In conversation with LIINES
ALL WORDS & INTERVIEW BY FRANKIE LEE
Manchester post-punk, three piece band LIINES have come to the end of a massive, UK-wide tour as special guests with Nottingham’s own Sleaford Mods. Ahead of their headline gig at The Bodega on 31 May, they had a chat with Frankie Lee for Notts Night Out about reaching new audiences.
Answering are Zoë McVeigh (Vocals/guitar), Tamsin Middleton (bass) and Leila O’Sullivan (drums).
FL: How have you found being out on the road with the Nottingham duo?
How does it compare to travelling around just yourselves?
Have they been supportive/offered you any advice?
L: It’s been an unbelievable experience. We’ve just finished the last weekend now and trying to sum up the last three months will be really difficult!
Z: We’ve been driving ourselves around and travelled 100s miles every weekend and staying in random places, so it has been different to how we’ve travelled to gigs before and a great to share that – as well as playing all the gigs.
T: We’ve chatted to Andrew and Jason a bit through the tour - they’ve been very kind and supportive and we honestly will never be able to thank them enough for having us along for their Eton Alive tour. Andrew has been a great source of obscure band and documentary recommendations too!
L: We all knew their music, but watching their performances across the tour has been a really special experience. We love the music and Jason’s performances have been so intense and relentless - night after night, Sleaford Mods really have delivered something special.
FL: You have been busy building quite a following on the live music scene in your own right for a couple of years now, so has it been strange playing to new audiences?
How have the audience reactions been?
What have the venues been like? Anywhere you’ve always wanted to play? Any stand out gigs?
T: Playing to new audiences can be intimidating, but the response throughout has blown us away. We’ve loved meeting loads of new people and building a more wide-spread following.
L: We started the tour at the stunning Boiler Shop in Newcastle. A massive space and we were expecting it to be pretty empty for our set! But we walked on stage and played a few songs and turned to each other in a ‘wow, this is going to be fucking great!’ way because we had upwards of 750 people, nearing a 1000 towards the end and the response was massive. So that settled us into the tour pretty nicely! We’ve wanted to play so many of the places! Getting to do so many across the south coast was ace - Margate and Southampton are stand out gigs for me - so far from home and the response was off the scale!
Z: We’ve played mostly towns and cities we’ve never been to and met loads of really lovely, passionate gig goers and, all in, the response has been brilliant - so much more than we could have hoped for. It’s was lovely that so many people had checked us out online beforehand and nice getting to know those Sleaford Mods fans who went to multiple gigs.
T: A stand out gig has to be the Manchester Academy - playing a hometown show in such a renowned venue was just brilliant. We had a pretty big crew of friends in the crowd and the venue was nicely full by the time we hit the stage. We received a really warm welcome from friends and punters alike - ace!
FL: You’ve chosen to play 3 headline dates after the tour, one in London, one in your home city, so how did Nottingham get chosen to complete the trio?
Where have you played in Nottm before? Good audiences? Like The Bodega?
L: We’ve mostly played London and Manchester over the last few years but we’ve also some great gigs at Rough Trade Nottingham - with Fan Club and Default This and most recently with our label Reckless Yes - so we were really keen to do a Nottingham date. We’ve got some great bands joining us - our incredible label-mates and friends, Pet Crow, I AM LONO - who we’ve not played with before, but really love their sound - and Dacodac who we played with for their first ever gig about a year ago. It’s going to be an ace night. We’ve never played The Bodega, but have had a great response when we’ve told people where we’re playing.
Z: We’ve met a few of the Sleaford Mods ‘SMarmy’ during the tour and it’s been really ace to hear a load of them will be making the Bodega gig - should be a big night!
FL: Your debut album Stop-Start was released almost a year ago (through Midlands-based record label Reckless Yes). How has it been received?
By media and fans, any other bands picked up on you on the back of this?– is this how Sleaford Mods knew of you?
Z: Honestly, it was such a long time coming (hence the album title) we were really unsure how it would go down. It’s really had an incredible response. It’s been selling so well, both online and at gigs. We’ve had such amazing support from radio especially John Kennedy, BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing, we just feel really happy people have enjoyed what we’ve made.
L: Getting it out there and listened to was a huge relief - and it’s been nice that people are still discovering it over a year since it’s release. Obviously we want that to continue too! But we’re also looking forward to getting some new music out there - we release a new single On and On through Reckless Yes on Friday 24 May!
FL: you released it on white vinyl but that sold out – any plans for a re-issue?
If yes, when? If no – still available as download and CD!
Z: There’s no chance if it being reissued on white vinyl - that was ultra limited, but we have reissued it on classic black vinyl for the tour and we will be selling any remaining copies online after the tour has finished. It’s absolutely flown out which as been incredible!
L: We’d released a 7” single (double A-side of tracks Disappear and Be Here) in 2016, which was our first proper physical release. It’s been amazing to see the passion for music on vinyl - so many people have messaged after gigs during the Sleaford Mods gigs, gutted they missed out on a copy (we’ve sorted them out, don’t worry!).
FL: I’ve heard a rumour that Bands FC (famous for producing designs combining bands’ artwork and football team logos) are interested in doing a LIINES badge, you have got to be chuffed with that?
Do you know what it looks like yet? Which football team have you been mashed up with?
L: It’s out! It came out a couple of months ago and WE LOVE IT! I was so excited when I saw the message saying they were working on one.
Zoë: It is VERY LIINES - perfect choice. The team is Club Cipolletti, and Argentinian club.
FL: You were recently shortlisted Glastonbury Emerging Talent 2019 finalists – what can you tell me about the competition
(why you entered prizes, other acts involved, playing on a main stage at Glasto?)
Z: We’ve never played a competition before and what a first one to experience. Sadly we didn’t win but getting to play the contest was such a huge achievement in itself. From thousands of bands down to one of eight! Michael Eavis promised us a slot at Glastonbury so that’ll do us!
FL: What else can we expect from LIINES this year?
Writing? Releases? More gigs? Festivals? Global domination?
Z: As Leila mentioned, we have a new track coming out on 24 May - On and On. We have another recorded and then we need to write and record some more! We all work full time so it’s difficult for us to all be in the same place at the same time so it’s a question of grabbing free time and getting to London to record with Paul Tipler when we can. We are really excited by the new material we are writing and can’t wait to share it.
L: As well as the headline dates in London (30 May), Nottingham (31 May) and Manchester (1 June), we’re playing Tim Burgess’ Tim Peak’s Diner at Kendal Calling (Friday 26th July) and Cotton Clouds Festival (Saturday 17 August), and Confessional Festival in Blackburn on Friday 6 September - and more to be announced! We’re really, really looking forward to some festival action!
LIINES have a reputation as a formidable force on stage, so if you like your live music with attitude, but not arrogance, you should try and catch LIINES on their Nottingham visit to play at The Bodega on 31 May 2019. Tickets are available from Alt Tickets.
By Frankie Lee