Black Country unsigned band The Taboo Club prepare for Birmingham gig
The concept of ‘natural’ is more on-trend than ever before – flavours, colours, holidays in the wild…errr…bands?
That is how The Taboo Club got together. Despite their name it is not some weird clandestine meeting or cult that brought them together, as bassist Joshua Rochelle-Bates explains.
“It all just seems to have happened quite naturally really, I think all of us were just looking for something genuine and original to invest ourselves in as musicians,” the Bloxwich lad says.
“When we started working together it was clear there was a common trend between all of us where we just wanted to be in a real band where there was no preconception of the sound, where everyone contributed equally to the song writing process to be involved in something authentic.”
And drummer Aiden Price, from Wednesbury, added: “It was a case of five very different people from different musical backgrounds wanting to really push ourselves and delve into styles of music we hadn't done in previous projects.”
And thus the concept of The Taboo Club was born. And it has flourished. Like a fine broth of everything you find at the back of the fridge when meal-time arrives and you haven’t gotten to Aldi yet. A melting pot of influences held together by the glue of five lads enjoying themselves and wanting to grow musically.
“We all bring our own thing, we all have differing influences and between us we’re experienced in a wide array of genres,” says Willenhall’s Ben Oerton, the band’s saxophone and keys maestro. “Our philosophy from the very start was just have everyone write the songs collaboratively instead of one principal songwriter, it means the music is a true representation of all of us.”
So by picking up all these styles and influences along their paths, we assume The Taboo Club is not their first collective crack at the industry then. And we would be correct.
“We've all played in other projects before but I think we all agree that this is the first project to really put us outside of our respective comfort zones,” Aiden adds. “It makes for really interesting, fun and challenging writing sessions. We've matured as people and musicians and I think that has culminated in The Taboo Club and our approach towards doing things.”
“I’ve been in a few bands now. I’ve been writing songs since my early teens, but this is the furthest I’ve gotten with any musical endeavour, so there are still plenty of new experiences involved,” admits Jack Ingaglia, the band’s guitarist from Coventry.
“For instance, I’d never played London until a couple of weeks ago. I’d never taken my kit through the underground, played as exciting a show or had to fit six people into one hotel room – seven if you count Ben’s keyboard.
“We were the wildcard from out of town, but the response was amazing and we can’t wait to get back there. I’ve also never felt more like I’m on the same page as my bandmates creatively than in this group.”
That page is as eclectic as their origins.
“The darker side of things can be fun to play with, but we’re not picky when it comes to genres,” Jack continues. “I could give you a long list of groups that use the standard late-20th century band structure in an unexpected way. I think we’re all aiming to join their ranks.”
“I think the truth is we all just inspire each other as creatives, each with our own influences, ideas and respective voices being mixed together,” adds the fifth member – Rob Lilley, the band’s vocalist from Exeter.
Those inspirations culminated in the release of their debut single, Strangers, last July. And they followed that up with the left-field, six-minute ode to a serial killer in Bible John. But the mixture of themes has worked well for them so far.
“I think Strangers was quite a daring first release because it’s one of our more experimental songs,” adds Rob. “It shows what we’re about and doesn’t pull any punches. It sets the tone for what we have to come. I’ve been very pleased with the reaction it’s received; it’s a song that I think challenges listeners, but I think music fans respect what we are trying to create.”
And talking about Bible John, Aiden added: “It's a very different song to Strangers and much more menacing. We wanted people to get an idea of our eclectic approach and hopefully see that there isn't a typical The Taboo Club song.”
Both have been overseen by the watchful eyes and astute ears of Ryan Pinson at RML studios in Wolverhampton. It’s been a fruitful relationship for The Taboo Club, and one they’d like to continue.
“Pinson has been invaluable to us, he has such a good ear and intimate attention to detail,” Ben enthuses. “He’s just someone who is equally as invested in the final product as we are. Whenever we go into the studio he is always the sixth voice in the room, because at the end of the day it’s his name being stamped on it too.”
For those yet to hear the sound, an opportunity awaits at The Night Owl on Birmingham’s Lower Trinity Street on March 7 as part of the latest Kaleidoscope series alongside Sancho Panza and Gork.
“We see gigging as almost a theatrical experience, and we like to think when we play we’re sharing something special and connecting with people on some level,” says Josh.
And beyond that, it really could be a big 2019 for the band, as he adds: “We’re always writing, so I imagine a lot of our time is going to be spent gigging and getting more material together so we can play even longer shows at some point.
“We have a headline show coming up at The Sunflower Lounge on June 7 and we’ve been flirting with the idea of secret shows towards the end of the year both in Birmingham and Wolverhampton.”
And Aiden teases: “We're heading into the studio to record new music, but we aren’t in any rush to release anything physically just yet. We want to invest as much time as we can into releasing something that is a true reflection of who we are.”
And what that is probably won’t stay a Taboo for much longer as the membership list of this Club expands beyond their wildest dreams.
The Taboo Club can be found on Twitter and Facebook, both @TheTabooClubUK. Tickets for their show at The Night Owl in Birmingham can be bought from http://livebrum.co.uk/venues/the-night-owl