By Jennifer Lynn
If you managed to catch Jake Bugg on tour chances are you’re already familiar with the folky sounds of his support act, Irish brothers Harry and Alfie, AKA Hudson Taylor. If not, read on for a crash course in all things HT…
You guys are currently on tour with Jake Bugg; how is that going?
Harry: It’s going great; it’s coming to an end now, well it feels like it’s coming to an end, we’ve probably done about three quarters of it now. We’re just in Birmingham now.
Cool, have you had any favourite venues so far?
H: Yeah, a few of them have stood out as being particularly good; the other night we played in Norwich, which was a dark horse. We didn’t expect much from it and it was probably one of the most receptive crowds, especially considering that we’re the opening act. We’ve had really good feedback almost every night, sold a good load of CDs and gone and met some people, which is really nice. The whole tour was sold out before we were even on it, so it’s not like there are any of our own fans there, but we’ve managed to convert a few.
Your new EP Cinematic Lifestyle is out now. How would you describe the collection of tracks to someone who hasn’t heard Hudson Taylor before?
Alfie: We were having a lot of fun at the time; we recorded it around the time that we signed our record deal, so there’s a lot about the end of the struggle. We had a big struggle for about a year and a half, living in London, with no money. Cinematic was definitely a time of change.
Is there a story behind the title?
A: [laughing] Well it kind of came from a drunken dream, we had a few pints of Guinness one night and I got home and had the most bizarre dream. I never usually remember my dreams, but the next morning Harry and myself were writing a song, and I dunno… it was just on my mind when I woke up, it was the first thing that came out.
Obviously you mentioned living in London with no money; do you think that’s a rite of passage for bands these days?
A: I think that does have to happen in a way. It really shaped us, not just as musicians, but as people too. For us, growing up in Dublin, London was always The Big Smoke.
H: The country people in Ireland would call Dublin The Big Smoke, but Dublin people call London The Big Smoke. We have family here, so it was never the biggest thing for us, but it was certainly quite daunting when you’d be living off £30 a week. We left education as well, so we were taking a risk, but you always have to take a risk to an extent – success isn’t just handed to you. Every artist and every journey is different; you can pick up little tips here and there, but you really just have to get stuck into it yourself.
A: Yeah, we were lucky that we had each other. A lot of people have probably had a much rougher time, as a solo artist, but being a band and brothers made it a bit easier for us.
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Your video for Cinematic Lifestyle the single was shot in Paris – how did that happen?
H: When we had the finished version of the song we came up with our own little treatment for the video, which was very similar to how it ended up, except not in Paris. Obviously Paris is a world capital for cinema-
A: -and with the old school streets and everything we just thought it really suited the video.
H: There’s nothing like Paris; it’s probably the most timeless European city.
A: We didn’t even think we’d be able to go abroad, and then when Paris was up there we were just like, “Yeah, that’d be mad cool!”
H: We like the fact that the video’s not just full of landmarks though. Unless you know Paris, you’d never know where we were.
A: Some people even commented on it like, “Did you shoot the video in Dublin?” So we didn’t want to give too much away, but it was Paris.
You have quite a folky sound, which is becoming really big again; are there any other artists in your genre that you’d love to work with?
A: Harry’s a massive Jack White fan and has been forever. Working with someone like that would just blow our minds.
H: We really like the old school kinda bluesy vibes that he has going on. The Lumineers are really cool too and are doing something similar to us. We’ve already worked with Kodaline, who we really admire, and I think the more festivals we play, the more people we’ll meet and end up collaborating with.
A: We played a couple of folk festivals where we met artists that don’t want to be on the radar or didn’t make the more commercial side of things; they’re just all about the music.
H: Sometimes commercial success is not directly related to people being amazing musicians, or sometimes even not nice people. A lot of people get their hopes up about meeting someone they admire, but often their opinion is then crushed, because they aren’t the nicest people. I like to think that we’re pretty nice people though, if anyone ever wants to meet us!
Cinematic Lifestyle is available to download now from iTunes