S: Do you feel anxious before a show?

M: Not normally, just excited, strangely the bigger the show the less scary, it's those really intimate ones that sometimes make me a bit nervous.

S: What musicians or artists had an influence in your life and in your work?

M: So many, from Bach to John Cale to The Beatles to the bands we have toured with.

SDo you remember what was the first CD you bought?

M: I couldn't possibly tell you the truthful answer on that one. It is shocking! The first cassette I remember buying was a great compilation called best of the 60's summer!

Best Of The 60's Summer  

S: Do you think the emotion is different between a song in English and in another language?

M: That's a hard question, I don't think the emotion is any different but I think it can sound different in different languages.

S: How could you define the music of The Clientele?

M: I always say pschedelic pop a bit like Love/Beatles (In our dreams obviously)

S: Do you agree with Victor Hugo who said :"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad"?

M: Yes I think I do. I like that. I like that feeling.

S: When you write a song you follow your heart, your brain or your hand?

M: I would never follow my brain because it would not do a good job. Always the hand and heart.

S: What is your favourite song of The Clientele and why?

M: To play would have to be one of the ones we do vocal harmonies on like "Somebody Changed" or "Bonfires on the Heath", to hear probably "Losing Haringey" or "Voices in the Mall"

S: As musician, what is your feeling about Internet?

M: It's a bittersweet thing. In the same day I might love it and hate it.
S: You worked with various other bands such as Primal Scream, Le Volume Courbe and Freelovebabies, I guess it's really exciting to express your talent in various projects ?

M: It is so much fun playing with different bands/musicians. I love improvising which I was allowed to do in some of these bands. It's great to be able to play with completely different sounding music too.

S: Can you describe what is a typical Mel's day?

M: There are 2 very different mel days, the mel day on tour and the mel day at work when not on tour. Which is more interesting?

S: What are your hobbies aside music?

M: Making clothes, making headbands, painting, teasing my cats with other cat sounds on youtube, cooking up soups, reading books in record speed, walking in the parks with my boyfriend.

S: Are you venturesome person?

M: Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

S: Where would you like to play in the future, is there a place in the world you would love to visit?

M: I'd love to go and play in Brazil, we have been pretty lucky with getting to tour all around America/EuropeAus&NZ but sadly haven't yet made it to Brazil.

S: And what's the best place for a concert "Brighton Beach", "Santa Monica", "Victoria Street" or "Locarno" ?

M: I suppose it depends which Brighton beach and which Victoria street you mean, or Alasdair means! I'd like a wintery concert on Victoria Street.

S: Are there any things, which you are afraid of? Do you have any fears?

M: There are 2 big ones. First is to be swimming in the sea, look down and to see and sunken ship looming out the darkness below, the second is daddy longlegs, I can't stand the way they always fly into your face and in your hair and you can't find where they have gone and then they are right back in your face again! Horrid....

S: What is the best moment and best place to listen to your music?

M: I think early Sunday morning when you are glad to wake up and not have to rush anywhere, or driving home on your own, or on the Underground to make everyone else around you seem like they are in a film not going to work.

S: As our website is related with Manic Street Preachers maybe can you say some words about them?

M: I saw their set at T in the Park on TV and though it was great, they do really good festival sets. It's a hard thing to do well i think.

S:  I know it’s a difficult question, but if you would have to keep just one album from your CD collection what album would it be?

M: That is hard....probably Gram Parsons "Grievious Angel" or The Best of The Kinks.

Gram Parsons - Grievious Angel  The Kinks

S: What was the last song you listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be the next?

M: I listened to Ian Brown "My Star" by accident just now, but I quite enjoyed it. I think I will listen to Shooby Taylor the human Horn in a minute as it makes me laugh every time I hear him.

S: Can you tell us the name of one French song, or singer, or band?

M: Apart from Le volume courbe? ;) okay, Phoenix, which I love.
S: And say something in French?

M: Je voudrais achete un kilo de pomme de tere sil vous plais

S: What are your plans for the nearest future?

M: Tour the new Clientele album 'Bonfires on the Heath" in October and February, Play some dates in Le Volume Courbe, ATP Nightmare at Christmas and to start gigging with a new band I have formed currently called "With Mel and I" Working title name......

SAnd finally, what’s the most important thing in life for you?

M: My, these are deep questions......To love and be loved I suppose. And to make beautiful music too.

MANY thanks to Mel and The Clientele for the interview!

More informations about The Clientele:

- on their site:

- on their Myspace:




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