Introducing… The Bands – Part 1

Posted by vibrations on 14-08-15

As sure as night follows day and regret follows beers, with Leeds Festival comes a new crop of eager and expectant unsigned bands, itching to play the Introducing Stage and willing to do anything to get the chance. Well, I say anything, I mean win the Futuresound Competition or Centre Stage Competition, and when I say win I mean make the top five, but win sounds more impressive – and let’s face it, playing Leeds and Reading festival is a win-win thing, no matter where you place. But there is an overall winner, nonetheless, and this year it is Calls Landing for Futuresound and Mall Rats for Centre Stage. Nice guys all, as are fellow players NARCS, Treason Kings and Happy Daggers. All in all: top crop!

Treason Kings

The announcement was made on Thursday – what was your initial reaction?

Harry: I saw the word ‘runners up’ and our name following it and thought we haven’t got it, but then realised we were going to play the BBC stage and I was ‘no way!’ – so happy!

Matt: Pure joy.

Did you get an inkling of your success from playing the Futuresound gig?

Harry: One of the best gigs we’ve ever played – obviously people wanted to come down and help us out but we saw a lot of faces that we knew, a lot of other bands from the Leeds scene came down to watch us – we thought it went really well, but as the day came, confidence slowly ebbed away, as it does – after the gig we were like ‘we’ve done everything we possibly can do, so if we get through then great, but if we don’t then there isn’t anything more we could do to get through.

Matt: we were on with our mates NARCS who also went through.

On the same night? That must have been a tough call…

Harry: that’s what we like about the way it was organised, with it being an overall competition rather than one band per night – the mood backstage at the Wardrobe was really nice as anyone could have got through, there wasn’t a dog eat dog thing about it, it was really friendly.

Matt: probably to our benefit to play with bands of our genre as well.

Is this your first time on the introducing stage?

Sam: yes! Can’t wait really… it was our first festival really, being from Leeds.

Matt: We haven’t been for about five years…

Harry: Yeah… I made the stupid announcement that I wouldn’t go to another festival until I played one… but every year would go by and I’d be ‘whop… no festivals this year…’ But this year it’s worked out.

What do you think it’s going to be like up there?

Matt: I think it’s going to be great! Never been to Reading, but I know that Leeds Introducing will have lots of people going for the weekend to see us… it’s the sort of stage where you walk past, hear something and think ‘I’m going to check that out.’

The times haven’t been set yet… are there any bands you don’t want to clash with?

Harry: There’s so many bands on that list – I’d love to see Wolf Alice, I really want to see Black Peaks… there are some of the smaller bands I want to see too…

Sam: we say Turbowolf this week at Kendall Calling and they were awesome so I’d like to see them again.

Matt: There’s this girl called Lucy Rose who’s really good that I’d like to go and see – I’d really like to see Alt J to be honest with you – think they made their name in Leeds too?

Any final words to those going to Leeds?

Harry: If you like riffs and loud rock music, then we are your band… and we try really hard.

Matt: we need this!

Excellent! See you there!

Happy Daggers

What were your initial feelings/reactions to getting on the line up?

Sinclair: I was over the moon. I must admit, I don’t get nervous very often, but I was nervous and we were told – I don’t want to take issue with Futuresound because we love them – seven o’clock the announcement was going to come out… I must have refreshed my phone about twenty five times!

Jordan: I was ecstatic – I felt like shouting out and that… but there was no one in the house and I was cleaning my oven. I saw it on Facebook and I was like ‘yes!’… then carried in cleaning my oven.

Danny: I was at a party and I was really excited and felt like shouting out but thought that cool modesty would go down the best, so I just kinda mentioned it and let everyone else scream and shout.

How was the gig on the night?

Jordan: It went well, nothing went wrong – we turned up on time, were friendly to everyone, went on stage on time, we played… alright to be honest.

Sinclair: we are consummate professionals. Lie any big event, you prepare for it and hope it goes alright. I thought it was one of the best gigs we’ve played in a while and I was really happy with it… but it was just that three week wait to see if we’d got it.

Danny: It’s great to play the Wardrobe as well – we’ve been waiting for a long time to play that venue.

Sinclair: We’ve been there a few times, but to ply there… the sounds amazing, really really good, but we tend to say that about a lot of venues in Leeds because it’s true. I don’t think there’s a town with such high quality venues.

Are you regulars of Leeds festival or is this the first time?

Jordan: I’ve been a few times – I’ve been about five years in a row to Leeds fest, missing last year, but I always dreamed about being on one of the stages – it was on my bucket list, doing this!

Sinclair: I haven’t been for a few years, I must admit, the year I went Muse headlined  and it was absolutely amazing – I love Muse – but as soon as they finished the heavens opened to mark the momentous occasion… so I’m massively looking forward to it!

Danny: I’ve never been to Leeds but I used to go to Reading every year, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this side of it – this is the first time I’ve been to Bramham Park and it looks totally amazing! I’m really excited about getting back here…

You do get to play Leeds and Reading – which one is exciting you/worrying you most?

Sinclair: I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘worrying’ – I’d like to say there were more nerves for the competition – but playing Leeds because were from here and people will write about us… I think that‘s the most important, because it’s a bit of a signature that we’ve achieved something, but I’ve never been to Reading, and any gigs that we play south of Birmingham are quite important!

Jordan: I’m a bit bothered about missing any bands that are playing on the same day ‘cos I was planning on going to Leeds fest any way – we don’t know what day we’re playing on… but I’m quite happy to see a lot of the rest of the festival as well – it’s going to definitely be a great weekend for me!

Which is the one that you definitely don’t want to miss?

Jordan: Probably Kendrick Lamar… I can’t think of another time that I’d definitely see him, so it would be nice to see that.

Danny: Slaves – I’ve been listening to them a lot recently – they’ve got a lot of interest and a lot of press and the session they did the other day was quite cool… so I’d love to see them. There’s so many bands playing.

Jordan: I really want to see the Cribs. I used to see them quite often, so I need to get that fix.

Any final words for anyone coming to Leeds?

Danny: If you  want to have fun… we’re not a bad band to see at all. We enjoy ourselves on stage, our music is lively and being at Leeds festival we’ll probably be playing to the best of our ability… we might be a little bit delirious.

 Jordan: If you like to dance, definitely come and see us!

Dancing shoes set to standby…

Rob Wright

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