In Praise of Peterborough

By Neelesh Vasistha on 06-07-2020

On the barstool this week is Call to the Faithful from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. With their chunky blend of rock, punk and hardcore styles, the band is making an imprint on the local and regional scene — or were, certainly, before Covid took a sledgehammer to live music. The band nevertheless sustains a warm presence online, regularly posting quarantine videos and locally supportive content.

martyrialsCall to the Faithful

How would you describe the musical landscape in Peterborough? What does the city do especially well?

'We can't talk about the music scene in Peterborough without mentioning the Met Lounge. It’s been a staple of the local music scene for as long as we’ve all been in bands. It gives a platform to rising bands — some of which blow up, like Enter Shikari or Fickle Friends. For unsigned bands like us, it’s that initial stepping stone into the wonderful world of performing live music.'

We’ve sadly lost a lot of our bigger, better festivals — like Green Meadows and The Willow Festival. The city is crying out for someone to come and fill the hole they left behind.

Overall, the music scene in Peterborough is fairly small. We hope to see more spaces for live music pop up. We rely on these grassroots venues to hone our craft and, above all, steal half an hour to pretend we’re rockstars.

The video for Call to the Faithful’s recent release, Demons, is out now.

You play a lot around East Anglia. Do you prefer gigging in cities or small towns?

We had really ramped up our gigging efforts, with shows booked in new places across the UK, both towns and cities, before the pandemic pulled the rug from under us.

It’s hard to say what we prefer, but the size of the crowd determines what sort of gig you’re going to have. From our experience, the crowds tend to get bigger in the bigger cities, especially if you're lucky enough to get on a bill with a local band that draws well.

We just love playing live. If you want to book us then we want to play. You never know who’s in the audience, or who can help you. If we have to play a few 'dud' shows to three people (all bar staff) before we meet the right person, then so be it.

martyrialsCall to the Faithful

You’re a few hours striking distance from basically every big city in England. Strategically, do you favour certain cities over others?

If you want to be taken seriously as a band in Cambridgeshire, then you need to pull a crowd in Cambridge. We focused a lot of effort on that. Next up was branching out to some of the great cities nearby: Leicester, Nottingham, London. We’re also lucky that our vocalist Matt is from the West Midlands, so we’re able to pull a crowd in and around Birmingham — and will continue to capitalise on that where we can.

As with most bands, we hope that one day we can tour the entire UK. Once live music returns, we’ll try to rebook dates we had for London, Northampton, Rotherham, Cambridge and Birmingham. Keep an eye out for those!

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