Sometimes we wonder if bands name themselves just to get our attention, egomaniacs that we are.
Elephants & Castles is a splendidly Londony name for a band but it would be of little use to us without the tunes to back it up. Thankfully Robin Spencer, Chris Anderson and Adam Lucas have hit upon a winning formula that sounds like... hang on, we'll get them to describe it to us themselves. Here's Robin:
"We write finger-pointing, homage-paying — and personally frank — songs. A takeaway in Brixton hosted our first gig and in 2013/14 audiences from Streatham to Scunthorpe have witnessed a set list where our delicate odes can lull you face first into bruising bass lines and vivid guitar riffs."
Elephants & Castles were formed while Robin and Chris were teaching in an estate next to the Elephant and Castle, though they now make their music in Deptford. A move back to E&C is planned some time after their first world tour.
Their debut single is an homage to Justin Fashanu, to this point the only openly gay footballer ever to have played professionally in the UK, whose story came to a sad end with his suicide in 1998. Robin met and was inspired by Justin at a coaching course when he himself was an apprentice at Lincoln City, and Fashanu's story forms a fitting backdrop to Elephants & Castles' poignant but hard-hitting song.
No footballer still playing in the UK has come out since Justin Fashanu, which is a remarkable statement, though perhaps not that surprising if you've experienced some of the hateful abuse from the stands in British football grounds from the top tier down, which is where anti-homophobic campaigns need to be focused in our opinion.
You can check out the excellent video for Fashanu below.
Good on Elephants & Castles for bringing Fashanu's story back to our minds, and for combining it with a tune that suggests the 'loads of songs' they claim to have in the bag will be well worth waiting for. The next single will be LILO, out at the end of February, and there's a single launch party at the Star of Kings in Kings Cross on 21 February next year, which is the next chance you'll get to see the band live (unless you're lucky enough to be the fan who won their Christmas competition for a living room gig).
With songs in the bank on subjects as diverse as Brutalist architecture and seaside knee tremblers, this is a band to keep an eye on, with a name you won't forget in a hurry. Trunks and turrets at the ready, London.