Heaps Good takes 5 with London-band-via-Adelaide – The Dark Lights.
Using the accurate description of ‘From opposite ends of the earth … a band of glorious contrasts with pop sensibilities, brooding yet upbeat, angular yet soulful’ (listen here), The Dark Lights are a very well produced mix of many different sounds that make them ultimately very likeable from the first listen.
We talk to band member Rachel Ho about their Adelaidian/cockney mix, the pros-cons of the UK music scene and dream venues in the lead up to their single launch.
You guys seem like a new band, how did you form and find english bandmates?
Matt, Al and I started things rolling in Adelaide a few years ago as a song writing experiment. We’ve all been playing in bands for many many years doing stuff around Australia, and decided to take it this project over to the UK. Matt and I met singer Paul in Adelaide about 6 years ago and kept in touch ever since. He was in a band with drummer Paul for many years, which had just broken up when we moved over here last year. So we decided to join forces and found that we have an amazing chemistry and we’ve kept things rolling ever since.
Does the mix of countrymen and locals in your band influence your musical sound? Do you find yourself having cups of tea at rehearsals?
Well both Pauls are pure cockney geezers so there is a continuous stand up show when we’re not playing tunes. They both have definitely influenced the sound a lot, including introducing lots of toys and percussion, making things more organic and a lot more fun. But us Aussies have introduced drinking beer at rehearsals. No time for this tea stuff
How do you see opportunities in the music industry over here on a smaller and larger scale?
There is so much more stuff happening over here and historically more of a culture that you can make a career in music, a lot more realistically than Australia (although that has changed with less dominance of major labels). But there is also a lot more crap and a bigger variance in standards when it comes to bands and music industry people. You have to sift your way through the crap to find the gold. The other thing is the much larger population in a small area which makes touring easier. You can cover 10+ decent size cities in the distance that it takes to get from Adelaide to Melbourne.
What are your favourite places to play and see music yourself?
Recently saw Metronomy at Royal Albert Hall. That place is amazing, would be a dream to play there. Also like the Roundhouse in Camden – great acoustics and view to the stage. Our favourite place to play so far is The Good Ship in Kilburn. John the owner is a massive supporter of the music scene and we’ve always have a great time there. And we recently played in Glasgow and Edinburgh which was awesome fun – great people, PAs and sound guys.
What do you love about this city?
I love the diversity and that you can be yourself and no one cares. Plus the amount of culture and history and the fact that anyone who has had any sort of creative ‘success’ will have been to London at some point. There so much to keep you stimulated you could never get bored or run out of ideas. Oh and I love riding my bike around and taking it all in, even if the roads are a bit shite.
The Dark Lights are launching their single X-ray Spectacle 1
4 November at The Drop, London.
175 Stoke Newington High St, (below The Three Crowns), London N16 0LH