In The Middle with The Pylons

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Hailing from Lincoln, The Pylons are already somewhat of a legend in their hometown. With a stage presence that somewhat opposes their light-hearted, hilarious, and often ridiculous off-stage personalities, they’re a difficult band to pigeonhole.

Their story is a classic one – most of the group met at school, and their singer joined after they crossed paths at university. They’ve known each other “too long”, in their words, and are consequently so cohesive they often finish each other’s sentences while talking about moussaka, clay pigeons, and vegetable rankings.

Image via Lyas Photography

In between the stories of Fisher Price toys and Scottish seals, they reveal that the name came about through a video game. “We went through loads before we settled on Pylons,” they explain, and recollect some of the discarded names. ‘Sticks and Strings’ and ‘Across the Road’ were among them; “As you can imagine, that came about because at one point I was on one side of the road, and the other boys were across the road,” Phil explains laughing. The same simplicity is what led them to settle on The Pylons; it was a line that Joe came across in a video game, and they thought it was better than anything else they’d conceived.

Some have compared their earlier music to The 1975, which they were happy to accept. They list Bear’s Den and Bombay Bicycle Club among their other influences, also citing Radiohead and Celine Dione. “Dione’s definitely more emotionally inspiring – my heart will definitely go on”, Crosley elaborates, in another instance where the band find it hard to stay serious or on topic.

New fans might find it difficult to locate their music, and the boys explain it’s because “if someone’s going to find our music we want them to stumble across the latest stuff. If someone’s interested in us, and listen to some of the old stuff then we don’t want them to sort of expect that and then we go oh, we can’t do that anymore.” All their material featuring the previous singer is gone; there’s undoubtable evidence of a new tone, slightly new influences and an altered vibe to the music.

Not many people can claim to have started a festival off the back of their band, but The Pylons are part of that few. “No one would book us. We’d do our own gigs, so we put on this gig in a venue in our home town at, just cause we wanted to headline that room. The festival was my 18th birthday party and I said to the lads let’s put together a bit of a stage at the bottom of the garden and we can headline that as well, and we got some other friends who play music to come along and jam; it was great. And at the ends of it everyone was like great, we’ll see you again next year. It was only supposed to be a one-off thing, but its grown and grown and grown.” And it has – last year Fickle Friends headlined, and this year they have 2000 people coming to the field in Lincolnshire. They’ve just rebranded to Beyond The Woods, but everyone’s still involved. Line-up, Operations Manager, tea making – the band all have pivotal roles.

All their material featuring the previous singer is gone; there’s undoubtable evidence of a new tone, slightly new influences and an altered vibe to the music.

The boys have already played Glastonbury, and had Newton Faulkner watch them from side of stage at YNot. “I quite like festivals because people just wander in – like YNot, people went mental,” the bassist explains,  and they’re equally complimentary to the northern crowds at their gigs. “Northern people are generally nicer. When you play in London you have no idea who you’re playing in front of. It’s a bit apprehensive, but Northerners smile more.”

“We’ve got no agenda,” they laugh, in regard to their lyrics. “Some of them have a rhetoric, but most of them are kind of just a bit subjective. You’ll read them and think that doesn’t really make sense, but someone else will perceive it in their own way.” They write about what they know, what they feel, and what’s personal. “I’m not a sort of Matt Healy, sitting in my car shooting heroin. I’d love to be but…”.  The impression seems to be that they take their difficult times and absolve the emotion through lyric writing. The result isn’t gloomy but light-hearted; their sound remains whimsical and not melancholic. ‘Got a good song out of it though’ seems to be the motto for any bad turn.

Their gigs are experimental in sound and performance, and their music still evolving. “I think this year is a lot more about making sure we’re putting the music out to people as well, make sure we play as many shows as we can.” Joey adds, “I still think the live shows very embryonic as well,” and with this observation the group are incomprehensible from laughter. “Embryonic? Who are you and what have you done to Joey”, and “I thought you meant ambient, I thought that’s what you were trying to say” are some of the lines that perhaps best summarise their reaction. The earlier disclaimer of not associating themselves with characters like Matty Healy is here clearly observed.  

Check out their next single release on the 22nd of March, and come along to Beyond the Woods if you fancy seeing a band that are hugely entertaining both on and off stage.

Image via The Pylons on Facebook