Over the last two years, the most recent incarnation of this band, as we now know as PAVES, have been mesmerising us with their enchanting bluesy rock riffs and elements of psych and garage. Elegant lyrics whisper to the soul and nestle in the memory. With Luke Shield on lead vocals and guitar, Mike Whitaker playing lead guitar, Perry Read on bass and backing vocals and Tom Triggs on drums, these boys are forging a reputation for playing memorable nights, night after night. They have most recently been on a short tour and I was very lucky to get hold of Luke Shield, lead singer, for a quick interview.
Hi guys! You’ve just returned from your first Paris gig – how did it go? Where was it and how were you received?
It was absolutely amazing, and because of it being such a new experience we didn’t really know what to expect. Having said that it went better than we could ever have dreamt of. It was a small venue right in the centre of Paris called Le Truskel, and about twenty minutes before we played, it just filled up and the audience loved every bit of the show.
Did they have a favourite song?
They say the French like a good sing-along but some people knew every word to the songs we have online. Even some of the ones that fans have put videos up of on YouTube were getting sung along to. It was quite surreal!
What was it like travelling out there to play?
Well, I flew in from Milan the night before as I was doing fashion week there [Luke also dabbles in a little modelling on the side!] but I know the boys had a bit of a nightmare! They set off from Camden and the van broke down in Old Street, so they got a replacement van at 7am then tootled down to Folkestone. They got stopped and properly searched by French customs in Calais but somehow got to Paris on time.
Were you well looked after?
The hospitality there was second to none, we got a flat for two days next to the venue and Laurent the owner kept inviting us into his office with bottles of champagne. Malina who organised the gig really put her heart and soul into it and all in all our first abroad gig was a great success.
What’s your favourite part of Paris?
Well, the boys didn’t really have much time to explore which was a shame, but on the morning I got up early and went for a walk up to Montmartre and had lunch up there in a small bistro which was lovely. You can see all of Paris and there is a really community of artists up there, it was beautiful … I always make that my priority place when I’m in Paris.
You have had a few dates recently – a mini tour if you will – how did that go?
We had a few dates before Christmas that were really fun although we all were ill for about a month so that plagued us a little… It only means that next time we play, we need to show people what we’re really about.
Do you feel there is one song that epitomises your style and message as a band?
I think the beauty of this band is that we can sound very different from song to song yet still be very distinctive as a whole. We were just recording in Monnow Valley for a couple of days and the four songs we did are incredibly different from one another, so to pick would be hard.
So tell us what you’re writing at the moment and how you writing is evolving from when you first started?
It’s taken us a lot of work to get the sound we have now. Two years basically. Writing wise the first step hasn’t changed much, I still write on an old guitar at home, I’ve got better at it over times, but that’s still how it all begins and that’s the core of the song. What has changed is how we as band now take that song and make it a Paves tune. Everyone works really hard and now we have ‘our sound’ it kind of takes it to a next level which is great.
Do you have any new releases of upcoming gigs you can tell us about?
So we’re kind of planning this EP to be released around May time but nothing is confirmed yet, tour wise there’ll be something to coincide with that. Gig wise we’re really keeping it quite until then however we are doing a one of show at Camden Assembly for a charity called Head Above The Clouds, who are raising awareness about mental health and the stigmas against it.
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