Thumpers debuts with percussive ‘Galore’ 

click to enlarge Thumpers
  • Courtesy photo
  • Thumpers, a U.K.-based alt-pop duo, is playing in The City next week.
On its new debut, “Galore,” percussion-driven U.K. duo Thumpers has assembled some classy, Tear for Fears-orchestral singalongs such as “Sound of Screams” and “Unkinder (A Tougher Love).” But the album started out much darker, as guitarist-vocalist Marcus Pepperell moved back in with his parents in his hometown of Warwickshire, licking his wounds from two breakups — band and romantic. But his outlook, and material, brightened with each home-cooked meal. “That’s the first thing I thought of when everything went wrong. I thought, ‘Well, at least I know where I can get some hot food!,’” says Pepperell, who, with powerhouse Thumpers drummer John Hamson Jr., hits San Francisco next week.

Did you know there’s also a gay San Francisco softball team called Thumpers? They have a really cool logo. Ha! That’s awesome! How has no one told me this before? That’s perfect! We can probably do a collaboration. Being a British band, I don’t know how good we are at softball, but we can practice. I tried baseball batting cages before, and I was terrible. But I think with softball, I’ve got more of a chance.

Where did the name Thumpers originate? Not Disney, right? No, it came from just thinking about the kind of music we were making and knowing that we wanted to be really rhythm-oriented. And also from my intimate knowledge of how loudly John plays drums live. I’ve stood beside him playing gigs for years, and the whole stage moves when he plays. He’s louder than Satan.

And the two of you have known each other since you were schoolkids? We met at 11 in secondary school, and started playing music together at 15. And we bonded over music — we both loved Radiohead and Blur and Smashing Pumpkins. But our first band was just terrible, and it never went anywhere. Only our later bands got signed.

What went wrong with your last outfit, Pull Tiger Tail? Did you pull the tiger’s tail? Maybe, metaphorically speaking. Although the three of us stayed really close friends throughout, it became harder and harder to be in a band. What happened was, the direct route from writing songs to getting an album released was taken away from us because of legal stuff with our label. It was a huge blow, and John and I had to bounce back from it.

The return to Warwickshire helped? Yeah. That’s where I was writing songs, and sending them out to John while he was on tour with another band, with the intent of bringing him back to write with me again.

Your folks didn’t mind? We wouldn’t have been able to record most of the Thumpers album if they didn’t have a high tolerance for loud noise!



Where: Brick and Mortar Music Hall, 1710 Mission St., S.F.

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday

Tickets: $10

Contact: (415) 800-8782,

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Tom Lanham

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