Clean Cut Kid Exclusive Interview by Angela Cascon

Liverpool based and indie pop band Clean Cut Kid hit Birmingham on the night of the 22nd of April as the support band for The Kooks during their Best of Tour. Being a sold-out event, they perfectly engaged with more than 3000 people and made sure to set the right mood and deliver an energising opening act with their eight-song set.

“Pick me up” started off the night and soon the audience’s clapping accompanied lead singer and song-writer Mike Halls, keyboard player and backing vocalist Evelyn Halls, drummer Ross Higginson and guitarist Saul Godman. Not only the audience, but also the band members seemed to be having a good time, and between songs Mike dropped a few comments and introduced a new song, Felt, which was co-written by him and Eve, who’s his wife.

This uplifting post-break up song also gives the title to their debut album which will be released on the 5th of May. When asked if there were other album titles that they considered, Eve said that even though there were a few, being a first idea to title it after another song, Time to let you go, Felt was the final decision. She added:

we ended up calling it Felt because we were trying to find one word that summed up what the album was about. And the album is like a concept record about a break up: it records the time of a relationship from a bad breakup and then back to another happy time to finish up the album. We were thinking we wanted to have a snappy word that sums all up and Mike was like “Oh, maybe Felt”, and then it just happened to be a song of the album as well so it all came together.

During their forty-minute show, the band performed some of the songs which will be included in the upcoming album, being We used to be in love and Vitamin C the ones which had the better reaction from the public, with many people singing along to both Mike and Eve, whose vocals sounded particularly powerful on Leaving you behind. The lyrics, which deal with issues as painful as a heartbreak is, are accompanied by catchy and electric tunes played by a powerful electric guitar and drum background. Written by Mike, most of them are from his own point of view and about things that have happened in either their lives or in someone’s else lives close to them, according to Eve. Most of them sound very similar, and in Ross’s words, Felt will basically “make us dance while we cry”. He added:

it’s a breakup album, the lyrics are very moving and the music is very uplifting so it’s kind of…bittersweet. Expect a bittersweet album.

Both Eve and Ross highlighted South by South festival as their best memory as a band so far, and after playing at thirty-two festivals last summer, the Liverpool band is already booked for ten more for this summer, although Eve added between laughs that they will not go to that many this time…maybe twenty-two. In addition, their first tour is about to kick off in the first week of May, here in Birmingham again (6/05). When talking about what they have been looking forward to, both firmly agreed it was this: their debut album, which they have been preparing and finishing during the last few months, and touring. In addition, they will be leaving the UK for the first time, finishing their tour in Dublin, where Eve is from, and then playing at Paradiso in Amsterdam.

Eight songs later, the show finished with Vitamin C, and as the band received a great reaction from the public, they abandoned the stage with no encore but leaving everyone satisfied. It was so good that I personally felt that it was very short. However, this will be no longer a problem. Not only next time they will be in Birmingham they will performing their new album but also a second one is on its way as Eve confessed.

Mike has already started writing the second album. The day we signed off the album, he came home and he was like: I’ve got some ideas! The night we were invited to the Brits he just stayed at home and made a track instead.

Article by Angela Martin Cascon for Grapevine Birmingham