Former BIMM Brighton band, The Island Club, have the world at their feet. With a new single and several up-and-coming live dates already confirmed, we’re expecting big things from this indie five-piece.
We recently caught up with the band to discuss their time at BIMM Brighton, their current success and the lessons they’ve learned so far. But first, here’s a bit of background about the band and their journey so far.
The Island Club consists of BIMM Brighton ‘Class of 2016’ graduates, Michael (vocals/songwriting), Julien (guitar), Sam (drums), David (bass) and Barney (synths). Their sound has been described as ‘dance-infused pop with acute sonic awareness’, which takes inspiration from the psychedelic and groovy offerings of Peace, Tame Impala and Chic founder Nile Rodgers, as they elaborate:
“Each member of the band has their own influences which contribute to the sound of The Island Club, although we do collectively have shared influences such as Tame Impala, Peace, Michael Jackson, Grimes, NAO and Alt-J. We don’t directly reference these artists when writing as we want to create music which is unique, although these artists do naturally work their way into the sound.”
It’s this diverse sound that first caught the attention of BIMM Brighton tutors. The music press has also been complimentary, with Clash, TMRW Magazine, BBC Introducing – The South, Radio X and Amazing Radio all singing their praises. The band have enjoyed a growing fan base since their inception, mainly thanks to their awesome debut single, Paper Kiss, and a string of live shows across the UK. Commenting on their favourite gigs, the indie starlets said:
“We’ve played some really cool shows over the past year including; KOKO (Club NME), Supporting DID [Dog Is Dead], a sold out headline show at The Prince Albert here in Brighton and this year’s The Great Escape. We even played a show just outside Bordeaux, France, last year, which was an incredible experience. It’s amazing to see people climbing on board to what we are doing and enjoying the music, to us that means the world.”
On the subject of studying at BIMM, Michael, Julien, Sam and David spoke enthusiastically about the teaching staff and the opportunities provided for their students.
“It provided a platform to meet other musicians, and that’s how we all met one another. There’s good knowledge in BIMM from the tutors, but you really do get what you put into it. You have to be willing to put the effort in outside of BIMM.”
Friends of BIMM, current students and graduates will know of the Masterclass Sessions, which are regularly hosted across their colleges. The workshops often feature interviews, Q&As, demonstrations and live performances from a host of leading musicians and industry experts, from Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason to Lianne La Havas. The Island Club describe their favourite Masterclass Sessions:
“Two masterclasses spring to mind, Ben Thompson (Two Door Cinema Club) and Guthrie Govan. Both were really inspiring to hear about their experiences of working in the music industry,” they enthused. “Those Masterclasses are great to keep focused, almost like a reality check, encouraging us to continue working hard improving every element of the band.”
One thing’s for sure, The Island Club’s hard work has definitely paid off. The band is due to play some highly anticipated shows (full tour dates below) to promote their new single, the outstanding Let Go. This 2016 tour will include shows in London and Brighton, as well as a homecoming appearance at the second ever Together The People Festival in September.
BIMM are incredibly proud of The Island Club and everything they’ve achieved so far. They follow in the footsteps of such BIMM Brighton luminaries as James Bay and Tom Odell. We’re certainly tipping them for great things.
The Island Club will play the following tour dates, this summer:
Sat 23 July – The Tooting Tram & Social, London
Fri 29 July – Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London
Thurs 18 Aug – The Joker, Brighton
Sun 4 Sept– Together The People Festival
Fri 16 Sept – The Finsbury, London