Local heroes: Ragged Claws

Hi Ragged Claws! So where does the name come from? Did you steal it from that dodgy nail treatment bar off Cowley Road?

Well this being Oxford and all it’s got a rather pretentious origin. We lifted it from the line “I could have been a pair of ragged claws, scuttling across the floors of silent seas” in T.S. Eliot’s ‘Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock’. Incidentally, we used the same line to come up with the title for our EP, Across the Floors of Silent Seas… because we only know one line of poetry between us. It has rather hampered Sarah’s English degree…

Who are you and what do you study? 

Sarah (vocals, piano, ukulele) studies English at St Peter’s while Tom (vocals, guitar, piano) does Physics at Hertford. We sort of have a drummer, Nial, but he’s currently away on tour as a roadie with Marillion, so we’d be happy to hear from any Oxford drummers who want to get involved.

Where can you be found on most days?

We used to spend a lot of time in the Krispy Crème in the castle… but then it closed and now we actually have to get on with our degrees.

Sum up your sound in a Haiku:

We know how to rock
Among the seaside pebbles
Where the ocean roars

Who/what are you inspired by?

Musically, we’re very much inspired by Jack White and his way of creating innovative music whilst at the same time building on what all his great bluesy influences have achieved. Plus, he does a lot with Third Man Records to preserve things we love about the music industry in the face of  modern technology.

How thriving is the Oxford music scene?

It’s pretty good, although it doesn’t compare to what Tom’s used to in his native Liverpool. A problem we come across quite a lot is that there seems to be higher demand for mellow, folky acoustic acts, especially in smaller venues, so there’s not much of scene for us loud art-rockers. Sarah’s quite  proud of her college’s musical output though, with bands like Marvellous Medicine and Gabriel & The Sweet Maries showing off the Peter’s talent.

If the band had a signature dance move what would it be?

Walking across the stage like a crab because, if you hadn’t noticed, we have a bit of an obsession with crabs… as in the crustacean, not the STD…

Where will the band be in five years time?

Hopefully we’ll have managed to find a way of combining our mutual interests in film, writing and music in order to create something truly spectacular.

Ragged Claws the Televised Musical anyone?


Ragged Claws’ new EP ‘Across the Floors of Silent Seas’ can be found on-line at http://soundcloud.com/ragged-claws




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