Some listen to music to escape the world. Maribou State will open your eyes to what’s already right in front of you. Rather than transporting you to some place new, they’ll help you see the beauty in the present moment. Hit play and look around. Radiating, visible waves of haze escape lit candles, keys rattle in pockets as happy footsteps bounce off the pavings outside, buses’ brakes vibrantly screech. Life is all around. Whatever the setting, this London-based two-piece will enhance things. There’s a soulful nature to their entire back catalogue.
Formed by Chris Davids and Liam Ivory in 2011, Maribou State have released six EPs and one studio album. Now, they’re back with a new LP. 'Kingdoms In Colour' is due for release on 7th September 2018. Single track, 'Turnmills,' is a celebration of London's clubbing glory days, named after Turnmills warehouse, an Islington institution which, in 1990, evolved into the UK's first ever nightclub with a 24-hour license. Like many London venues, the club has since closed down – demolished and repurposed into offices. But it was here that the band claim they found their sound. ”Turnmills was where we first experienced electronic music in a club setting," Ivory explains. "It’s a totally different and transformative listening experience and that communal spirit, atmosphere and feeling has inspired the way we've made music. Clubs are such important hubs for music discovery, especially of songs that you might have overlooked in a different setting. Partly through the feeling in the room and also through the memories attached to the records you hear." So, Turnmills lives on. In a sense.
Here, we go on tour with Maribou State to London’s All Points East. Head backstage with Liam Ivory and pals as they circuit the festival, documenting it all on disposable cameras.
Maribou State with their single, Turnmills
Letʼs talk about All Points East! Did you get to see many acts over the weekend?
I saw the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Friday, which was phenomenal. LCD Soundsystem afterwards who are always worth seeing. Sunday we caught Khruangbin on the main stage. Went into Despacio for a short while, but it was far too hot in there. Caught the end of Fly Lo’s set before heading out to play after him.
Best performance you saw while you were there?
Yeah Yeah Yeahs stole the show for sure.
Did you clash with anyone you really wanted to catch?
Unfortunately, I was on at the same time as Bjork, who I would of loved to have seen. I tried to get a photo with her later that evening for this diary, but she respectfully declined.
We were playing a game called What Are The Odds backstage and it resulted in my friend having to ask Flying Lotus if he had any digestive biscuits. Sadly, he did not.
Talk me through your day, start to finish!
I woke up and drove over to a brunch spot on the river in Hackney Wick. Met all my friends there and we fuelled up for day. Walked over to the site and headed to the main stage to see Khruangbin. We then went to the Ray Ban gifting tent for some freebies. Tried to catch Sylvan Esso, but she had finished so headed into Despacio. Then we ended up backstage for the afternoon, playing games with friends. Caught Flying Lotus’s set. DJ’d by myself at the West Stage. Walked home!
Do you spend most of your time at festivals back stage, or do you prefer the main site?
I guess it really depends on the festival and who’s on the bill! This weekend, we had a good mix of both.
Best festival youʼve ever been to and why?
Glastonbury is by far my favourite. It’s hard to describe the energy you experience over that weekend, but it’s like nowhere else and it draws us back every year.
If you could get all Diana Ross about your rider judgement free, what would be your strictest request?
Backstage access and booze for all my friends.
You must feel quite stripped back and bare when doing DJ sets without the rest of the band. Is that the case, or do you still enjoy it?
Yes, it’s a very different experience – however, there is something still very enjoyable about providing the soundtrack to everyone’s night while being void of any technical stresses that are likely to appear with a live show.
So, you said you lost the disposable camera I gave you and then found it again! How did that happen?
It must of fallen out of my pocket on our way to see Khruangbin. I had already taken quite a few photos, but was being realistic about not being able to find it, so I called my manager to get me a new one. He told me to get lost, so I went on a hunt across the site in search of it. Luckily, I found it near the entrance to the backstage area. I was hoping someone might have taken a photo with it and left it where they found it, but sadly not!
London festivals always feel pretty different from other UK festivals. How do you feel about them?
I love the convenience of them. It’s great to be in such close proximity of the site and your usual hangouts in the city. I’m also not a huge fan of camping, so more than happy to leave site each night.
Now then, 'Turnmills!' How does it feel to be releasing new materiel after your two year break from making music?
It feels great! We’ve been working extremely hard for the last two years on this album, so it’s a massive relief to start sharing it with people – and the response has been overwhelming.
Does it feel very different from your other releases?
It’s quite different, but also still very connected to us. It was created the morning after we hosted a label party at the now defunct club Shapes in Hackney Wick. We named it 'Turnmills' as a nod towards our early clubbing days which have certainly impacted the way we approach music today.
Youʼre gonna be playing quite a few festivals this year, including Sonar in Barcelona and Oasis in Marrakesh. What festival are you most excited for?
To be honest, I’m excited for all of them as they’re all going to be live shows! We have a new crew, a new set up, new members in the band and I’m just really excited to get out there and play.
Maribou State with their latest release featuring Khruangbin, 'Feel Good'
If you could recommend five songs for our readers to listen to, what would they be?
Khurangbin - Maria Tambien
Nils Frahm – My Friend The Forest
Ayalew Mesfin – Hasabe (My Worries)
Oumou Sangare – Saa Magni
Jacqueline Taieb – 7 Heures du Matin
Discover more of Maribou State's new music here. All upcoming live dates are displayed below.
05 Jul Roskilde Festival, Roskilde, Denmark
07 Jul Farr Festival, Hertfordshire, UK
27 Jul Audioriver Festival, Plock, Poland
28 Jul Standon Calling, Herts, UK
04 Aug All Together Now, Waterford, Ireland
12 Aug Boomtown Fair, Winchester, UK
17 Aug Lowlands Festival, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
18 Aug Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt, Belgium
19 Aug MS Dockville Festival, Hamburg, Germany
24 Aug Lost Village Festival, Lincoln, UK
14 Sep Nova Batida, Lisbon, Portugal
Kingdoms In Colour Album Live Tour (UK / EU):
10 Oct O2 Academy 2, Liverpool
11 Oct Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
12 Oct Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
13 Oct Glasgow School Of Art, Glasgow
16 Oct O2 Academy 2, Oxford
17 Oct Concorde 2, Brighton
18 Oct The Roundhouse, London
14 Nov Het Zonnehuis, Amsterdam, NL
15 Nov Le Badaboum, Paris, FR
17 Nov Saalchen, Berlin, DE
Follow Maribou State on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube
Follow Cool Brother on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter