Sparkwood & 21: Interesting name, interesting band

With an obscure name and a bass player who appeared on one of the last Peel Sessions, Sparkwood & 21 are four Liverpool lads who describe themselves as the “purveyors of harmonic melancholy.”

The name, first of all, is a reference to the cult American TV show Twin Peaks (ask your parents…) and the last known location of the character Laura Palmer whose disappearance the show revolves around.

Singer, guitarist and mandolin player John Daglish describes how it came about: “We had a long list of the names where lots of people went ‘No, no, no, no…’ and then about six of seven weeks later, ‘What about Sparkwood & 21?,’ ‘Oh that sounds alright…’

“It’s proved to be quite a good name because anyone who knows Twin Peaks says: ‘Is that a Twin Peaks reference?’ And you get other people who have seen us a few times say ‘You got your name from Twin Peaks!’ after they’ve gone and watched it.”

They’ve been together for around two years and just over a year with bass player Nik Kavanagh whose previous band made an appearance on one of legendary BBC DJ John Peel’s last sessions. Of the experience Kavanagh says: “amazing, absolutely amazing,” acknowledging that Peel’s untimely death in 2004 was a big loss to music.

Sparkwood & 21’s sound is a mix of acoustic, folk, pop and country: “Sad songs that make you feel happy and happy songs that make you feel sad,” says Daglish.

The band next play at Liverpool’s free Mello Mello venue at the corner of Wolstenhome Square and Slater Square on May 21 as part of the Liverpool Sound City festival.

For chilled out music from four very chilled out lads, check their MySpace where there’s also all the latest news and gig dates.

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