Friday, 11 November 2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH BEACH BABY - 11/11/2016

BEACH BABY - credit to the relevant individual (name could not be found)
From left to right - Kit, Shep, Lawrence and Ollie
 BEACH BABY are the London based four-piece consisting of Lawrence Pumfrey, Ollie Pash, Kit Jennings and Josh 'Shep' Hodgson  who just finished their UK tour and are currently on a European tour with Palace.

Since forming they have had a spot on the soundtrack of Netflix's 'Flaked,' got a record deal with Island Records and had their first single with the label receive airplay on Huw Stephens' Radio 1 show.

At the end of their tour I got a chance to speak with the band about their debut album, their UK tour and the European tour!

How was it that you all first met?
  
Shep: 'It goes back to these two.'
Lawrence: 'I went to university in Bristol and was standing outside a bar and this guy (bassist) was stood outside the bar and I asked him if he played bass and he said he did, it later emerged that he didn't have a bass but eventually he found a bass. He doesn't even play bass anymore because he's our guitarist, though he could play bass if you asked him.'
Shep: 'And what were you wearing?'
Lawrence: 'This was almost 8 years ago to the day. It was Halloween and I was dressed as Malcom McDowell in A Clockwork Orange.'
Shep: 'Oh, I was hoping this was the Mumford Phase.'
Lawrence: 'Well it was but yeah.'
Shep: 'So you've met, Ollie plays the bass. What happens next?'
Lawrence: 'We formed a band. Wasn't a very good one.'
Shep: 'Name?'
Lawrence: 'Circus Sands.'
Shep: 'Style?'
Lawrence: 'Folk.'
Ollie: 'Indie-folk.'
Lawrence: 'Indie-pop-folk.'
Shep: 'Then what happened?'
Lawrence: 'Well we played a few terrible gigs. No one has ever got this in-depth an interview, Shep you're taking over. Right so we played a few terrible shows, we had a dynamite violinist who was the highlight and then gradually we got slightly better and got known as 'Arms'. We were kind of more of a two-piece with some others coming in and out. We then moved to London and we got into a new band called 'Lowest of the Low' which was slightly better, this was our third band. We did some recording with a guy called Paul Savage, we didn't really get anywhere however until, enter' *signals to Shep*
Shep: 'I joined, 3.5 years ago. I knew a friend who has recorded with these two in London.'
Lawrence: 'Three. It's only been three years.'
Shep: 'Three and a half years ago. It's been three and a half years that I've been in this band. I joined when I was twenty-four and a half.'
Lawrence: 'You always like to add a bit on. You joined in like Autumn three years ago and it's kind of Autumn now.'
Shep: 'I moved when I was twenty-four. Anyway, three and a half years ago I joined the band and it went from there. We worked hard at trying to craft a number of songs together so that when we actually came to record the album and stuff we had you know more than just two or three, we had quite a lot of ideas and then yeah, it got to the point where we wrote a load and we were fortunate enough to go and record it properly.'
Lawrence: 'Got a bloody record deal.'
Shep: 'Alright mate. Yes we did get a record deal and used that money to record our album.'
Ollie: 'Such a massive tangent.'
Shep: 'And then we ended up here.'
Lawrence: 'So then how did we actually come to meet, through friends? Yeah through friend and just some chance encounters along the way.'

When did you all first realise music was something you wanted to pursue? Was there something specific that triggered this?

Shep: 'Since a very young age, I dunno.'
Ollie: 'I duunno either, I always wanted to be in a band. I just always liked the idea of it and I continued with that through to this day.'
Lawrence: 'For me, it was 'New Metal.' That's what did it for me, Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory. I got very into that.'
Shep: 'Yeah, just listening to music when you are young and then you play in bands through your teenage years and then you do it some more and you just never stop doing it and all of a sudden you're here.'
Ollie: 'It's not a kind of epiphany moment I wouldn't say where you just suddenly think 'I wanna be a rockstar' it dawns on you slowly. A lifelong love of music.'

Do you have any pre-gig rituals? If so, what are they?

Shep: 'Lawrence is the only one who does that.'
Lawrence: 'I just do vocal warm-ups, it's not particularly exciting.'
Shep: 'The rest of us just kinda hang around and have a few beer fruits.'
Lawrence: 'Beer fruit, cheap sandwiches, crisps and crudité.'
Shep: 'A lot of winding each other up, that gets us pumped up.'

Which song of yours would you say gets the best reception at your gigs?

Shep: 'Either 'No Mind, No Money'.'
Lawrence: 'Yep, that one get's a big one.'
Shep: 'And 'Limousine'.'
Ollie: 'I'd say there are three big ones.'
Lawrence: 'No Mind, No Money', 'Limousine' and 'Ladybird'.'
Shep: 'There are some more creeping in though, 'Smoke Won't Get Me High' is getting a little bit of a woooo as is 'Hot Weather' which is nice cos they were never released as singles they are just album tracks.'

What is it you like best about touring?

Shep: 'Meeting new bands, I like that. Met some good people on our tours and we have stayed in touch with a fair few of them. I like that aspect a lot. It's nice to see progression amongst people you knock about with.
Lawrence: 'Not having to do other work is good.'
Ollie: 'The travel is good. Well, not the actual travel but the element of visiting different places everyday. It's cool, I like that.'
Shep: 'And of course the gig itself.'
Lawrence: 'Meeting people who listen to your music who you know are from a number of miles away is quite inspiring, cheery experience.'

Do you prefer your own shows or festival sets?

Lawrence: 'Our own shows.'
Shep: 'Yeah our own shows, festivals are urm.'
Ollie: 'Well festivals are a completely different ballgame really.'
Lawrence: 'With festivals you never really know they are more erratic, it depends upon the time of the day you're on. I mean we had like, I remember Truck Fest this year was great, we stepped out and were like 'woah there's loads of people and it's a really big stage' but there has been others where we've gone out and there's been maybe six people and we sounded shit so yeah.'
Shep: 'Yeah, it's way less consistent.'

The band's video for album track Limousine.

So tonight is the last night of the tour, how has the tour been?

Shep: 'It's ben good, it's like there's been more good shows than bad ones. There has been more people coming along and knowing some songs. Everyone seems to be buying all our merchandise which is good.'
Lawrence: 'People are buying our mug.'
Ollie: 'We seem to have quite a loyal, cash-rich fanbase.'
Shep: 'But yeah no it has been a really fun tour, it's nice to wrap it up in Sheffield because that's where I'm from and Leadmill used to be my old haunt.'
Lawrence: 'I don't have any attachment to this place at all.'
Shep: 'Yeah, he has zero attachment. Me and friends however used to enjoy Leadmill every Friday night, indie disco night.'
Ollie: 'Is that on tonight?'
Shep: 'Yeah it will be.'
Lawrence: 'What? Here at Leadmill? Is It just indie disco music?'
Ollie: 'No Hadouken! or anything, just the genre indie disco?'
Lawrence: 'Just Friendly Fires and early Foals.'
Shep: 'Jump in the...'
Lawrence: 'Pool.'

Other than Shep; do you guys have any fond memories of Sheffield?

Ollie: 'Well because Shep lived here we spent a lot of time here because we are fortunate enough to not have to stay in hotels when we go travelling around the North we can just get a decent nights sleep and a good bed at Shep's folks' house so we've sent a lot of time here. There's little places we like to frequent like we like to go walking in the Peak District which is really nice.'
  Lawrence: 'The café.'
Ollie: 'There's this guy, Dave.'
Shep: 'David Mason.'
Ollie: 'His owns a nice café near Shep's house, it's where Shep's mum likes to chill so we go to say help to the nice people there. There's also a record shop.'
Lawrence: 'Record Collector.'
Ollie: 'We like to have a look there.'
Lawrence: 'We went for a walk at Stanage Edge, that was really nice. Shep, what's that park called near you?
Shep: 'Oh, its just a park where we walk the dogs.'
Ollie: 'Yeah Shep has got dogs which is quite good motivation to leave the house.'
Shep: 'It's good to exercise on tour.'

How are you looking forward to tonight's show?

Lawrence: 'It should be good, been quite a few tickets that we've sold.'
Shep: 'Jamie T is on tonight up there, so I've heard.'
Lawrence: 'We're up against Jamie.'
Shep: 'Sweet Jamie.'
Lawrence: 'A few people seem to have chosen us over him, not that it's a competition.'
Ollie: 'If it was, he's winning.'
Lawrence: 'That's why it's not a competition.'
Shep: 'It's like one thousand to nil.'
Lawrence: 'One thousand to one hundred. Yeah no, its the last date.'
Shep: 'We don't know when we'll be back out touring so we'll try to have a lot of fun tonight.'


So you're supporting Palace on some of their European tour dates, what are you looking forward to about that?

Shep: 'Urm, I've never seen Palace live, these guys know them but I've never actually met them so there's that. I'm also looking forward to gigging in Europe as well as seeing what their live show is like.'
Lawrence: 'I went to school with three of them but haven't really been in their company since then so it'll be nice to reacquaint myself with them on a personal level and yeah like Shep said I've never seen them live either so I'll get to see what that's like.'
Shep: 'I'm looking forward to Germany.'
Ollie: 'Yeah Germany. Just the shows in will be good I hope, we haven't done many shows in Germany.'

What was the reception like for your debut album?

Shep: 'I don't know.'
Ollie: 'I'm not really sure. The people who liked us beforehand seemed to have liked it so I don't think we pissed anyone off in that respect.'
Lawrence: 'We got some decent reviews.'
Ollie: 'People seemed to have listened to it and they've bought tickets because they've come and have known the songs.'
Lawrence: 'We sold a fair few more than we thought we were going to.'
Ollie: 'I'd say largely positive, we haven't stormed the charts but who does.'
Shep: 'I think people have been like 'yeah it's good'.'
Ollie: ''Well done mate'.'
Shep: 'Yeah exactly. Like my parents were like 'ah it's actually good. You're actually alright as a band'.'
Ollie: 'My dad thinks it's brilliant.'
Shep: 'He does, does Nick Pash.'
Ollie: 'He tells me the songs are amazing, so there's that.'
Lawrence: 'My girlfriend's parents are really into it. Her dad keeps singing 'Hot Weather' at me.'
Shep: 'Yeah no, overall people have been very nice about it.'

What was the idea process behind the album artwork?

Shep: 'That goes to Ollie because his girlfriend, Lily-Rose Thomas who we worked with a lot on four of our videos and our press shots and several artworks. She thought Hugo, who is on the picture had a really interesting face and he was in our Limosine video. Se thought it would be a good idea to get him in and also had the idea of the transfer tattoo on his arm and yeah that was better than any idea we had because our ideas were terrible. We sorta just let her do it. She also had the idea of the writing in the background on the wood. So yeah, all praise and all credit to Lily-Rose Thomas.

Throughout the rest of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, what can we expect from Beach Baby?

Shep: 'Hopefully some support tours in the new year, though we don't know yet, we haven't booked anything. Then I don't know really, we're just gonna lock ourselves away and write some more songs and see what they sound like. Just not put pressure on ourselves. It'll be good to put these songs aside and get on with something fresh as we rebuild ourselves since our original bass player left.



Written by Sophie.

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