Friday, June 25

The Dean’s List: Music for your grandma, music for your kids, the irresistible charm of York’s Bull


The Dean’s List: Music for your grandma, music for your kids, the irresistible charm of York’s Bull

The rhythm section, always providing support. Top (l-r): Tom Beer, Dan Lucas; Bottom: Kai West, Tom Gabbatiss. Photo: Vice NL, Amsterdam.

The song “Love Goo” put Bull on my radar for The Dean’s List about a year ago. Then they dropped “Bedroom Floor” which blew me away. A really nice combination of sweet melody, tasty chord changes and artful production. The indie rock quartet from York really got it right on this tune. So I reached out to them. Don’t bother looking for “Bedroom Floor” just yet, it’s in the fridge until January 2021. That’s when EMI records will be releasing the band’s debut album.  Over Zoom I had a lovely chat with Tom and Dan, two super charming young men from York, U.K.  

With the bare necessities in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (l-r): Tom Beer, Kai West, Dan Lucas, Tom Gabbatiss. Photo: John Pearson.

With the bare necessities in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (l-r): Tom Beer, Kai West, Dan Lucas, Tom Gabbatiss. Photo: John Pearson.

We spoke for a while about their “strange bubble” of a medieval hometown, their U.S. tour, about life during the pandemic, and of course, signing to EMI. They said that after the pandemic hit they’ve had to stop playing shows but that they were kind of enjoying the break. They’ve been making music videos and preparing for a tour early in 2021, if all goes well virus-wise, to support the album. 

Tom and Dan are very earnest about their aspirations. 

“I think we’ve always just wanted to write hits that everyone could enjoy,” says Dan, “music for your grandma, music for your kids.”

And why not? What’s not to like about Bull? They’ve been playing together for ten years and seem to have found, not so much a formula, but a working method that encourages creation and innovation. And it’s all rooted to York. Where their friends and bandmates are. 

“It (York) has informed our friendships massively which has informed our music. Everyone knows everyone. We never wanted to leave,” says Beer, adding with a laugh, that “every day is a summer holiday.” 

In the Zone at Vera Groningen, Netherlands. (l-r) Dan Lucas, Tom Beer, Tom Gabbatiss, Kai West. Photo: Chaos

In the Zone at Vera Groningen, Netherlands. (l-r) Dan Lucas, Tom Beer, Tom Gabbatiss, Kai West. Photo: Chaos

They haven’t been shy about getting around, though, they’ve toured the U.S. and they’ve spent plenty of time in the Netherlands seeing bands like Canshaker Pi and Pip Blom. They’ve also been working with a man they described as the sixth Pavement, Remko Schouten, a Dutch producer who did live sound for indie rock legends Pavement for years.

Getting a taste of what this band is capable of, knowing that the production of their album was in such good hands, it’s difficult to wait until January 2021. But until then, they’ve got a couple of singles (and videos) we can enjoy.    

Greetings from Planet Zoom. (l-r) Tom Beer, Dan Lucas, Doyle Dean. Photo: Doyle Dean

Greetings from Planet Zoom. (l-r) Tom Beer, Dan Lucas, Doyle Dean. Photo: Doyle Dean

You can watch Bull’s “Green” music video and their “Disco Living” music video. You can check out an interview I did with Canshaker Pi. You can, and probably should, listen to The Dean’s List where you’ll hear more music for your grandma, music for your kids.

Is this real life? This is Bull. Drawing by "The Annoyingly Cool" Holly Beer.

Is this real life? This is Bull. Drawing by “The Annoyingly Cool” Holly Beer.

 



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