“It was incredible. We’ve grown up listening to the band, and it felt surreal seeing our name next to theirs.”
Circa Waves frontman Kieran Shudall is positively incandescent with joy having seen his band support The Libertines at London’s Alexandra Palace. At the time of our conversation he’s in Berlin, about to again take the stage before Doherty and company. “We have a similar vibe to some of our songs,” he continues, “so I think the crowd liked it.”
Having already played a huge handful of prestigious shows, this year, including sets at Reading and Leeds, Latitude and Glastonbury Festival, the Liverpool quartet has managed to present their catchy, guitar-led alternative rock gems to the masses. And in-between their rapturous live performances, they’ve found time to travel down to London to work on their debut album at the capital’s RAK Studios.
“We recorded 18 tracks in five weeks,” reveals Shudall. “We mainly set up in a big room and played the tracks live. We wanted to capture the vibe of our live shows on record.”
It was from these sessions that new single ‘So Long’ materialised. “It’s a tune about unrequited love from the perspective of someone looking in. I think everyone can relate to seeing a mate going after someone they are never going to get.”
He continues, explaining the songwriting process: “Generally I hear the whole song in my head, a bit like a track that’s already recorded. Imagining the drums, guitars and vocals. The melody comes first and then I piece in the vocals. For me, melody is most important.
“[The album is] essentially a tribute to my youth. The things I did and things I didn’t do. I wanted to paint a picture of what its like in the transition from your teens to your 20s.”
Following on from the single release, November sees the band embark on its biggest UK tour to date, including 11 shows across England and Scotland. And if the sudden wave of publicity surrounding Circa Waves is anything to go by, a live music environment is most definitely the best way to experience the band.
“To have people come to our shows around the UK is such a pleasure for us,” the enigmatic frontman concludes. “We put everything into our shows and play every night as if it’s our last gig. If you’re in the first few rows, expect to be in the firing line for sweat, guitars and maybe a member or two in there with you.”
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WHAT: Early 2000s indie-rock bliss
GET 3 SONGS: ‘So Long’ (video above), ‘Young Chasers’, ‘Stuck In My Teeth’
FACT: Kieran was born on the landing of his house and was delivered by his dad.
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Words: Jonathan Hatchman