One of my favourite memories from a year of studying in Leicester was regularly serving Kasabian frontman Serge Pizzorno while working in the city’s O’Neills bar – to the point where he used to tell me I was “his favourite barman” because I always served him quickly and without any fuss.
Not only did this tell me that Leicester is big on music, the job also helped me learn that its sportspeople love their music and boozing.
The city’s latest hot new thing The Lids embody both of these facts. Not only are they a really exciting new band, they’ve also gained the support of Leicester City left-back Christian Fuchs, who has got the lads on board with his clothing brand No Fuchs Given.
And Fuchs’ interest in the band is well placed. They’ve honed a deliciously cool, infectiously catchy funky rock sound that they describe as “ballsy with a bit of class.”
The trio first began with brothers Liam (vocals and bass) and Rhys Butler (guitar) picking up guitars aged 9 and 11, then started a couple of bands before finding Sam Deas-Bogie (drums) a few months ago and he’s fit quickly right in.
They’ve released a handful of singles already, with the most recent being Delectable at the end of the last month – and it’s probably their best yet too. It kicks off with a little drum roll then a funky light guitar lick and background noise that continues through a light verse of the cool vocals “Look into the mirror, What did you hear from the other side, Did it keep you up late at night, As she gasped for air.” The pace picks up a little as the vocals continue “Her legs collapsed, Her head dropped back, Her legs collapsed, Her eyes grew tired of the black and the white, The people on the screen she was constantly watching.” It then explodes into a raucously catchy singalong chorus that ends on a big cry of “Delectable.”
The light guitar jumps back in through another laid-back verse, then a little pause gives way to a little pre-chorus that explodes into another big chorus that this time repeats before dropping into the light guitars. Spacey synth noises come in at random before diving into a mass of guitar noise that leads into a final blast of the chorus. Check it out in the video below:
On the single Liam tells us: “I think people should be expecting something different from what they’ve heard from us before. It has loads of elements to it and influences from some weird places, but it’s still got some guts too! So we hope that people like it and find that it’s something distinct and offbeat from what they’ve heard before.”
The band’s sound is born out of a wide range of influences, from Liam’s love of Earth, Wind and Fire and Elvis Presley, as well as Everything, Everything and The Front Bottoms, through to the more typical rock influences of Foo Fighters, Slaves, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys.
As Liam explains: “We get influenced from literally anywhere. For example, we went into the studio with Delectable and Barrington and Tom at Sound Hub Studios immediately said ‘this sounds like it could be a Stevie Wonder song,’ so we sort of immediately played on that and gave it a bit of a 70s/80s twist.”
To me there’s a certain feeling of the aforementioned Kasabian about The Lids sound, albeit much more rocky, which is particularly prominent in the intro to the excellent Church. It begins with a slow building reverby noise that eventually gives way to a huge blast of guitar noise, smashes of drum under big repeating ‘ahh’ vocals then a cry of “Oof” gives way to a deliciously punchy guitar riff. Check it out below:
What you can expect from The Lids is a fusion of catchy vocals and enjoyable lyrics with a series of awesome riffs thrown in, and they churn out banger after banger. A great example of this is the moody Burden, with its dark, brooding verses giving way to catchy choruses that feature the awesome lyrics “Well is it, yeah is it, deeper than the hole at the back of your garden, Where you bury your burden that’s eating you alive.” Check it out below:
And in terms of what inspires them to write music, Liam explains: “We just write music when it comes to us, pretty much, it’s just spontaneous. Every time we’ve actually gone to practise and said ‘let’s write a song today,’ we never end up getting anywhere. I don’t know why, it’s just how it happens with us.
“In terms of the lyrics that I write, a lot of them just come from nowhere in particular. Sometimes I just write the lyrics and then I think ‘well that does actually relate to something,’ but most of them are just lines that come into my head at any given time and that I wrote down for later use. Although recently I’ve noticed that most of our songs have some weird dark lyrics, even the more upbeat ones which is pretty strange.”
We had to ask the guys about their ties to Christian Fuchs. Liam explained: “Well, Rhys and I are Leicester City fans anyway, so when we heard that he wanted to get his clothing brand No Fuchs Given on board it was huge for us. And even for Sam who’s a Liverpool fan, he loved it as much as we did.
“Our lovely band rep saw him (Fuchs) at a meet and greet and got talking about the band. He showed him our songs and social media pages and luckily he liked it all! It’s cool though because they’ve sent us some tee’s and we’re getting a good relationship going on with them, so I’m sure you’ll see us wearing his clothing at some point at our gigs.”
And when it comes to the Leicester music scene, Liam says: “Like you said, Leicester’s got a solid music scene going on. There’s all sorts of bands coming through now, and when you’ve got sick venues like The Cookie and the O2 venues it makes Leicester so much more attractive to play gigs in, whether you’re from the city and the county itself or from out of town, like the big artists such as Slaves that decide to come and play from way out.”
The band have plenty more coming your way this year, having just finished up a run of gigs in London and Leicester they’ll be playing at in Birmingham on 25 May. More info on all their gigs is here.