COVENTRY Music Museum curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer.
Luke Weaver is the man behind Mintakaa, a musician’s musician, you may know him as part of the following bands – Rooted n Booted, Luna and The Moonhounds, MK1 Soundsystem and Messages to Mars. Now it’s solo project time for this superb musician, and it takes the form of a single and video entitled ‘Auriga’.
I put a few questions to Luke about this new project. I asked him if the solo idea came because of lockdown?
He said: “The idea of doing a solo project had been brewing for a while but lockdown has definitely given me time to develop and explore my sound.
“In the first lockdown, I was approached by Coventry artist Bella Deanie to collaborate as part of the City of Culture ‘Front Room Session’ album.
“That project helped with my creative flow for sure.”
Is it a huge feeling of liberty to do a solo project?
“It is a new experience, being in control of the whole creative process.
“I find when I get into a flow in the studio it can be very cathartic, spending hours sitting with my guitar as the melodies evolve.
“I enjoy having the time to nurture my own ideas at my own pace, but it is very different to the shared experience of playing and collaborating with fellow musicians.”
And his plans for the future?
“I am currently working on a song with Coventry artist Sophie Hadlum which is set to be released as part of my upcoming EP.
“I am also working with a collective of highly talented local musicians, forming ‘The Mintakaa Collective’, a platform for Mintakaa songs to be played live, with each member of the collective adding their own flare, giving the songs a new dimension that can only come from live music.
“I look forward to being able to gig with this outfit when this is possible again.”
And who created stunning visuals? The photographs and video were taken by Apparition Visuals – a Coventry based visual company.
Auriga is available now.
Well, this is a surprise (in a good way).
In previous reviews of this band I have used words like ‘jazzy’ and ‘soulful’, but if you had sat me down and played this new track from Shanghai Hostage, I would have never guessed it was them.
‘Convent’ has got it all – great harmonies (almost heading to Gregorian chant), some ‘in your face’ power-chords, superb musicianship and raging rock vocals to die for.
The lyrics are about running away to a Convent to escape the patriarchy – never saw that one coming either.
The band says of the song: “Taking on a very different style from their usual, funkier repertoire, Convent is an angry, comical yet honest outburst about the frustrations of living in a patriarchy.
“It took a commonly held conversation among many women, half-joking about running away to start an all-female commune and turned into a full-on ragey rock song which is incredibly fun on stage when Sophie dons her nun outfit.”
I have loved all of Shanghai Hostages body of work, but without question this is my favourite, I can’t stop playing it, I absolutely love it, and you will love it too.