26th Jun, 2017

COLUMN: City of Culture bid helping to discover Coventry's hidden musical talent says Pete Chambers BEM

Correspondent 17th Feb, 2017

Well it’s a great big hello, and lovely to be here at The Observer.

Over the coming weeks and months, it’s local music that my words (of hopefully) wisdom, will be all about.

Ours is an amazing city already.

The bid for City of Culture 2021 is not necessarily turning up new talent, it’s merely helping us become aware of some of our musical hidden treasures.

Yes, they are out there.

And now we have our heritage goggles on, finding them has become a little easier. It’s a great place to live – lets celebrate old and new.

Speaking of new, Auto Pilot-UK is a name that is likely to become common place any time soon.

It’s the new band formed by former Enemy bassman Andy Hopkins.

Here’s my exclusive interview with him.

They line up like this: Jack Schofield – Vocals / Rhythm guitar, Tom Gedney – Lead guitar, Andy Hopkins – Bass guitar and

Chris Lewis – Drums.

Pete Chambers – So can you briefly tell us why The Enemy ended, and this new band has begun?

Andy Hopkins – The Enemy ended with a mutual agreement between the three of us. We all felt it had run its course and all wanted to do different things with our lives.

PC – Are you keen that AutoPilot-UK is seen just as a new local band, not just Andy from The Enemy’s new band?

AH -Yes, I feel the music we are writing, really deserves to stand up on its own. We’re really proud of our songs and the music is different to what people might expect.

PC – How would you describe your sound and who writes the songs?

AH – It’s always hard to describe your own bands sound without pigeon holing yourselves too much, but I’d say Energetic, Indie, Pop.

When it comes to writing the songs, there is no formula. Anyone of us could have the initial idea and then the four of us work on it together.

PC – Is it too soon to be looking at Management deals, and releasing material?

AH – We have played one gig so far supporting The Redfaces at the Sunflower lounge in Birmingham, so we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. But the gig was class and we want to thank everyone who came to support us. It really didn’t feel like a first gig because of you lot.

PC – So where can we catch AutoPilot-UK, playing live.

AH – Our next few gigs are…

Wednesday 8th March – Birmingham (The Pigeon Detectives)

Thursday 9th March – Nottingham (The Pigeon Detectives)

Friday 10th March – Coventry (White Lies)

Further announcements will be on our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/autopilotmusicuk

PC – Can I ask you Andy your thoughts on The Enemy Exhibition at the Music Museum, do you have a band pic?

AH – I really didn’t know what to expect when I went down to The Enemy exhibition at the Coventry Music Museum.

But I must say I was overwhelmed again by the support and the effort that had been put into it.

Some amazing memories and achievements that even I had forgotten about.

Such a nice thing for you and your team to have done.

So thank you for that.

Not to mention all the other memorabilia/equipment and achievements of Coventry legends like The Specials, The Primitives, Selecter etc.

I would really recommend people go check it out.