BEARDS & TRUTHS #4: The Mariner’s Children


Gary Lightbody usually isn’t my go-to-guy when it comes to tip off’s on new bands. So when the very man described The Mariner’s Children to me via the pages of a copy of Q Magazine, describing the lead song ‘Coal’ from their New Moore Island E.P as a song “I wish I’d written” and quoted it’s lyrics, I was immediately intrigued. Plus they didn’t look like twats in their press shot, which always helps.
So I went online and tried to find some of their music, found one song then went and bought their E.P, and as always had it on repeat from there on after. I’ve never been a Mumford & Sons fan. Basically (and really lazily of me) Mariner’s Children do what they do but do it with more imagination and a richer wealth of ideas. Oh and far better songs. Plus there’s more of them and the singer’s called Benedict Rubenstein. Anyway I decided to get in touch with singer Ben, and find out more about this curious band from down south.
Who are The Mariner’s Children
Seven people that play loud, melodic and intricate alt folk music.

How did you get the name?
We were living in Brighton when we first got together and I spent a lot of time by the sea. And then the first batch of songs we wrote all seemed to reference it lyrically and sort of musically too, the interlocking guitar lines always sounded quite river-y to me. Anyway, we wanted a name that fittted those things and The Mariner’s Children seemed to do it. Thought it had quite a sad and nostalgic ring to it.

How many beards in the band?
Two to four. No less than two at any given time.

You named your E.P ‘New Moore Island’. What’s the story behind it?
It was an Island in the Sunderbans that India and Bangladesh both claimed sovereignty over that sunk last year and no longer exists, (which is very sad). That fighting-over-things-until-they’re-entirely-destroyed-and-there’s-no-point-but-you-do-it-anyway theme is what most of the songs on that EP are about.

I bought ‘New Moore Island’ after a recommendation from  Gary Lightbody last year in Q Magazine. I’m not a fan of his music, so was  pleasantly surprised when the E.P turned out to be really bloody good. Did that article come as a shock? It can’t have harmed sales surely!
Thanks mate. Yeah it did, he’s our first celebrity fan! I think it’s the only bit of press we’ve ever had that sort of came from nowhere, everything else we’ve had quite a lot of warning about so that was really nice.

Any plans for an L.P
Lots of plans but not enough money! We’re just finishing our second EP right now. We’d love to make an album but they’re not cheap. So basically if we’re ever gonna make one we need someone to give us loads of money.

There’s a really strong folk scene here in Scotland, any plans to play here? You’d go down really well I reckon!!
We’d love to but there aren’t any plans at the moment I’m afraid. Maybe in the new year.

My girlfriend is writing a novel. She wants to call the main protaganist  Benedict Rubenstein because she thinks its an amazing name. It is. Does she have your blessing?
God yes. What does he do and does he have any powers?

Are any of the band in other bands?
So many it’s a joke. Becca, Marcus and Emma K are in Peggy Sue, Becca and Marcus are in Eyes and No Eyes, Becca plays with Kristin McClement, Emma K’s in Dear Winesberg, Emma G plays with Rachael Dadd, Sons of Noel and Adrian, Laish and has a solo project that’s really good too (‘Emma Gatrill)’. And then there’s Marcus who’s the massive slut that plays with every band you’ve ever listened to and Laura Marling.

What are you all listening to?
Can’t speak for everyone but I’m listening to a lot of Roy Orbison and Lee Hazlewood at the moment. I really like the new St Vincent, Peggy Sue and Other Lives albums too. A ridiculous amount of good albums came out this week so that list will get much bigger over the coming days.

Favourite festival?
Green Man and End of the Road.

Would you rather be invisible or fly?
Flying, as long as no one else could fly. It would have to be an exclusive thing.

You have a song called ‘Coal’ a line in it goes ‘but I’d gladly burn myself’   When was the last time any of you burnt yourself on something?
This afternoon on my grill. I wasn’t very glad about it. It’s all about context.
Who writes the songs?
I write them then we all work together arranging them.

Finally name a really, really shite film.    
Kaboom by Gregg Araki is the worst thing anyone has ever done to me. 
New Moore Island E.P is available now from http://www.brokensoundmusic.com       Thanks to Ben for his time!
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One thought on “BEARDS & TRUTHS #4: The Mariner’s Children

  1. Dick Tapsall says:

    Too right! Rosie turned me on to them weeks ago, and they’re good.

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