PRICK & DING #17: Port Isla

Each week Fresh On The Net invites an artist or band to answer a short series of questions in Prick & Ding: the two and a half minute interview. It's convenient and quick - like enjoying a tasty microwave meal!

Port Isla are a folk-rock four-piece based in Norwich and London. They were formed by Will Bloomfield last year when he enlisted fellow UEA students Stanley Spilman and Henry Kilmisterand – and the lineup was finally completed with the arrival of Will Olenski.

The band first came to our attention here at Fresh On The Net when they submitted their wonderful song ‘Nobody’s Fault’ (below) to our Listening post. Unsurprisingly, it then went on to be selected by the public as one of their Fresh Faves for that week.

Port Isla

They’ve opened the main stage at Playfest, played at The Great Escape in Brighton and Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, won the first-ever Rocket from The East competition and have performed live for both BBC Introducing in Norfolk & BBC Introducing in Suffolk.

They’re playing the Folkeast Festival at Somerleyton Hall later today (August 24th) – and make a return appearance at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival on September 20th. Their first proper (studio recorded) single, Sinking Ship will be out in November and in the meantime you can hear their latest demo Alexandra on their Soundcloud page and follow their latest activities on Facebook.

Here’s what their founder and frontman – highly talented multitasker Will Bloomfield – had to say for himself when Prick’n’Ding tracked him down recently:

1. What are you up to at the moment?
I’m currently sitting in my kitchen with the family dog, Winnie. Trying my best not drown my laptop in coffee whilst i multitask between answering these questions, booking coach tickets to Hamburg for next month, and putting the final touches to our next demo.

2. Favourite childhood memory?
Probably a family holiday to Rothbury in Northumberland. We just so happened to be there at the time of the town’s annual folk festival. I can vividly remember the car journeys being soundtracked by Badly Drawn Boy’s ‘About a Boy OST’ too. And to this day it remains one of my favourite records.

3. Hero?
My ma and pa. Failing them, Macca.

4. Villain?
Dick Dastardly?  He was pretty villainous.

5. What/who makes you laugh?
Comedy with imagination. Reeves and Mortimer, Noel Fielding and Monty Python.

6. Describe what you do?
I write, I sing, and I play in a band. All in the hope that one day, I might be able to make a career of it.

7. Whose hair would you like to have for just one day?
Leo Sayer’s

8. Best musical experience to date? 
We won a regional band competition back in April. We totally went for it on the night and it evidently paid off. So far that’s been the best gig I’ve ever played… even if it was only for 15 minutes.

9. What artist inspires you?
There are so many. But if I had to narrow it down to three; Ryan Adams, Jack White and Damon Albarn. In my eyes, those three have it sussed. They each have a really solid work ethic which is truly inspiring. But most importantly, they consistantly write great songs. Simple as that

10. What does Fresh On The Net mean to you?
Its quite possibly the best resource for unsigned musicians looking to hone their craft. I’m ashamed to say I’ve only known about it for a couple of months but its great to be part of a community where everyone is more or less in the same boat.

Johnno Casson

Johnno Casson is a London-born/Colchester-based singer, musician, songwriter and show-off. He also compiles and releases compilations and is a serial supporter of new music. Johnno releases his own music as Snippet ,Old Tramp and also under his own name Johnno Casson.. As far as we know he was the most-played artist ever on Tom's legendary late night Fresh On The Net radio shows on 6 Music - having been featured no less than 18 times and appearing as an interview guest. You can also find Johnno on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube...


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