Introducing: Richard Carlson Band
Richard Carlson Band are an enigma new to the Manchester scene. Running with a wild fictional scandal as the bastard children of actors Richard Carlson and Julia Adams, the orphans express their woes through dark and experimental art-rock and vintage visuals.
Brad Cadman (vocals, guitar), Cam Vardy (vocals, guitar) and Sam Carrick (bass) claim they were conceived on the set of the 1954 horror Creature From The Black Lagoon as their parents partook in a made-up amphetamine-fuelled love affair. However, their obscene narrative isn’t the only thing setting them apart.
Their musical endeavour was 64 years in the making, but they only dropped their debut single You Can’t Stop (I Can Feel It) two months ago via Blank Expression. Fuelled by rumbling bass grooves mixed with soaring riffs and guttural spoken-word, it’s reminiscent of post-punk contemporaries Fontaines D.C. and The Murder Capital, as well as the more classic sound of Joy Division. Recorded at The Warren in Sheffield, where Cadman and Vardy are originally from, it’s been internationally well-received. Fab Radio in Manchester have marked it as their track of the week, while Radio Kaos Caribou in Paris have also given the brooding track a spin.
The music video for You Can’t Stop (I Can Feel It) was released early last month and is just as off-kilter and minimalistic as expected from the trio. Filmed prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, the low-lit accompaniment features intense long takes, shots similar to the ‘Galileo’ section of Bohemian Rhapsody and even a snake. It’s a cinematic offering that their estranged parents would be proud of.
They also released the eerie B-side Puerile Bouquet along with the hit single. Taking a gruesome spin on a nursery rhyme-like tune, it depicts the aftermath of a man who sought revenge on his childhood bullies and their kids in the most extreme way. Speaking to us, Cadman stated that Vardy, the lead composer, was inspired by the traumatic stories behind most jaunty children’s songs, but instead left nothing to the imagination for his rendition. When paired with the more cryptic lyricisms of You Can’t Stop (I Can Feel It), it’s strangely refreshing and shows they’re more than just another Mancunian post-punk band.
Having performed with the likes of Working Men’s Club, played Manchester R-Fest, as well as signed a record deal in the short time since their musical conception, the future of Richard Carlson Band is already looking promising.