Love In The Asylum

Saturday night gigs are great at the Academy. Why? Well, being an old gyt that I am, and because of the curfew which means they have to finish at 9pm, means that I can be back home, tucked up in bed, watching Britain’s Got Talent whilst it’s still dusk. Smashing.

This one was particularly enjoyable as it meant we got to hang out and then review our new buddies Love in the Asylum – a cheeky 4 piece from London, who are receiving plaudits a plenty and look and sound like a band going places.

We get to interview a number of bands – thankfully most of whom aren’t up their own arses, are down to earth and we tend to get on with. It was instantly recognisable that Love in the Asylum very much fit into this bracket. Normal lads, who are passionate about their music, who you’d more than happily spend a night out with putting the World to rights.

Currently on tour with Scottish pub rockers The View, we took them down a Brum side street, settled down on a wall for a natter and asked them how the tour came about….

Love In The Asylum

(LITA) The guys in the View heard us play, they liked our sound and invited us on the tour. Simple as that really. The tour has been split into two parts – one before Christmas, and we’re now on the 2nd phase.

(GJ) So, you mention the sound – what is it? You’re being touted as a UK version of Vampire Weekend and compared to the likes of the View themselves…

(LITA) “Chocabilly!”. Every review we have we’re being compared to Kings of Leon and Vampire Weekend. We haven’t set out to sound like that, but there must be some kind of similarity (even though  half of the band don’t like them!).

(GJ) So who do you like?

(Charlie Elliot) I like loads of pub rock stuff and punk stuff…

(GJ) Hence the hat?

(Charlie Elliot) Well, sort of. My Dads a Jazz fan so it’s the both of best worlds (LAFFS!) The best of both worlds even.

(GJSo how did you guys meet?

(Invisible Frank) Dan and I have known each other for years. We’re all based in London and are mates, who have a similar interest in music, so we thought why not – let’s give it a go. We’ve only be going for 8-9 months, but we feel that in this short space of time we’ve written a lot of good tracks and obviously touring with the View has been really good for us.

(GJ) Are you signed?

(LITA) Not at the minute, so if there’s any offers – you’d best get em in quick. We might put something out ourselves maybe…

Gig Junkies then go on to to describe one of our favourite sons Jersey Budd’s album with the Bandstock scheme, which is something that the boys are aware of and is somewhere they might explore.

(GJ) Having recently played during rush hour at St Pancras station, we asked How did the Station Gigs come about?

(LITA) We weren’t that bothered about doing it initially – we just thought that it would annoy people who were making their way home from work. It was actually quite the opposite. People in suits seemed to be really enjoying it and genuinely stopped and listened. It was a good way of capturing a crowd of people – many of whom were on their way to the champagne and oyster bar upstairs – who would not have ever heard our stuff.

Love In The Asylum

(GJ) Pull the Plug, is this your Champion Song?

(LITA) Not really. It was pretty much the first song we put together so we just want to get as much stuff out their as possible. We’re pretty new at all this so are sort of making it up as we go along. It was the first song which gave us an idea of the direction we want to move in.

(GJ) And whose missus is it in the video?

(LITA) Laughs! “Dans!”. No, Dan’s been trying to get hold of her, but she’s having none of it.

(GJ) A lot of bands are getting support from their PR/record companies – like Brother and the Vaccines. What are your thoughts on the current crop and where do you see yourselves fitting into this.

(LITA) It is what it is. Right place, right time. If the right person gets behind you, then you can be pushed a long way. It’s difficult… there’s a lot of bands who put in a lot of work and deserve to be getting more recognition. You’ve just got to work hard and keep putting yourself out there. If you put yourself in enough places then hopefully you’ll get picked up by the right people.

(GJ) So who should be picked up?

(LITA) Us! (Laughs)

Love In The Asylum

(GJ) GJ saw the View a few years ago supporting Noel Gallagher at the Albert Hall, when they were being touted as the next big thing. Now, you hear rumours of them being pretty hedonistic and out on the piss a lot. Are they everything that’s being levied at them?

(LITA) (getting pretty protective over their Scottish mates) Everyone has their moments don’t they. They’re just out there having it man – they’re rock stars. They work hard though man and we really like their new album. They’re much more impressive live as well. They seem to be working really hard to change peoples opinions. I mean if you start off young like that there is always a chance it’s gonna explode…

(GJ) So what next for you guys? Where do you go from here?

(LITA) We’re gonna lay down some new material and have got a a couple of festivals in the summer. We’re also gonna gig as much as possible and play to as many people as we can.

(GJ) We’re Gig Junkies and we review gigs. Go figure… Tell us some of the classic gigs you’ve been to.

(Dan Dunne) Well, I’ve been to a Ravi Shanka gig – was a bit out there – he’s an old cat now, but it was his last ever tour…

(Charlie Elliot) James Brown last ever gig in London. I love his stuff, and it was really impressive. I listen to a lot of stuff – the best of everything is good.

(GJ) So, if you could have your fantasy line up – artists from any era – James Brown for example – who would it be?

(LITA) Whoa – that’s such a heavy question… Shouts from everywhere ensue – Right Said Fred, Duran Duran definitely, Timmy Mallet compering, Mr Motivator warming up the crowd like they had at Bestival – he was amazing you could just see 10,000 people doing star jumps.

Love In The Asylum

(GJ) You’ve got some good ink. How many tattoos have you got between you?

(LITA) We’ve lost count to be honest. There’s only the two of us who have got them. They get addictive don’t they… (Charlie) If I had the money I’d be covered. We get them done at Good Times in London.

(GJ) We always say to people – make sure you drink your milk. If you had to give a piece of advice to anyone, what would it be?

(LITA) “No Moët, no showay!” (Laffs). Can’t say more than that can we really?

(GJ) I reckon that’s it fellas – what are your plans after the gig back down to London or Brum’s finest eatery, Mr Egg?

(LITA) We want to say no about going down to London and fancy a night out in Brum as it’s great.

(Charlie Elliot) I actually got my nose broke in Flares in Brum a few years ago, so maybe we should go back and absolve the demon…

And with that followed a discussion of egg selling eateries – including Brum’s finest, Mr Egg and London’s very own egg shop – which just sells eggs. What better way to end an interview.

Love in the Asylum are: Dan Dunne (lead singer/guitar), Charlie Elliot (lead singer/bass), Thomas Greene (Keys), Invisible Frank (drummer).

Love In The Asylum

Love in the Asylum Live Gig Review:

When you’ve interviewed the band moments before they go on stage, it’s always more exciting somehow – like they’ve instantly become your mates! You’re spurring them on, hoping for an awesome performance so you can wax lyrical about how good they were and how they are gonna be the next big things… That’s exactly what we got with the splendid Love in the Asylum.

Love In The Asylum

It mattered not that it was a little before 7pm and that the room was little more than half full, as the band (fresh with costumer change) made their way to the Academy 2 stage. Some bands amble on to stage and like a car from yesteryear, those ones with the wind up gadget at the front – take an eternity to get going… Not these guys…

From the minute they kicked off with their cross breed of Calypso and Rockabiliy (Chocabilly) with a driving beat and cow bells a plenty, it was evident we were in for a treat.

Their tempo was high, musicianship tight combined with nice melodic songs. A really nice touch, which you don’t often see with new bands – was the 2 (and some times) 3 way harmonies. Both guitarist and bass player share the vocal limelight and whilst each has their own distinctive style, both carry it off with aplomb.

Love In The Asylum

As they ploughed through their 40 minute set, it became evident to see why comparisons are being drawn between Love in the Asylum and Vampire Weekend. This is not to say the band are simply mimicking the sound of their American counterparts – far from it. They’ve certainly got their own unique sound which blends country rock with a samba beat, coupled with really nice melodies and vocal harmonies.

Half way through Dan Dunne and Charlie Elliot swapped instruments, positions, the lot – and you know what – it still worked. There was even time to pull out the Ukelele.

Special mention needs to go to Invisible Frank the drummer. We see a lot of drummers in our time of different quality and this boy is certainly up there… Tight, inventive, rhythmic – really good to see.

Love In The Asylum

As soon as they were up, they were off. I think we’re gonna be hearing a lot about these boys of the next year and without sounding cliched, if you get the chance to see them, you really should. Top lads, top tunes, going places….

Love in the Asylum Interview and Gig Review by Zak Edwards

Love in the Asylum Photography by Bianca Barrett

2 Responses to “Love in the Asylum Interview and Gig Review @ The O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK – 16 April 2011”

  1. Wayne Says:

    Love this guys! :o) Well done :o)

  2. Julia Perrin Says:

    I was in the audience that night. They were definately the best band of the evening ! Can’t wait to see them again – especially Frank.

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