“No one ever comes to practice with a song written,” says Chris (alto Sax), talking about the creative process behind The Petty Thieves’ new EP, Better Things. “Someone will bring a riff or a verse or vocal hook, and then we just write our song at practice together.”
“A prime example is a song we’ve been working on recently, adds Steve (vocals). “It started as a little thing I came up with. I was absent for one practice, and when I came back I was like, ‘What the fuck is this? This is awesome!'” For Dillon (tenor sax), the process is less spontaneous: “I just get told what to do because I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing most of the time.”
The Petty Thieves have had a busy 2016, culminating in a mini tour outside of their usual Kent and London stomping grounds. Their taste of life on the road has had its ups and downs, including a night in Leicester when, after going out for a fag, half the group were accidentally locked out of their accommodation. With the rest of the band fast asleep and not answering their phones, they were forced to sit in McDonald’s before being kicked out onto freezing streets. “I was alright, I’m used to being on the streets,” says Jac (bass) proudly. “I had to lay on Steve to keep him warm.” Steve furtively leans into the mic to make a confession: “it was an intimate moment and I enjoyed every second of it.”
While I admire The Petty Thieves’ sense of humour (as discovered in our last interview), beneath the jocular surface lies serious ambition. “Our first year is out of the way and now we’re going that bit more professional,” explains Sam (vocals and guitar). “We’ve signed up to PRS (Performing Right Society), so everything you put in comes back. You get royalties and all that kind of shit. Everything’s kind of logged.”
The band have also released a music video for Take Your Time (Don’t Rush), and are planning to gig with Captain Accident and the Disasters, a Cardiff based band who, according to Chris, are “the best in the game in the UK underground reggae scene.”
With 2017 set to be an important year for The Petty Thieves, it might not be long before they regard themselves as the best in the game. For now, though, the band is marking the release of their digipack EP with a gig at Poco Loco on the 4th of Feb. You can also buy a range of merchandise along with the EP, as plugged by Jac: “£7 for a t-shirt, £4 for a badge, or a tenner for both.” Bargain.
Find out more about The Petty Thieves:
Look out on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and Google Play for Better Things.
Video: Simon Champ