The Agency… began in 2012, as a large musical collective based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Now established as a smaller unit, they feature Steve Beyer (guitar), Garry Cosgrove (drums), Steven K Driver (singer/songwriter/guitar), Andy Ludbrook (bass) and Kerry Ramsay (vocals), however they still have a number of friends that appear from time to time who have been – and continue to be – instrumental in developing the band’s sound. Their debut album, ‘For the Brave and Troubled’ (Dec 2012), featured Jason Blaney on additional drums, string samples from DJ Fonzarelli and the talents of Gemma Thompson on cello. Pianist Scott Wall (My Exit Music) appears on the band’s forthcoming album, ‘Of Ghosts’, as does Fraser Smith (Little Man Tate/Shed Seven). Jim Ward also plays guitar on several tracks.
This summer will see The Agency… take their Gothicana sound on the road to support the release of their second album, ‘Of Ghosts’, which features the singles ‘She/The Temple’ (Crack Magazine Single of the Month, April 2013), ‘Sad Parallel’, and ‘Child So Careless’.
The story goes that Andy Ludbrook released the various members of the Agency… (and their associates) from the jailhouse in Gunga Chunga, a little known border town. Andy had been mayor of Gunga Chunga for three long months when the townsfolk turned on him, at last recognising his depraved villainy. Knowing that unless he did something desperate and sinister his days would be numbered, he turned loose what he thought were Gunga Chunga’s worst criminals. He and his posse lost the fight for the town and the band had to take to the road. Here they discovered that the only way they could make money and feed themselves was through playing their songs of betrayal, wrongdoing and even monsters in any bars, clubs or cafes that would take them. There are lighter moments in their sets but these are cynically calculated to endear audiences to them despite their darker natures.
Listeners describe the band’s sound as rich and multi-textured. With influences including Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, The Felice Brothers, Mark Lanegan, the National, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, William Shatner, The Velvet Underground and The Wizard of Oz, there is a little bit of something for all who choose to be seated at The Agency….’s table.
Release Date: 29th September 2014
Format: Digital Download and CD
Label: Solarbear Records
Lead single: She/The Temple
“‘Of Ghosts’ is a genuine long-play record that sits alongside Leonard Cohen’s early work or mid-period Nick Cave, as an album to be taken seriously.”
Alan Harrison, NoDepression.com
“An English Velvet Underground for the 21 Century.”
Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music.
“The Agency… are a Newcastle based band, trading, nominally in folk/rock, but such a label is a tad reductive in this case. They have the kind of listen-to-me intensity that Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds manage to conjure up…and the instrumentation is exemplary throughout. Incredibly rich, and with plenty of sweet melodies to boot, this is like setting down with your favourite bar of quality dark chocolate.” Crack Magazine
16 August Pop Records Ltd, Sunderland
23 August Sound It Out Records, Stockton
29 August Cluny, Newcastle (“Still Hanging On To Summer” fundraiser)
27 September Bede’s World, Jarrow (Live Lounge All Day event – playing amphitheatre)
05 October Newcastle/Sunderland Oxjam
31 October Washington Arts Centre