“I think real stories of hurt or happiness are the ones that people connect to”
Albion, a north London band, formed back in 2015. It is difficult to assign a genre to their nostalgic, 60s/70s rock’n’roll inspired sound. But while their music will always keep you guessing, there is no doubt that they are dedicated to producing music that is raw and honest and not dictated by sales and downloads. Their high-energy live shows are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and their tracks all deserve a place on your playlists. It was lovely to chat to the band about their inspirations, the Isle of Wight Festival, New Blood Competition and their standout shows…
So what first got you involved in music and how did you come together as a band?
As clichéd as it sounds, our love of music is the main reason for being involved in a band – it’s certainly not been the money! The original band met in 2015, combining a two piece with a three piece. One alteration to the band later Miles, our bassist, and we completed the 5-piece we are today.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before?
We’ve always struggled to pin our sound to a specific genre, or style. That’s certainly due to the fact we all add different pieces to each song. It’s also probably due to the fact that, as we said, we’re an amalgamation of two separate projects prior to Albion. That combined with so many different influences, which range from 60s/70s music to more modern musicians like Oasis or Nick Cave. Just think lots of guitar and lots of lyrics!
What is it that you love so much about the rock and roll of the 60s/70s?
I think it’s a period of real expression. It was a time of creation before money got its hands on music and when people seemed to want to outdo each other artistically, rather than financially. Whilst we’re aware that romantic nostalgia is definitely at play here, sales and downloads seem to dictate the direction of a lot of musicians these days.
Which of your songs are you the most proud of? Why?
It would have to be ‘Burning Holes’ because it was the first song we wrote as a complete unit. It has grown into something so much more and to now hear people singing it back is just amazing.
Do you draw from personal experience when writing songs?
Yes – all of our music is reflective of our lives and inspired by our friends and family. I think real stories of hurt or happiness are the ones that people connect to properly and that for us is what art is about.
You’ve made it through to the semi-final of the Hot Vox competition to play at Isle of Wight Festival 2019! How are you feeling and how are you preparing for that?
Very excited! We’re lucky enough to have a great team behind us. Our graphic designer Paul Turner has been all over promotion for us so we’ve been able to focus entirely on preparing our set. Being selective over the track list has been a challenging aspect, but we feel as though we’ve got a really exciting selection of songs. Plus, Jake’s mum and Dad are coming, so the pressure’s really on.
Do you have a standout show that you’ve played?
Two big support shows stand out: Republica and the Ordinary Boys at the Islington Assembly Hall and the Garage, respectively. Also playing at Ben’s twin brother’s wedding was such a special day for us – we got to sneak in a few covers which we don’t normally get to do!
And do you have a dream venue or festival that you’d love to perform at?
Koko – Camden! When we first started gigging, we made a list of our target venues to play – to date, Koko is the only venue now left on that list! Festival-wise, it’s got to be Glastonbury – it’s the pinnacle! Oh …or Fyre Festival, we’ve heard that’s quite good…
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only listen to three songs, what would they be?
‘Desolation Row’ by Bob Dylan (11:21), ‘All Around The World’ by Oasis (9:30) and ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ – Pink Floyd (26:01) – that’s a collective run time of 46 minutes and 52 seconds – get our money’s worth!
What are you working on at the moment? Do you have any upcoming shows?
We’re doing quite a few shows with Sofar London at the moment; it’s certainly a change of pace from our usual gigs as we’re tending to play acoustically with them. It’s a nice, chilled-out vibe in a room full of open ears. Aside from that we’ll be working on new material, squeezing in recording wherever we can and performing at the semi-finals of the Isle of Wight Festival New Blood Competition!
Follow the links below to discover Albion’s music:
By Eveline Vouillemin – Up&Coming