Last Thursday, mod mecca Merc played host to Lucky Soul. It was to be a small intimate affair, to promote the launch of the band's very first single and, considering that there's been little hype about the band, the interest in the gig was impressive. So impressive that it was the biggest turn out ever for a gig at Merc, with those unlucky enough not to get into the store prepared to stand on tiptoe to try and get a glimpse of the future of pop through the shop windows.
With spring struggling to shake off the winter blues, last Thursday's gig was a welcome ray of sunshine. With impeccable influences (see interview below), a sharp look and, most importantly, a sound that cannot fail to melt your heart and bring a smile to your face, Lucky Soul are the heirs to Saint Etienne's London Pop crown. They will not be playing small gigs for very long and if you have any semblance of musical sense and pop sensibility, you really, really need to see them as soon as you can. Here's some dates for your diaries.
Mar 19: Old Blue Last, Shoreditch (FREE Trial & Error Sunday show with Bookhouse Boys + Lynch Rider Lullu)
Mar 24: One Flyover a Cockoo’s Nest, Notting Hill
Apr 06: The Colour Bar, Camden
Apr 19: Old Blue Last, Shoreditch
If our words can't convince you, then visit the Lucky Soul website and go to the 'music' section to hear the streams and download the mp3s (or if you're more of a myspace fan, go to: http://www.myspace.com/luckysoulluckysoul). The forthcoming double-A side single, My Brittle Heart and Give Me Love, was described by The Guardian as "almost indecently fabulous" and we agree. So much so, we're going to dip into our own pockets and buy a copy of the single on vinyl (a rare occurence, as we have very deep pockets and very short arms here in the Music Dungeon when it comes to paying for records now). You can buy My Brittle Heart/Give Me Love as a digital download next Monday or buy the almost-guaranteed-to-appreciate-ridiculously-in-value-very-soon limited edition vinyl version on the 27th. (You can pre-order the single via HMV online once they've sorted their stock situation out.)
We're hoping to cover the band in much more depth in the very near future, but for now, we proudly present Lucky Soul's answers to the infamous Londonist Music questionnaire. Your respondent is Lucky Soul songwriter and guitarist, Andrew.
Who's in the band?
Toby Fogell (Bassing) Ali Howard (singing) Andrew Laidlaw (Guitaring) Nathaniel Perkins (Drumming) Ivor Sims (Guitaring)
What do you do in the real world?
Try and keep our heads above water.
Describe your sound to us:
Big, luscious happy-heartache, like watching the sun go down, getting dumped and patting a dog at the same time.
How did you all get together?
I ran away to the Big Smoke from small town stagnation, recruiting old friend Nathaniel who helped me pluck swashbuckling guitarist Ivor out of a truly awful blues night, Toby was a someone I'd known a long time but was the bass player I hadn't met. And Ali fell out of a paper and into the gypsy moth.
Who are your influences?
Most Motown (pre Boys2Men), Dusty Springfield/ Walker Brothers, Otis/Stax, Sandie Shaw, anything that Phil Spector did (apart from shooting), Big Bad Burt Bacarach, Gram Parsons, The Kinks, The Smiths and The Stones, Madonna (pre embarrassing mum period) and The Flaming Lips.
What's the state of play with the band at the moment?
Debut single coming out 20/3/06 currently dipping its toes in the murky waters of radio.
Where can we hear / see you next?
On BBC Radio London, on our website: www.luckysoul.co.uk. We play about once a week at the moment all over London
What's the big game plan for the band?
Meteoric rise producing unimaginable riches followed by a swift descent and nagging sense of anticlimax.
Who would you most like to support?
We all like the Raveonettes.
What's your ultimate label to be on?
We're on our own Ruffa Lane label. That'll do for us.
What's the best gig you've ever been to?
Flaming Lips anywhere. In London, The Go! Team in 100 Club with The Pipettes and Kid Carpet or Belle and Sebastian at The Barbican
Have you ever thrown a TV out of a hotel window?
What and not be invited back to Ritz?
Would you like to?
We're not cool enough. Leave that to proper rock and rollers
Any great stories from the road?
Being given food with Lucky Soul flags in it in Bangkok was a surreal moment amongst many, that and the elephant with the phone.
Recommend one album to our readers you don't think they will have discovered:
From Dusty with Love by Dusty Springfield. It always gets overshadowed by Dusty in Memphis but there's still some outstanding singing on there.
Why should Londonist readers go and see you?
Because we're a refreshing alternative to jagged art rock and we'll make you smile cause we're purdy.
What's your favourite...
...venue to play in London? The Luminaire, Kilburn
...venue to go to in London? 100 Club
...record store? Ivor likes Fopp in Covent Garden and Rough Trade of course
...shop (non-music)? Ali could write a book on that
...market? Somewhere between Spitalfields and Lewisham
...place to people-watch? London Bridge at chucking out time.
...place to chill-out? Down by the Trafalgar when the sun shines
...place to get lashed? The Morden in Greenwich with Sweep the dog
...place for a post-gig kebab? The boys fall into Morley's in Brockley occasionally for two drum sticks.
...view in London? from Greenwich hill
...form of public transport? Shank's Pony
What advice would you give Ken Livingstone?
What London place or thing would you declare a landmark?
Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes. I must say that cause we're playing on the 11th. Its a time tunnel to swinging London.
The world is ending in 24 hours. How would you spend your last day in London?
Dodging skate boarders on the south bank (childhood memory) then staring at Piccadilly cross eyed or more likely getting stuck in traffic before just making the pub.
Have you ever been sick on the Tube?
Think we've all had moments of extreme whiteness.
If you could lose one part of London, which part would it be?
Those new closed community buildings where the rich shut themselves away.
Greatest thing ever to come out of London?
What advice would you give to someone new to London getting on a night bus for the first time?
Keep your head down but don't fall asleep and end up in Woolwich.
If you wrote a song about London what would it be called and what kind of song would it be?
It would be called "Lights say yes/Wallet says no". It would start very lively and finish with a kind of 'missed the last train' melancholy.
And finally... sum up London in just one word:
Photograph is copyright the author