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The Assist are a four-piece council pop/rock band from Walsall: Mikey Stanton on vocals, Ryan Stanton on guitar, Jak Baker on bass and Ben Faulkner on drums. Their social commentaries, in local dialect over an indie-dance vibe has propelled them onto some of the country’s biggest stages in 2016, namely LEEDS & Y NOT festival, alongside support slots with both Ratboy and Blossoms. They have been strongly supported by BBC Introducing and have been labelled as ‘Birmingham’s next big thing’ by Radio X.

In between playing Soccer Six last month and jetting off to play at Supersonic Club in Paris, we managed to catch up and fire a few questions their way.

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This year’s tour is going to be the biggest nationwide tour embarked on by This Feeling with twelve shows stretching up and down the country! What’s your personal This Feeling story? 

The tour is a real milestone for This Feeling! We were first introduced to Mikey by This Is England actor Stephen Graham. We happened to play a very intimate show at a corporate golf day for LUKE 1977 clothing range where Stephen actually watched us perform. After a swift nine holes we sat down to chat and he was very excited about the potential we had. From then onwards we played shows with This Feeling all over the country and now have the opportunity to play some of the greatest venues in the country.

Do you have a story we can share from a previous This Feeling gig?

Plenty! Our favourite which springs to mind would probably have to be our Cardiff show! We had split the van key in half but managed to force our way into university accommodation for the night. We spent the night with a Welsh band who were support for the evening and they were top lads. Their band name of MELT was pretty fitting for the occasion as we happened to accidentally set their living room sofa on fire. It was extinguished pretty soon but for obvious reasons, we slept on what was left of the floor.

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What’s it really like being a part of the This Feeling family?

There is a genuine sense of pride for each other within the group. There are plenty of bands all striving to achieve the same thing so there is always going to be an element of friendly competition. The kind of competition all brothers and sisters face in families. We have time for everyone and wish success upon everyone, we have never crossed wires with Mikey at all so from our point of view he’s just a big softie like all of us. There’s very little envy within the group but an incredible amount of love. Mikey is a very real person, he won’t beat around the bush in an attempt to please people. He’s very straight with regards to what he can and can’t do for you which is a credit to him and his work. The industry can often get you up to let you down so it’s great to have someone so real guiding you in the right direction.

How will you be involved on this tour and what can we expect when we come and see a This Feeling show? 

We will play the most local show to us which is Birmingham on the 3rd of October at the O2 Institute. We will then play shows on our own This Feeling headline tour in Leeds on October 14th, Glasgow on October 27th, London on November 4th and Manchester on November 18th.  At the shows you can expect an extremely high standard of music all night long and the kind of atmosphere that makes you think the tides are turning. Something is happening here and you feel great to be apart of any This Feeling event. Not to forget the lovely people involved with such events and incredible DJs that keep the night young. The collectiveness between bands has always been evident, they wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re all working towards the same thing and it requires bands to get on. This Feeling TV is a proper laugh and it’s a really good indication of just how much of a good time we have when we get together.

How do you prepare for something like the This Feeling Tour?

The calibre of a show does a lot of talking for itself. There’s a lot of great press involved so the hype for the show is massive! We just keep doing what we have been doing all summer by rehearsing as often as we can and talking a good game. We have a lot going on at the moment so the momentum does us a world of good going into such a big show. Our last show was Supersonic Club in Paris and it’s only a matter of time before we play the O2 institute in Birmingham to follow up. It’s not until you stop to realise how you are doing that you realise how well things are going.

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What’s it like for you, being on the road? 

It’s great to be around such like-minded people! All striving for excellence. There’s a lot you can learn from other musicians also. You find that music is universal regardless of your situation. Having recently returned from Paris we noticed even the Parisians were familiar with This Feeling and what they are doing for British music. There are a lot of good times and often, more than not when we are asked about This Feeling, we are too caught up in the good times to stop for a second and share the experience with people interested. It’s great to take part in a sober interview about our music and This Feeling – they really do such great things for the next generation.

You can hear more from The Assist on the following platforms:

Facebook: TheAssistBand

Twitter: @TheAssistBand

Insta: theassistband

Listen to their music on:

SPOTIFY: goo.gl/tXiMCF

iTunes: goo.gl/38bqk

SoundCloud: goo.gl/rZJYwE

YouTube: goo.gl/Qq4txW

 

 KATE O’BRIEN

 

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