I met with Shelter Boy and his guitarist Sprizz during a brief break in the Manchester drizzle. We sat down for our interview on the eve of their penultimate UK show for the year. Though based in Germany this duo are really starting to make waves in the UK after a string of dates supporting their label mates Bilk. Shelter Boy’s genre-spanning debut released earlier this year combines elements from all his heroes from The Beatles to Elvis to Oasis. The infectious on-stage chemistry between these two friends is just a snippet of what is to come when Shelter Boy returns in May with a full band in tow.
So you’re been here supporting your good friends Bilk on their UK tour, how’s that been so far?
It went off, it really went off. Yeah, I was really shocked at how crazy their show is; they’ve got a very good crowd of fans. But we’ve had lots of fun. It’s just been us two – me, Ernie Prizz my guitar player. We’ve been playing to a backing track which was kind of hard at first, but now I think we’ve got into it.
The drums and bass are all pre-recorded?
Yeah, but it’s all right we make the best that we can out of it.
Do you think you’ll be back with a full band in May for your Headline tour?
Yeah! I’m looking forward to that a lot. We’ll have a drummer, a bass player, Ernie the guitar player and a keyboard player. So it’s a five-piece rock and roll band.
Which city has been your favourite on the tour?
I’d say Sheffield all the way. Yeah, it was pretty sweet and people got into it. We didn’t expect that, but it was so nice.
So what have you been up to while you’ve been in Manchester?
I was just like getting really pissed yesterday. Basically, we were just moving around the pubs (laughing). But yeah, there are also so many good thrift shops! We love clothes so it’s like the best place.
So you’ve got an extra suitcase between you full of clothes?
The thing is I think we need one actually, our bags are probably too heavy right now. We also went to a show at the pub where we’re going to play in May, Gulliver’s. We went upstairs and we were like fucking hell, in May, we’re going to stand up there. So that was a cool feeling.
Which band did you see?
Quiet Houses; they were fucking good. They’re from Scotland, like very mellow music. What was crazy is that they knew who I was and I was like fucking hell. We talked to them and then the manager was like “Oh, you’re also on Scruff (of the Neck) right? You’re Shelter Boy”. And I was like… “Yes… how do you know that”. So that was insane. The bartender was also at the show in September, and she knew us. It’s so insane that we’re in Manchester and somebody knows us it’s a good feeling.
Your album ‘Failure Familiar’ has been out for a few months now. What has the reaction been like?
I think was crazy was just positive. Yeah, like, if somebody just wants to say something bad about it I would appreciate that. (laughing)
Has it gone to your head a little bit?
Yeah, I think. (laughing) No, I’m very hyped to play it live with the band because that hasn’t happened so far. Cause everything’s closed down in Germany, you know.
So what is the situation at home?
It’s all shut down you know, everything. Even bars are closing at eight and you’re not allowed to drink alcohol. I lost my job because I work in a bar as well as Ernie. Yeah, it’s pretty shit, but it’s cool to be like the only (EU) band that’s touring the UK right now.
What’s been your favourite song to play from the album on these shows?
Favourite tunes? For me, it’s ‘I Can Be Sad’, I love it. We play that one on acoustic. It’s a nice song and yeah, it just works pretty well on just two guitars. That’s always a good sign.
It’s got a nice sing-along bit at the end, doesn’t it?
Yeah, it’s so much fun to do. It’s a bit kind of cheesy and the jokes about that also help, but I think it’s fun the kind of energy that we get back.
Yeah, it’s a great way to get the crowd involved. That’s the last song in the set, isn’t it?
Yeah, yeah, then we go into Don’t Let Me Down (The Beatles) like, with the last chord of I Can’t Be Sad we go into the “doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo” part.
You’ve just released your song ‘Congratulations’ with BLVTH, how did that come about? It’s very different from your usual sound?
He’s a big German Hip-Hop producer, and I really like what he is doing. So, we had each other on our lists, for a long time and then he just text me, “Wanna go down to the studio?” I was like, Yeah, let’s just try something. And it was just really jamming the song, you know? And this is what came out.
Next year you will return to the UK on your headline tour, why should our readers come and see you?
I think because it will be a fucking good rock and roll show! Like one of the best, right behind The Beatles best concert will be Shelter Boy at Gulliver’s. (Laughing) No, I mean, when we are with the full band, it is always like a little party on stage. I think it’s fun to see, and they are really good musicians so it’s fun.
So who was your number one on Spotify wrapped?
Um, The Beatles to be honest, the number one song was Close to You by Dayglow. I think they have better tunes but it’s a decent tune.
And who’s your guilty pleasure?
I don’t have guilty pleasures, I really don’t fuck with that term actually. I mean, some people in the office would be embarrassed that I think the first three Coldplay records a quite decent. They were good records.
How about you Ernie? What’s your guilty pleasure?
Maybe like some of the 60s tunes from the traditional German music, like the Schlager music? They had some tunes with the 60s 70s vibe and yeah, that’s fine, no guilt (laughing).
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