Lambrettas “sabbatical” leads to new project
and live on Freeview channel 276
Under the title Doug Sanders and The Nightflyers, working with 12 other musicians, Doug has brought out a four-track EP called Heading West.
“The Nightflyers are all great musicians and range from us being in bands together as teenagers to the here and now, all scattered along my musical timeline,” explains Doug. “This whole thing came about about a year and a half ago. I've been meaning to do this for a long, long time but obviously I am mostly playing with The Lambrettas. The Lambrettas is my day job and I have done that forever on and off but a lot of the stuff that I listen to is jazzy and bluesy stuff that is not entirely suitable for The Lambrettas and so some of the stuff that I've been writing in that kind of style I have kept separate. Some of the songs on this EP go back a long time. One song goes back about 20 years and another one goes back about 20 minutes! I've got an album’s worth of songs but I thought it would be a good idea to do the EP just to test the water, just to see what the reaction would be. It is very difficult now to sell physical products. There has been an upsurge in vinyl but that's not enough to change things. I remember one time I phoned my record company Rocket Records and asked how many records we were selling and they told me that the day before with The Lambrettas we had sold 38,000 copies in one day. If you did that now you would be number one for ten years! Things have certainly changed!”
“The new songs are a labour of love in a way. They are songs that are more in keeping with my taste, I suppose, but if it say that it sounds like I've only got one taste which I haven't. I think it's better to say that they are songs that are a bit more back to my roots.”
Doug is confident Lambrettas fans will give the songs a chance: “I do think that probably it will benefit. If you look at social media every day you can see a hundred bands that are bringing out new singles and announcing new tours and you've never heard of them before and you know that you'll never hear of them again. Back in the day before social media it was all about the demos, and thousands of bands would be sending their demos to the record companies and you knew that most of those would just get put in the bin without even being listened to. So I suppose the fact that people might know me for The Lambrettas could actually help, that people will be thinking ‘Oh what's he doing now?’ or they will just trust me because I have done other things that they know. So far it has had a good reaction. We have had quite a few plays on various radio stations and what I would like to happen next is to do an album but I still don't know about that really. This is the first time in my life I've ever done anything on an independent basis. Everything I've done, either inside or outside The Lambrettas, has always had a record label behind it but this is the first time that I've done it myself. I just wanted to try something I hadn't done before but it was really hard work, and I think if I do do an album then I will probably get a company behind it. There are a couple that I could speak to.”
As for gigs with the new line-up: “It's a lot of musicians and until two or three weeks ago I would have said that that was a definite no no but I think perhaps there is now a vague possibility. Most people that have been on board with the EP, I think, would be up for it. I would not rule it out because playing live is the way forwards.”