Chapel Club (London, UK)

The beautifully awkward London quintet muse over the complexities of love and structure of their live shows.

Music Incoming
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‘Hello you’, Hello Chapel Club, meet London quintet Lewis Bowman (vocals), Michael Hibbert (guitar), Liam Arklie (bass), Alex Parry (guitar), Rich Mitchell (drums). Lewis - frontman, friend and all round good guy often talked about forming a band – we just didn’t think he’d do it on our doorstep. Close to Dazed HQ sits Timber Street Studios where Chapel Club wrote their forthcoming material including their upcoming second release, 'Oh Maybe I', a sonnet to the push and pull of love. Musically, the vocals remain decidedly concise with guitars kept in check. With rambunctious live shows adding to the mysticism, we wait to hear more of the awkwardness and perhaps a rendition of The Power of Love.

Q&A

WHAT'S…

… your description of your sound?
Lean, loud, intense, delicate, hopefully beautiful. Plus there’s an awkwardness about it all which I quite like.

… so special about you, then?
We care about the details of what we do: the music, the sound and the structure of the songs and the live shows.

… your tip for 2010?
Washed Out. If that dude breaks out this year it’d be well deserved, thinking about that record makes my mouth water. Mike (guitarist) played me some tracks by a band called Blank Dogs they sounded pretty good.

… your favorite website?
I visit the Guardian site to check the news or YouTube to watch Cribs interviews. Liam (our bassist) has turned me on to the genius of the Jarman brothers.

… your favourite piece of clothing?
I don’t really have one… Something subtle and sharp, I guess.  I don’t go for anything overwrought or ostentatious.

… your worst fashion secret?
I’m not really enough of a fashion person to have fashion secrets. I mean, I’ll gladly tell anyone about all the shit stuff I wore in my youth. I was in a crowd that centred on UK garage, drab R&B and knock-off designer labels, and there was no one well placed to save me from myself. Anyway, everybody looks like shit when they’re thirteen, don’t they?

… your dream musical collaboration?
Jacques Brel, Bradford Cox, Björk, Apparat, Tom Waits, Little Joy, Karen O, Seelenluft, Gil Scott-Heron (before the crack), Al Usher, Philip Glass, Scott Walker… the list runs ever on.

… better, dusk or dawn?
Dawn, definitely, dawn’s the thing. I’m still waiting to experience a sunrise like the one in Ted Hughes’ The Horses, all shaken senses and immense, eternal movements in the sky. I’m a Romantic at heart.

… the name of your hero?
I have lots, too many to list here. None of them are perfect but they’ve all played their part in helping me figure stuff out.

… so special about your hero?
Like I said, they’ve all helped me to figure stuff out, whether they intended to or not. To me it’s like life in your teens and twenties is a darkened room and you’re in there stumbling around, searching for a light-switch. You’re functionally blind. And a hero is someone, whether it’s a passerby or a parent or a pop star or whatever, who appears with a lamp at a window you didn’t even know was there and helps you see the shape of things for a moment or two. And I’m fortunate in having had a fair few people do that for me.

… your karaoke song?
Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Power of Love.

… the best piece of advice you've heard?
“It’s so easy to laugh and to hate, it takes guts to be gentle and kind.” Morrissey, in The Smiths’ I Know It’s Over.

… the one thing you’d kill for?
My girlfriend and I just got a puppy, so right now I’m constantly wondering whether I’ll need to kill in defense of this little dog. There are a lot of fear-looking dogs where I live in Bow, so every time some lump of teeth runs over to my pup in the park I start silently steeling myself to commit heinous but necessary acts of violence. So far all interactions have been positive, thank God. But I’m a worrier by nature, so the grim preparedness remains. City life does this to me.

… your vision of the future?
Remoteness from almost everything is my ultimate aim. But there won’t be much remoteness coming my way any time soon… I’m in the wrong line of work really. So I guess a more immediate vision of the future is shows, shows, shows, recording the album and releasing it later this year, more people getting into the music (I hope)... it’s all just a case of letting the future unfold a moment at a time.

'Oh Maybe I', is released 22nd February on East City Records

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