Interview: Larkins on secondary school gigs and finding their place in the music industry

Ahead of their show at The Mash House, The Student’s Erin May Kelly caught up with Larkins; Henry Beach (bass), Dom Want (guitar) and Joe Stott (drums); and had the chance to chat to them about their new material, ambitions, and drunken nights in Porto.

Larkins come from a small Northern town called Glossop, just outside of Manchester. Lead singer Josh Noble and guitarist Dom have been ambitious musicians since their secondary school days; their humble beginnings stretch back to playing acoustic cover sets at school events. Henry was also there from the start, and he reminisces about seeing Josh and Dom leaving their guitar lessons in year eight as he went into his bass masterclasses. He’d walk out as they’d walk in, and now they’re part of a band which is selling out shows across the country on their ‘Take Off’ tour. Last year’s tour of Germany saw them crossing over to unchartered territory, and hitting the ground running. When asked what their most surreal moment so far was, Henry describes how after their Berlin show, they were approached by a family from the Netherlands, who had crossed international borders deliberately to see them live.

Despite their close proximity to Manchester, the city which has spat out the likes of Oasis, The Stone Roses and more recently Courteeners, Larkins are determined not to be defined by where they come from. They claim that their earlier music, such as the Don’t Leave the Light On EP was steeped in influence from the “out-there” indie bands of the time, and they still draw on the work of bands like Foals in order to create the level of orchestral harmony apparent in songs like ‘Sugar Sweet’. In recent months, the band have interpreted the indie-pop genre in a refreshing way. Newer material such as ‘Something Beautiful’, their latest single, reflects the band’s move to a more “fun” sound. As Dom puts it; they’re finding their own path.

Discussing their new material, including the fresh new indie pop track ‘Something Beautiful’, the lads reflect on how an off-hand comment about sticking them on a flight to Portugal resulted in them making one of their best music videos to date. As Joe put it; “one minute you’ve got a free weekend, the next you’re in Porto”. The video has received a huge amount of attention across social media and was a definite anthem for the set that night. Inquiring about the questionable dance routine, which is the prominently memorable feature to the video, Larkins describe how over a few too many wines the night before, the choreography was born. “It was very much what we do”, Dom elaborates, “having a bit of tongue-in-cheek, taking the mic out of ourselves a bit”.

It seems that not taking themselves too seriously is working well for these four lads. Touring is their biggest priority at the moment, and they’re not looking to settle on their first album. When asked about whether they had anything in the pipelines, Dom emphasises how important it is for them to nail it the first time around. “When bands first form, you just want to get stuff out and get people hearing it” agrees Henry, “we’ve decided we really want to work on everything and make sure it’s perfect”. With this in mind, the band’s significant discography of singles and EPs are providing an impressive benchmark for what is to come. Their set at The Mash House featured the unreleased song ‘The Place’. According to Joe, the writing of it was completely unanticipated. The four of them, messing around one day created one of the most memorable songs of the night, and it can only leave us wanting more.

Finishing up, I asked the trio where they saw themselves five years from now. “I think we’ll be doing what we’re doing. I think we’ll just step it up every single time.” Says Dom, “There’s really exciting stuff in the pipeline, over the next year, and the plans we’ve got are just insane. It’s just going to be mint, we’ve got some really good songs, and there’ll be some new songs in the set tonight. It’s gonna go off, I really believe that.” If their show at the Mash House was anything to go by, I agree.

 

Image: Erin May Kelly

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