Thursday, 26 January 2012

Happy Slapping with the Lonsdale Boys Club

This week Religion met up with Lonsdale Boys Club while they were doing some shopping in our Portobello store. The LBC are made up of Loz, Charlie and Topher and are about to set off on an arena tour supporting Olly Murs. Read on for happy slapping, chest bumping and pissing on pianos...

So, you’re about to set off on an arena tour with Olly Murs; are you mindful that Olly’s fans are going to be different to yours – are you going to try and play to them or do your own thing?
C: Yea well when we first got invited to this tour, we thought about the audiences being different. When it was announced, his fans came straight onto our Facebook and Twitter, asking us questions, sending us fanmail. It’s a pretty good place to be.
L: They’ve been so welcoming. Plus you can’t choose your fans, you know? Your fans choose you.
Apart from the upcoming tour then what is the biggest crowd that you have played to?
C: Festival wise, you can never count but they can be massive. Indoors, when we played with the Kooks it was 2,500. It takes your breath away. You come out and you’re like, fuckin hell! When we start talking to the’s a big feeling. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like, it’s a big jump up.
T: Its way easier playing to a big crowd I think, because with a smaller audience you can really see everyone and people coming up to you, it can be kind of distracting.
So how are you going to prepare for the arena tour?
C: These stages are a lot bigger, so personally I’m trying to get a lot fitter than I was before.
So that you can run around?!
C: Yea when I’m on stage I like to move around alot – I’m up and down and on the speakers.
You should get a travelator!
C: I want one of those....what are they called?
T: Segways!
C: Yea! But other than that, we’ve never used lots of the equipment that we need for this before, in terms of ear monitors or types of speakers, so we’re doing a huge transition. It’s a completely different bag of tricks.
There’s a lot of stuff to think about then?
T: But there’s a lot of things you don’t have to think about as well because of the team you have.
L: For this we have a slightly bigger team and they take care of the stuff going on behind the scenes, so we don’t have to worry about getting our own guitars and stuff. I used to just pass it to Charlie.
C: We’re used to doing everything and setting up ourselves. We’d have guitars that break and we’re trying to fix them while we’re playing. Just standard gig stuff...but hopefully this’ll be a bit of a luxury.

So what are your plans after the tour?
C: The day after the tour ends we’re flying to LA to shoot out first music video.
*Religion offers to be an extra – still waiting on an answer*
C: That’s gonna be a nuts experience – the director who we are working with is out there. He came up with the concept but we’ve been having Skype chats to make sure it’s exactly what we want.
How long exactly have you guys been together?
C, L and T all have a think and then decide: Its 2 years now.
And you got together quite naturally didn’t you?
C: We all had the same guitar teacher and we decided to build a studio together. We changed the space into a proper recording studio and that’s up on Lonsdale Road, and we started writing music. One of the first things we wrote was the single ‘Light me up’ and in my opinion that’s some of our best material - it came from a really organic place, we just felt it out until it all came together.
So when you got together you were nameless?
C: No, well, Loz always joked around that it was a boys club.
L:  Because it was really sweaty – a bunch of guys in the studio, building it together and being boys basically, it was a joke name to start.
C: When we tried to come up with a name we started out with all the ‘The’ something names but Lonsdale Boys Club just felt so much more real to us.
Do you have a big international following?
C: We seem to have a lot of fans in Germany and South America. It’s just the matter of getting out there. Some of the tunes have a really universal feel and others are more localised to London or English sounds.
What about the Kiwis? Are they fans?
T: They are! Actually, when I went home over Christmas a lot of my friends said that they had heard a remix on the radio – I don’t know how, but it’s amazing seeing as its on the other side of the world.

What about pre show mantras or traditions? What do you do?
T: Well, I like to slap.
C: He’s like ‘Can you slap me? Can you slap me?!’ .There’s a bit of happy slapping that goes on. Also we do this thing which is a bit weird but I’m told by my vocal coach to do it... we go *sticks fingers in cheeks and blows a raspberry* which is good for your vocal chords. It’s called sirening.
T: Plus there’s a lot of jumping that goes on.
L: And we do a lot of high fiving and chest bumping.
C: I feel a bit like a caged lion backstage, there’s so much tension and we’re all pacing up and down. When did our first big show at Koko we went out for that way too hyper, yea I had to style it back in, I don’t think the audience realised but I was a bit too much.
How do you support each other on the stage? Does one of you ever get more nervous?
T: It really changes for each gig.
L: We just do our chest bumping, you know.
You’re really into the chest bumping!
L: I am yea - I love it!
C: We all deal with it differently. We can get so nervous especially with festivals. You have no time to prepare or do sound checking so it’s like – bang – you’re in front of thousands of people.
Were any of you in music professionally before you got together?
L: I DJ’d loads up in Liverpool – that’s my background, DJing and producing, so that’s why I take charge of most of the remixes of our stuff – that’s my forte.
Did you think you were going to be in a band from that?
L: No! It was always the DJing side of things. I did wanna be in a band when I was younger, everyone wants to be a rockstar, but when this came about I knew it was an amazing opportunity and I couldn’t turn it down.
Did you guys [Topher and Charlie] wanna be rockstars?
C: Ever since I could stand up. I’ve always been surrounded by music, it was the only thing I really wanted to do and I was biding my time until I could do this.
T: I wanted my own lawnmowing business. You know, I hated piano so much that I pissed on it.
T: No! Not regularly. I was young! So I went from lawnmowing to the drums, I learnt drums for 3 weeks, put the music aside for 5 years and then picked it up again.

Do you want to try and make a statement with your fashion on stage?
C: Not in a gimmicky way, but I find normal stuff looks really washed out on stage. I think either bright or black looks wicked. If you work with a certain vibe then it’ll look even better. Like when guys wear eyeliner, I can see why they’d do that, you wanna get out there to be noticed.
What it is that you like about religion?
C: Absolutely evveerythhinng! I think it suits our vibe, you know, it’s distressed, almost gothic with the dark colours. It’s edgy, we love the jackets.
T: It fits well too which is hard to find. I’m not a fashion designer so I can’t explain it but I really like the cut of the clothes.
What’s your style like?
L: We’ve all got similar styles but quite different at the same time. So when we look at something, Toph’ll say ‘Loz you gotta wear that’ so it’s quite cool, we know each other’s style well.
C: For example this jacket [Charlie points to the Shoreditch Bomber jacket] from you guys, I wear all the time, and if it didn’t have it already the guys would have told me to get it. I like wearing one special piece and the rest quite casual.
What’s your best ever gig?
T: Definitely Koko for me.
C: Koko, yea. As a band we smashed it at Koko, we came out so happy such a good feeling for us, it was a real step up, beautiful venue, packed out. And everyone is above you.
T: Charlie started waving his hands and the reaction was amazing, everyone was waving in sync, up on the balconies, all around us.
C: That was a really special thing.
Worst gig?
C: We did one in Kingston for freshers and there was another fresher’s party 2 mins away, so everyone went to the other one. It was no-one’s fault but, we were playing to an empty room.
T: Nah man, there were a couple of Subway staff in there.
C: It was really early on, the stage was falling apart, we were almost getting electric shocks, so we really went for it and tried to win over the 2 people who watched it. But, it was cool.
-See more from Lonsdale Boys Club here.