Cord look a more consistent 2006

More consistency is needed if Norwich band Cord are to make their big break into the world of chart music. Cord's website

More consistency is needed if Norwich band Cord are to make their big break into the world of chart music.

The honest assessment from James Leeds, the group's songwriter and front man, came as the 30-year-old considered what could have been in 2006 and what might be in 2007.

James admitted that the eclectic character of their first album was probably what cost them the backing of the music press and major radio stations.

Other People's Lives (are not as perfect as they seem) was released in October, following two singles, which had finally come two and a half years after the four-piece signed with Island Records, home of Irish rockers U2.

But while releasing the 10-track record was a dream come true for James and band mates Mike Jackson, Phil Davison and Andrew Walsh, it did not come with the success they had hoped for.

“My musical heroes, people like Queen, Prince and Led Zeppelin, made eclectic album with different sounds,” he said. “That's the kind of album we wanted to make - similar to what was being done in the 60s and 70s.

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“But that's not allowed now. When you put on a Corinne Bailey-Rae album, or a Snow Patrol album or a Metallica album you know exactly what you're going to get.

“We've learned that we need to be a bit more consistent,” said James, adding that this meant perhaps making a two dimensional album, rather than a three dimensional one.

He stopped short, however, of saying the second album was any more crucial to the band's future than the first.

“There is enormous pressure on us from management and from the record company to produce something more consistent,” he said. “That's what the music press expects and without the buzz from the music press, you don't get the radio play and people who might like the album don't get to hear it.

“I had always believed music was a creative industry, but it's nothing like as creative as I had thought,” he added. “And every record is a make or break record. Keane could put out a bad record and it could be the end of their careers - a music career is not very long.”

So for James, after a year of more than 120 gigs, it's back to the piano and the guitar and the hard graft.

“I think the next album will benefit from being written in months, after our last one was written over four years,” he said. “That should give it some consistency.”

With that kind of attitude, maybe 2007 will finally be Cord's year.

Cord's website