Miles and The Chain Gang release new song and video
‘Drag Me To The Light’ OUT NOW!
York-based band Miles and The Chain Gang released their second song and video, ‘Drag Me To The Light’ on November 15th 2020. The song is on usual platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music etc) and available via YouTube: https://youtu.be/qp3G7GtBwTQ (Please share). It follows on from their first release, ‘When It Comes To You’, released in February 2020.
‘Drag Me To The Light’ reflects the experience of lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020.
‘I wrote the song during lockdown in April,’ says Miles. ‘I was trying to capture the emotional feeling of what was happening, the sense of hunger for human interaction. We are social creatures and I think everybody felt the absence of human connection and warmth,’ says Miles. The song was recorded in June and July at Young Thugs Studio in York, and the video was filmed in September, also at Young Thugs. ‘I had no idea that when it came out, it would be during a second lockdown,’ says Miles. ‘In a way it’s more prescient now, as we are entering what could be a pretty uncomfortable winter, so the line ‘drag me to the light’ seems more powerful when you consider what is happening now.’
The band members are: Miles Salter (vocals / guitar), Billy Hickling (drums and percussion), Tim Bruce (bass), Alan Dawson (guitar). Also playing on the new song are Sean McMullan (guitar), Holly Taymar-Bilton (backing vocals), Sam Pirt (accordion), Thomas Rhodes (trumpet) and Jonny Hooker (organ). Most of the musicians who played on the track are based in the York area. Billy toured internationally with the acclaimed Stomp! show, and appeared at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. Tim has played with numerous York bands and once auditioned for Simply Red. Alan has played with bands in Scotland for years. ‘They’re all brilliant,’ says Miles. ‘I’m lucky to play with them. My job is to write the songs and sing them as well as I can. I work on the publicity side of things as well.’ (Away from the band, Miles recently released his third book of poems, Fix. One of the poems in the book is called ‘Without Guitars, Sugar, You and Me are nothing.’)
‘The song is a bit more funky than things I’d usually write,’ says Miles. ‘I think playing with Billy, Tim and Alan has opened me up to other ways of approaching music. It has a bit of a Nile Rogers feel to it.’
‘It has been a very frustrating year,’ says Miles. ‘We haven’t played any public gigs as a result of the pandemic. We were due to our first gig in late March, and the first lockdown happened. We’re trying to focus on video, and reach people that way. We’ve had over 2000 views of various things, so that’s not bad. We are also developing our social media presence. We’ve made a lot of progress since the start of 2019. Nobody knew who we were then! So things are building, slowly.’
The band have enjoyed a creative association with Young Thugs in York, who have enjoyed success recently with York band Bull. Both the song and video for ‘Drag Me To The Light’ were made at Young Thugs, with Young Thugs supremo and music producer Jonny Hooker also playing keyboards on the track.
‘Young Thugs is a great facility,’ says Miles. ‘They want to champion music in the north of England. Jonny’s really good to work with. He’s very focused and business-minded, but really for the bands he works with, who are coming from all over the north now. It’s very impressive.’
Photo credit: Jim Poyner. Band photo Left to Right: Billy Hickling, Miles Salter, Tim Bruce, Alan Dawson
Miles and The Chain Gang – ‘Drag Me To The Light’ is out now on all major platforms.