In The Middle with Maribou State

Ahead of their appearance for Mint Club’s ‘End of an Era’ series, Clubs Editor, Caris Dollard, spoke to former Leeds uni students, Maribou State, about their current tour, the club’s legacy and their plans for festival season…  


On Friday you’ll be back in Leeds, a place close to your heart. How have you seen the city’s electronic music scene grow?

To be honest, we haven’t been following the development of the Leeds scene too closely but we try to play in the city as much as possible and always enjoy the shows we have there. There is a tangible buzz in Leeds that’s hard to put into words but it draws us back in –perhaps there is also a healthy amount of nostalgia at play here too. 

Mint Club has been a huge part of the clubbing community over the past 20 years. Do you have any fond memories from the venue?

We visited the venue a lot so of course have a lot of fond memories. It’s been ten years since we were students in the city and, like other young party-goers, we were partial to our share of late nights, so it’s safe to say that those memories are heavily blurred into one wonderful mess.

How would you like the club’s legacy to be remembered?

It’s very sad for something to come to an end after 20 years but I also feel that this was a very good run for a music venue to survive, especially in this age, and it says a lot for the staff and venue itself. The club has served the music scene in Leeds exceptionally well and the brand resonates beyond the city walls. I’d like to think that the organisers and owners will continue to promote Mint and will no doubt have some new venture bubbling in good time.

Tell us about your ‘Kingdom’ video and the ethos surrounding that?

The video was created by David Horsburgh at Agile Films. He wanted to create a film that was built up of a series of surreal picture postcards; frames that feel like vintage holiday postcards we all used to send, but each one chopped up and altered. Tying in with the album’s theme it’s essentially a video about travel, not just through our world but through a whole universe, encountering unlikely scenarios. 

Your UK tour has also sold out, does that add any extra pressure to the shows you’re performing at?

There is a pressure with any gig to make sure that we’re putting on the best possible show. To be honest, when the venue is sold out this actually becomes less pressurised. The fact that you know the venue will be full gives you a driving excitement in the run up to the show. It allows everyone to relax in terms of having to promote the show and it also alleviates financial stresses in terms of production budgets etc.

What can we expect from you upcoming Spotify live session? What kind of tracks will you be playing, and why? 

We recorded two live tracks for Spotify at RAK studios in West London back in November. The first track we did, ‘Glasshouses’, was from our new album, Kingdoms In Colour. On the original we recorded our friends singing the final vocal part with Holly Walker so we thought it would be a really nice touch to bring those guys in to record that part live. We also had a string quartet performing with us. Matt Kelly who played Viola arranged all the parts. It was important for us to involve Matt as he also arranged the majority of the string parts on the album. Neil Cowley, who also features on the album version, played Piano for us. We also recorded a cover of Dusty Springfield’s ‘Spooky’, because it’s a banger!

Festival season will also be on us soon, can you tell us anywhere you will be at this summer yet?

It’s hard to say as I’m not aware of what has and hasn’t been announced yet. What I can say is that 95% of all the shows this year are with our full live band and that we’re doing a boatload of festivals across the UK & Europe. We were very excited to announce last week that we’re headlining Lost Village, we’re super excited to be playing at All Points East in London and also that we’ve recently been confirmed for our favourite festival of all time…

And finally, for anyone that’s not been to Mint Club, why should they go for their final run of parties? 

There’s a great selection of artists performing at a fantastic club whose days are sadly numbered; it’s a no-brainer really!

Maribou State play at Mint Club this Friday. Tickets are still available.

Caris Dollard

(main image: Pilerats)