“Our teacher used to jokingly tell us to start a band called Punk Bed, so we did, it wasn’t very punk-rock though.”
Before settling as a four piece, Sean, Arran, Carl and Josh tested the water through high school bands; The Night Cafe just happened to be the game changer.
“We were first called Punk Bed, then it was Canvas but we had to change that,” dwelling over different names, Carl explains how “The Night Cafe is growing on me.” It’s a tough choice, no doubt, but something rings in their minds as they collectively decide that ‘The Blue Velvets’ and ‘The Velvet Cafe’ just don’t fit the sweet renditions of the band.
It’s the last night of their UK headline tour but excitement still flies high as we crowd around a table in Glasgow’s Stereo cafe – that also transforms as tonight’s venue. Whilst Scotland are home to many great shows, there’s nothing quite like a hometown gig – in this case, a monumental one at Liverpool’s O2 Academy.
“It was the first time everyone was singing our songs back to us and there were parts where we didn’t even have to sing, it was a mad feeling.”
As a band that have had their fair share of shows, it appears they also have the tour etiquette noted.
“Don’t get to bevvied every night and always be polite, just be a nice person to everyone and they’ll want to return the favour – we learnt that from The Hunna,” recently touring with the indie-rockers, The Night Cafe have also supported the likes of Sundara Karma, The Wombats and Blaenavon – slots that have crowned the four piece with a reputation for tireless, colourful live sets.
Newly released, an out-pour of dreamy, nightmarish tracks in the Get Away from the Feeling EP; each one opposing a different feeling from the last whilst upholding luscious lyrics and nifty guitar twangs.
Mixed Signals surrenders to a darker sound, featuring that gut-wrenching feeling of heartbreak whilst You Change With The Seasons transfers as a delicious slice of upbeat pop. It feels like a Summer collective, a soundtrack to those beach days and bonfire nights.
‘I wish we had taken more time with it,’ explains Sean, ‘we had those songs ready and I think we liked them individually so it’s more of a singles compilation EP.’
Despite their worry, I can’t help but feel this is an assortment of treats – taking a swig at every flavour. Jangly rhythms cut the seams in Strange Clothes before adding another spoonful of sugar in The Way of Mary, the finale of an energized EP.
‘It’s not really as consensual as we had liked it to be, we want to make sure the next EP is more consistent so we’re going to delve back into our roots from when we first started making music,’ with notions of more music, the band are back to recording and taking inspiration from their earlier days.
‘We were a lot more shoe gaze-y when we first started and that’s still there but we’ve just progressed a lot more,’ explains Carl, ‘even now though, we’re taking influence from some of that music into our new songs.’
As a band that shares the same passion for music, that doesn’t necessarily mean they listen to the same music. Feelings of nostalgia pace about as we try to remember the first album’s everyone bought; before settling on some very different musical decisions.
‘Mine was the Josh Morrison album with the brown cover, that’s all I can say’ answers Arran, meanwhile Josh decides his was Busted’s debut album which also developed as his first concert.
Whilst we evaluate these choices, the term ‘guilty pleasure’ pops up.
‘There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure,’ that’s Josh’s saying explains Sean – everyone has had at least one before though, the culprit? Usually an artist in the spotlight that has both a huge fan base and a lot of criticism to fall on. However, at the end of the day, no one should be a closet fan, ‘if you like it, you have to be proud that you like it.’
‘I think we like every bit of music out there except extortionate jazz,’ exclaims Carl, ‘it just doesn’t know what it’s doing!’
‘I do respect it though, it is music and without music, we wouldn’t be doing this,’ they agree.
We finish the interview with a round of Who’s Most Likely To; a standard ‘get to know us’ game, unfortunately for Carl, he is the victim of most questions including who’s most likely to end up in a karaoke bar at the end of a night out; ask someone who isn’t pregnant ‘when are you due?’ and get married on a night out in Las Vegas.
‘I definitely wouldn’t just go up to someone and ask them when they are due but out of us four, that’d be me.’
Meanwhile, Arran would get lost on tour purely because ‘he’s always in his own wee world’ and Sean has already ticked ‘get a dodgy tattoo’ off the list as ‘it was meant to be a square, but it’s a rectangle…’
Catch The Night Cafe at some Summer festivals as well as a run of shows with Blaenavon in November.