When you think of buskers, the first image that probably pops into your mind is the solo acoustic musician standing outside in the pouring rain, or maybe even the lone clarinettist with the dancing puppets. But for Yorkshire four-piece Glass Caves, busking means something entirely different.
Consisting of Matt on vocals, Elliott on drums, Connor on guitar and Will on bass, Glass Caves formed from the shell of another band, as Matt tells me. “Elliott and Connor, the founding members, were in a band called The Cellars, who toured our local town of Pontefract. The band eventually decided to get someone who could sing and that’s where they found me.” Matt and Elliott studied biology together at college, where word spread that Matt had uploaded some covers online – “…which have since been destroyed for good reason” he quickly adds. The pair decided to form a two piece covers band and played a few sold out shows, before Elliott asked Matt to join The Cellars as their lead vocalist. “I agreed and then entered an ‘interview’, which basically just involved me singing and the others staring at me, whilst playing instruments thinking – can he actually sing? With a sigh of relief I was in the band. We wrote some original tunes, changed the band name and that’s how Glass Caves came to be.” As simple as that hey?
Since forming the line up we know today, with bassist Will joining after they toured America, the band have gone from strength to strength. Bagging a support slot for Augustines, headlining a sold out show at London’s Koko and playing festivals such as Isle Of White and Reading /Leeds, to name but a few. The band have also made a name for themselves on the busking circuit and continue to take to the streets today. “Busking was initially a way of making some poor students in a band, some cash,” says Matt. “Then we realised we’d found a hidden gem! Free – in fact – paid advertisement for the band. So, that’s how we started to grow a fanbase in the beautiful city of York.” A fanbase that is just as loyal to this day. But what about if the band hits the big time? Will we still see Glass Caves making music on the streets? “It would be daft not to busk every now and then even if we were huge. It’s what made us who we are.”
Having played both sold out shows and to passers by on the streets, Glass Caves have no doubt experienced all kinds of audiences and personalities. Although busking is fun, quite obviously, their enjoyment comes from playing the big shows. “People come to see you rather than seeing you whilst shopping. People sing along at shows. When busking you get told to shut up by the older generations or moved on by the police. You also have to wake up early on a weekend and stand in the wind and rain. When playing shows you wake up late, set up, go for something to eat at a restaurant and then hit the stage. Well, we do anyway.” But at least busking has left them with some stories to tell. “We have a homeless friend in York who uses us as a ‘bank’ (I use the term “bank” loosely). Anyway, whenever Desmond passes, he throws us a pound and if he doesn’t have a pound, he asks for a pound back because he had put a pound in at a previous time.” Not forgetting their brief performance for royalty. “We also played for the queen one time when she was visiting York. Wasn’t as great as it sounds, she didn’t give us a penny!” I’m sure when you’re selling out Wembley, she’ll regret that moment!
Glass Caves continue to grow, even more so with the release of their brand new single ‘Do You Have A Name’. It’s jam packed with infectious indie rock rhythms and riffs, with an equally creative video to accompany it. “We’ve had over 52k views of the video on Facebook with 1k likes. It’s not bad for a DIY unsigned band from Pontefract. Let’s just hope it sends us on to bigger things.” I can’t see why it wouldn’t. ‘Do You Have A Name’ is a professionally recorded and well produced track from start to finish, making it perfect for mainstream radio and even more perfect for your playlist. Fresh off the back of touring the single, it’s safe to assume that Glass Caves are feeling good. “The tour was spot on,” Matt tells me. “It’s such a cliché but it seems that every tour gets better and better. As more people find out about us, they tell their friends and in turn, more people turn up to the shows. Even cities like Bristol and Cardiff were busy and we’d never stepped foot in the cities before. We loved it.”
So with an excellent single release, a successful tour and a steady bit of extra pocket money from busking, Glass Caves seem to have it sorted. But what can we expect from the guys next year? “2017 currently stands as the year Glass Caves hit the big time… or so we tell ourselves. You have to dream, right? 2017 is gonna mean a lot of new tunes, new shows and (fingers crossed) big things!”
You heard it here first. Glass Caves are going to have their name in lights and you’re going to want to know their name.