Ahhh, Stornoway, how we love thee. Having stumbled across them a couple of weeks back, Jess wrote an amazing introduction to them, and I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to Brian Briggs, their frontman, Ollie Steadman, their bassist, and Adam Briggs, their trumpet player before they closed the Introducing tent on Saturday night.
Some of the nicest guys you’ll find in the music biz today, Brian explained that the rest of the band were off watching Dizzee Rascal on the main stage, with Ollie joking that their in-house Russian Translator is “trying to translate the lyrics”. Very chatty, Ollie told me about their May Day celebrations at the Isis in Oxford – “I had forty five minutes sleep, then drove to work that day!”
They’ve been compared to all sorts, from Belle and Sebastian to XTC at their most whimsical. I asked the guys what they liked to be compared to, what they think they sound like. Ollie “loved being compared to The Coral on Crack”, a very apt description I think, though they seemed keen not to put labels on themselves, understandably. Brian “prefers being compare to the Guillemots than Belle and Sebastian”, and thinks that the comparisons to Fleet Foxes might “just be because they’re everywhere at the moment”.
Next weekend they’re playing Wood festival near Witney in Oxfordshire, which they’re very excited about – whilst the Big Weekend was the biggest festival he’d ever been to, Ollie thought Wood was going to be great – “it’s a really lovely experience, it’s only in its second year but I’d definately encourage people to go”.
Live, they half filled the introducing tent, with the crowd growing as people finished watching Kasabian, who Brian joked on stage that they struggle to compete “with the loud ones over on the main stage – Kasabian I think they’re called”. After opening with “On the Rocks”, they ploughed through a strong set which explained just why there’s a fair bit of buzz surrounding them – well rehearsed, interesting, different and above all great songs. Plenty of banter between songs, introducing “We Are The Battery Human”, Brian joked about the case of the dog eating the alphabet magnets, and how “we’re basically all animals, so get out there and connect with each other and the dogs!”.
If they started off a bit meekly, by the end of the set they were in full flow, closing with new single “Zorbing” (about the two New Zealand guys who invented the extreme sport) and possibly the closest they have to a radio smash hit, the amazing, rockier ‘Unfaithful’.