An interview with Caleb Allport, under a tree in the pouring rain.

Traipsing across a field in the pouring rain was what I found myself doing at mid-afternoon at Ashcombury Music Festival, with Release front man Caleb Allport. Having not long stepped off stage after performing their set of high energy originals, Allport looked drained. After finding a tree at the back of the festival site to shelter under, I wiped the rain from my dictaphone and got to work interviewing the young vocalist.

How are you doing? Are you okay?

I’m… wet. I don’t know about okay.

Did you enjoy your set?

I did yeah. It was really good and I’m really surprised that so many people came out for it, considering the weather. Bit grim innit.

It’s not the best. The last time I saw Release was at Alsager Music Festival back in July. What have you been up to since then?

We’ve played a few gigs outside of Stoke. We played the Night & Day Cafe in Manchester which was f*cking mint actually. Probably the best gig we’ve done outside of Stoke. We’ve played Leicester although that might have been before Alsager. Obviously we’ve got the tour coming up including a headline at The Underground.

It’s been a while since you’ve headlined Stoke hasn’t it?

It has been a while yeah. We’ve done one headliner this year, locally, at The Underground for Riff Factory Presents. That was a nearly sold out gig so we hope to keep it up. And we’ve released a new single…

That was my next question! Your sound has changed with every single you’ve released – is that something you wanted to do?

Yeah totally. That’s what I like to hear to be honest. I’m all for people going for one sound and obviously you do what you do best, but I just prefer it sound wise and also for entertainment. We just do what we feel like, rather than saying “Oh this isn’t our sound so therefore we can’t play that in this band”. If it sounds good to us and it works then we’ll do it.

And the single (The Inevitable) has gone done well?

Best thing we’ve released in terms of getting media attention and even just general people messaging us. I planned on emailing a load of different radio stations just to give it some airplay, because I think it’s quite radio friendly, and I haven’t done that yet but I will. But already we’ve been played on four different stations, just by people messaging us. Thanks to Moorlands Radio too!

We love the track! Now you’ve got a violinist as well, it’s a whole different sound. In all honesty, I never thought it would work like it does.

It’s a new dimension isn’t it. I don’t blame you for thinking it wouldn’t work.

When you think of a violin you think of a folk band and you’re not folk..

Yeah definitely. We’re not folk or classical or anything like that. It’s just kind of our USP I suppose.

Are you planning on doing an album or an EP, or is it just singles?

We’ve got material we want to record and new material we want to release, but whether that’s gonna be an EP or a single I don’t know. We don’t feel ready for an album just yet. We want to try and get more attention nationally – a fan base. Albums are hard work. Not even just recording it but it’s hard work to plug it, to get people’s attention, all stuff like that. It will happen. I’m sure it will. Whatever happens, we want to record an album. It’s any bands dream to record an album but for now, probably just singles and maybe an EP coming up probably before the end of the year. Something like that.

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When does the tour start?

Next Thursday. We start in Cardiff and then it’s Bristol, which is quite a drive so that should be fun. And then Cheltenham and then… I think… I think it’s Stoke then. Yeah, Stoke which is on the Sunday.

It’s a weird day for a gig!

It is a very weird day for a gig. It’s been hard plugging it so we’ve had to go that extra mile to get people to come down. After that it’s Manchester then London. A London finish. We’ve got a couple of gigs outside of Stoke already planned for after the tour and then a few really good local shows, which will see us out of this year. Looking forward to it.

So you’ll keep gigging after the tour?

Yeah we will. One local show we can announce is that we’re headlining The Exchange– there’s bands on upstairs and downstairs and then Bez from The Happy Monday’s is doing a DJ set after. Pretty buzzing for meeting one of my heroes, even though he’s quite talentless. He’s just funny to look at!

With the singles, do you think your next one will be a further development again or do you think you’ll develop into a sound that you’ll stick with?

You tell me! The world’s our oyster I suppose. We’ve pretty much confirmed what we’re going to release as our next single. I’d say it’s got a totally different sound to the ones we’ve done before. Maybe most compared to ‘Neat Seat’ but maybe a bit heavier, a bit more epic. It’s definitely going to be a further development of the band.

And keeping the violin as well?

Keeping the violin of course. As I said, it’s probably our USP at the moment.

Having seen you several times over the last couple of years, it’s been great to watch your following grow. The tent was rammed for your slot at Alsager Music Festival!

I know yeah. Alsager is where I went to school and I live there most of the time, so we get a good following there no matter what. Even if they don’t really like us, they’re still my mates so they’re obliged to come!

E.

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