Here at Clash we like to bring you new music first. And we’re pleased to carry on that tradition with Lucy Rose. The Warwickshire-born singer/songwriter has been performing at London open mic nights since she moved to the Smoke shortly after completing her A-Levels at 18. As she learnt her trade, and became known at the various folk nights that the capital has to offer, she met one Jack Steadman (Bombay Bicycle Club) and lent her vocal to the title track of last year’s acoustic album ‘Flaws’. Tonight she plays her own single launch at London’s Cargo, for debut single ‘Middle of the Bed’.
How did you first get into music?
My mum was always quite keen on us playing instruments when we went to school. I always ended up playing in orchestras and bits and bobs. I started with clarinet, then saxophone and then I started playing drums because I was jealous of my sister. It was only late on that I wanted to start playing guitar – so I saved up my money and I bought a guitar and taught myself. It’s the only instrument I can play that I’ve never had a lesson on!
What made you want to learn guitar?
I’m trying to think what it was and the only thing I can think of was that I used to get the train to school, and there wasn’t much on the road from the train station except this guitar shop. A tiny one, run by this old man. I think if that guitar shop wasn’t there I’d never have been interested. I went in there after school one day and he did me a really good deal. But I was terrible for so long too.
And then you moved down to London when you were 18?
Yeah, as soon as I’d finished my A-Levels I moved down. Just started researching on the internet about where to do some open mics and started trekking around, doing them every night – learning how to use the equipment and plugging guitars in. Stuff that I’d never learnt how to do before.
How did you come to appear on the Bombay Bicycle Club album?
It all went on from these nights. I started gigging and experimenting with different musicians and friends and then I met Bombay in a club in Angel where I was going to be playing a show. Jack (Steadman) had heard some of my stuff, and I’d obviously heard theirs, and we became friends. It all progressed from there, and when the album Flaws came out, Jack very nonchalantly asked me if I wanted to put some vocals on this new track he’d written. We did it within like half an hour and then the album came out and this track was on there.
When you started out were you writing your own material?
I’ve always sang my own stuff. It’s only until really recently that I’ve even attempted a cover. It’s because I taught myself guitar, so it’s all in really funny tunings. To learn someone else’s parts is always really difficult. My material has really changed over the last few years though, through people recommending artists and bringing more influences in. My musical mind has been broadened.
What do you write about?
I’m not the kind of person who can sit with a notebook and write their thoughts down in a park or where ever. The only way I can do it is if I have a guitar in my hand. Normally, I wont have a clue what a song is about until I’m a verse and a chorus in and then I’ll realise what it is I’m singing about. Until then it’s just chords, words and melodies. I normally have the TV on as a distraction actually.
What do you sing about?
It’s all quite self-explanatory. My lyrics are quite candid, when you listen to the songs it’s very clear. They’re normally not about one particular moment – it’s all based on experiences. I can’t write stories and things.
Are you making an album?
I hope so, one day. I’ve got enough material to start and now that we’ve found the right recording template with ‘Middle of the Bed’ I feel readier than ever to do it. Hopefully after we’ve brought out the single we can follow it up with another one and see how things go.
What’s next for you?
We’re playing a couple of festivals with Bombay and then there’s a little UK tour from July 25. We’re going back to Scotland to play Inverness at Belladrum but playing the Underage festival the night before. I’m going to have to get a sleeper train all the way so it’s all busy!
The single launch is July 5 at Cargo.
Words by Sam Ballard
Watch the video to ‘Middle of the Bed’ below.