Likely Lads

THE term indie-rock has been bashed about a fair bit recently so we have had to take it with a pinch of salt, yet, a rather fanciful four-piece hailing from York are rejuvenating our love for all things that were good about the happy-go-lucky sounding of the soft genre, adding their own twisted alt.rock tone to the mix.

Likely Lads are a quartet committed to music, its what they live and breathe, just listening to their tracks proves this. Their music has an upbeat sarcasm just like Arctic Monkeys (in the early days of their career). This upbeat sarcasm is also met with brilliant summertime features which perfects the sound on a whole. From starting out in 2010 the lads have come on leaps and bounds such as playing Leeds festival and Liverpool Sound City, the future ahead is extremely bright.

I gave a listen to the 'Melrose Yard Demos' EP and received a true understanding of their musical prowess, even from the early days. One track that gained my undivided attention is 'Off The Rails'. Cleverly infected with that up-tempo sound, the beginning thump of the beat signals a fantastic hark of electric guitars and marvellous rifts enough to make your hairs stand on end. Vocalist and Bassist Ross McLeod, uses his voice to project a slap-in-the-face-esque sting with sharp but bitter factors to claw at the listeners awe.  This charming track has you begging for more, something Likely Lads seem to enjoy.

Each member possesses a great talent which is only flaunted within their music. After recently finishing their latest UK tour, these likely lads are revealing plans for new, mature material and even more gigs, read on to find out just what all the fuss is about...

How did the Likely Lads current line-up come about?

Well it's always been the 4 of us, hopefully always will be! Ash, Ross and Jordan went to secondary school together, then Ross and Ash went to Leeds College of Music while Jordan stayed on at sixth form and met Ben who had just moved to York from Sheffield. 

After we all went to Leeds Festival 2010 we decided we all wanted to be in a band, so booked ourselves a show for October and got practicing!

Is music something that has been present throughout all your lives?

Yeah definitely. I think it's present in pretty much everyone's lives, but for us we've always found it brings more than just entertainment to our ears. We all grew up listening to music played to us by our parents, and by the time we were teenagers we were all learning an instrument and starting to create our own music as well as listen to it. A couple of years later that interest had turned to passion and we knew we didn't really want to do much else. 

In February this year you played 2 shows with The Enemy, how did that come about?

Andy (bassist) was already a fan of the band, he discovered us on YouTube and came one of our shows in Sheffield and we got on pretty well. A few months later he sent us a message asking us if we were interested in supporting them, and of course we agreed!

What're your favourite tracks to play live? 

We've got a few new songs that haven't been released yet that are a bit more developed than the tracks off Melrose Yard Demos and Swings & Roundabouts which we love at the moment because they have a lot of energy and are a bit more complex so allow us to be more creative on stage, but out of the ones we have out there at the moment What You Waiting For and Not For Me have to be the top two as they have a lot of drive and people always sing along.

Back in 2012 you played Leeds festival, what was that like for you?

It was a great moment for us, coming round full circle from starting just after the festival in 2010 and opening it in 2012. We went in 2011 and joked telling everyone we'd be playing it next year, and of course everybody laughed at us, but we worked hard and we got there and it was amazing to see so many people there singing the words back to us and having a good time. It gave us the motivation to keep at it and continue touring as long as possible. 

Do you have any pre-gig rituals?

Well it used to be shots of sambuca, but we've had to cut down on that recently!  Jordan always has to set up Ross's in ear monitors because of superstition, and we do the typical huddle and shouting thing sometimes. 

Are there any artists around now that you really dig the sound of?

The only 'digging' we'll be doing for most of today's artists is digging a big hole and throwing them in it!

Haha. But on a serious note we're into everything ranging from Arctic Monkeys to Jack White to Drake to Vintage Trouble to Disclosure to Susan Boyle.  

Do you think a lot of the more well-known artists take their status for granted?

Maybe, but we don't really know enough about their lives and views when they're off stage to say to be honest. We think you can sometimes look into things a bit too much when really the art is the most important thing.

You recently completed your latest UK tour, what as the response like?

It varied from city to city, obviously the crowd in Leeds on a Friday night 20 minutes from home is going to be thriving, but playing a Monday night in Derby when everyone is at work the next day is never going to compare!

But each gig was equally important regardless of the crowd or the reception we got as we're always gaining experience and getting tighter as a band. 

Overall each tour we go on brings new fresh faces which is what it's all about. If we can gain 1 new fan at every gig then that's a success in our eyes. 

Is there any Likely Lads gossip that we at The Music Manual can hear?

We may or may not have a couple of EPs coming out before the end of the year, maybe another tour (although we recently had to scrap our van), And Jordan is looking into auditioning for the part of Mr Bean when Rowan Atkinson decides to pack it in. 

I'd like to thank Likely Lads for this fantastic interview, follow the links below for downloads and social pages!

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