OxJam bands on gigging in the capital

On Monday 3rd Standard London Evening decided to give something back to the live music scene and humanity in general by teaming up with OxJam to bring a fantastic night of live music featuring INTV, Mucky Pups and Love in the Asylum. As the final touches were put to SLE’s first event the bands spent the Indian summer evening in The Macbeth’s balcony smoking area where Ben Graham caught up with them.

Love in the Asylum are a well-groomed, well-tattooed quartet with an edge that keeps their shouty indie-pop exciting. They’re effortlessly relaxed ahead of tonight’s gig, which comes in the build up to their recording sessions in the far-flung reaches of Wales. “It’s nice to get out of London away from distractions and focus” muses drummer Paul Lane.

Much of the band’s live appeal comes from their infectious energy, so most of their recording is done live, bassist Charlie Elliott explains: “It’s just about capturing the energy and getting that feeling across.”

Having carved out a reputation for themselves as a live act, the reward for their efforts came in the form of a support slot with The View. “Shepherds Bush Empire supporting The View was the icing on the cake,” recalls guitarist and vocalist Dan Dunne, describing the band’s best gig to date.

However, Love in the Asylum are by no means restricted to a London audience and claim Glasgow as their favourite city to play in, though Charlie points out that: “Norwich is fucking sick, Norwich kids go mental,” and Dan puts in a shout for Hull.

The band makes a fair point about London’s live music scene, as Paul states: “No one really goes mental and dances. You get much more energy off a crowd [outside of London],” – something anyone else with a regional accent has probably noticed.

Touring is something the band has no intentions of slowing down with, says Dan: “You can never tour enough.”

When offered a tour of any country on the planet Paul is keen to be big in Japan, while South America’s scenery is also a popular choice. This is a band with as much ambition as sense of fun, or “Ukulele, Potato, Fun,” in three words (‘potato’ being the first thing keyboardist Thom Green has said).

In contrast to Love in the Asylum, Mucky Pups have yet to experience the joys of performing outside the capital, with guitarist and vocalist Daniel Woolf claiming: “It’s like being a football team and playing away.”

Loyal Londoner and Mucky Pups bassist, Jason Duncan, claims “The Moon 2012” is his favourite live venue, before Daniel adds, “any London venue.”

But even on local territory, things don’t always go smoothly on stage, as lead guitarist Carl Pratley recounts: “We’ve been cut off by a club night and they filled the stage with smoke.” “People didn’t realise we’d stopped playing and thought we were going in a new direction,” laughs Jason.

Mucky Pups live show in three words? “Pretty fucking awesome,” says Jason.

Tonight’s Radiohead-influenced opening band, INTV, is also very much London-based, with recordings taking place in drummer Will Ritson’s bedroom.

Yet despite their big sound the band’s favourite venue is the Notting Hill Arts Club. Lead singer Nick Rowson claims his ideal venue to be “Anywhere small… Big venues would be good, but I like playing small,” prompting Will to chip in with “Woodstock was good, Woodstock  ’74.”

For now, though, Camden Crawl knock-off Wimbledon Calling was their most memorable gig to date, remembers lead guitarist Adam Carrier-Sippy: “It was in a Walkabout and we were all in a row instead of the drums at the back.”

“We were watching the Tour de France as we were playing,” adds Nick. “That was our best paid gig. Ironically.”

But tonight all money is cast aside, as this troupe of exciting indie upstarts takes over The Macbeth in the name of OxJam.

By Ben Graham

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