AN INTERVIEW WITH…PLAZA

A Hartlepool five piece are creating a storm in the local music scene. The BBC have already picked up on Plaza’s roaring success. Huw Stephens has played Fickle and their track Antumbra is on BBC Introducing’s app Vizii.

They are playing Middlesbrough’s Twisterella festival this weekend.
I caught up with singer/guitarist Brad Lennard and drummer Matthew Swinbourne to talk about what is going on in the Plaza camp.
The band consists of three guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. They are all working men but say Plaza is their priority.

“We initially got in touch with the promoters ages ago. But it wasn’t until a slot was made available that we got onto the bill,” explains front man Brad. The promoters of the festival are The Kids Are Solid Gold, who have previously put on shows featuring Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Vaccines and James Bay.

Twisterella is the opening gig for Plaza. From there they will go on to play Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester and Hartlepool before finishing back at Middlesbrough.

After attending the festival last year, mainly to see Brontide, the band were inspired to play the festival in 2015. “We saw how up for it everyone was last year and thought we could have a crowd like this. I’m glad we got on (the line-up) in the end. It means we get to see some ace acts and hang around with them,” they say.

When asked who these “ace” acts were they looked at each other, smirked, and in-sync said Du Blonde. “She’s my favourite woman of 2015,” laughs Brad. Other acts mentioned are Model Aeroplanes, Fickle Friends, Allusondrugs and Lives.

For the Newcastle date of the tour, Plaza have got support from bands they are particularly fond of known as Campfires and Trash. “This and Twisterella are going to be the best shows of the tour” says Brad. Matthew confidently adds: “It will definitely be the most mental. It is free entry and people can bring their own drink.”

While Manchester and Leeds sound ambitious for a band with only one recorded EP, they assured me that they have been working on new material – including a re-recording of EP track Totem.
“We’ve not went ‘Swim Deep’ weird, but the new stuff is a bit different,” Brad explains. “They’re happier tracks, I don’t sound depressed anymore,” he continues.

Matthew describes the change: “We’ve went down a new route, found new influences if you will. On the EP it all sounds quite dreamy and spacey, but on our new music we’ve focused on the styles of Blaenavon and Mink Mussel Creek.”

Even further afield from Manchester and Leeds, Plaza have planned a trip to Thailand next year. Brad giddily pipes up with: “Three of us (bassist William Hamilton, Matthew and himself) were going over there as a bit of a holiday but we looked into it and found out we can play gigs in the bars if we leave a large enough tip.”

“I’m excited for this, but recently I’ve been reading The Damage Done by Warren Fellows and I’m scared that I’ll somehow end up that way” Brad says as he nervously laughs.

The “that way” mentioned is that Fellows was sentenced to life imprisonment for heroin trafficking in 1978.
Matthew insists: “This won’t be the case, but if it does happen at least we played Twisterella.”

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