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Hailing from The Tarn (Barnsley if you need to ask) The Losing Touch were formed late 2018, by long-term friends and collaborators James Gilroy and Nevyn Stevenson. The formative ideas for the band arose inside of an Irish pub in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Full of, in equal parts; Guinness, a sceptical outlook on life and that inevitable naive hopefulness that begins to take hold; the pair found themselves at a junction in the timeline of their songwriting partnership, wanting to write more honest songs that highlighted the pain and beauty in the minor things in life. Both being too stubborn to reverse the previous night’s commitment, they began to unpick their earlier years in touring bands – long and exhausting evenings travelling the breadth of the country, cramped in a splitter van – with the aim of expending their time and effort on being in a studio, writing and producing. Taking influences from everything from the Pogues to Nick Cave and Doves to Tom Waits, the resulting songs span stories of determination, love, death, alcoholism and more. Gilroy providing the lead vocals and Stevenson the lead guitar. The pair recruited Ben Scarff on Drums, Tom Laffey on Rhythm Guitar and Callan Mellor on Bass guitar for Live shows.

So how did the band come about? I believe you’ve all been in South Yorkshire bands before.

Yeah, Nev, Ben and I were in a band called Pusher. Cal & Laffey were in a band called Yellow elevators together. When Pusher split up Nev and I carried on batting around with music and then got serious the past year. We called on the others to play the tunes. 

You have a specific, unique sound (a blessing in a time of Arctic Monkey wannabees). Was that a conscious effort as a band or just a natural band evolution from rehearsing?

When I sit down and write the tunes it’s not a case of I want this to sound like this, it’s just here it is. I’ll send some rough demos to Nev who will either annihilate them or say that it’s alright. No in-between. Which is a good way of doing it because it keeps it all very grounded. 

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The two singles so far are magnificent. How many more gems do you have in the locker? Any EP/album plans?

We have an EP with 3 more songs to go on it. That Age which is a slow starter waltz tune, about growing old and not being ready to die, a real light-hearted one. Change which has a really dramatic shift in tone musically. The title track of the EP, Midnight Again which is very much an autobiographical song, about two blokes sat in a boozer talking about the plans they have and what they’ll do in the future. For live sets, we have ones that aren’t on the EP but all in all, there are about 20 songs circling at the minute.

I know there’s The Leopard gig on July 5th, what other plans do The Losing Touch have this summer? You playing Tramlines?

We have some gigs scattered here and there. I think we have missed the boat on Tramlines in all honesty maybe next year. So plans this summer are to promote Save The Last One, enjoy what sun we have and walk my dog. Get steamed as well.

What other local bands impress you?

Regional Creeps have a song called Queen Jean which is class. And Georgina Gilmartin too.

And finally, the best and worst thing about being in a band?

The best thing is the music. The worst thing is the music.

With two quality singles under their belt (There Must Be More and Save The Last One), the boys head to The Donny Leopard for JM Promotions and Northern Exposure on July 5th. The band also play This Feeling‘s night at Leeds Lending Room on Saturday 13th July in Support of Inhaler.

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SIMON SAYNER

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