Monday, 31 October 2016

Festival Review: OXJAM LEEDS TAKEOVER ~ 22.10.16

I was thrilled to have been asked to be a part of Oxjam Leeds Takeover, not only because of the wonderful line up, but also because this is a music festival with a bit of a difference; it's all about raising funds for Oxfam, so gig goers could revel in a fantastic day of live music whilst knowing they were doing their bit for a fantastic charity as well. I have to admit... I wasn't familiar with any of the venues taking part in Oxjam, and not having a particularly brilliant sense of direction, spending much of the day lost in Leeds was a real concern. However, I quickly found that most were within a short walk of one another and so thankfully the day went without a hitch.

I spent the majority of the festival at The Old Red Bus Station, an incredibly atmospheric little venue which throughout the course of the day hosted bands in three different rooms. The first band I saw were Leeds' own LUNABLIND, masters of the eclectic indie anthem. They remind me somewhat of Two Door Cinema Club, and I can definitely see them following in their footsteps in terms of commerical success. This is the second time I've seen them live now, and both times I've been seriously impressed; one thing's for sure, they certainly know how to pull of an incredibly refined performance.


I'd been really looking forward to seeing Floodhounds again, after having been completetly blown away by their recently released EP 'Look What You've Started'. Musically, they're quite different from anything I've heard before, and most definitely put their own stamp on the indie-rock genre. They have a very impressive bluesy rock sound, and their live performances are always completely off the scale.


I absolutely adore Mint. As people, their fun, energetic nature is just so infectious- and this definitely comes across through their music and within their live performance, too. They're the kind of band that you can't help but fall in love with; they have a refreshingly unique and quirky sound, perfectly combining high energy pop beats with their own blend of guitar fuelled rock n roll.


As I'm sure you'll have noticed, JUDAS have featured on my blog a fair few times this year, so you'd think that by now I would have completely ran out of things to say about them. Wrong. I've always thought that they come across as perfectionists, and this is something which they themselves have agreed with me on; they're always striving to be better, and thinking of new ways to up their game and keep things fresh and interesting. What always gets me about this band is the way they've always improved from the last time I saw them; something is always different, and in this case, it was a brand new addition to the set in the form of the anthemic 'Gone Forever'. It's been a successful 2016 for JUDAS, and if the new music is anything to go by, 2017 is going to be even bigger.


It was my first time seeing Ramona Rose live, and I was totally blown away by her mindblowingly powerful vocals and stage presence. In terms of musical style, I reckon it'd be fairly difficult to categorise them into a single genre... but that's whats so great about them and makes them really stand out from the crowd. As a group there was obvious chemistry between them throughout, and this was a perfectly executed, compelling performance.


NGOD were probably the band I'd most been looking forward to seeing; over the last couple of months, I've seen their name popping up all over social media, as well as a number of friends raving about how impressive their live performances were. They have such a bold, confident and experimental sound and are most definitely one of the most impressive guitar bands on the scene at the moment. It's difficult to explain, but I felt completely drawn in and captivated by them throughout the entirety of the performance. A number of technical difficulties arose but the band dealt with them coolly and confidently and if anything they only added to the excitement of the performance, with drummer Alex at one point entertaining crowds with a bit of a solo whilst things got back on track.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

An Interview With OCTOBER DRIFT ~ 20.10.16

When October Drift made their debut back in early 2015, for quite some time they remained somewhat shrouded in mystery; from the intriguing and eye-catching logo to their early decision to completely shun social media, it became immediately clear that this was a band who have their own way of doing things. In the early days they gave very little away about themselves as individuals, and that intrigue as well as colossal debut release 'Whoever' had people all over the country rushing to buy tickets to see the mysterious new band who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. They sold out an entire tour on word of mouth alone, and by the time second single 'You Are, You Are' came along in May, they already had a legion of fans hanging on their every word.

October Drift are: Daniel Young, Kiran Roy, Chris Holmes & Alex Bispham

Almost two years down the line and the band have two stunning EP releases under their belt, as well as a number of successful tours and festival appearances. Not bad going for four friends from the sleepy Somerset town of Taunton. They've become known and loved for their rapturous live performances, but during a rare moment between the madness, I was able to take the band aside for a chat prior to the Leeds stop of their latest UK tour. Having known them for almost four years now, it was more like a laid back reunion with friends than an interview, but then that's the kind of people that they are; music aside, they're four of the most humble and charming people you could ever meet, with a genuine appreciation for the fans who make it possible for them to continue doing what they love.

You come across as such a tight knit unit and the best of friends... how did you all meet?
Kiwi: At some point in secondary school I joined an art class with Dan, and we went skateboarding together when we were about 14.
Dan: I met Chris at nursery.
Chris: Yeah, nursery. Dan used to come in half way through the day crying every day.
Dan: And you'd always be asleep on the sofa.
Biz: I actually met Chris at nursery as well but I don't remember him. When I was about 12 my mum showed me loads of photos and I was sat next to Chris at one of my birthday parties. In typical Chris style he had this huge stack of sandwiches...

Your love for performing live is obvious. What have been the highlights of this tour?
Kiwi: Gig wise, definitely Bedford. It was an amazing venue, and had such a good vibe. 
Chris: It was really weird, it was a Sunday night and it's a 250 capacity venue and there was about 50 people in.
Dan: It was the best gig of our lives! Obviously we've done Plug (Sheffield) and stuff to 200 or so people and we've had some really good gigs, but that just had a proper great atmosphere. And the people were amazing, everyone there was so nice.

What's the reception towards the new songs been like?
Chris: They're going down well. They took a little bit of easing in and a bit of a rejig, we had them in the wrong order I think and it wasn't quite working. But they're sounding pretty good now.

In terms of songwriting, is that something you all do together or is there a primary songwriter?
Kiwi: We mostly write the music seperately from the lyrics.
Dan: We do a lot on the computer. At our studio we have like a live room bit and then a control room, and a lot of the time it'll just be one of us all just coming up with a little part and we put it on the computer, build it from there and then Kiwi will either have some lyrics that he's already got or he'll write some lyrics to it.
Chris: We haven't completed a track for a long time just in the live room. We'll jam something out and get about three quarters of the idea, record that and then take it from there and see where it goes. Most of it's done in a room about as dark as this...
Dan: Especially now we're coming into Winter! We have one heater in there and we all just huddle around it.
Kiwi: There's mice in there as well...
Chris: We have to be really careful... last year there was really bad flooding and it's on the Somerset levels, so if it's raining too heavy we've got to leave the studio otherwise we'll get stuck in there!

What are your band rehearsals like when you're not on tour? Do you have set times where you get together and practise or is it more laid back and impromptu?
Kiwi: When we're not gigging we do practise at scheduled times.
Dan: Well it's only been the last few weeks it's been like that, and we all absolutely hate it! We absolutely hate practising the set.
Chris: When we say we practise three times a week, we write three times a week. We go into the studio and do whatever we want... whether that's writing, or whether that's recording or practising the set. For this tour because there was a few more songs put in we gave it a couple of weeks before the tour and started practising but no, we don't like going through the set.
Dan: We set up in the studio as if we're playing to an audience when really we're playing to a wall and it's one of the most horrific things ever!
Chris: I don't think we're one of those bands that can just go on the cusp of things. As much as some people do think that's how it is with our live set, it's not. You've got kind of certain areas where you don't quite know what's going to happen but each track in itself is rehearsed really well.
Dan: And the bits inbetween. Before when we were younger we used to finish a track and then I'd tune for what felt like 10 minutes, then Kiwi would say one word... but then as we've got older we've looked at it. I think it was just from watching other bands and thinking 'what do they do inbetween to make the set flow?' because I think as a whole, you're watching a performance... whether it's music or theatre, it's a whole performance You don't go to the theatre for them to do one scene and then it take them ten minutes to set up the next scene... so that's kind of how we do it.


Starting out you took the approach of keeping away from social media- which seemed to work really well for you as people were intrigued and your initial success was completely based on word of mouth alone. Do you think that's something more bands should consider doing?
Kiwi: It's different for every band, so we couldn't say that one way is better than the other.
Chris: I think the non social media thing for us, we did because we just hate it. Even now, having to upload a picture to Facebook or something or to tweet about something... it just feels so forced for us because we didn't get into a band to want to do that. So I think that's where it came from in the beginning and it kind of worked to our advantage. Then it got to a point where the mystery and the intrigue that we'd created had been taken as far as we could take it and to progress we had to go onto social media.

What are you all listening to at the moment?
Kiwi: We've had some weird song choices in the car! We have different themes on different nights.
Dan: Yeah, we've been mixing it up in the van! We've had Sum 41, Blink 182, The Offspring, The Pigeon Detectives...
Biz: I've got to be honest, I haven't been a fan of this theme thing!
Chris: We had a classic rock one as well! Last night was like a mid 2000's indie playlist! Bands that we'd never really liked back then but for some reason we decided to listen to them again now, but it was quite nice actually!
Dan: As for albums though, the new Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Nick Cave... we tried listening to the Kings Of Leon last night... oh my God, I wanted to break the stereo, it's that bad. I think they just want to go back and rear cattle on their farms and stuff and they just do this for money.
Chris: That's all we want to do... rear cattle. This band is all just a massive ploy to make money so that we can buy a farm.
Dan: Individually and away from eachother.

Can any of you remember what the first gig you ever went to was?
Kiwi: I think mine was a Queen tribute band.
Chris: The first gig that I can remember was going to see Ozzy Floyd with Dan, a Pink Floyd tribute band. That's my first memory of a show. They went off and then came on to do an encore, but it was pitch black and they managed to get back on stage without anyone noticing then just kicked back into it with 'In The Flesh' or something. I remember it genuinely moving me... not moving me as in emotionally, but the bass was actually moving me! It was insane, I was physically being moved! We were about 14.
Kiwi: 14? Are you sure it wasn't younger? We were playing gigs when we were 14!
Chris: Maybe 10 then!
Biz: I can't remember what mine was, literally no idea. It was probably one of your (pointing to Kiwi) gigs in one of your earlier bands.
Chris: I was in an AC/DC covers band when I was about 13. I used to sing and play the drums...

If you weren't in October Drift and you were 11 year old wizards heading to Hogwarts for the first time, what house do you think you'd all be sorted into? Chris, you do Dan, Dan you do Kiwi, Biz you do Chris, and Kiwi you can choose for Biz...
Chris: Ah, I'm sorry Dan, but you're a Hufflepuff mate. Slytherin is magical blood, Gryffindor is bravery, Ravenclaw is clever and Hufflepuff is just the rest.
Dan: Right, I'll do Kiwi! Slytherin...
Biz: I don't really know Harry Potter but Chris is a massive fan so for that reason I'll give him Gryffindor.
Kiwi: Biz can be whatever hasn't been said.... Ravenclaw? The brains of the operation!
Chris: Funnily enough, Biz looks how I used to imagine Professor Lupin looked in the books.
Kiwi: I actually think Biz looks a bit like Sirius Black!

Have you started thinking about an album yet?
Kiwi: Yeah, we've kind of always been thinking about it.
Dan: We have 45 songs recorded that we're happy with. The song that everyone I've ever shown it to has loved is 'Fiction Is Not Imagination'. Everyone I've ever shown it to has been like 'wow, that's amazing'. I don't know whether it could ever be a single, I'm never sure whether it'd be that kind of thing, but then everyone is saying that it's the best song so maybe we should release it! Who knows?

Whenever I see and chat to you, you always seem to be planning ahead and thinking about what's next for the band. Do you have any concrete plans for 2017 yet?
Chris: The plan is to be some kind of tour support in February/March time, and then move into the festivals. We'll plan releases and stuff around that.


New EP 'This Is Nowhere' can be purchased via iTunes here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

An Interview With DMA's ~ 19.10.16

I can remember clearly the exact moment I discovered DMA's, and exactly how I felt listening to their music for the very first time; I was at work, 'Delete' came on the radio and I just stopped what I was doing and became completely caught up in what I was hearing. Every now and again a band comes along who you just know straight away are incredibly special, and DMA's are rightfully enjoying immense success worldwide since the release of their debut album 'Hills End' back in February of this year. What with the relentless touring and numerous festival appearances, I imagine it must have been quite a whirlwind year for the trio (Tommy O'Dell, Matt Mason & Johnny Took), who hail from Sydney, Australia.


Never in a million years did I think that a few months down the line from that first listen, I'd have the opportunity to interview them prior to their sold out Leeds show- the first date of their latest gargantuan UK tour. It was an honour to be able to chat in depth with Johnny, and one thing's for sure; it's an experience I'll never forget.

When I first heard your music I thought wow- these guys have such a quintissentially British sound, so when I found out that you're from Australia, I was quite surprised. Starting out, were you inspired by any British acts?
I still have a British passport... that counts right? I found that in high school there was a small group of friends of ours who were really into bands like that, particularly from that 90's era. So I first listened to The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Verve, The La's... stuff like that. Primal Scream, Happy Mondays... and we literally had a group of mates, some of them are based where Tom is and play in a lot of bands around Sydney. There was a small group of us who really loved it. Not heaps of people our age, or from Australia, were really into that. But we loved it... noisy pop tunes! Mason hadn't really heard of any Britpop bands till he met me and Tommy. He's more into like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, and those kind of American guitar bands.

Was music a part of your life from an early age? What did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to lots of country music. I grew up listening to lots of Springsteen, lots of Dylan, Joni Mitchell. I was a bass player and I remember hearing 'Coyote' by Joni Mitchell, and Jaco Pastorius plays bass on it... he's crazy. Till Year 7 or something when I first started high school, I wasn't really into music, or not crazy amounts into it. But I guess that kind of went hand in hand, and I think we got forced to learn an instrument at school, which was good. I was gonna pick between the clarinet or the bass... I think I'm happy I picked the bass!

You've done a lot of your recording at home- is that DIY approach to your music so that you can ensure that you always have complete creative control and that any decisions are your own to make- or is it simply a comfort thing?
It was more that I kind of got into it as a hobby at first. My old man got me a recording programme, which I didn't really do much with for a while. The main thing was that it was great to be used as a tool for songwriting. Before then, it was just sitting in your room with a guitar... which some of the greatest songs ever were made like that, but to listen to it subjectively and be able to hear it back and build layers... it turned it from an idea into being a real thing. So I guess that's why I like it, and then we just got a bit better at it!

How long have you been together? Did you know one another before the band?
Tommy and I met because we were in another band. He was the drummer and I was the bass player. I remember I would hear him, just 'cause we'd be hanging out a lot playing gigs and stuff... I would hear him when we'd be rehearsing and he'd be like 'You know on the chorus of Underlights...' and he would sing it. I was like wow, this guys voice. I was looking around the room and wondering why no-one was talking about it, and then when I got into recording he came over one time to drop off some drum gear... I was writing some lyrics out, and he'd never heard his voice recorded before. So I'm obviously putting up too much reverb and underlay on everything, like a young and inexperienced engineer, and I guess we both just fell in love with the sound of his voice. We didn't know, and he didn't know, and hearing it for the first time we kind of got addicted to it. Then we recorded for maybe three years before we ever played a show which was cool because it meant we were up to about 40 or 50 songs before we ever played. I'd been in bands before where you'd think if you have 9 songs you're ready to play a show but the truth is probably 2 of them are good and then the rest probably stink... then it's really not that much of an enjoyable 40 minutes, where as we took our time and wrote 40 or 50 and then you can pick 9 good ones. Then all of a sudden it's a much more enjoyable show. It made everything a lot easier because one thing I didn't expect was for things to get so crazy, for such a response and to be touring so much. You realise you don't get as much time to songwrite on the road, especially when you're a young band who don't have much money.

You've been quite well travelled this year and have played in some amazing places worldwide. Has anywhere in particular really stood out to you? Both in terms of the shows themselves and the country and it's culture.
Bilao in Spain, which we hadn't heard of before. That was really cool. I really enjoyed going to Paris again. Oh and Japan... it's so sick. It's crazy, they're just doing their own thing. It's so weird and so cool and wonderful. I remember the first gig we ever played there, we'd only sold about 100 presales but we had about 400 walk in's or something. We just didn't expect it, and they were really responsive and just so polite. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. It's like Fuji Rock Festival there which we played a couple of months ago, we've played a lot of festivals but that one was pretty cool.

Can you remember the first show you ever played as DMA's and how it went?
We don't really talk about this much but our first ever gig was a practise gig and we played under a fake name. We'd been getting played on the radio in Australia and getting attention, but never ever played a gig. People were talking about us but didn't know if we could play live or not, or if Tommys' voice could hold up live. So we booked a gig, and I think our manager came up with the name... it was The Coachmen or something like that! Heaps of people in the industry found out quite quickly so we played a half hour set under a different name. Then when we had our first proper gig, we wanted to keep to the DIY kind of way we'd made our EP and how we'd recorded everything. We built our own stage and got in a PA. It was like a cafe attached to a store in Sydney, and yeah, it was cool! We had to turn away 200 people or something at the door. We sucked, but it was vibing!


There's an incredible music scene in Leeds, and I feel really lucky to be a part of that. What's the music scene like back home in Sydney? Are there many places to play and many bands trying to break through?
There are some great bands in Sydney, but we've been struggling over the last couple of years to find place to play. There's been certain things with the government... I don't know if you'd heard about it but there's been a big thing in Sydney with lockout laws, not letting people in after a certain time and you can't sell alcohol after 10pm. So these little things, and also the poker machines; a venue realises that you can put like 20 or 30 of them in a room and they're gonna make tens of thousands of dollars off poor gamblers. It's not like when you can gamble in England and you can win something like a maximum of £200... you can win ten or twenty grand from the pokies in Australia. They make so much money off it that they realise instead of having cool band rooms, you make a lot more money from chucking these poker machines in there. So thats made it suffer a bit, but there is a lot of good music coming out. It's not necessarily like a scene, it's not like we play the same type of music as anyone so not that kind of scene but that we're just all friends. We all play festivals and we all know eachother. I used to live with Paddy from Sticky Fingers for a couple of years and there's my brothers' band Planet, who are cool. Bad Dreams who are a band from Adelaide, they're awesome. Oh and Royal Headache, check them out.

Music, and now writing about music, acts as escapism for me from real life. Obviously it plays a big part in your lives too, but when you're not touring or recording what else do you like to do?
Having a drink with my mates! Just stuff that everyone else does, I like bumming around and eating pizza, watching TV. Not that I can do that for long because I get bored, I always end up feeling guilty so I have to start recording or writing or something like that. But you know I just like catching up with my friends that aren't in the band. I'm not really into the beach, but this Summer I think I'm going to try. To be honest we've been constantly touring for 2 years so I don't really feel like I've been doing much more. I do love it, but we've got a break coming up after this run and I can't wait to just chill out for a while. It's funny when you're touring... if there's ways you can get a little bit of consistency in such an inconsistent environment, which touring is, it's nice.

Do you all write together or is there a primary songwriter?
It's different every time, we all write the songs. Sometimes Mason will just bring in pretty much most of a song and we'll nut out bits like I was saying with the recording. We record it ourselves, cut this and change that. We'll sit there for hours and work stuff out in your own time. Or I might bring something to the table, or we might all three of us have seperate ideas and then we kind of just like Frankenstein them together and transpose them. Sometimes that's cool as well because you kind of don't expect or know how those transitions are going to feel.

If you could collaborate with any band or artist, past or present, who would you choose and why?
I really don't know. I guess I'd like to write a song with Paul Kelly one day, that would be pretty cool. But I'm pretty happy collaborating with the guys I'm collaborating with now.

With the release of 'Hills End', the constant touring and festival appearances, you've already achieved so much and continue to do so. Do you set yourselves goals as a band or do you just take things as they come?
One of our biggest goals, I remember talking with Tommy, was that we always wanted to play in FIFA. We always thought that would be pretty cool, to have your song on a video game and that happened on the last one so we're pretty happy with that. That was cool! Like you're playing a video game and your tune comes on, I reckon that's pretty sick. But no, I don't think about it too much. I don't even like thinking about this gig till 5 minutes before we walk on! It's better like that, otherwise it gets too tiring.

Finally- what do you have planned for 2017? 
We're gonna have a lot of time off. Like I said, it's been pretty much 2 years of constant touring. Me and Mason have just got a new apartment together, which is very cute! We've never lived together before, I used to live across the road. I used to live with Tommy for a couple of years. But it's really great that we're living with eachother because it's just easier to get stuff done, and we're both pretty chilled dudes! Maybe other people might not like living with us, but we like living with eachother so it's cool. We just want to write better tunes, that's all. It's the only thing that really makes me happy.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Single Review: The One You Need ~ THE SSS

Having formed in 2013, The SSS have spent the last three years building up their reputation as one of the most respected bands on the Sheffield music scene. The band is made up of frontman Josh Coddington, guitarists Morgan Somers and Tom Forster, bassist Cal Atherton and drummer Max Smith. In March of this year they sold out the main room of The Leadmill, and November will see them conquer Sheffield City Hall in yet another enormous, headline show. I think it's only a matter of time before this band hits the big time, and new single 'The One You Need' is living proof of their talent, and of their huge potential.


It's an incredibly expressive and resolute track, which starts off cool, calm and collected and gradually gathers up momentum leading up to an epic and unwavering finale. Lyrically, it's quite intense, but it's perfectly executed by Josh and his brooding vocals. Brimming with sizzling guitars and dead set drum beats, 'The One You Need' is atmospheric and enthralling throughout and eminates a real sense of determination and longing. This is The SSS at their rip-roaring best, and is a track that makes a big impact and really gets under your skin.


   'The One You Need' is released on the 11th of November and can be preordered on iTunes here.
Tickets for the Sheffield City Hall gig on Saturday 26th November are available here.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

An Interview with INHEAVEN ~ 14.10.16

I've seen INHEAVEN three times now, and all three gigs have been at my favourite venue, the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds... so it only seemed fitting that my interview with the band should take place there too. The London based quartet have been making serious waves on the live music circuit for quite some time now, gathering up momentum by supporting some big names throughout the course of the year- including Sundara Karma and Yak, and they're just about to embark on tour with Blossoms.

The band is made up of lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist James Taylor, bassist Chloe Little, lead guitarist Jake Lucas & drummer Joe Lazarus. Their first headline tour is going extremely well; they've drawn in huge crowds in every city they've played so far, and rightfully so. This is a band who not only have their own incredible and unique musical style, but they have a really great work ethic too. They've gotten to where they are now through touring relentlessly in order to build up their fanbase, and are all incredibly kind people- which I experienced first hand when James saw me eyeing up a poster on the walls of the Brudenell after their the show, and immediately tore it down and gave it to me. One thing is for sure, they're going to go far in the industry, and I was honoured to be able to speak with Chloe before their Leeds gig.


The headline tour seems to be going extremely well- what have been your highlights so far?
All the gigs have been great, it’s been amazing going to all these places we’ve never visited and for people to show up. It’s so nice to see people enjoying our music.

Are there particular places that you always look forward to playing when you tour?
Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle.

You've toured with some seriously amazing bands in the past- Sundara Karma, Vant, Yak to name but a few- did you learn anything from them, and what was that experience like?
Absolutely. Each support tour we’ve been on we have taken away something different. From watching Yak every night we became a much better live band - those guys are incredible.

When I last saw you it was right here at the Brudenell. It's definitely one of, if not THE, best venues in Yorkshire and is living proof of the importance of independant music venues to up and coming bands + music fans alike. The closure of small music venues seems to be very much in the media spotlight at the moment, and it's definitely something that needs to be addressed, isn't it?
Yes it’s very sad, there are not many small venues - especially in London where we are based that you can get booked to play anymore. Yes, there are still all the big ones, but the small capacity independent ones where you used to be able to cut your teeth are almost all gone. There’s a lot of media focus on nightclubs such as Fabric in London shutting down - but really they should be looking into at all the live venues that are closing.  

You obviously have a LOT of creativity and a real dedication to your art; all of your music videos are self made, & you've been quite vocal in the past about how important it is to you not only to write and produce great music but also to pay just as much attention to the visual aspect of things as well. Do you think being able to have that DIY approach to your work has helped you grow as artists and discover your identity as a band?
We love being involved in every aspect of this band - it comes naturally to us and we never even thought about getting someone else to make our videos or our artwork. Everything we do is an extension of our songs and we hope that comes across to the people who listen to our music and come to our gigs. 


You've had a very busy festival season and have appeared at some of the countrys' most high profile festivals over the course of the Summer. Did you manage to catch any bands between your own performances?
We saw so many bands this summer, it was great- Black Honey, Fat White Family, Blaenavon, Baby Strange, NGod, TDCC to name a few…  

You've come out with a number of equally brilliant singles releases and had great success with them but are there any solid plans for a debut album yet?
We will be releasing our album within the first 6 months of next year… 

Can you remember what the first album you ever bought was?  
My first album was the Mr Blobby album but I don’t really think that counts as music! My second was Billie Piper ‘Honey To The B’.

You have quite a big online presence, and interact with fans a lot via social media which is great to see. How important do you think social media is in this day and age to up and coming bands trying to make it in the music industry?
You can’t actually be in a band anymore and not use social media (unless you are Parquet Courts) so we try and use it as a positive tool to speak to our fans and we always do our best to answer everyone and chat when we can. If someone has taken the time to invest in your band, to listen to your songs, and send you a message - the least you can do is reply on social media. We will never take the support we have for granted.  
  
What do you all like to do outside of the band? Any quirky hobbies or interests?
We all like quite arty things, movies, going to art exhibitions, photography.   

And finally, do you have any concrete plans for 2017 yet or are you just taking every day as it comes?
I think so. I know we will be touring again and working towards getting our record out so that’s pretty exciting! 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Interview: Introducing... CABEZUDOS ~ 15.10.16

Anyone who knows me will confirm that I am the least spontaneous person ever. I'm the first to admit that I find interviewing bands completely nerve wracking, and I tend to spend days preparing. But seeing Cabazudos perform on Saturday night at the 360 Club inspired me to not only reach outside my comfort zone... but completely dive out of it. I don't think a band has ever had such an impact on me as these guys did; within seconds of taking to the stage, I knew I'd stumbled across something extraordinarily special, and I also knew that I had to chat with them for the blog so that I could properly introduce the band that completely blew me away and hopefully make you fall in love with them too.


Cabazudos are the Liverpool based extravagant rock quartet made up of frontman Jack Hughes, guitarist Chris Bolton, bassist Tom Maher and drummer Harry Strachan. We were also joined by Sean Fay, who plays trumpet for the band at live shows. To say it was so inpromptu, I really enjoyed this interview; they're all incredibly funny, and to top it all off I've finally found a band who manage to incorporate Harry Potter references into the interview on more than one occasion. Perfect.

You have this really incredible, polished sound... how long have you actually been together?
Jack: Just over a year. We haven't actually gigged in four months!

Did you know eachother before you formed the band?
Jack: He's (pointing to Chris) been my best friend since we were about three.
Chris: Yeah, he lives five doors away from me.
Jack: No, you live five doors down from me- I think that sounds better!
Chris: We know Tom through a girl. He was in a relationship with some girl that we were mates with.
Jack: Can't be named! It's like Voldemort.
Chris: And he used to hate us.
Tom: I did used to hate them! I still do a little bit, but we've got past it.
Jack: And then we fell in love!
Chris: And then we searched the high webs of the internet for a drummer, there's literally a site called joinmyband.co.uk and I searched through about 20 pages. I messaged all of them and he was one of two that got back to us.
Tom: He's very good, and we can't complain.

There's a real element of showmanship to your performance- I think that's something that you either have or you don't, it can't be learned, and you definitely have it. You very much have your own style- is that something you've developed over time or did you know starting out the kind of band that you wanted to be?
Tom: This is the first gig with the new style! We were a bit lighter before.
Chris: I think we went back to our roots. At core, we're a heavy blues band. If you can manage to catch us, we're playing in Bradford next month.
Jack: It's just good to be back to be honest, and to stop not being a gigging band and just being locked away trying to write new songs.
Tom: We are better for being locked away. We've practised and practised and made the set tighter, and had a break which we needed.
Jack: The hardest thing is, you can write your setlist out and you can go and you can play these shows... you'll be playing a song and you'll think we've got that one next, maybe it's not time for this one yet... maybe people aren't jumping around enough or enjoying themselves enough to it yet, so you've kind of got to play it by ear when picking out what you're gonna play.

So do you think in those four months that you've been away, you've grown quite a lot as a band?
Tom: We're tighter, we're closer and we've been spending time together... it's starting to pay off.
Chris: I think we're more mates now, I think that's a big thing! But me and Jack... we're 20 and we've known eachother since we were 5.
Jack: 3! You came round to watch Batman with me at ours and robbed my machine gun. To this day, he still says he never robbed it. He's still got the machine gun under his bed. But yeah, I think the locking ourselves away bit has been beneficial. We didn't see it like that at the time, we wanted to carry on gigging... but to come away from it with fresh ideas and to bounce back has been great.
Tom: Now for this tour, we're better and we're gonna be tighter.


What did you grow up listening to and do you think it's influenced your own musical direction?
Jack: Robbie Williams, Michael Jackson...
Chris: What we listen to now is nothing like what we did listen to. I used to listen to Eminem and all that shit.
Tom: My first gig was Westlife, 'World Of Our Own' tour.
Jack: We've come a long, long way together... through the hard times and the good...
Chris: I've been to see Tinchy Stryder twice. Twice!
Jack: Tinchy if you're listening.... west side.

Tonight was my first experience seeing you live, but have you gigged in Yorkshire much before?
Tom: This was the third time.
Jack: We've played in Bradford before.
Chris: The free entry gigs... you can go round and get people in, it's better than the paid gigs actually.
Tom: Me and Jack went to every pub we could find in Bradford, and we got like 50 or 60 people to come which was great.
Jack: He chatted up every old man and his cat!

What's the music scene like back home in Liverpool?
Jack: I think it's better here.
Tom: There are some good bands, but terrible promoters.
Chris: It's dominated by promoters who want money, so there's a lot of good bands but no one can get anywhere.
Jack: We absolutely adore Richard here at 360 Club, he sort of sits you down, slaps you in the face... and he's got a cracking beard. But he's someone who you want to play for, you want to sell tickets for him. Back home it is a lot more money orientated, but there are some good bands. The scene died for a while but it's strong as ever at the moment.

What are you working on at the moment, and what are your plans for 2017?
Tom: Bigger and better.
Harry: That's the name of our new EP, bigger and better... apparently that's what we're working on.
Jack: That's what we tell people anyway. For 2017 we want more people to be able to pronounce our name.
Tom: We've had Cabe-Zudos, Quasimodo... anything you can think of, we've had it.
Jack: I think it takes two go's to be able to say 'Oh, I remember it now,' and then you'll probably forget ten minutes later. When we have to and when things get a lot better, we'll look at changing it. We want to keep this name for now and keep trying to conquer as much as we can.
Chris: Then when we're ready, we'll change it. What you've got to understand is if you're in Liverpool and you try to tell any scousers your band name they don't have any idea what to say.
Jack: 'I went to see that Wingardium Leviosas'. This was an issue we never thought we'd hit.
Tom: Cabezudos is Spanish for 'big heads'. There's a festival and they have these big, paper mache heads.
Jack: It's more that we've all got fat heads, to be honest!


 Catch Cabezudos live... 
They play The Buyers Club in Liverpool on November 5th and The Underground in Bradford on November 12th.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Live Review: The Doldrums/ Edgar Duke/ The Potenzas/Cabezudos @ 360 Club ~ 15.10.16

There are a couple of big reasons why I always really enjoy events put on by 360 Club. First of all... location, location, location! The Lending Room at The Library is an absolutely brilliant little venue, located in the very heart of Leeds. You can always count on it to provide a really great atmosphere, and as an added bonus I've found that the lighting is just perfect for anyone with a passion for live music photography. Secondly, and most importantly, the line up is always completely and utterly brilliant. Organiser Richard Watson has a real eye for up and coming musical talent, and brings in acts from all across the country to play for him. I honestly don't think I've been to a single one of his shows' that hasn't been packed to the rafters. In part, this is perhaps due to the fact that set times and running order of bands are not released prior to the gig, so to encourage people to come down and support all of the bands, not just the one act they may have come for in the first place- which I think is a great way of doing things, and definitely works well. I'd been looking forward to this particular show for a long time. Suffice to say, it did not disappoint, and definitely goes down as one of the musical highlights of my year so far.


The Doldrums kicked off proceedings with their usual blend of anthemic, edgy rock- but there was something noticeably different about them this time round; from the offset, I noticed a real change in their technique. Everything was done with real precision, resulting in an exceedingly polished and professional performance. Even the older tracks that I've become so familiar with sounded somewhat different this time round; everything was just that little bit bigger. In the year or two since I first came across this band, I've been able to witness first hand how much they've grown, and their new music is a clear and impressive display of the direction they're headed in musically. With a new EP in the works, I reckon they're destined for big things in 2017.

The Doldrums
Next up were Edgar Duke, who as always gave a light-hearted and energetic performance where in none of them were still for barely a moment and everything was incredibly fast paced. But that's what I love most about them; they're an exciting young band who are clearly in their element when performing live. With their live set, they show that they're not only the masters of indie-pop, anthemic numbers that you can have a dance to but are also capable of slowing it down a little with tracks such as the seriously beautiful "That Day In May"... it's that versatility that makes them so interesting. I could tell that the band were getting a real buzz out of playing to a hometown crowd, and this was definitely the strongest performance I've seen them give so far.

Edgar Duke
The Potenzas, being the third band of the night, managed to draw in a substantial crowd- many of whom were singing and dancing along throughout the entirety of the performance, which was great to see. They performed with great ease and confidence, and I was instantly impressed by their big rock sound, which reminded me somewhat of early Arctic Monkeys. Instrumentally, they didn't put a foot wrong, and everything was perfectly executed.

The Potenzas
Hailing from Liverpool, headliners Cabezudos were the only out of town band on the line up. I'd been asked by bassist Tom prior to this gig if I'd review their set, which I'd gladly agreed to, but not having listened to their music beforehand I wasn't sure what to expect; when asked to review a new band live, I quite like the element of surprise, and so often choose not to listen to their music so that everything is completely new when seeing them perform. I can safely say that NEVER, in all of the years I've been attending gigs, have I EVER come across a band who have captivated me so quickly and completely as Cabezudos did. Within seconds of them taking to the stage, I was in awe. Frontman Jack Hughes is a huge character, with phenomenal stage presence and one of the most brilliant and powerful voices I've ever heard. This wasn't just any ordinary performance, it was a real show; I believe that the level of showmanship displayed by this band isn't something you can acquire with time and experience... that attitude and theatricality is something that you either have or you don't, and I think it's safe to say that these guys definitely have it.

Cabezudos
Get to know Cabezudos for yourself... 

I just couldn't let this band go back to Liverpool without having a chat with them first, and discovering what they're all about. Keep your eyes peeled...

Saturday, 15 October 2016

FESTIVAL PREVIEW SPECIAL: Oxjam, Leeds ~ 22.10.16

Oxjam Leeds Takeover is the inner city music festival with a difference, and its back in 2016 for its tenth year. It's all in aid of international charity Oxfam, and thus will help in the fight against poverty and social inequality. The festival will take place on Saturday 22nd October across various venues in Leeds city centre, including Milo Bar, The Old Red Bus Station, Santiago Bar, North Brewing Co, and more! It will act not only as an opportunity to raise much needed funds for a truly important cause, but also will proudly showcase some of the countrys' brightest and most promising musical talents. The line up features some absolutely brilliant bands and artists from far and wide, and I've chosen my top three acts whom I'm particularly looking forward to seeing on the big day.


Floodhounds Playing at: The Old Red Bus Station at: 4:15pm
This three-piece Sheffield band have a big sound and even bigger stage presence, which I myself can confirm after having seen them live a couple of times now. They bring something a little different to the indie-rock genre, with their raw, youthful energy and obvious passion for what they do. They've just released a brand new EP "Look What You've Started", a utterly brilliant listen which is proof in itself that Floodhounds are set to bring the noise at Oxjam.



Judas
Playing at: North Brewing Co. Stage 1 at: 7:45pm
Judas are the name on everyones' lips at the moment. August saw them conquer the main stage at Leeds Festival, which went down extremely well with the crowds there despite the fact they were a bit of a last minute addition to the bill... so they're sure to draw in huge crowds when they play Oxjam Festival. Radio and television outlets can't get enough of them, and neither can I; they're a band with real charm, charisma and vigour, and their huge rock sound has seen them go from strength to strength in recent months. Theirs will be a performance where, in years to come, you'll be proud to be able to say you were there- so make sure you don't miss it; Judas are the next big thing.



Mint
Playing at: Milo Bar at: 7pm
There has been a lot of hype surrounding Mint throughout festival season, and as soon as I listened to their recently released debut EP "Happiness Is Heroin", I immediately realised why; they're exciting, fresh and lots of fun... but most importantly they know how to produce the most wonderfully catchy, infectious pop-rock tunes that make you want to sing and dance your heart out, and this is exactly why they're the act I'm most looking forward to seeing on the day.


Tickets are just £10 plus a small booking fee, and can be purchased at http://oxjamleeds.co.uk/festival-tickets/. Grab one while you can and come enjoy some quality live music in one of the countrys' biggest musical hubs, all the while knowing that you're doing your bit to help an incredible charity in the process. One thing's for sure, it's going to be a day to remember.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

FESTIVAL PREVIEW SPECIAL: Kazoopa 2016 ~ 26.11.16

Kazoopa is coming, and I can safely say I've never been more excited for a festival in my entire life. The line up is to die for, and with my good friends Mick Dolman and Chantel Littlewood of Double Denim Live at the helm, it's bound to be a fun-filled day to remember. The line up boasts some of my absolute favourite bands... Judas, The Doldrums, The Barmines, The Jackobins... the list goes on, but as exciting as seeing them will undoubtedly be, one thing's for certain; you can always count on Mick & Chantel to showcase the best of up and coming musical talent from all across the country and I'm quite sure that I'll discover a number of incredible new bands throughout the course of the day. The Leeds music scene is on fire at the moment, and it's not just because of the bands; the venues themselves are an asset to the city and Kazoopa will take place at a number of our most exciting and intimate music venues. The main stage will be located at Headrow House, and having attended a number of gigs there I can confirm that it's a really great place. The other stages will be located across Leeds at Verve Bar, Oporto, Milo Bar and Santiago Bar.

I've already started working on my own little festival schedule, complete with who I want to see, where they're playing and at what time; the most difficult part of any festival is the all important decision of who to choose when there are clashes... we've all been there, but as soul destroying as it is, it's unavoidable when there are over 50 bands playing over the course of a single day. It's times like these I wish I had a Harry Potter style time turner! I've chosen four bands that I urge you to check out on the big day, all of whom are completely and utterly brilliant in their own right.

Faux Pas
Playing at: Headrow House at 1:30pm
York is my absolute favourite city, and not just because I'm a bit of a history geek; there have been a fair few really great bands emerging from it's ancient city walls of late, one of which is the brilliant Faux Pas. I've been lucky enough to see them live a number of times and every time I do, they've upped their game. They've had a pretty impressive Summer, having played at a number of high profile festivals including Reading & Leeds. For such a young band, they never fail to give a polished and professional performance. They're opening up the main stage at Kazoopa, and I'm almost certain that this will see them add to their already impressive following.


Hello Operator
Playing at: Headrow House at 6:30pm
If it's slick, powerful grunge-rock that you're after, then Hello Operator are the band for you. Another of York's talented exports, they're the kind of band that once you've seen them, you never forget them. They can often be found touring relentlessly up and down the country, and it's that admirable work ethic and dedication that's seen them receive acclaim from media outlets galore, including BBC Introducing.


Tusk
Playing at: Oporto at 4:30pm
Leeds' very own masters of psyche-rock, I for one am seriously excited to see what this band have to offer at Kazoopa. There's not a great deal in the way of music available to listen to online, but their debut release "I'm So Vanilla" is so silky smooth and infectious that on first listen alone, it becomes cemented in your brain.


Kassassin Street
Playing at: Headrow House at 8:30pm
A last minute addition to the bill, but an incredibly exciting one. This Southsea based five-piece have been making serious waves this year with their very own creative blend of edgy psychadelic rock that you can't help but move your feet to. They're completely different to anything I've ever heard before, and probably my top pick for Kazoopa 2016.

Tickets for this, the very first Kazoopa Festival, are on sale now for just £10 plus a small booking fee at http://www.kazoopafest.co.uk/tickets/. There's going to be a very special launch party on Friday 25th November, featuring yet more fantastic bands such as The Rook and Dirty Stirling. There will also be an after party on the day itself, details of which will be released at a later date. This is going to be one VERY special weekend, and you can be a part of it. Grab your ticket while you can!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Live Review: AMP Festival ~ 07/08.10.16

2016 seems to have been the year of the inner city music festival- and AMP Festival is yet another all day musical extravaganza making it's debut this year and ensuring that festival season continues even if Summer is over. I've been incredibly excited about this one for a very long time as the line up boasts so many incredible acts, and all in one of Sheffields' most intimate venues.


It has to be said I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with The Rocking Chair; on the one hand whenever I've attended gigs there the atmosphere has been nothing short of electric, but it's such a tiny place and becomes as hot as the burning pits of hell when it's at capacity... which can be a little bit uncomfortable! However, this weekend definitely saw me warm to this venue because it gave me the opportunity to spend time with friends old and new, all whilst watching some of my favourite bands- and falling in love with a few new ones in the process.

An empty Rocking Chair- just so you can get an idea of how small it is!
Bad traffic on day one unfortunately meant that I ended up arriving a little late, and so the first band I saw was the brilliant No Hot Ashes. I caught the Manchester based band live for the first time a few months ago at Tramlines, and this performance was even better- despite frontman Isaac's declaration at the beginning of their performance that he was suffering from a bout of man flu! They are such a polished and ardent young band who have a real creative flair when it comes to their music; it's fun, unique and delightfully funky. Definitely one to watch, and I can't think of a better way to start a festival.

No Hot Ashes
I've seen Cupids a number of times now, and can safely say that they're one of the best new bands on the block. There's something incredibly raw about their sound, and they manage to give off a somewhat 'old sounding' vibe, whilst still remaining cool and contemporary at the same time. The band has two equally compelling vocalists in Sid Cooper and Jake Fletcher, and what also impresses me the most about them is the simple fact that they're a band with something to say- which I feel the music industry is seriously lacking in at the moment. They don't play it safe with their lyrics, or their sound in general, and I have a lot of respect for them because of that.

Cupids
The band I was most looking forward to seeing was undoubtedly Paves; they blew me away when I stumbled upon them at Leeds Festival in August, and this performance only made me fall all the more in love. There's a real bluesy and refined edge to their sound; I find them quite relaxing to listen to, and they perform with such ease and control that you can't help but be completely mesmerised. There's something inexplicably intriguing about them, and perhaps this is more than a little corny to say but everything about this performance was nothing short of perfect. One thing is for sure, Paves are a very special band indeed and I think I appreciate them all the more for having seen them perform in such intimate surroundings.

Paves
Friday nights' headliners were Sheffields' own The SSS, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing a couple of weeks ago. What always gets me about this band is their obvious dedication to what they do; every time I see them, they've upped their game. They're constantly growing as a band, and their set at AMP Festival was proof of that. Forthcoming single "The One You Need", an articulated and purposeful track, was the highlight of their set for me and I'm sure this one will go down extremely well once released officially. The crowd hung on the bands' every word, and once their performance came to an end and they took their leave they quickly found themselves being called back up for one last track. Frontman Josh Coddington gladly obliged and gave us a solo acoustic grand finale- a beautiful end to a brilliant night of live music.

The SSS
After a fantastic Friday evening, the bands playing day two of the festival had a LOT to live up to. I ended up discovering a couple of brilliant new bands, which in my opinion is what the festival experience is all about. I knew straight away that Manchester based Ethan & The Reformation were going to be an exciting find. The word that first springs to mind when trying to describe them is slick- both in terms of image, and sound. They draw you in with soaring, note perfect instrumentation and smooth vocals... all in all, they gave an enthralling, memorable performance. This was their first time in Sheffield, but they were well received by the audience so I'm quite sure it won't be their last.

Ethan & The Reformation
The Strawberries are fast becoming one of my favourite bands, but as much as I love the studio recordings of their work, I definitely think they have to be seen to be believed; it's all well and good being able to perform live and do it well, but this is a band who know how to put on a real show. Sam Neil is one of the most charismatic, interesting frontmen I've ever come across, and as a whole there's a real sizzling chemistry between them that only adds to their presence and on stage dynamics. This performance was probably the strongest I've ever seen from them, the highlight for me being "Caramel Eyes", their hard-hitting and infectious new single, released only last week.

The Strawberries
I've probably seen The Barmines live more than any other band this year, and they never fail to impress. Their set was short but sweet, and comprised of their usual dosing of huge, crowd pleasing hits. Even the newer, as of yet unreleased additions to their set are by now known and loved amongst their ever growing legion of loyal fans. Their live performances are always a bit of a whirlwind... fast paced, tumultuous and unforgettable.

The Barmines
When listening to new music, it often takes me a couple of listens to really 'get' the band and what they're about. However, every now and again a band comes along and immediately manage to pique my interest and this was definitely the case with Kashmere. As soon as they took to the stage, I was instantly impressed not only by the songs themselves but also the way they composed themselves throughout; there was a real polished edge to their performance, and I genuinely think they have the potential to follow in the footsteps of recent breakthrough acts such as Catfish & The Bottlemen and fellow Stockport citizens Blossoms in terms of commercial success.

Kashmere
Fresh from a triumphant television appearance on Soccer AM that morning Judas, as always, delivered an exceptional, action packed performance which had the crowd dancing and singing along- much to the obvious delight of the band themselves, who barely stopped smiling the entire time. They've had an incredible Summer, and a number of high profile festival appearances have seen them really flourish. It's easy to see that this is a band who are in their element when performing live, and they seem to get bigger and better every time.

Judas
It's been quite a while since I saw headliners Glass Caves, and I was delighted to hear a couple of brand new additions to their set, the most exciting of which was their forthcoming single "Do You Have A Name" which I'd not heard until then, and proved to be an exciting teaser of what's to come when album two hits the airwaves. One of the best things about festivals is seeing bands interact with and support one another, and about half way into this performance, in came Judas who subsequently started a riot and had the rest of the crowd rocking with them... all in all, the perfect culmination to a perfect weekend of live music.

Glass Caves
As far as festivals go, it was definitely one of the most impressive and well organised that I've ever been to and so I must praise Aaron Procter for all of the hard work he's put into making this weekend such a success. I'm sure AMP Festival will return, and I for one can't wait.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

An Interview With THE JACKOBINS ~ 18.09.16

I have no doubt in my mind that The Jackobins have what it takes to become the next big thing. The band is made up of Dominic Bassnett, Veso Mihaylov, Andy Pink, John Whittingham, Chris Marriott and Marc Terry. 2016 has seen the release of an incredibly successful new single in the form of 'Hasty', as well as relentless touring up and down the country and numerous festival appearances, all of which have undoubtedly earned them a legion of brand new fans- and rightfully so; frontman Dominic, with his powerhouse vocals and endearing stage presence, is one of the most compelling performers I've ever come across and as a whole the bands chemistry and charisma is undeniable. If you haven't seen them live yet, then I urge you to do so whilst they're still frequenting the smaller, more intimate venues across the country because one thing's for sure... it's only a matter of time before these guys are catapulted into the limelight.


Admittedly, interviewing bands is one of the most nerve wracking parts of running a music blog and I always find myself feeling a little bit nervous both beforehand and throughout- but I don't think I've ever felt quite so comfortable and at ease as I did when chatting with Dom and Veso after their impressive set at Askern Music Festival a couple of weeks ago. The bond between them was immediately evident and by the time I reached my last question, I felt like I was simply chatting with friends rather than conducting an interview!

What did you grow up listening to and how do you feel it's influenced you? 
Veso: It varies because I listen to a lot; from classical, to psychadelic, jazz, blues... but some of my main influences were The Doors, The Verve, The Stone Roses, The Libertines... Led Zeppelin, Kasabian... that's about it really.
Dom: You've got quite an eclectic music taste haven't you! One of the first CD's I ever bought was 'Hopes and Fears' by Keane. The Killers... so that sort of thing, sort of like rock but mainstream rock I suppose you'd call it. I like a big sound, I love U2. I can't say I was brought up on them, I discovered them later on. I've always liked that punky side as well, like The Sex Pistols, The Clash... that sort of thing. Obviously there's a tiny bit of Queen influence as well! I do love that really sort of ballsy guitar rock. In modern music I do miss that theatricality from frontmen.
Veso: I think I miss the attitude more than anything. Bands with attitudes and with something to say, it's starting to get really washed out. You watch a lot of bands and it just doesn't feel like it's real, it doesn't feel like it's out there and they mean what they say.
Dom: I like to watch a band and even if they're not that good, if they've got a bit of spunk about them, I'll like it. You can get better at music but you can't grow that attitude.

Speaking of early memories of music - what was the first gig you ever went to?
Veso: Can we do the first gig that we went to together? That's gonna be really cute. The Libertines. It was the secret show they did before the start of the big tour.
Dom: We do love The Libs- they're like mine and Veso's band. I had to pull Veso out of the moshpit. They were moshing out to The Smiths- how can you mosh out to The Smiths?! This was before the gig even started. We nearly had a fight because everyone was punching Veso. They didn't punch me because they couldn't see me because I'm so small, but I was like 'Nah I'm not having this, you're not touching my boy,' so I had to pull him out.

You seem to have quite a substancial fanbase here in Yorkshire; what has been your most memorable experience of gigging here to date?
Dom: We gig here more than we do in the North West. Before I was in this band I never even came to Yorkshire and now it's like a second home. Mosborough was a really nice music festival, we got to hang out with Space.
Veso: Live At Leeds was really good. Obviously playing Leeds Festival was a highlight but in all honesty it wasn't the best gig we've ever had- it was fantastic and a real honour but I like the tiny venues where you can feel the crowd bouncing and getting energised. Oporto was great, with Double Denim Live. We're really looking forward to Kazoopa Festival with them in November, we're playing Verve Bar.

Are there any other places you're especially looking forward to playing this tour?
Veso: We've got a homecoming gig, which is the relaunch there for This Feeling which is quite an honour in itself because we love Mikey Jonns, and we love This Feeling. We love the whole team and what they do. They really support up and coming bands and actually give them a chance. I don't think there is anyone else in the country at the moment who does that, has that amount of networking and can give you the opportunity to play so many cities and festivals. The guy is championing new music more than the BBC by a mile.
Dom: What he's doing for guitar bands... I haven't come across anyone else who's doing that. If there's going to be a resurgent in guitar bands, then it'll come from This Feeling. It's like a little family as well. I remember leaving a Leeds gig and the stage manager told us we're part of the This Feeling family now. That's what you want in the music industry, there's too much back biting, fighting and competition. It's NOT a competition. Why be negative, when you can be positive?
Veso: They're into Cabbage at the moment, and The Shimmer Band.
Dom: Cabbage are really nice lads as well, they're mental which is brilliant!
Veso: They've shown us massive support as well as bands like The Barmines and Judas, who are fantastic.
Dom: They take a good band, they get them together and they give them a stage.
Veso: Mikey did push Catfish & The Bottlemen quite a bit so he can definitely show you the bands that do actually get out there.

There's six of you in the band- so quite a lot of people! In terms of the songwriting process, do you all work on it together and bounce ideas off one another or is there one of you in particular who is the primary songwriter?
Dom: I'd say Veso is the chief songwriter. He usually brings the bones of a song, and then everyone else fleshes it out.
Veso: Not to take anything away from the boys though because a lot of the time I'll bring the seed and they will make it grow into a flower. I think we found that piece of magic where in it might change completely by the end of the song - nothing to do with the initial idea - but we've made something good and we just start to bounce ideas off each other. Sometimes it might be a frustrating process, sometimes it happens in minutes.
Dom: 'Ghost' was written in about 20 minutes! But then other times it takes us months to write a single song. It is a collaborative effort.

How did you first come together as a band? Were you all friends beforehand or did music bring you together? 
Veso: The story according to Dom is that I stopped him outside of this pub where he was singing and fell in love with his amazing voice. Part of it IS true, I did hear him singing and asked him to be in a band with me. He was about to give up on music and I was like 'NO! You are not giving up on music, you're in a band with me,' I asked him what he wanted to achieve and I promised him 'You're gonna be playing sold out shows within the year, you're gonna be on national radio within two years and we're gonna be playing Leeds, Reading, Y Not' ... stuff like that... and I've actually delivered which is ridiculous because we're self managed, but I think part of it is because we do have that bond.
Dom: He was messaging me on some band forum asking if I wanted to make a band. I didn't know he'd seen me singing so I was like 'Who the fuck is this crazy foreign guy?' The way he was typing was mental, he was like 'Do you want to meet me or not?' Then he stood me up in a pub and I ended up joining another band because they were there at the time. Then the pub exploded- true story- we weren't in it at the time, but it was a good pub and it exploded. I eventually invited him to a Halloween fancy dress party...
Veso: I didn't know anyone. John (who plays keyboard in the band) turned up a couple of hours later and I hadn't even told Dom he was coming so he just turned and was like 'I'm John'.
Dom: He didn't even say that! Typical John style, he came to my flat, knocked on the door and went 'Alright,' then just walked in. At the time he was the bassist.

The look of love!
You always seem to be touring, but music aside what do you do outside of the band?
Veso: We're a bunch of nerds, we like to play strategy games together- me and him. And we've got bunnies. We love the bunnies.
Dom: He's moved out though so I've got custody of the bunnies. They've started burrowing out of grief.
Veso: Yeah, they want to run away and come to me!

'Hasty' received such amazing feedback- and rightfully so, it's a brilliant track. But what's next?
Veso: We are planning a tour for January and February, we've got a few special gigs coming up, and we've got a new single. We've just finished recording it. It's getting mastered so should be back in a few weeks. In my personal opinion, it's a step up from 'Hasty'.