Sunday, 19 April 2015
INTERVIEW: Quentin's Basement
Leeds is a city known for it’s music scene - there is a vast array of music venues across the city, from little jazz clubs and indie bars, to the brand new First Direct arena. As well as there being hundreds of local bands that frequently play across Leeds, the city has produced many big-name artists over the years, including indie rockers The Pigeon Detectives and The Kaiser Chiefs. Another local band on the same path as these bands are Quentin’s Basement. The indie-rock four piece burst onto the scene in 2010, and have been making a name for themselves across the county ever since, including endorsement from fellow Yorkshireman Matt Bowman of the Pigeon Detectives, as well as both headline and support slots at the city’s most loved and now defunct rock venue, The Cockpit.
Quentin’s Basement are no strangers to the Leeds music scene. “I reckon since we started, we’ve played between 150 and 200 gigs.. I’d say we’ve played in maybe thirty venues, ranging from places that hold about fifty people, to the O2 Academy in Leeds”, Quentin’s Basement’s drummer Tom Hawran tells me. Having formed five years ago, they’ve already got a massive amount of shows under their belt, with plenty of stories to tell, both good and bad. “We supported bands like The View, The Strypes and General Fiasco.. but we played the O2 Academy which was a much bigger crowd, and we even played before the match at the Bradford Bulls stadium to thousands of people! There was probably about seven or eight thousand people there.. the nerves were kicking in beforehand, but luckily it all went well and was a good laugh!”
Not all gigs go as smoothly as that though - most bands have a disaster story to tell, and Quentin’s Basement are no different. Hawran tells of one gig that didn’t quite go to plan at Oporto. “Soundcheck went well, and we were ready to play, but as soon as we hit the first note, Ollie’s fuse went on his amp, and my cymbal was loose and falling over.. it was pretty annoying, but you just have to get on with it!”
Quentin’s Basement play Oporto once again next week, to promote their first new single in close to a year ‘Remiges’, which will be available to buy on CD at the gig on 22nd of April. (Let’s hope it goes better than last time..) Also on the CD will be another new track, ‘Fluoxetine’, as well as a range of new merchandise. Hawran hints that we could be hearing the Leeds indie-rockers moving in a new musical direction, away from their current sound. “I think we’ve got a slight bit heavier since this time last year. I think it’s down to Callum, who writes the songs.. He’s a fan of Drenge and similar bands like that, and I think it really reflects in our music.” Anyone who has heard Drenge’s music will know that their signature noisy, grungy, punk sound is a whole world away from that of Quentin’s Basement, so it’s interesting to see what the new songs will sound like.
For those fans who prefer Quentin’s Basement’s older, laddish indie rock sound however, there’s still something for you. Also available to buy at the Oporto show is another CD, featuring an alternative recording of their single ‘Good Books’ (which Hawran admits is probably better than the original), and a few demo’s of previously unrecorded songs only ever heard at live shows, including ‘Wish I Did’ and ‘You’d be a Fool’.
Quentin’s Basement are definitely the kind of band you want to see in concert. From the minute they step on stage they have the room in the palm of their hands, bantering with the audience before launching into a set packed with plenty of anthemic songs. As lively as their tracks seem on CD, they are nothing compared to the live performances. Hawran’s energetic rhythms along with frontman Callum Talbot’s roaring vocals, Ollie Grubb’s sleek guitar riffage and Martyn Alderman’s groovy bass lines always promise a real knee’s up.
For anyone unsure about their show next week, Hawran promises a great night. “We’ve been away from the Leeds music scene for a while now, working on our set and getting some new tunes together! We’ve got new songs, new CDs and new t-shirts.. it’s gonna be a top night.. and what else is there better to do on a Wednesday night anyway?!” He has a point. There’s not much better to do on a weeknight then have a few drinks and a dance at one of the cities best venues, listening to one of Yorkshire’s hottest bands, so why not get yourselves down to what is sure to be a brilliant night. Tickets are available from the band themselves, who are contactable on their Facebook page.
The future looks bright for Quentin’s Basement. Tickets are flying for the single release show, and their music will soon be available on music streaming services Spotify and iTunes. Hawran also mentions possible plans for a tour of the country in the coming year, as well as there being “a few exciting things in the pipeline”. Exactly what this means is unclear - a new album, another show, or something even bigger - but it certainly suggests that the band have a very exciting future.
Quentin's Basement play Oporto on Wednesday 22nd April. Support from Lone Guns and Conflare. Tickets are £5. Doors at 7:30.