The Nile Deltas
If you believe ‘The X Factor’, the only way to be discovered in the 21st century is by parading yourself in front of a panel of morons headed up by idiot-in-chief Simon Cowell. Craig Blencowe, soulful vocalist with The Nile Deltas, is living proof that’s simply not true.
“He was a roofer,” says Blencowe’s bandmate, guitarist Tom Lord. “It was authentic and genuine as that. One of my friends heard him singing and said, ‘Do you want to be in a band mate?’.”
If Simon Cowell stands for everything that’s wrong with music today, The Nile Deltas are at the opposite end of the spectrum. The Leicester six-piece mine a seam of Hammond-soaked classic rock ’n’ roll that stretches back to Free, Humble Pie and The Faces and can be traced through early Whitesnake and The Black Crowes right up to contemporary heroes such as Rival Sons and The Temperance Movement.
“That period from 1968 to 1972 is our biggest influence,” says Lord, whose band sound like they come from the Deep South rather than the East Midlands. “It was the melting pot of musical styles that I love. Everything exploded in that era. There was an endless supply of fantastic music. We try to tap into that vibe then bring it forward with our own flavour.”
Like the bands that influenced them, The Nile Deltas are all about authenticity over image. “Totally,” says Lord, who briefly played with cult British rockers Apes, Pigs & Spacemen in the late 90s. “We strive for that in our music. We’re not trying to create a theatrical show – it’s about the songs. The music’s got to sell the band rather than the image.”
They may have put in the hours in previous bands, but it’s still early days for The Nile Deltas, who also feature guitarist Nige Thompson, keyboard player Giles Minkley, bassist Bruce Hartley and drummer Andy Parkinson. They spent the back half of 2016 writing music, with a view to entering Rockfield Studios – the legendary Welsh recording facility where Black Sabbath and Queen made some of their classic albums – to record an EP.
Like many of their fellow Rising Stage bands, The Nile Deltas bridge the past and the present. Anyone would think we’re due resurgence in good old fashioned rock ’n’ roll…
“I think we’re in the middle of a resurgence,” says Lord. “I’ve been thinking that for a few years – bands like The Temperance Movement and Rival Sons are spearheading it. Bands and audiences are that little bit older these days, and people want authenticity. There’s life in the old dog yet.”
Dust Me Down