Macclesfield: Sea Fever to play Cinemac Live for the first time in homecoming show

By Alex Greensmith

15th Apr 2024 | Local News

A band comprising two musicians from Macclesfield is to perform a show in the town.

Sea Fever, will play Cinemac Live for the first time, on Saturday June 15, 2024.

The fivepiece will play tracks from their forthcoming second album, at what is fast-becoming one of Cheshire's coolest music venues.

Sea Fever contains frontman by Iwan Gronow (known for his work in Haven and with Johnny Marr), with singer Bethany Cassidy (Section 25) also sharing vocal duties, the collective also features New Order's Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham - with Tom on bass, synths and programming, whereas Phil is on guitars.

Cinemac and Party in the Pews are hosting the gig, featuring Sea Fever and The Other Two. (Image - Cinemac Live)

Stockport drummer Elliot Barlow rounds out the line-up.

Macclesfield Nub News met with Sea Fever guitarist Phil Cunningham, who was born and raised in Macclesfield, along with fellow bandmate Tom Chapman who has recently moved to the town, to find out more about their Cinemac Live debut.

"I've been waiting all my life for this moment", Phil teased.

"But seriously, I've been waiting a lot of years to do something like this, it was just about finding the right venue for us."

The band are adding the finishing touches to their second album. (Image - Sea Fever)

It will be the band's third performance in Macclesfield.

Two years ago, they played Party in the Pews in Christ Church, and festival organiser Jo Lowes also works with Cinemac Live. So naturally, this upcoming gig came to be.

"The Christ Church gig went down a storm, and we really enjoyed working with Jo," told Phil.

"So we were like 'we must do something else together', and she suggested Cinemac."

Front Row, left to right, Elliott, Iwan and Beth. Back row: Phil and Tom (who spoke with Macclesfield Nub News). (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

As musicians, the pair have never played in a cinema before, but the band has done a photoshoot in The Rex Cinema in Wilmslow.

The alternative supergroup released their maiden album Folding Lines in 2021.

Some of their debut was recorded under COVID-restrictions, but their upcoming second album, free from any virtual meetings, has led to an expansion in the sound.

"We've gone more electronic on this album", said Tom.

Phil Cunningham (left) and Tom Chapman (right) are two of the five members of Sea Fever, who will be performing in Macclesfield this June. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

"We're still using a little bit of guitars, but we have kind of pushed the electronics and beats. I feel on this album, it is less indie, and gearing more towards experimental electro music.

"We have tried to really push the boundaries of songwriting. We excite ourselves trying to come up with new things.

"I think we all know our role within the band now, which we didn't quite know when we started. With this album, we all really knew what we were bringing to the party and we are really pleased with it. I think it is the best thing we've done."

They have also expanded equipment-wise, but they will have plenty of room on the Cinemac stage to get it rocking.

The band at a recent gig in Leek. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

Sea Fever will be performing at the Roe Street venue on June 15, supported by fellow local residents Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert.

Stephen and Gillian, who are also in New Order with Phil and Tom, will be doing a DJ set to promote their reissue of their music performed as The Other Two.

"We're really excited for the gig, thank you to Cinemac for putting us on," told Phil.

"We're really looking forward to it, Stephen and Gillian will be opening," said Tom.

The Sea Fever gig will be opened by Tom and Phil's New Order bandmates, Gillian and Stephen Morris, who will be doing a DJ set. The DJ set will coincide with a reissue of their 1993 album as 'The Other Two'. (Image - The Other Two)

"They are promoting the reissue of their 1993 album The Other Two & You.

"They have really supported us from the start, Stephen drummed on Crossed Wires on the first record, and he is drumming on a new track on the new album called True Dare."

"We're really thrilled that they agreed to do it," chimed in Phil.

The new album features mixing and additional production by Pete Gleadall, the musical director for the Pet Shop Boys, who was also a programmer for George Michael and has also worked with The Killers.

Their debut album 'Folding Lines', released in October 2021. (Image - Sea Fever)

"I think the production is another thing with the new album that has really gone up a notch," Phil confessed.

"They call him 'the third Pet Shop Boy', because he has been working in the background with them for years.

"We did a gig down in London with Sea Fever, and it just happened to be round the corner from his house. And he was blown away by it.

"He did a remix for us on the Dilemma vinyl, and it went from there to do the album together."

Signed copies of their 2022 single 'Dilemma', can be purchased in Macclesfield bar and shop proper sound. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

The band - which love playing live - are touring the Pennines until a release date for their second album is confirmed. Their set is packed with songs from their as of yet untitled sophomore LP.

"It feels that our audience is growing as well, people seem to be on board, the music seems to be spreading out and reaching people," said Tom, reflecting on the bands first five years.

"It takes time, we are all obviously part of bigger bands, so it takes time to get things done," revealed Phil.

"But we are thinking about Sea Fever every day, we are constantly writing," told Tom.

Phil Cunningham of Sea Fever by Anthony Harrison. (Image - @AHphotos1986)

"I like the creative freedom that Sea Fever gives me. I am guilty of bringing 80% of the demos to the band. I am quite prolific, and to work with these guys, they are inspirational. I love bouncing off ideas with them.

"I know it is a cliche to say 'we've already got another album ready', but we are almost there, we have a lot of material written already. I think it is important for us to not stop the machine."

The creative process has further smoothened by Tom moving to live within walking distance to Phil.

The concert will feel extra special for Phil - and now Tom - who both call Macclesfield their home.

Before co-starting the fivepiece Sea Fever in 2019, Tom (pictured) and Phil first worked together in New Order. Phil joined the band in 2001, with Tom joining as bassist eight years later in 2009. (Image - CC 3.0 Unchanged Andy Robinson / Tom Chapman)

Phil, who is a former pupil of Macclesfield High School, Macclesfield College, and Henbury High School, still lives in the town. He was part of the 1990s Macclesfield post-Britpop band Marion.

Phil loves taking his bandmates to Buxton Road pizzeria Tommy's, which he praises for playing great music.

Tom is a recent convert to Macclesfield, but has fallen in love with SAVAGES Mussels on Church Street, given the fact he is both British and French.

"I'm really impressed with that restaurant, but overall Macclesfield is great, I like the people," revealed Tom.

Tickets cost just £12, and can be bought on the red link below this image. (Image - Sea Fever)

"Macclesfield has got soul. This feels more like a village."

In addition to Party in the Pews, Sea Fever have previously placed Macclesfield's Bluedot Festival.

Jordan Wilson, Director of Cinemac, is delighted to support a local act, and have Sea Fever play Cinemac Live.

"We're the biggest independent music venue in Macclesfield", said Jordan.

Macclesfield resident Jordan Wilson has been Director of Cinemac since October 2019. He launched Cinemac Live in 2021. (Image - Alexander Greensmith / Macclesfield Nub News)

"You don't get acts the quality of Sea Fever, The Virginmarys, they wouldn't have any other venues of this size to play in Macclesfield.

"Without the work we are doing in the live music scene, local fans would not have the opportunity to see live music of that calibre on their doorstep.

"It is amazing the amount of support we are getting for what we are doing with the acts as well, so thank you to Macclesfield. And a massive thank you to Sea Fever too.

"Our customers are turning up for pretty much everything we have on at the moment, which is phenomenal, and shows the demand there.

Click the red link below this image to snag your ticket. (Image - Party in the Pews / Sea Fever / Cinemac Live)

"We're here to bridge that gap between to Manchester and Macclesfield."

Tickets cost just £12, and can be bought on this link.

Can't wait for the gig? In the meantime, you can listen to Sea Fever's music on Spotify, as well as at the top of this article.

Macclesfield: You can follow Sea Fever on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Other upcoming gigs at Cinemac Live include Clint Boon next month, with more on this link.


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