Young and bursting with ambition and talent, Canterbury tell Grace Duffy why they’re tackling the industry head on
Every now and then, a band comes along that effortlessly makes you smile. Canterbury are one of those bands. The group formed out of school in Basingstoke a few years ago and are generating much excitement through their excellent debut album Thank You, released as a free download in late 2009.
“It’s only going to do you good,” says frontman Luke Pebble, when asked about their choice to make the album available for free. “More people can listen to your music, come to your shows, and buy merch. We don’t have to worry about money… we need to be self-sufficient, but it’s just getting people to shows, ‘cos shows aren’t fun if there’s no people there!”
The challenges that all foundling bands face are accentuated in the recessionary climate that pervades at the moment, and Canterbury are quick to enumerate the various hurdles with which they must contend.
“Basically having no money,” is one succinct way of putting it. “On a personal level, literally finding a job to make money and that allows you to tour, as most people aren’t fine with it. They work against each other. You’re like, ‘I don’t care about the job, it’s only money,’ but you need money to go on tour.” Pebble continues, “As well as the recession, you hear a lot about the music industry not wanting to take risks and sign bands. Big acts that sell millions of records aren’t selling as much so there’s not enough spare cash to go through to new artists, so that’s quite challenging.”
Nonetheless, the universally positive feedback the band has received both from critics and crowds ensure that they won’t be struggling for long. As of mid-December, the album was on 8,500 downloads, a figure they were hoping could reach 10,000 by Christmas (which it did). “The feedback has been amazing, it really has. Anyone’s who told us they liked the album have said they loved it. It’s way more than we could have ever imagined.”
In terms of crowd reaction, the English quintet are warm in their praise of Irish audiences. “When we played back with Billy Talent, we were pretty blown away. There is a kind of buzz, there seems to be a lot more energy for music over here. People make the most of it. It seems like people actually want a good night out instead of watching the one band they paid to see.”
Diligent and immensely likable, it is thus hoped that 2010 will see the band explode.
“We’re releasing two new songs as a single, touring with as many festivals as possible, and hopefully an EP at the end of September,” Pebble reveals.
10,000 downloads later, you can’t really argue with promise.
Canterbury will play in Belfast and Dublin on March 27th-28th as support for You Me At Six. You can download the album Thank You for free at www.canterburythankyou.com