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Paddy Considine on his band Riding The Low: “We’ve done it the hard way”

As Riding The Low gear up to release new album 'The Death Of Gobshite Rambo', Paddy Considine tells us all about his musical side project

By Nick Reilly

Paddy Considine and Riding The Low
Paddy Considine and Riding The Low (Picture: Press)

Paddy Considine has opened up on the latest album from his band Riding The Low, as well as the barriers faced when an actor dares to take a step into the world of music.

The ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ star returns this week with ‘The Death of Gobshite Rambo’, the third album from the band – which is fronted by the acclaimed actor.

Describing the record, Considine explained how it was influenced by his search to find a true identity when performing some of the band’s earliest shows.

“We’ve been going for 16 years and in the earlier days of the band I’d get up there and be a bit ranty, because I thought I was being quite funny,” Considine told Rolling Stone UK.

“I was trying to be a bit like [Guided By Voices’] Bob Pollard, who would get up there and shit-talk bands. But it was funny because he’s got a Norm McDonald stand-up comedian vibe to him.

“When I did it I sounded like a bitter twat! So I thought we needed to knock that on the head. It wasn’t sustainable and not who we were. I was living out some rock fantasy up there, but it really wasn’t working and you play so much better when you’re sober, fit and ready to do the gig anyway.”

But the title track also tackles deeper themes, including the way in which Considine coped with the death of his father.

“The song was about the death of my dad and going round to his house, moments after he passed away. My siblings started to arrive and it was an observation about this odd scenario where your dad is lying there dead in the bed in the living room and slowly getting more translucent and you’re watching people react around him,” he said.

“You’re feeling like a bit of an observer, watching their interactions and at one point I just thought if this was a film how would I shoot it? There’s a lot of people to cover, maybe I’d start on my dad and then cover my sister. That was my way of dealing with the moment, the detachment of it. That’s what the song is about, the death of a mighty man and his influence over me and our lives. It’s a love letter to me, my brothers and sisters.”

As for his writing process, Considine explained how he took advantage of down-time during filming to think up lyrics and ideas for the record.

“I do the majority of songwriting when I’m working because it just gets me away from everything else,” he said.

“Whatever flat I’m in or wherever I’m staying, I’ll set up a studio-ish set-up. Usually it’s just my laptop and a half decent mic and I’ll write. It’s an escape from all the other stuff, but I enjoy writing so much that it’s never really conflicted. Playing shows is the trickier part, when you’re contracted on something and you just can’t. That’s a bit of a problem.”

Another problem, Considine explained, is the small matter of dealing with detractors who have been quick to brand his band a “vanity project”.

“I said to the band years ago that me being an actor means people will be cynical about us and we’re gonna have to work twice as hard because people are not gonna like it. One of the first comments was failed vanity project, which is fair enough,” he said.

“But you only fail if you don’t reach the target and we haven’t failed! It’s been a very painful and drawn out vanity project. It’s a pain in my arse at times and I could do without it, but I think there’s a strange ignorance and I don’t know where that comes from. I’ve said this before but if a musician wants to act, actors welcome them and we have an open door policy to people. We’re a company, so come and be part of the gig.”

He added: “If a film star has a band suddenly they’re playing 4PM at Glastonbury and you think how the fuck did you get that slot? But I can’t pay much attention to it. We’ve done it the hard way, like journeyman fighters. We’ve played pubs, we’ve played clubs and we’re still doing it now. We love doing it and we love the songs. There’s definitely people who have come through the door to see the guy from Dead Man’s Shoes, but they come back because they like the music.

“They’re not now to see me and I see those faces ten years later. You’ll look out and go I’m so flattered you’ve come all this way to watch us, it’s amazing.”

And that love of doing it the hard way, Considine exclusively reveals, extends to their own Glastonbury performance this summer.

We’re playing an album launch at a beautiful church in Litchfield, but we’ve recently got news that we’re going to be doing a slot at Glastonbury, but of course it’s on one of the smaller stages. It’s going to be really fun.”

Riding The Low release ‘The Death of Gobshite Rambo’ on Friday