Photography: Woody Cecilia
As we chug along to The Finsbury, London resembles a stark stack of gloom. A cityscape of ice cube trays spindling through November fog, it’s the coldest night of the year. But, luckily, only two things are required to bluster the blues. Red wine? Check! Trudy and the Romance? Coming right up.
“Ayy, we’re Trudy and the Romance,” frontman Oliver Taylor chirps. There’s not a sorry face in sight. Setting off with Simply Missing Her, the Liverpool-based boys don’t half make it hard for themselves. Comprised of just three members, you’d expect trouble to lurk around every corner, but oh no. We’ve got Taylor on guitar, Lewis Rollinson on bass and Brad Mullins on drums. They’re quite enough sass for one room, thank you.
Using no pick – just bare-handed bear strokes, Taylor shreds on his guitar strings, as if grating granite into grit on Ready Steady Cook. Darting to-and-fro, he meets his mic just in time for every verse, as Rollinson topples, tiptoed, over his (not that he needs to – it’s all just a matter of urgency).
Next up’s Wild. Lead by a bumbling bass hook that’s catchier than Velcro, out wail all three members of the band in glorifying unison. It’s contained carnage. “Oh girl, you’re gonna drive me wiiiild! Oh girl, you’re gonna drive me wi-ild,” they slur. Who knew heartbreak could be so infectiously feel good?
Their sound is a special thing. ‘Your favourite Doo Wop spacemen,’ they brand themselves in passing quip – but they’ve got a point. With raspy harmonies, much like The Chords, frilly guitars crackle like vinyl, as Modern Lovers drums rattle incongruously along to themes of teenage lump-in-throat/stomach-in-knots uncertainty. They’re sophisticated feral, sensitively bold. Trudy and the Romance glide by in moments.
Having spent the afternoon with them, I can confirm that they’re nice lads too. As I meet them prior to their show, we exchange thoughts on Glastonbury, The Big Moon and the (not so) supermoon.
Read our interview with Brad Mullins below.
Simply Missing Her
Baby I’m Blue
My Baby’s Gone Away
All My Love
I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
That’s Not Me
Cool Brother: Talk us through a day in the life of Trudy and the Romance. What’s it like when you’re hanging out, outside of rehearsing and recording?
Brad Mullins: Olly likes to keep fit and healthy, jogging, yoga. Lew and I prefer just sitting about smoking bines.
CB: You’re all genuine, nice boys, which adds to your appeal all the more. What do you think about bands like The Last Shadow Puppets who clearly try very hard to finesse and project a particular image?
BM: We know we're not cool, so we don't try and act it. It'd be embarrassing! We've all got a soft spot for Alex, but Miles is a bit weird, isn't he? At the end of the day, it's all about the music, baby.
CB: Have you ever tried to conform to industry pressures of looking cool?
BM: Have you seen us!?
"It's always a big old disgusting knees-up..."
CB: How was it touring with The Big Moon?
BM: Delightful! The shows were dead fun, I think they watched us every night, which was very sweet. We partied with them a couple of times too. I reckon we're better dancers than them.
CB: I’m actually interviewing The Big Moon in Jan. Have you got anything to ask them? Maybe a message I can pass on?
BM: Could you ask Fern what drum stool she's got? It's really nice. And wish them a merry Christmas and a happy New Year from their Trudy boys.
CB: On the topic of big moons, did you see the supermoon last week?
BM: Yeah, it was wank! I love the moon but that supermoon was well overhyped.
CD: Explain a little about this collaboration with Hurd. How did it start? Who approached who?
BM: They approached us, I think. It's cool ‘cos we might get some free booze out of it!
CB: What beer would you liken yourself to if you had to choose?
BM: I'd say I'm a Red Stripe, Lew's a red wine (we call him Wine Mouth Lew) and Olly's either a Blue Moon or a posh fruity cider.
"We stole Ariel Pink's beer..."
CB: What’s your favorite venue to play at?
BM: We love the Brudenell in Leeds! We've had some crazy nights in there. Playing with Ariel Pink, Cherry Glazerr and Homeshake have been highlights for us over the past year. We stole lots of Ariel Pink's beer. We chatted to him after his set, drunk on his beer, and he was a big Dave Cameron fan, so that was a well weird night. But we have plenty of cronies in Leeds, so it's always a big old disgusting knees-up, hehe.
CB: What’s your favourite venue, as a punter?
BM: Probably the Brudenell too! We've seen so many good bands there. Olly saw Jonathan Richman in there once which I'm proper jealous about. The Kazimier (RIP) in Liverpool was a favourite too, until The Man tore it down.
CB: Olly was saying that his piano teacher used to cry about his girlfriend mid-practice. Care to expand?
BM: This was Olly's guitar teacher, but I think the story is that he was always having relationship troubles and would cry in the lesson about his girlfriend at the time. It's quite heavy innit really, the poor guy.
CB: You’ve spoken about wanting to release your debut album, but you’ve got tours and singles to do first. When do you think it’ll be ready?
BM: Definitely maybe 2017, baby. Keep an ear out.
CB: If I give you five seconds now to name it, what would it be?
BM: The Original Doo Wop Spacemen's Heartbreaking Kaleidoscopic Adventure through the Cosmos, Featuring Sweet Emma and the Bang Bang Sharks.
CB: Plans for 2017?
BM: Recording and getting ourselves about playing shows. I wanna do Glasto, but we don't know about that yet. Can somebody tell our agent to pull his finger out or what?
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