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This week I’m catching up with The Utopiates for a ‘Get To Know Us’ interview. The band are set to headline Sidney & Matilda tomorrow in Sheffield for This Feeling. They are a relatively new band who have lost no time in making a solid name for themselves with an impressive 90k streams under their belt! The Utopiates are Dan Popplewell (vocals/guitar); Ed Goodshaw (Keys); Josh Redding (Lead Guitar); Luke Nottingham (Bass); and Joe Jeffreys (Drums). Their latest EP ‘Anywhere But Here’ is available to stream now on Spotify below. 

The band has also been chosen as one of This Feeling ‘Big in 2022’ bands and are playing Leeds Brundell Club in January. They’re in good company,  following in the footsteps of the likes of The Skinner Brothers, Red Rum Club and Rats on the ‘Big In’ lines ups and I’m certain that this is one band you will be hearing a lot from in 2022! Be sure to get a ticket for tomorrow’s show here and join us a Christmas knees up! 

Tell me a bit about your band & why should we check you out? 
We’re a brand new band, formed in Lockdown and launched in January 2021, with over 90K streams online and a headline tour with This Feeling under our belts already. We also supported the Pigeon Detectives and played the Shiiine On Weekender in 2021 and people are loving us as a live act. We’ve got a really good fan-base building and people seem to really love what we do. 2022 sees us playing This Feeling’s Big in 2022 gig at the Brudenell in Leeds as well as our own events in London in February and April. We’ve started work on our debut album and will steadily be adding tracks and completing in time for Autumn 2022. It’s going to be quite the album. 13 new tracks to go at and single releases incoming from February onwards. Look out for Devolution, our next single. We nailed it!
Who are your major influences and why?  
New Order, Talk Talk, Hendrix, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The Cure, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Verve, Neil Young, Oasis, Radiohead. There’s 5 of us so this list could go on and on and there’d be some odd tangents too. We’re a mixed bag. More recently though: Fontaines DC, Working Men’s Club, Yard Act and Feet. There are some amazing bands around at the minute. 
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Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs (where do you get your inspiration from)?  
Dan (singer) is the main writer. He built up around 50 demos from his time in lockdown sat on Logic. Most of our songs have come from there but more recently we’ve also worked on things together as well. The demos certainly evolve when we take them into the recording studio in Leeds with our producer, Andy Hawkins and each member gets to add their take on it. The earlier tunes were homemade and stuck to the blueprint of the demos but the exciting thing now is that we’ve really become a team and we pick everything apart and work on it much more methodically and with the guidance of a top producer in a proper studio. So the quality of our output next year will be much higher and we expect to make waves with the album. Dan writes about his own experiences, people around him, his fears and worries, love and life, the state of the world, the bigger questions and occasionally politics. The usual I guess, but we’ve never written a song that didn’t mean something to someone today and we hope people realise we believe in everything we write.

Who is your favourite unsigned/underground band at the moment and why? 
We played with a band called Ugly Mothers in London who were class. Really deep, politically driven lyrics with some absolute bollocks to it. Big guitar riffs, great singer and a real edge to them. Great live act and their two singles are quality too.
What’s in your car CD player right now or the last song played on Spotify?  
As I said above Yard Act, Feet, Working Mens Club and Fontaines DC. They dominated my Spotify wrapped this year, for new bands anyway.
Describe to me your live performance? 
We’re honestly tight as fuck and we definitely place importance on being upbeat and keeping a tight groove to it all. We practised the set every week for months on end waiting to gig (socially distanced, masked up and as it’s a work venture; we’ll add!). We have a big electronic element going on in a lot of tunes and we’ve made sure we can nail that live. It’s a lot of work for Ed on keys but it’s worth it. And then there’s Josh! The boy plays like John Squire and constantly blows us away with what he does with his guitar. It’s worth getting a ticket just to see him.
On that note do you have any upcoming shows? 
We have three headline shows left with This Feeling: 16th Nottingham, 17th Birmingham, 18th Sheffield. We play London next week as our last gig of the year; 21st December at The Water Rats. Santa hats optional! And then we have ‘Big In 2022’ on January 22nd at the Brudenell in Leeds. Tickets for all are available through the first page of our website: theutopiates.com Look out for announcements on 2 events happening on Feb 4th and April 1st next year too. They’re going to be real special ones for us! 
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Keep an eye on The Utopiates on the follow links below. Tickets for the ‘Big In 2022’ show at The Brudenell in Leeds on the 22nd January can be bought here…. www.thisfeeling.co.uk/bigin2022

QUICKFIRE (by DAN)


BASE – London (but Leeds born and bred!)
FOOTBALL – Leeds
GUILTY PLEASURE – Charles and Eddie, Look Into My Eyes or Simply Red, Money’s Too Tight To Mention
HERO – Liam Gallagher, Lennon AND Mccartney, Paul Weller 
VILLAIN – Bastille – I just don’t get it?! 
BEST COMEDY SHOW – Peep Show
THREADS – Not that arsed, to be honest. Ask Luke or Josh! They’re the stylish ones.
HOOFS – Defo Adidas 
AT THE BAR? – Stella and then Rum and Coke’s later.
GIG YOU WISHED YOU’D BEEN AT – Spike Island maybe? Or Hendrix at Woodstock. 
NIGHT OUT WITH ANYONE – If it’s an evening in the pub, Bill Bailey. Could listen to him all night. A lock-in with a few instruments knocking about! Imagine. For a good old sesh it’s hard to beat some of the wreckheads I already knock about with, to be honest!
FILM – Changes every week but Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels is my go-to classic. Loved it as a youth. 
SOUNDTRACK – Probably Lock Stock again.
TOP TUNE OF ALL TIME – Behave! One song? Impossible.
TOP OF THE POPS – Mostly rubbish as pop always is but I’m not a total misery; there’s always cool stuff out there and people need to believe in the youth more. I see a really good decade of brilliant artists ahead if we can just get past this Covid nightmare!

THREE WORDS – Sum up me in 3 words? Impatient, Loud, Annoying!


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