Who would have thought that in Scala, one of London’s most iconic venues, a small room was standing above the crowd, facing the stage. A room big enough to have an after party but small enough to stay discreet. A room not so well hidden, but that requires a lot of effort to reach: about 500 steps to climb. This is where Cody Thomas-Matthews and Spencer Tobias-Williams, respectively singer and guitarist of indie-rock upcoming sensation High Tyde, welcomed us. Seated at a booth, the two boys in their late teens were nervously playing with empty bottles of water, probably realising that less that a couple of hours later they would be on a sold-out Scala stage. “It feels f**king mental,” says Cody with a big smile on his face, “We’ve never done anything like this before.”
And it seems their fans knew about it. Queuing up around the venue long before the doors opened, sometimes travelling from other countries to see the band play, High Tyde’s fans are just giving unconditionally. However, they know that they would receive the same love and attention in return from the Brightonians, who are constantly interacting with them on social media. In fact, High Tyde have even let their fans become the star of a moment by having them create small clips for the video of ‘Do What You Want’.
“Basically we wanted for them to feel free and don’t care about having any worries, and have a good time,” says Spencer. “It’s like having a community around the world, with the video especially.” Cody agrees and adds, “It is kind of a let-loose song. We wanted to bring everyone together as well, and that video was created by people from all around the world. And we just thought it was cool to do that.” During summertime, the indie-rock Brighton-based band travelled around the country’s best indie festival stages to share their love and passion, helping them to grow their fanbase as well as the industry’s interest. Indeed, the four bandmates have already been compared to one of the biggest UK indie-rock names: Two Door Cinema Club. “It’s a pretty good comparison to be honest. I mean, that first album, Tourist History, was kind of the reason we wanted to start this band,” says Cody. “I wouldn’t say our new stuff is as Two Door as our old stuff used to be, but again, it’s a great band to be compared to.” And the sound created the four friends who met at a skate park when they were 13 or 14 has become more rock and powerful. If that could be compared to someone Cody says that it could “maybe be like Foals or Foo Fighters, I’d say. It’s more on that kind of vibe.”
For High Tyde, those bands are some they are looking up to career and sound-wise; a sort of musical inspiration. In fact, if they could have a dream line-up, Spencer smiles and admits that “it would be Bombay [Bicycle Club], Foals, Two Door Cinema Club and us.” “Yeah! If Bombay got back together, that’d be so sick,” says Cody, imagining the great night all of them could have.
Speaking of great night, the lights in the stage area went to pitch black, fans in the room started screaming: the night was about to start with High Tyde’s first supporting act, Joy Room. After a warm handshake and wishing them luck for tonight, we asked if they had a message to share with their fans. They did: “Keep coming up to the shows, keep watching this space, we’ve got very exciting things to come,” says Cody, smiling and almost shouting to cover the live music in the background. Spencer adds, on the same tone, “Thank you very much for supporting us, we wouldn’t be here if that wasn’t for you guys!” With the music getting louder and louder, it is our cue to leave the band getting ready for their show. Time to go down the tall cylinder of stairs hoping not to fall before the show starts, it would be a shame to miss it.