Every Monday morning my office receives a basket colourfully filled with a mass of all kinds of tasty fruit, from strawberries, oranges and grapes through to plums and lychees. Embodying that eclectic mix in a musical sense is Brighton blues-infused alt-rockers Just Like Fruit.
The quintet of Dion Mason-Poole (vocals), Taran Pring (lead guitar), Kieran Matthews (rhythm guitar), Ryan Melbourne-Hurley (bass) and Erwin Lotasz (drums) became a band for a talent show at Richmond College, won it and haven’t looked back since.
Kieran tells us: “The reason we all got involved in music was probably through our instruments. They’ve graciously served us as some kind of love that’s enabled us to actually do something we are passionate about with our time. We all picked up an instrument for different reasons though.”
And those reasons vary massively, from Dion’s involvement in musical theatre and having a family history of singers and Ryan’s initial classical music background before switching to bass, to Erwin telling us “drum kits look cool and I like to hit stuff” and Kieran picking up a guitar “to impress a girl.”
Combining all of that with an intriguing combination of inspiration from classic rock and 90s bands, from The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix through to Pavement and Blur, they’ve honed a funky bluesy-rock sound that they describe to us as ‘original, loaded and charismatic.’ And it’s certainly that, with deliciously cool, laid-back guitars and fun, engaging vocals combining beautifully.
They released debut EP On The Door last year, from which opening track Fun Fair offers an upbeat, lively introduction to the band with bouncy riffs and edgy vocals. That also perfectly summarises final track Hitcher, which signs the EP off with a big guitar solo. While On The Door offers another side to the band, with more laid-back vocals leading the way in a song that gradually builds pace into a singalong chorus supported by shimmering guitars, then ends with a delicious little guitar solo.
As Kieran explains: “Our music, although diverse, is definitively upholstered by upbeat alt-rock origins, sprung with catchy hooks and an engaging live performance to match. Rather than clinical, it is charismatic. It’s kind of what we pride ourselves on. An aesthetic that allows for imperfections to shine as beauty. Each of our personalities shines through our instruments and that alone would be enough for any of us to listen to a piece of music so that’s what we strive for in ours.
“The things that inspire me to, and also motivate me to, write music is everyday life. Whether it’s something I see that I like, that I don’t like, something I feel, or even taste! There’s an abundance of creation to be drawn out from these strange, however, exciting times we live in.”
Next up for the band is releasing new single Gone, Gone, Gone, a ‘noisy guitar-pop banger’ which they launched with a gig in Brighton last month and recently received the master mix and first draft of the artwork. As Kieran tells us: “It’s sounding and looking mega!”
You can catch them at The Royal Oak in Twickenham on Friday evening (8 June), while they’ll also be playing SmallWorld festival and Paddle Round The Pier at Hove Lawns in Brighton, and they’ll have a brand new merch line coming soon. More info on all their gigs is here.