Chapel Club


They have just released their debut to almost unanimous critical aclaim and are about to embark on a huge UK headline tour, so i thought i’d catch up with the band before things got even more hectic for them throughout 2011…

So, did you guys have a good Christmas and New Year?

We did. Though it seems a long time ago now.

Your album is complete and released into the wider world, are you happy with the outcome?

The response has been overwhelmingly positive in the main, so yeah, we’re in a good place right now. Even the criticism is cool with me, it’s just nice to be part of the discussion. Though there was one review that read more like a poison pen letter to me than an appraisal of the record – it was almost completely empty of any context or information. That did rile me a bit, because it seemed kinda cheap and silly and unhelpful to any potential readers, plus a little unfair to the rest of the band! But I shouldn’t dwell on it, because generally we’ve been shown a lot of love.

No hiccups or compromises?

Those are two very specific words! What have you heard? There are always hiccups and it’s pretty rare that anyone in a five-piece band doesn’t have to compromise somewhere along the line when making an album. But we’ve learned a lot this year and we’ve done some good stuff and I think we can hold our heads up going forward. And I’m very excited about what’s ahead.

Give me 5 words to describe the album?

I get asked this a lot and I’m running out of new ways of defining it, so forgive me if any of these are repeated elsewhere… Lush, loud, layered, lovelorn, literate? That seems fair to me.

The name ‘Palace’ am i right in saying that was originally the bands name? Why the change?

It had already been used by Will Oldham. Can’t steal from Bonnie Prince Billy.

Your about to embark on a huge UK tour? Excited?

I am excited, yeah, the most excited I’ve ever been for a tour. Hopefully a lot of people will have heard the record by the time we start and it’ll be a real celebratory atmosphere. We’ve worked hard over the last year, trying to convince people we’re worth their time. Hopefully now at least some of the audience will arrive at the venue already convinced and we can all just enjoy ourselves!

Do you consider yourselves a live band? or more of a studio act?

Both, I guess. Ultimately, I probably prefer the studio because I’m pretty self-conscious and shy – plus I enjoy writing new songs more than anything else. But when the live shows are working – and they do tend to work more often than not, I think – they have a magic of their own that’s quite hard to match. Plus it’s always fun to meet the fans.

What’s on the Chapel Club stereo at the moment?

Vincent Gallo, Gene Pitney and Joao Gilberto.

If people are checking you out for the first time, live or on record. What would you say to them?

Enjoy, but don’t get too comfortable. Next time around will be different again.

You catch Chapel Club around the UK now (Dates Below) and click below for the lead single from the excellent ‘Palace’ which is out now on Polydor.

Chapel Club’s UK tour dates are:

Bristol, Thekla – February 3
Liverpool, Academy 2 – 3
Leeds, Cockpit – 7
Nottingham, Bodega – 8
Glasgow, King Tuts – 10
Dundee, Doghouse – 11
Newcastle, Cluny – 12
Birmingham, Hare & Hounds – 13
Southampton, Talking Heads – 15
London, Heaven – 16