|Credit: Andrew Cooper|
There is music journalism, vintage fashion and music, and it all melds with Brighton’s Hourglvss on the scene. With drive, passion and infectious energy in abundance, the unique outfit's love of style, drama and theatrical effects has started to cast a magic spell on their crowds.
They are currently part of This Feeling’s Alive tour in association with Red Stripe and Scott’s. Full of anticipation and excitement, It’s All Indie caught Sophie-May Williams and Katherine Benbow just before the big tour kicked off to hear about the ambition, adventures at this year’s Isle of Wight Festival and their plans for the future.
How does it feel to be part of the Alive tour?
Katherine: I was sat on the beach when George of This Feeling rang me, he was like ‘do you want do the Alive tour?’ ‘Yes definitely!’, I replied. He had been texting me saying ‘I’ve got some exciting news’, and then he rang. I wasn’t going to say no!
How much did you know about This Feeling?
Sophie: I have known Mikey for a couple of years because I did journalism at Isle of Wight in 2018. My friend and I interviewed all of This Feeling’s bands. I literally messaged him and I was like ‘Mikey, I wanna come and be part of it all now”.
Tell me about the gigs have you played this year. What shows did you enjoy most?
Sophie: we loved Isle of Wight Festival. It was my favourite, we played another festival a couple of years before and there was loads of technical issues, the PA was in mono etc. It was no one’s fault but I think from that festival we became determined to get things right in the practice space. It led to hours and hours and hours of rehearsing.
Then at Isle of Wight Festival we smashed it! It was just so good as well as being able to meet all the other bands backstage, watch them and it just felt like a really good time. There is a strong sense of community, and I felt a lot of love from the other bands.
Do you tend to find that you feed off the crowd as well?
Katherine: completely. At Isle of Wight we played on the Thursday, and the main stage didn’t open until Friday, so we had everybody in our tent. We had a massive crowd and everybody was like dancing and loving it. Mikey was there, and he was filming us in the crowd (with his hat on).
Did you get a chance to see other bands play?
Katherine: we saw DMA’s, and Ninth Wave for the first time. They have played with This Feeling as well. Sophie and I were there together.
Sophie: after watching them, we looked at each other, and we were like ‘this is how good we need to be’ and from watching that band it’s really become clear what an inspiration they have been, it has lit a fire in us big time.
How do you approach songwriting?
Katherine: we write them together. We used to write separately, but we don’t anymore because we’ve realised that we write so much better together. The process of me and Sophie writing a song is probably my favourite thing that I ever do because it’s like we are so in tune with each other.
There has been so many times, especially when it comes to lyrics, where we are sat down writing and the room goes silent for a minute. It happens so many times that we have both gone and said [Katherine + Sophie speak at the same time] the exact same lyric.
You clearly have a lot in common. How did the two of you meet?
Katherine: we were at a Fat White Family gig, and we got speaking. Then Sophie bought some stuff from my vintage shop, we got speaking and we just connected on another level. We decided to do music, we were like ‘sh*t this is really cool! We just started jamming together and decided we should write songs together because we have the same ideals, the same brain and everything.
Are you planning to release new music soon?
Sophie: yes our second single is coinciding with this tour, so we are releasing a single called ‘Death Man’s Hand’. When we write we both have our moments, we sing separately, but our concept behind Hourglvss is that we want to sound like one voice, so this is actually the only song we wrote where it sounds more like a duet, which is quite interesting. We love it because it’s full of drama, it’s a very visual song with some strong lyrics.
We are going to film the music video after the Alive tour because we just didn’t have the time. But at the end of the video we are going to do our own version of ‘Thriller’ but with a western line dance, it’s going to be like a little short film. We are doing everything ourselves, we are making all the props and a lot of costumes for it. We are going to document it all!
What’s next? What do you want to achieve?
Katherine: I think because this is our first tour we really want to focus on that, but then it will be gigging and enjoy being an active live band, and then we want to do some writing. Next year we want to get on as many festivals bills as we possibly can.
Sophie: I feel where we are at now is a really good place. We started gigging in April, we are with This Feeling, and god love them – I don’t believe in god - but they have given us such good opportunities.
Then next year we want to aim as high as we can. I want our shows to be not musical theatre necessarily but a real spectacle and theatrical. I want to create an experience at our shows.
Katherine: we are ambitious. We tend to get to where we want to be at a certain point, we are very dedicated to this band and that’s what you have to be. We work hard, and my boyfriend said to me the other day ‘do you and Katie ring each other every day?’ I was like ‘yeah, of course’. I don’t even think of it as an important thing. Who else am I gonna tell stuff? Who else is going to care about these shoes?!’ [laughs].
Alive will visit the following venues:
Wed 2 Oct - Record Junkee, Sheffield
Thu 3 Oct - Broadcast, Glasgow
Fri 4 Oct - Night People, Manchester
Sat 5 Oct - Hope & Ruin, Brighton
Wed 9 Oct - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Thu 10 Oct - Thousand Island, London
Fri 11 Oct - Boileroom Guildford
Sat 12 Oct - The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
Advance tickets will be £8 for London’s Thousand Island venue, and £6 elsewhere on the tour, available from thisfeeling.co.uk and metropolismusic.com