Macclesfield rocker Phil Cunningham on Sea Fever's new album 'Folding Lines'

  Posted: 22.10.21 at 11:28 by Alexander Greensmith

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The latest album featuring Macclesfield rocker Phil Cunningham is out today.

The New Order guitarist has released Folding Lines, the debut album of his new band Sea Fever.

Raised in Sutton and a pupil of Henbury High School, the 46-year-old rockstar lives in East Macclesfield with his wife Stacy, daughter Riley, and two-step children.

Phil will play a homecoming show in Macclesfield next Friday, where he will be playing tracks with Sea Fever from their newly-released album Folding Lines.

The 10-track album has released a week before his homecoming show in Macclesfield at Mash.

“We recorded the album at Tom [Chapman’s] home studio in Wilmslow,” said Phil.

Sea Fever grips Macc: Phil (far left) will play his first gig in Macclesfield in over two years at the end of the month. (Image - Anthony Harrison / @anthonyharrison1986)

“A lot of the the [song parts] comes out of there, there’s a lot of programming and computer work he does the templates pretty much 90% of the time with the initial idea, and then I basically go over to him, play a load of guitar over the track which is great fun, and then we take it from there.

“We then get Elliot [Barlow] on the drums and that really brings a song to life.

“Despite to the COVID-situation we’re in the position thankfully that we had a lot of the stuff done on the record before it really hit, so we spent that period mixing the album so it wasn’t wasted time, and we can do that remotely nowadays over Zoom getting it right with the guy who mixed it in Manchester.

“Aside from that we got loads of additional musicians there’s a choir on there for one thing, string quartet, a good friend of ours Philip from a band called Sylvette has arranged all the string arrangements on the record.”

The album is 47 minutes long, with each track being over four minutes long, to spotlight each of the five piece’s talents.

Phil Cunningham's New Order and Sea Fever bandmate Tom Chapman stands-out on the record, bringing a particularly punchy and dirty bassline on the track Built to Last.

Phil is the only member from Macclesfield in the band, with other members being from Stockport, Wilmslow and Manchester. He brings the band to Mash next month. (Image - Anthony Harrison / @anthonyharrison1986)

Johnny Marr’s bassist Iwan Gronow shines as a lead singer on the album, swapping his bass for six string guitar.

"Iwan did a great job singing for his first-time ever in fronting a band on lead vocals," Phil added.

"It was great working with Iwan in the studio for the first time he is really prolific and writes some great lyrics."

Beth Cassidy provides lush additional vocals and particularly impresses on the track Le Coup, which would be a perfect fit on the FIFA soundtrack, a feat complimented by Cunningham’s playing.

The album also features contributions from Rainow-resident Stephen Morris, of Joy Division and New Order fame, who has collaborated with Cunningham since 2001.

Phil has played guitar since he was a teenager. His first gigs were at pubs in our town like The Jolly Sailor. (Image - Anthony Harrison / @anthonyharrison1986)

The 63-year-old Macclesfield drummer makes a cameo on the Crossed Wires track, which is one of Phil’s favorites.

“I’m just constantly working on music and if it is not with Sea Fever it is with New Order,” Phil also said.

“We’re actually in the process of knocking some ideas around for a possibly new [NO] album - definitely some new material, so we’re always seeing Stephen and we went you know ‘Fancy playing some drums on it and doing a bit of programming’ and he was like ‘Yeah sure’.

“So he’s on Crossed Wires. He’s just all part of the family really you know.

“Before we started rehearsing the tracks, I think [the title track] Folding Lines was my favourite but it changes.

Sea Fever's gig in our town will be supported by Macclesfield Americana band Field Manual. (Image - Sea Fever)

"Currently it is Crossed Wires, I love the vibes of that one and I love the darkness of it as well.”

In Macclesfield on October 30, Phil will take to the stage at Mash on 5 Back Wallgate with Sea Fever.

It is his first gig in his hometown of Macclesfield since performing at Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank.

Tickets are £5 on the door of the Macclesfield music venue.

Folding Lines is out now. You can listen to it on YouTube at the top of this article, or via Spotify or Apple Music.

Phil can be followed on Twitter, where his band have an account as well.

Macclesfield: You can purchase a copy of Folding Lines here.

Please click here to read our prior chat with Phil, about what he loves about our town.

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