Fine Lines is a six-piece Americana band based in Cheshire, started by singer-songwriter, David Boardman, in 2016. Fine Lines’ debut album ‘Hour Of Need’ received universally glowing reviews on its release in May 2017 and the band has been performing to increasingly appreciative audiences ever since. The band has shared the stage with the likes of Razorlight, John Power (Cast), Miles Hunt (Wonderstuff), Mel C and Texas. The band also features singer Zoe Blythe, bassist Anthony Jardine, violinist Emily Doggett, keyboard player Gary O’Brien and Mark Radcliffe on drums. We spoke to David about the band’s growth, and its next steps.

PB: You played at Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park festival and loving the 45-minute set. How was the gig for you?

DB: It was brilliant. The whole band really loved it and I felt that it was one of our best performances yet. It’s always nice to play on home turf. It was a huge privilege to share the stage with the likes of Texas and the Stereo MCs. We were worried that the inclement weather may put people off, but the crowd was amazing – larger than expected. They surprised us by flooding towards the stage when we came on.

PB: How did Pub in the Park come about?

DB: When we heard that the festival was coming to Knutsford for the first time last year (September 2018), we applied to play. The organisers were looking to support local bands in each venue. They liked what we did and gave us a chance to open up on the Saturday night.

On the strength of last year’s performance, they asked us back to play again on the Saturday night – we didn’t think twice about it. In fact, they enjoyed our set so much that they have booked us to play at CarFest North on Sunday 28 July.

PB: It looks like it’s been a busy year for you, promoting your second album ‘Gaslight Roses’, which came out in March. How does it differ from ‘Hour of Need’?

DB: The first album was essentially a singer-songwriter recording, whereas ‘Gaslight Roses’ is more of a collaborative effort, with everyone contributing a great deal to the overall sound of the band. It’s been a natural progression, reflecting our development as a band and showcasing the strengths of each individual member.

PB: I believe your drummer has co-written several of the songs with you. How did this come about and what was it like working together in this way rather than on stage?

DB: Mark has always written songs and he sent me some lyrics that he felt might be suitable for Fine Lines. When I read them I immediately felt that they were words that I could sing. I started putting melodies to them. After that, the songs came thick and fast, and very soon we had a whole album. Mark and I writing together brought a fresh approach and added another dimension to the songwriting and creative process.

PB: Where did you record the album?

DB: We recorded ‘Gaslight Roses’ at John Kettle – of Merry Hell – his studio in Wigan. I’ve known John for years and worked on many recordings with him, including ‘Hour of Need’. He has a good ear and I value his input. We’ve also played with Merry Hell on many occasions and share similar fans.

PB: This album has more of a country flavour. Was that a deliberate move?

DB: I’ve always been a big fan of country music. Artists like Gram Parsons, Whiskeytown and more recently, Jason Isbel all appear on heavy rotation on my Spotify. Country music has been a big influence on my musical development, so it was bound to come out at some point.

We were lucky to get Chris Lee to play the pedal steel on our album and since then, he has joined us on stage for several shows, which definitely added something extra special. I always wanted to have that sound and I think it works really well.

PB: What have been the highlights of the year so far for Fine Lines?

DB: It goes without saying that the release of the second album has been a massive highlight for the band. We also notched up our first play on national radio earlier this year. Tom Robinson played our track, ‘My Time Again’ on his Saturday night BBC Radio 6 Music show back in February. We were absolutely thrilled and more than a little excited to get national airplay. Never mind this year, it’s up there as a huge career highlight for all time!

PB: What are your plans for the rest of the year?

DB: We’re booked in for several festivals over summer, including Car Fest North. Then we are heading out on tour again in the autumn. We’ve also started work on our third album which will hopefully be out late next year.

PB: Thank you.

Photos by Andrew Twambley

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