Having been making music for a few years now, it seems like 2015 could definitely be Keston Cobblers Club‘s year. Having received praise from the likes of 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, and set to release their second album next week, the acclaimed folk-pop five piece are spending the Summer gracing our ears at various festivals before an extensive Autumn headline tour.
We caught up with Matt from the band to find out more.
Hi! How are you and what have you been up to this week?
I’m very well thank you – this week is our ‘rest week’ before we set off on a summer of festivals and autumn of touring! Our 2nd album comes out on Monday, so we’re trying to make the most of the last few days before we start gigging.
You’ve recently announced details surrounding your U.K tour commencing in October, excited?
Very excited! It’s our biggest tour to date in the UK and we’ll be playing all over the place. It’s also our biggest headline London show, so that’ll be really fun/nerve-racking. It’s a while off yet, but the summer always flies by, so we’re already preparing the new album tracks.
How would you summarise Keston Cobblers Club to those people who haven’t seen you live before?
We play off the crowd and they do us. Generally, we like a good old dance and a footstomp, but we also like to take it down a notch sometimes. I guess crowd engagement is a big thing – often, to the bane of everyone else, I don’t write out a proper set list, we just go with the flow when we’re on stage and play what feels right. Energy is the main thing… Lots of energy.
What’s your favourite thing about playing live?
We have fun, although I guess that’s a product of our favourite thing, which I think is just being able to get direct feedback from your music from an audience. It’s scary, exciting and keeps you on your toes every night.
The new album Wildfire is set to be released on June 15, what can we expect from it?
There are still tracks that people have come to expect from Cobblers – I guess with this album we’ve just moved forward slightly with some of the sounds: it’s a real fusion of Folk, Orchestral, pop and alternative influences and no two tracks are too similar. We like variety, so we’ve just had fun with it and linked them all with a brush of Cobblers. We’ve added a bit of attitude that spreads and that’s why we thought the name Wildfire was so appropriate.
What were the underlying influences when it came to writing the album?
I have a ridiculously broad collection of influences – as does my sister Jules – when writing. I’ve been listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac of late (We’re going to see them in June), I like acts that don’t get pinned down by one style or genre, but end up being defined simply as themselves and it’s what we try to do as much as possible. Obviously in this age we live in, we can’t be completely unique, we have hundreds of influences and all listen to different music.
You’ve also released your latest single ‘Won’t Look Back’, what can you tell us about it?
It’s perhaps one of our more acoustic tracks on the album – it’s a track about not looking back (surprise!) – it’s reflective and I wrote it because I enjoyed playing it in rehearsals. It’s a fun one live and we actually completely re-recorded it for this album (there’s a slower version on the EP we released last Summer) because it’s picked up energy after we’ve been playing it for a year. It’s a summer song, it’s meant to be fun and light and just reflect a mood of not caring about the negatives of the past.
You’ve also got a good few festivals lined up over the summer and have just played The Great Escape – how did that go? And what’s your experience been like playing festivals?
The Great Escape was a lot of fun – it’s mainly indoors, so it’s a different festival to most we play where we’re outside, but it’s a lot of fun and Brighton is just on our doorstep, so we love to visit. Festivals are lovely, especially if it’s nice weather. It’s a great chance to play to new crowds who have never heard you before, but also just to enjoy the time you’re not playing by watching loads of other bands. You also get to share the stage with some of your favourite bands, which is pretty special! We make sure we fill our summers with festivals.
What’s been your favourite moment with the band so far?
That’s a tough one. I think personally our showcase back in 2012. It was the first London Headline show we’d ever put on for the release of the first album – we sold it out (although a modest venue) and, for the first time, felt like a real ‘proper’ band, with ‘proper’ fans. It was wonderful and after that show, everything seemed to start moving for the best.
Who would you consider as your biggest influences as a band?
Another tough one! I don’t know whether a collection of people rarely have the same one influence, there’s always loads of reasons why most people start a band. I’m a big lover of writers/performers such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Justin Vernon, Kristian Matsson, Zach Condon, Yann Tiersen… All sorts. Some have been around for years, some only just getting recognised. Music – obviously – is my biggest influence, and it’s growing up with music around you that makes you want to do it yourself.
Is there anything else we can expect from Keston Cobblers Club before the year is out?
We surprise ourselves and often don’t know what’s around the corner – if Jules has anything to do with it, there’ll be a few weird surprises! But in general, lots of new music and lots of live dates are popping up all around us. It’s going to be a busy year!
Huge thanks to Keston Cobblers Club for answering our questions! Wildfire is out next Monday, 15 June.