Wowing audiences up and down the country with their blistering live sets which star two front men, Toby Mitchell and Dan Able, The Velvet Hands also consists of Sam Hilder on bass and Louis Willbourne on drums. Over the past 3 to 4 years the band have supported the likes of Liam Gallagher, Paul Weller, Frank Turner and Fontaines DC. The debut album from The Velvet Hands ‘Party’s Over’ made Huw Stephen’s Radio 1 Album of the Week back in May 2018 with John Kennedy from Radio X saying…
“Every track they’ve released has been a hit as far as I’m concerned”
We are big fans and have followed the band right from the very start of Northern Exposure, so I was keen to see how the band was dealing with these strange times and to hear about their latest release!
So, I virtually caught with Dan for our new feature ‘Sixty Second Lockdown’…
First and foremost, how are you and your family handling lockdown?
It’s actually not been too bad, getting a lot of band work done and getting a lot of films watched and books read. Trying not to start drinking at 10:30 am has been a struggle though.
Can you introduce your band and what style of music would you describe yourself as?
We are The Velvet Hands, garage punk rockers – or bin bag rock, depending whose side you’re on.
What influences do you draw upon?
We love all sorts! From 60’s and 70’s stuff like The Stones and The Heartbreakers to modern bands like Hinds and Sports Team. Even artists like Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits. It’s important to draw influence from a range of places.
The Covid19 pandemic has hit us all hard, especially the music industry for obvious reasons. With live music sadly now non-existent for the foreseeable future, how do you plan to tackle promoting your music and band under the current circumstances?
What the world needs right now is a bunch of dudes doing acoustic covers to pull the nation through. Jokes aside its been interesting, you’ve got to pump out a lot more content it seems (acoustic cover aplenty). We’ve started doing some recordings on Zoom of us talking about how we wrote and recorded certain tracks. I think you can, and even should, show a more intimate side to your act now to help your fans with their boredom; live Q&A’s, live sessions from your room, unreleased demos and tracks. All that good stuff!
Are you off work and if so, are you spending much time writing?
We all work in bars outside of music so our jobs were the first to go, so all you really have left to do is write. And that’s why procrastinate that by doing everything apart from writing but man do we make great banana bread now.
Before lockdown what were you up to as a band? Any new releases we should be checking or looking out for?
We’ve just released our appropriately named new single ‘Fallout’ so give it a listen in your apocalypse bunker! It’s just gone into the Radio X evening playlist so that’s been some good news for us in dark times.
The band describe the track as…
“Fallout’ is written about the vampires that appear to just stumble into your life the moment you have the slightest hint of success in the London music scene. Uber cool boys and girls that are here to tell you just what you’re doing wrong, and how to change it, with no previous knowledge on the subject. It’s usually in a pub, normally because they’re a bit bored with their own lives, but they’re always, ALWAYS, wearing sunglasses.”
What tune of yours should readers listen to right now, that sums you up the best?
I think Fallout is a step forward, it’s heavier and darker than some of the older stuff, tighter too. A statement of intent. But Don’t Be Nice To Me, This Feeling, and Party’s Over are all good starting points on the poppier side.
To finish, any advice for our readers on how to keep sane in these unprecedented times?
Keep yourselves involved in art! Watch a film, listen to some new music, try and create!
IMAGINE you could play any venue right now, which would it be?
Any of the venues from our corona postponed tour? That or the Albert Hall.
IMAGINE you could be the frontman, drummer, guitarist or bassist of ANY band, who would you be?
Bassist in The Doors, its an open position.
IMAGINE you are locked down with your musical hero, who is it?
Gotta be Keith Richards, man has some stories to get you through the boredom!
BEST LOCKDOWN SNACK: Monster Munch
DREAM LOCKDOWN PARTNER: Snoop Lion
TOP LOCKDOWN TRACK: I’m Bored – Iggy Pop
TOP LOCKDOWN ALBUM: The Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack
BEST LOCKDOWN BOOZE: Anything you can get your hands on in great quantities
BETS THING ON THE TELLY: Sunderland ‘til I Die
The band recently shared this post regarding their headline tour which was due to go ahead in March with This Feeling:
We are buzzing to announce that our tour has been rescheduled for August! Obviously, nobody knows what the old COVID-19 situation will be like then but we wanna be able to play for you as soon as we are allowed!! Playing shows is the main source of income for most bands, so a ticket sale would really really be appreciated! All tickets bought for our March tour will still be valid, with refunds available if you can’t make the new date.
If the worst comes to worst and the tour has to be cancelled again it’ll obviously be refundable. We’re praying that doesn’t happen because we’ve got some MASSIVE plans for it to be a mad one. Get ya tickets here: https://velvethands.lnk.to/tour