They’ve supported Kaiser Chiefs, their debut album is just out (scroll down to hear it all) and they play York on Friday. It’s time we learned more of rising stars Club Smith.
After forming in 2010 they released two EPs, then toured with the Kaisers and more recently Shed Seven. Lead singer Sam Robson submitted to aYorkMix grilling and lived to tell the tale…
Hello Club Smith, and welcome to YorkMix! Please introduce yourselves.
We are Club Smith – me, Lee, Neil and Vijay! A band that is 75 per cent York seed.
How did the band come together?
Three of us lived together in the York area and ended up moving to near Leeds where we met our drummer Vijay. He joined an old band we had and made such a mark we had to create a new band called Club Smith.
You’ve supported some pretty big acts. What was that like?
We’ve been on tour with Kaiser Chiefs and Pigeon Detectives and both bands and sets of audiences were great. We were humbled to receive a rapturous response from the Kaiser Chiefs crowd who bought enough CDs at the merch stand to get us into the charts. Had we been chart registered. Which we weren’t… you can never get the right admin!
Where does the name Club Smith come from?
A series of post adolescence/pre-drinking age get-togethers I had at a friend “Smithy’s” house. We called it Club Smith. The name stuck, and hopefully we’ve given it a new meaning beyond bored teenagers playing darts and drinking super-strength beer.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
That’s a tricky one, as we’re all largely influenced by a smorgasbord of different interests across the four of us. However I’d say the one band we collectively round in on is Blur, and their album 13 which gave quite a lot of inspiration to the sounds on the album we are putting out.
What have been the best and worst gigs you’ve done?
The best, I really enjoyed a gig at KOKO in Camden a few weeks back. It was packed full of about a thousand jumping Londoners. The worst, it’s difficult to say really you tend to wipe them from your memory almost instantly if they are bad, but we’ve had a couple of dodgy journeys back from gigs. I say I couple I mean about a hundred. I say dodgy I mean really quite horrifying.
Debut album Appetite for Chivalry “channels lyrical responses to grief, disappointment and frustration”. Have you been through a tough time?
A lot of the lyrics are based on my personal response to the sudden death of my mother, it’s all been quite cathartic and the songs often take a theme of reflection on the world from a post-grief standpoint. There are some lyrics that are not quite as self-involved or grief-based either. It’s not an album of doom and misery…
Yet there is something uplifting in a lot of the tracks, like Lament. Were you aiming for the contrast?
Yes, that’s exactly what I like about the band, the lyrics are rather downtrodden in introverted self-doubt but the music and vocal delivery is bold, energetic and commanding. So the album on a whole feels very upbeat and epic whilst still carrying some deeper meaning if you scratch beneath the surface.
Name your favourite: band; movie; TV show; comedian; artist; book.
Best and worst things about York?
Best: The walls, the pubs, and the minster… the general beauty of every building really
Worst: The traffic (sorry)
Ambitions for Club Smith?
I’d like to get touring abroad, build enough of a following to record and release the next album self-sufficiently and all in all keep developing the music. The album was a big step in the right direction musically and this gives a lot of promise for the future.
When can we see and hear you next?
We’re playing York on Friday 23rd November at the City Screen Basement. We love doing gigs there, great atmosphere!