(Left to right: Evelyn, Mike, Ross and Saul)
Fresh from Liverpool’s music scene Clean Cut Kid have embarked on their Autumn tour and are set to play at the O2 Guildhall in Southampton this Friday (11/11/2016). Ahead of their performance we exclusively spoke with Bassist Saul Godman to discuss everything from the band’s name to David Attenborough…
Although the Indie Pop group are yet to release their debut album, the quartet made up of Mike and Evelyn Halls, Saul and Ross Higgison, have achieved astonishing success with their single Vitamin C and EP We used to be in love. Speaking from the tour van the Scouser seems larger than life…
First of all what’s the meaning behind the band’s name ‘Clean Cut Kid?’
Well it’s actually a Bob Dylan song from around the time of when he went electric. Mike came up with the idea because a lot of the songs he had done acoustically he then made electric.
How are you feeling about the Southampton gig?
Great! we’re on the bus on our way now. Stoke tonight then Southampton tomorrow. We’re excited we’ve been there before, it’s a decent modern city
How is it touring?
Well this is actually the first day of this tour but touring in general, you’ve got everything laid out that you want.
Have you got any funny stories from touring as a band which we should know about?
Well I mean all the gigs are a good laugh but we tend to play tricks on each other on the road. Like setting traps for different people at the hotels at night and stuff. Like buckets of water to fall down on people who open doors or hiding things in each other’s beds.
What is the best venue you have played?
Well we played Reading and Glastonbury, but Shepherd’s Bush and Empire were good ones. All the O2’s were good. It’s going to be the band’s first time playing arenas, so everyone is looking forward to that.
Do the bandy prefer to play bigger or smaller venues?
They’re all good for different things, I mean I like the big ones because you can run about a bit but the little ones are always good. Mike likes the smaller ones and getting more personal with the songs.
Lead singer Mike and the bands backing vocalist/pianist Evelyn are married, making Clean Cut Kid a family affair!
So how is it having a married couple in the band?
It’s nice to be honest, if they weren’t married it would be weird because they share a hotel room (Laughs) but yes it’s nice to be honest, they’re like the mum and dad of the band.
Which is your favourite song to play out of all the tracks?
My favourite is ‘Make Believe’ because there’s a big like singalong and clapper part which is good.
What would you say is the inspiration for the songs?
The bands are generally breakup songs and love songs, but they are upbeat and poppy, so like for those watching us, it’s a fun gig but it has serious topics. The songs tend to be personal about Mike who is the lead singer and he writes the songs, but I can’t say any names about the girls they’re about. But one of them might be in the charts right now…
The bands getting great exposure- is there anybody in the industry you’d like to work with?
I know we can’t believe our luck really, we would like some collaborations that would be good. I think if we could send Mike off with Bon Iver… But it’s one of those, if we get a bit of spare time something like that would be really good.
You haven’t had a debut album yet have you? Can fans expect something soon?
No the album is going to be sometime next year, it’s pretty much all tracks we’re just doing some finishing touches in London. We know the title but I can’t tell you!
Are there any hints you can give us about the theme of the album?
It’s pretty much a breakup album but like of course Mike and Evelyn are happily married. So this particular album isn’t so much about Evelyn however, there are some songs which might be about her…
Are you guys constantly listening to music for inspiration?
I wouldn’t say constantly but it’s a big part of everyone’s life, I mean everyone in the band has different influences but mainly everyone’s into the classic songwriters.
The Liverpool Music scene is doing really well, with the likes of Lapsley for example getting national playtime on the likes of Radio 1. Do artists like her get you excited about your future as a band?
Yes she’s doing really well isn’t she! Going to America as well. That would be a nice collaboration at some point! Plus Mikes got loads of songs, you never know, if she was to go through his back catalogue there might be one she wanted to sing.
Do you miss playing in Liverpool?
Yes, we have just been back last week at the end of the tour at the Arts club and that was good to go home and see everyone, plenty of people we knew, plenty we didn’t know which is always good. The venues have gone up each time which shows the touring is working.
(Saul interrupts the interview, declaring that the bands drummer Ross has pulled a moonie right next to him…)
Would you agree that you’re more of a live performance band?
Sorry! Well we concentrate on both really! We spend time half the year recording and the other half touring and they are quite different as things. But we are starting to get a good reputation as a live band! We don’t use backing tracks which a lot of bands use now and you might not even be able to tell, we haven’t got anything like that so if we break a string, we break a string. But the lives shows are just as enjoyable as recording for us really.
Will you be back on the festival circuit next year like you were this summer?
Well next year the album will be out and all the festivals will be on, I think we did about thirty-two or thirty-three this year so hopefully we’ll do as many and maybe some Europe dates as well.
Finally we have to ask you, whats your favourite TV show at the moment?
Its got to be Planet Earth 2 with David Attenborough.
Did you see the bit with the Iguana?
Yes, It was amazing wasn’t it! We were all spurring the little fella on!
Clean Cut Kid will play at the Southampton Guildhall tomorrow evening (11/11/2016)
You can listen to their track Make Believe below…