NEO-PSYCHEDELIC INDIE OUTLET, PHANTOM ISLE, WERE BACK IN TOWN LAST MONTH FOR THEIR EP LAUNCH PARTY, HELD AT THE BLACK PRINCE. ORIGINALLY FROM NORTHAMPTON AND IT'S SURROUNDING AREAS, THE BAND HAVE SINCE RELOCATED TO LONDON TO GAIN MORE TRACTION DOWN THERE
Pete (Vocals/Guitar), Sam (Drums), Josh (Synth) and Matt Marchant (Bass) formed the original lineup of Phantom Isle, until Matt, Pete’s brother, passed away after battling cancer last year. He was the founding member and was heavily involved in the creation of the band. His influence is very much ingrained into the fibres of the music.
The past material is drenched in memories of their time together. Sam has a tattoo of Matt, wrapped in a wave, in the style of Japanese artist Hokusai’s, Great Wave Of Kanagawa. All past material features Matt on bass, including their last video for Four walls. The new video for ‘I’m Urs’ references that, with Matt appearing on a projector in the backdrop to symbolise that he is still very much part of the bands new direction.
Matt’s passing marks a new era for the band, now taking a different path, with a different meaning, it’s added a determination to carry on Matt’s legacy. His memory lives on, now immortalised by the music.
The new line-up has seen Jonny Longland join on Bass, previously known as a member of Fox Chapel. “Johnny joining the band has certainly changed our group influences” and has added a new variety. Each member of the band brings their own influences, which culminate in a unique melting pot of sounds. The band’s sound has fluctuated over time, changing to make more space for the increasing members and the new musical opportunities each addition has brought with them.
The band has been busy writing and demoing ideas, and in the coming future they plan to get into the studio to record new material. It will be the first time the band has been in the studio as the current line up and have some exciting things on the way soon. Next up for the band is a tour to celebrate the release of new single, ‘I’m Urs’. It will commence at the Black Prince, with support from Baby Lung,and to include the Lock tavern, Camden, The Horn and The Camden Assembly, with Sarpa Salpa, Jeana and Sara. Phantom Isle are off to Marburg for Manofest in May with Rolling Thunder and Jack vs hotdog. You can catch them all on the 22nd February for the Road to Manofest warm up gig at the Lamplighter.