When Chris and Abi moved to London they recruited Ed, Jamie and Harri and began their musical incarnation as Bat and Ball. The siblings’ writing other. Their musical ideas are messages that each needs to decrypt. The songs’ confessional lyrics are hidden behind imaginary, shadowy characters that reveal themselves in the dark dreaminess of the music.
The autumn 2013 release of their debut EP We Prefer It In The Dark received rave reviews in the press with The Guardian, The Independent, NME, The Line Of Best Fit, Clash, and Notion magazine amongst the music press lining up to heap praise on the band. With radio play from Huw Stephens and Jen Long & Ally McCrae at Radio 1, and John Kennedy at XFM, the band finished 2013 as one of the hottest new acts in the UK.
At the start of this year Bat and Ball performed at Koko’s in London as part of the BBC Introducing/Club NME series and the band will continue to play shows and festival dates (including The Great Escape and Live at Leeds) throughout the summer. The also played a headline show at The Shacklewell Arms on 28th April, where they delivered a compelling live performance, made of hypnotising sounds and fascinating vocal performances.
On the occasion, we had a Q&A with the guys about life and music.
Q: How would you describe your sound?
A: We write pop songs that are crafted, never straight lined and have the lyrics and melody at the heart. It’s 5 musicians with wide-ranging musical backgrounds and taste. The results are melodic, dynamic, sometimes dancey and sometimes crushing. Songs that hit you in the centre.
Q: What’s the story behind the name Bat And Ball?
A: Our name is a metaphor. Bat and Ball suggests things that go together. It holds a lot of meaning for us and we decided upon the name before we wrote a single song. But the truth is, a name is just something thrown over things. Of course people are keen to know the meaning of Bat and Ball, and we’ve had a lot of fun answering that question in different ways. A name that plays with people’s understanding is a good thing.
Q: What musical background have you got? What are your main influences/inspirations?
A: I love pop. Many of my influences have been lyric and voice centred artists. I was completely obsessed with artists like Ryan Adams, PJ Harvey and Regina Spektor when i really started to write songs, I still listen to them a lot. It’s probably not explicit in our music of these influences, as all the band have a very broad tastes and influences, from techno to jazz.
Q: Any particular artist you’d like to collaborate with?
A: Any of the above really. If I could make a pop country album with Ryan Adams, i would be quite fulfilled.
Q: Are you working on a full album?
A: Yes. We’re working towards our debut album at the moment. We’ve got some festivals this summer but in between the focus will be on writing, writing, writing. The album will include some songs people have heard at our shows and some brand new ones too.
Full set list:
Stops My Mouth
We Prefer It In The Dark