It's usually safe to say, that most of the new bands we talk to have rarely played to more than a few hundred people at a time, let alone the odd tens of thousands, but that's what happened to Reading's Morning Runner after they were asked to open for Coldplay on their outdoor arena tour last year. The story goes, that so impressed was Mr Martin with what he had heard of their debut album, Wilderness Is Paradise Now, that he and and the other Colds rewrote X&Y, nearly destroying EMI in the process.
Well Wilderness... was released at the beginning of the month and the Runners must be feeling somewhat shortchanged by Chris's change of plan since it hasn't yet gone to number one in 22 countries simultaneously. Still. it's a solid enough slice of indie power rock, lots of hooks, chugging riffs and the occasional elatory piano bit which everyone seems to be doing now. Other than that the Coldplay comparisons seem a little lazy. Wilderness... is a punchier, often grittier effort than X&Y (check out our personal fave, the upbeat tumble through Gone Up In Flames), whilst still retaining enough good melodies to pull a few of their sponsor's fans. It has a little more swing in it's joints, is closer in sound to a more palatable version of Starsailor than anything, and it's only major drawback is that occasionally it seems to suffer from an unecessary satellite town austerity. There are tracks available for streaming from the band's site and further down we have the video for Burning Benches, which is humourously full of people drowning. But now it's the band's turn to say a few words about themsleves...
Who's in the band?
Tom (bass), Ali (drums), Fields (piano) & Matthew (guitar and vocals)
Describe your sound to us:
We often describe it as Beautiful Chaos - when it's noisy it's really noisy, but when it's quiet, it's really quiet.
How did you all get together?
Matt had done a few solo gigs and got asked to do a show with a band... which he didn't have! So he asked me (Tom) & Ali to play at it. We basically did a bit of writing together and enjoyed playing together. Then we asked Fields to join which made things even better.
Who are your influences?
When we started out I think the Strokes were our biggest influence, but as we've developed and worked together we discovered our influences were individually very varied. Matt takes a bit of inspiration from Nina Simone whereas Ali takes a lot from The Killers and The Strokes.
Where can we hear or see you next?
Somewhere on the Camden Crawl, April 20th
What's the big game plan for the band?
We don't have one. We take it a day at a time. The album is finished so now we're touring it. When we've done, we'll go and make another one. I think if I worried about a game plan I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I do.
Who would you most like to support?
Personally it would be Radiohead
What's the best gig you've ever been to?
For me, it would probably be The Strokes in Cardiff a couple of years ago.
Any great stories from the road?
Yesterday our tour manager gave us a fiver to buy him a gift of our choice, so we bought him a "hung like a stallion" thong that makes a horse noise which was a) quite entertaining and b) could prove useful as we head up to the frozen north!
Why should Londonist readers go and see you?
Because we put on a good show and it's 45 minutes that they won't have seen before.
What's your favourite ...
Venue to play in London? Shepherds Bush Empire
Music shop? Fopp in Camden
Non music shop? Vintage & Rare on Denmark Street
View in London From the top of centre point where we mastered our album
What's the greatest thing ever to come out of London? The 1.30am train to Reading from London Paddington