Tonight’s nights venue is The Shacklewell Arms, noted as one of East London’s most popular haunts. Supporting the headline act Babeshadow – former warm up act for Florence and The Machine – are Glitches. The trio of twenty-something’s (James Warner (Drums) Michael O’Neil (Guitar) and Robbie Parks (Vocals/ Keys)) are based in Whitechapel and set to release their new single ‘Only Time Will Tell’ on 22nd July. Sitting down for a chat, James asks as to where I hail from, obviously my northern accent has given me away…
GS: What about you lot, where do you live?
Michael: We live in Whitechapel. It’s our hub.
Robbie: It’s where we put parties on and stuff.
(They live, work and host their ‘Halcyon Nights’ from their studio).
GS: It must be quite intense though, all living and breathing so close to one another?
Michael: That’s just how we work, its how we roll.
James: You just get used to it after a while don’t you.
Robbie: You are just redefining zero.
Michael: If we did something else we would think ‘oh fuck how did we do that’. This is our zero level, it feels normal.
GS: So what have you been up to lately, have you been busy?
Robbie: Very busy. Well we have been in London under this guise for about a year and a half. We spent like a year figuring out what the fuck we wanted to do, and it seems like it all is starting to tie in together
GS: You’ve recently played The Great Escape, how was that?
James: It was good yeah, I had never been or played before so it was a novel experience for me, but yeah it is a great idea. Just walking round and find new music, it’s pretty cool.
Robbie: We played the same stage as We Were Evergreen and I was a big fan of them before the gig. We saw them and we had a chat backstage and they came to see us. It was really nice to feel like you are at a place where, sort of like South by South West I’d imagine, where you are just bumping into people but they are treating you like peers. It’s really great to be part of that.
Michael: There are no barriers; you are all in the same boat.
GS: You’ve been recording the single, ‘Only Time Will Tell’ as well then?
James: Yeah, well that is all recorded and ready to go, just getting everything organised for the single launch, which is going to be on 22nd July
Are you excited?
Robbie: Very. Its out on Kissability, which is the first kind of validation in that kind of way, we have put out things beforehand and we have built up a kind of fan base locally, but that kind of feels like it is real, well it is real because we are actually getting real copies of this. Have you heard it?
GS: Yeah, it’s good!
Robbie: Thank you, thank you. Yeah we’ve done the video, we’ve done everything
GS: Yeah I was looking at the video for ‘Leper’…
James: Oh Jesus Christ
Michael: That was thrown together…
GS: What is this video going to be like?
Michael: This ones epic
Robbie: It took a lot of planning…
James: I just told you with my eyes (he says whilst comically stares at me).
Michael: It is just like a really ambitious idea that we and it is sort of a miracle that it worked out as well as it did, we’ll leave it at that.
Robbie: We blew up parliament and rebuilt it in one night! We basically went to the countryside and built something and did stuff in and around it. It was really cool, we’ll send you it.
GS: You told me earlier that you all met at uni, what were you studying?
Robbie: Mike and I did physics, and James did history.
GS: So how did you end up making music?
Michael: Well we have done music all our lives, and it wasn’t like we started music after our degrees or something.
Robbie: We went to uni to plicate society and our parents probably.
GS: Why the name ‘Glitches’?
Robbie: I suppose in a general sense we always heard the word ‘glitches’ when we were doing Physics, but in general it kind of represents the band. Well I don’t know which one came first, the chicken or the egg but, one started the other; maybe the band started the name but maybe the name started the band.
I said when someone asked me the other day: it is something unexpected, we don’t always want it but every so often something good comes out of it and sometimes it is pretty destructive and I think that represents the band really well. It represents us in ourselves, it represents us in society because we are doing things a bit differently, I mean even doing history and physics and then doing music, it is a glitch, it doesn’t work.
GS: So tell me, what are Glitches trying to do?
Robbie: That’s a good question.
James: Follow your dreams.
Robbie: Shoot for the moon and if you miss you land in the stars.
James: Or the endlessness of space. The endless void.
Robbie: The endless regret.
What are your hopes for the future?
Michael: It is just trajectory. I don’t think it’s better to live by intentions, so enjoying music is the hope for the future and then with that other things will come, but continuing to enjoy music and playing together.
Robbie: Yeah I agree with that, but we want to put an album out next year, and that is the short term goal and we want that album to have an audience, so we can put it out on a platform that is going to give us enough support that we can get it to the most people we can. But yeah it is just trajectory; I would rather be going like that, than like that (series of up and down hand gestures).
Paul had later told me how going to Oxford University had shaped the guys work ethic. We spoke of those familiar characters who are in multiple bands, to which he commented “if you are not completely consumed by one band then you are not doing it properly”. Glitches work incessantly to develop and refine their music in their Whitechapel hub and this is clearly evident in their performance.
Opening with ‘Leper’ the crowd were immediately drawn captured. As good as opening act The Hoo Ha’s were with their indie swooning, Glitches offer something different. Something which is not so easy to categorise. Michael’s surprisingly operatic voice is alluring whilst wiggling behind his keys, Robbie provides the entertainment.
The music almost sounds bigger than the band; anthems that are powerful amalgamations of so many elements. The three piece work perfectly together and their fixation with perfection shows in a faultless performance. Robbie’s voice shines as they lead into a slower song, then onto the beguiling ‘Warm Seas’, played with effortless coolness. The music is played without the need for bravado or arrogance whilst the indulgent beats demand dancing.
The set draws to a close with the soon to be released ‘Only time will tell’ which screams success and it feels like we’ve just seen the start of something special.