Review and Q&A with Only Sun
The summer months may have come to a close but the sun luckily returned to Sheffield for one night only in the form of Only Sun and their upbeat, radiant rhythms and rhymes which took Cafe Totem by storm. Exposed Magazine managed to grab a few words with the cheeky chaps before a show that proved they’re not only exceptionally talented but extremely funny too – and sing a lovely version of London’s Burning!
Who are your main influences as a band?
Ed: It varies. As individuals we have very different taste. Taylor is into heavier stuff, but I’d say main influences include Bombay Bicycle Club and The Maccabees.
Euan: I’m into the underground grime scene, which is the reason for the middle eight sections in our songs.
How would you describe your sound and what genre would you put yourselves in?
Ed: Mainly indie-pop/indie-rock.
Euan: With our sound, when we’re creating music, we try to create something what will be great live.
From clips I’ve seen, it appears you cannot stay still on stage. Have you all got a favourite dance move?
Taylor: The ‘Running Man’, I think it’s the best dance move ever created. Absolutely brilliant.
Ed: Aabid tends to do the ‘Gurning Face’ when drumming. My move is the ‘Jump’.
Euan: During a show the other night he was jumping about and you just looked like a frog.
Ed: Daz also does an amazing face we call ‘The Rock’. Euan during ‘NHS70’ does a kind of stomp around the stage.
Euan: The ‘NHS stomp’, it’ll catch on one day!
As individuals, what is your favourite track you have created so far?
Taylor: ‘What A State’ – it’s so punchy and quick.
Daz: ‘Lives’ is just us in two and a half minutes.
Aabid: ‘Spiral’. It has everything – emotion, soft but big chanty bits and a big mosh pit section.
Ed: ‘Does It Matter’. Our manager previously described it as a B-side and for it to actually do so well is such a statement in itself.
Euan: ‘I Can’t Stand It’, our latest single, as I just think it’s brilliant.
So, moving on to your latest single ‘I Can’t Stand It’, which is amazing by the way, can you describe what it’s about?
Euan: It’s basically about the long enduring love interest of Only Sun. We’re actually quite annoying people and we like to push people to the edge of anger.
Ed: Like Taylor!
Euan: It’s like a backhanded love song.
What is your songwriting process?
Ed: It normally starts off with a musical idea and we’ll tear it all apart to find out what doesn’t work and head to the studio with it. Then our favourite bit, we show it to our manager and then he tears it all apart again!
When you appeared on Distiller TV, why did you choose to perform ‘Happiness’ and ‘Youth’?
Ed: ‘Youth’ was our biggest track at the time and we were tight at playing it live so it just made sense to play it. With ‘Happiness’ it was actually meant to tie in with the release of this track; however, the Distiller recording was released later than expect – it is one of our favourites to do live though and we had a great time in an amazing studio on the Isle of Wight.
Following on from Distiller, a particular track which I find extremely interesting (and my personal favourite) is Happiness (All My Friends). What influenced the creation of this track?
Ed: I was listening to a lot of Easy Life at the time, which was an influence, but the track wasn’t actually meant for Only Sun but it was so good that I wanted to bring it to the table. The story was I was actually meant to be doing an interview but it was a friend’s birthday that I hadn’t seen for a really long time, so I basically sacked it off and went to see all of my friends. The other guys got the stick for it though.
Euan: ‘But it doesn’t even matter in the grand scheme of things’!
How do you guys feel before going on stage?
Ed: Like anxious but in a good way, like, really ready to go on. I almost wish the night away just so I can go on the stage.
Taylor: Adrenaline to go on stage, anxious, but so ready to go and give it all.
Euan: I just really need two or three poos before going on to be honest.
What’s been your biggest moment of 2019 so far?
Ed: Definitely selling out Camden Assembly – the best show we’ve ever played.
Euan: The crowd even copied some parts of the video from ‘It’ll Be Alright’.
Ed: We’ve also played duets with No Hot Ashes in Manchester. Standon Calling was also a highlight!
Taylor: It’s just been amazing to go on a headline tour and smash different cities night after night.
What’s next for Only Sun?
Ed: Probably some more big supporting slots. As much as it’s nice to do your own headlining show, to play support to some of the biggest artist in massive venues is great too. We’ll also be getting back into the studio!
After a quick pint and a photo, followed by plenty of good luck wishes, the boys headed back to Cafe Totem to get ready for their biggest Sheffield show to date.
Just before the lads took to the stage, the set up was very different from any band I’ve seen before and that quirky, individual side they showed was portrayed through the design on the drum set – a picture of Mark Corrigan from Peep Show. As they came crashing through the stage door and a scene from the popular sitcom blasted through the speakers, the jaws of each and every member of the crowd instantly dropped thanks to their, let’s say, unconventional choice of Halloween attire. Of course, who else to go as but the Spice Girls?!
As they kicked off their set with their latest single ‘I Can’t Stand It’, toes began to tap around the room and everyone was feeling those so satisfying summer indie beats. This track was met with a wild reception by the crowd, the rumble of Taylor’s bass paired with Euan’s phenomenal vocals was so inviting yet incredible to hear. The launch into the chorus was ‘I don’t, I don’t want to see your love, hide away from me you know I can’t stand it’; whether this was your first or hundredth time listening to this song it’s so catchy and fun, each single soul in the room was singing along, like a musical love at first listen! There was no doubt about why Euan described it as “Brilliant” and his favourite song they’d produced.
Finishing their opening track, Euan teased the crowd making his first wisecrack of the evening: “You know if you don’t dance it’s making it more awkward for us in these outfits – I will come and make you dance!” Guitar picks at the ready, they burst into another summery single released in June last year, ‘Indigo’. As Ed’s and Daz’s chords connected into sweet harmony, Euan surged into song and the whole room started to move around and sway. Unfortunately, this wasn’t good enough for Euan, who made his first break into the crowd skipping and dancing around us as the room bounced.
The soft beats of Aabid’s drums drifted us into their fourth track of the night soon paired with a superb guitar riff letting us know it was time for ‘Happiness (All My Friends)’. Happiness, not just being a crowd pleaser but such relatable track too with the witty, playful lyrics: “Maybe I should just sack it off and go see all of my friends cause it doesn’t even matter in the grand scheme of things”. As they launched into the bridge section, Euan jumped into the crowd, getting them to all clap their hands with the band and join in with “Happiness, happiness doesn’t come for free”. The tension was high and as they smashed the last chorus the song was brought to a close by Taylor’s intricate bass.
One more track left, and it was time to unveil Euan’s famous NHS stomp with the closing song ‘NHS70′. A slightly different tone to their other tracks, less summery more mellow yet still so unique and exceptional. While Euan sang his heart out and performed his stylish stomp, the band played each note so deeply with precision and care; the overlapping of verses created a special sound. Following a quick tumble off the stage by Ed (eventually being helped up by his pal Euan), the band were united as they sang the last ‘God bless the NHS’ together and showed their immense rapport as a band, something rare nowadays.
After a night of questionable dance moves, detailed instrumental sections and many jokes about Brexit and Taylor’s Ginger Spice Union Jack dress, the set came to a close. A night full of fun, lots of laughs and outstanding music, and one I’m sure everyone in the room wishes they could do again, including the boys.
Thank you and good luck Only Sun!