Returning with their first original music in over three decades, Bradford are releasing a brand new album in 2021 titled Bright Hours. Featuring founding members Ian H. (vocals) and Ewan Butler (guitar), the reunion also sees the band welcome acclaimed producer Stephen Street (who produced their 1989 debut album Shouting Quietly) as an official full-time member. The Fountain caught up with the Blackburn-based band to discuss new members and the hiatus.

TF: You have a new single out, what has the reception been like to Like Water

The reception has been crystal clear on my radiogram when Steve Lamacq and Gary Crowley featured it on their fabulous shows and it has sneaked into several renowned playlists too elsewhere.  Lots of positive warm wishes from fans old and fans new and it seems to be ‘doing the business’ on other platforms too, to use the common parlance.

TF: And how have your fans welcomed Stephen to the new band formation, I hope they’ve been warm?

If truth be told, Stephen ALWAYS was a ‘hidden’ member of the band – try to imagine the Beatles without George Martin and his creative input… difficult innit? We are lucky as Stephen looks a lot cooler than dear old George, plays more instruments on our new album as well as mixing and fixing [and the rest] and everyone is delighted with this natural, organic transition to him being a ‘recognised’ member.  Ewan and I had to see the doctor when he first joined as we had done damage to ourselves by ‘over grinning‘, I think the diagnosis was.

TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, after this single release, did I note an LP?

How do you make God laugh? – Tell him yer plans.

Yeah, there’s two more singles to follow – Down-Faced Doll and My Wet Face this year and February 2021 sees the release of our fab new album Bright Hours.

TF: And I know this is a dreadful question, but why a 30 year hiatus, it’s great to see you back though?

We thought ‘thirty years’ had a certain ring to it – it was purely an aesthetic decision.  We like ‘three decades’ too.  We would’ve blown it if it was say a 28 years hiatus or even 33 years – over shooting the target, so to speak.  We subscribe to Einstein’s theory of time being an illusion – ‘allbeit a persistent one’ as he says – er, or is that ‘reality’ he means?  Anyroad – both are true.

TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging? 

Cricking the neck back yet once more, the ‘old’ Bradford always liked playing both Internationals in Manchester – supporting Joe Strummer at the International 2 was very memorable for obvious reasons and we supported Australian band The Triffids at the International on their ‘Black Swan’ tour, an album Stephen had just produced.  Good size dance floor, secure dressing rooms [they had to be!], decent pa and monitors and always a sizeable and receptive crowd and last but not least, only 40 minutes in the van back home to Blackburn.