The London-based quartet on festivals and feeling the fear
Shannon COTTON
18:02 25th June 2019

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Some new bands have the ability to capture you entire consciousness from the first chord you hear them play. Eliciting punchy riffs, brooding percussion and a Northern growling vocal, Talk Show, for us, are one of those bands. 

Led by vocalist and guitarist Harrison Swann - and joined by guitarist Tom Holmes, bassist George Sullivan and drummer Chloe MacGregor - the London-based four-piece have set tongues wagging for all of the right reasons, so we had to catch up with the band ahead of their set at the JägerHaus, co-curated by DIY magazine, on Bring Me The Horizon day at All Points East. 

Gigwise: Talk Show! How are you guys?

Harrison Swann: I think we’re all just fucking dead excited to be fair, this is like the first big festival we’ve done, so we’re all a bit like ‘woah!’ We all got on the buggy here and we were just like, ‘this is the best thing ever’ [laughs].

GW: What number festival is this for you so far? Because you did Dot to Dot last weekend right?

HS: Yeah we did Dot to Dot and did a couple of others as well.

George Sullivan: Probably like six or seven

GW: Did you come to festivals before you were a band?

GS: Yeah this is partly why we’re so excited to be here, over the last few years we’ve been to loads of festivals so it’s weird to be on the other side of it now. It’s exciting.

HS: Yeah we’re just dead excited because we’ve all been to festivals up and down the country and to go to festivals we’ve never been to ourselves and be like ‘yeah this has got a good vibe to it’ as well, it’s sound.

GW: What have been your favourites?

GS: Great Escape was amazing. I also really enjoyed Dot to Dot last weekend.

HS: It just depends, like some festivals are just better for other things than others. I mean when we went to Switzerland for Lauter Festival, they just treated us so well, it was such a great space that they had us in. We were on at like quarter to one in the morning, it was cool to play a set that late. It just depends on every festival what you prefer.

GW: When you’re on stage is there anyone you take inspiration from?

HS: I think the people I take inspiration from on performance aren’t actually alive. But as a band, our writing and performing inspiration are kind of from The Stranglers and The Cure. Our inspiration sometimes comes from decades before.

GW: Is there anyone that people might be surprised to know that you’re inspired by?

HS: We all love Elvis. We’ve got weird tunes we always listen to in the car. Tears For Fears is a good one actually, we always listen to them in the car but I don’t know how much of them seeps into writing. It’s a really good question.

GW: Are there any other creative mediums that inspire you? Am I right in thinking you find inspiration in comic books, like with ‘Fast & Loud’?

HS: It’s important to me when writing music to not just take inspiration from music but also from other mediums because you never know what you might find and discover, and what you find can really resonate with you. I love art, I was a drama kid at school so I love going to the theatre. Obviously I go to gigs all the time but it’s nice to do something completely different and be like ‘oh I’ve never seen anything like that before’. 

GS: I think that’s something that sort of comes across in our set.

HS: That’s the thing, its not art, its not a painting, its not theatre, it’s just about the message, you get up and perform.

GW: Why ‘Fast & Loud’ and not slow and quiet?

GS: I don’t think we’re very slow and quiet.

HS: I think with the nature of that song I think it’s just key to state what it is, simplicity is key. So that’s why, were not the kind of people to turn it into a joke because its not slow and quiet. That’s just what it is, just very simple.

GW: What else have you guys got coming up?

GS: Well we have a bit of time off then we have a couple of festivals at the end of summer. We’re doing Neverworld in Kent, We’re doing Dials, We’re doing Visions, we’re off to Manchester tomorrow.

Chloe MacGregor: We have a show in Bristol too. We’ve got a few things cooking up.

HS: We’ve got some secret things planned which is pretty cool. 

GS: I think we’re going to run a few nights over summer as well.

HS: We used to run our own club night and that’s kind of how we got started and we just want to bring that back a bit because its just good fun. Then we’re going into the studio to record our next single which I think we’re all dying for.

GW: And lastly, what gives you the ‘Fear’?

GS: I don’t like moths.

HS: Oh knowing that we’ve got to wake up and meet in the morning and waking up to a phone call going ‘where are you? We’ve been waiting here for half an hour’, now that is where I get the fear.

GW: Does that happen quite a lot?

GS: No never, never. It’s the idea of it.

HS: It’s only me that’s done it to be fair. I was what like two hours late to that Manchester one? No it was like an hour.

GS: We were outside his house, banging on his door, ringing the doorbell, trying to get him out the door.

HS: Oh god, I was out cold.

GS: We had to go round the corner and get breakfast and wait for you to wake up.

CM: Your phone was under your pillow, no?

HS: No it was by my head, like by my face! All you guys burst in and woke me up.

GS: We went into his room.

HS: And I was just like out cold. Yeah that is the fear.

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Photo: Anna Smith