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BLAB – JSF’s Featured Artist for February

JSF caught up Southend’s digital-age, upcoming punk artist BLAB…

Hello BLAB! First and foremost, we love the artist name. Why BLAB?

Thank you! I think it encompasses my personality and my music better than any of the other awful band names I had floating around when I was 16 haha. I’m pretty vocal about stuff that I think is wrong or unfair and a lot of my music is about speaking out and being honest about the experiences I’ve been through or how I feel. It’s never something I intend on doing but it just happens whenever I write.

When did you first find your musical spark, and who were your first musical inspirations?

Ever since I can remember I’ve been obsessed with music. When I was a kid I would buy every single “NOW! That’s What I Call Music” CD and save up my pocket money to go to HMV and buy the latest one, which is so embarrassing to admit but I just loved listening to the CD for the first time and burning it to my computer. I’ve always loved the tactility of buying albums. When I got a bit older I started raiding the sale racks for CD’s of bands I’d heard on the radio. I used to play the recorder and mess about on toy keyboards as a kid and write really bad songs. I listened to a lot of pop music so I used to rewrite the lyrics to songs I liked. I grew up loving Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys and Two Door Cinema Club, but as I got older and started playing guitar I got super into loads more bands and heavier stuff. My parents were always playing Blur, The Jam, Sex Pistols, The Clash and Manic Street Preachers growing up and that definitely influenced me. But the main bands that I was really inspired by when I first started playing guitar were Wolf Alice and Haim. 

Congratulations on winning BBC Introducing in Essex’s Artist of the Year 2021. Tell us about where you’re from and the music scene down that way…

Thank you so much! It was so random I was caught up in the chaos of Christmas and Jake called me up and told me and I didn’t believe him at first hahah. Southend is really awesome as everyone is so supportive of each other and there’s no drama. Essex people (at least the creative people I know) have this “no nonsense” energy and they really just get shit done. I feel like we know that people don’t always take us as seriously as they should so we push even harder and right now, after the pandemic, I think there’s more great music coming out of this area than there ever has been. There’s such an ecosystem down here – everyone just helps each other out and I’m super grateful to live where I do. Plus I love being next to the sea!

The end of last year saw you release your debut EP, ‘Word of Mouth’ (which is class). It’s safe to say you’ve had some mega support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, Radio X & Spotify editorials (inc. the Punk Unleashed playlist). What’s next release-wise? An album en route?

Haha cheers. ‘Word of Mouth’ was a long time coming and the reception it got was really mind-blowing. I’m working on some mega projects at the moment and can’t wait to share them. There’s defo some awesome tunes in the bag for this year, some of my favourite songs I’ve ever recorded.

And now live music is BACK and bursting at the seams, do you have any plans to hit the road soon?

I’m heading out supporting Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly in March and April for my first proper UK tour! Needless to say I am buzzing for it! Sam’s a legend and we’re playing some really awesome venues so it’ll be super fun.

BLAB – it’s been a pleasure. You can find BLAB’s banger ‘Eton Mess’ on our JSF Mixtape on Spotify. Check her out on the social media links below:

– https://www.instagram.com/franblabs/

– https://www.facebook.com/franblabs

– https://open.spotify.com/artist/30Ksb5y6JT8MQO36S3CnwF

Photo credit (live): Alex Hanrahan

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Without People You’re Nothing – Joe Strummer

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