Milking soul music for all it’s worth

The Milk
The Milk

IF you thought Stax and Motown were the reserves of Friday night DJs or 1960s Detroit, think again.

This month, four white lads from down south have revived that Friday feel and decided to play it live, as The Milk’s guitarist Dan Le Gresley explains. “We’ve been mates since secondary school and have had a band for a while. We started off playing rock and roll, and were driving up and down the M1 in a van just to play any kind of show we could – just for giggles really.”

But one gig caused them to change their approach. “We were DJing at a soul night and thought, ‘This is what we want to do’, so we hid ourselves away for six months and started writing songs in that style – it just clicked.”

Their repertoire is soul-like, with vocals that nod – vigorously – to Amy Winehouse, complete with handclaps and choir-like backing vocals. The ingredients have proved successful – not long after their foray into this new sound the band were signed.

“We were signed on a Friday afternoon and by the Monday we were in the studio,” says Dan. The band’s producer, Brad Baloo from Nextmen, has injected their sound with a Gnarls Barclay veneer and hip-hop punchiness.

“It feels like we know exactly where we are now, musically and why we are doing it. The idea is to be like an old soul band – all we want is for people at our gigs to just keep dancing all night. That’s what we’re after.”

The Milk play at Soyo, Rockingham Street, on Monday, March 19.