The Reytons @ O2 Academy Sheffield

Before their biggest show so far and a mark in history, being the only unsigned band to sell out the O2 Academy Sheffield, Exposed managed to grab a few words with loveable rogues The Reytons.

Words: Laura Mills 

How did you guys meet?
Jonny: Me and Lee met through open mic nights, me and Joe worked together musically, and Jamie had a studio in Rotherham. Everything just kind of fell together and worked, nothing was forced.

What’s the songwriting process like?
Jonny: Riff by riff, sometimes it’s a struggle. We were looking to release something around this time just before this show and we’ve written over 20 songs but none of them seemed right, you know? There’s a lot of a pressure and we were trying too hard to keep up, we wanted the songs to be organic. After tonight we should hopefully be able to get back in the studio and write some more.

Who are your biggest influences?
Jonny: We all have different musical influences and backgrounds; we aspire to be as big as some of the other local bands. We could have fallen into any genre but it just happened to be that we ended up as an indie band, and we feel comfortable playing this way.

Being a band that’s already breaking boundaries, are there any other bands which you think are likely to break through next?
Jonny: These guys that are supporting us tonight. Jordan Allen. There’s so many like ones from Scruff of the Neck such as Larkins, Cassia, Glass Caves. So many more like The Outcharms, The Rosadocs, Lost Boy.
Joe: Even different genres like Coco, who’s just released a mint EP. There’s so much talent around here. Even in places like working men’s club’s you discover absolute gold.
Lee: Bloody ‘ell, why don’t we just email you a list?

What do you say to people that constantly compare to you to Arctic Monkeys?
Jonny: To be honest, these are the only ‘negative’ comments that we get; we’re from the same area and have the same accent singing about similar stuff, but you can’t complain about being compared to a band as big as them.
Joe: We could have been compared to any of the Sheffield bands, someone like Millburn for example.
Lee: We’re all singing about the same streets, but being compared to Arctic Monkeys, I’ll take that.

As individuals, which are your favourite tracks you’ve done?
Lee: Canine, the aggression is incredible.
Jonny: Kids Off The Estate, written about my childhood. It feels so emotional when the crowd sing it back just to think what would that scruffy blonde kid running around Clifton Park have thought of this.
Joe: Kids Off the Estate, it’s all about us singing about an entire working-class nation. This track resonates with everyone, it’s something that we’re proud to play and it’s important to be proud of where you’re from. Even people who haven’t had this kind of upbringing wish they had, everyone wants to be a kid off the estate.
Jamie: Kids Off The Estate is my favourite for crowd reaction, but I also love Take Me Home – it really resonates with people and it’s a track everyone can relate to.

What are your biggest highlights of this year so far?
Lee: I’d say we’re about to experience it tonight. Tramlines was amazing though.
Jonny: Tramlines was crazy, I walked on stage then walked back out again cos I thought to myself “I’m gunna have to experience this again”. For all we knew there could have been 500 people there yet we managed to pack out a tent of 5000.
Jamie: I was like a deer in headlights!
Jonny: Shows like Glasgow and Newcastle were amazing too, selling out places that aren’t even our hometown and still getting an amazing reception is fantastic.
Joe: Dublin was amazing too.

What have you got planned for the rest of this year?
Lee: See what happens tonight and see what wave is created.
Jonny: We can’t go into detail but what’s next is gunna be massive.
Lee: Never been done before.

A quick snap, a few hugs and plenty of good luck wishes later, all the lads had to do now was get ready for the biggest show of their careers so far. The crowd were warmed up by a superb upcoming band who originated from the Manchester Music Scene, Jordan Allen.

As the venue filled up more and fans made their way to the stage, anticipating the moment Jonny, Lee, Joe and Jamie walked on stage; Not Nineteen Forever was blasted out and the unruly, diverse crowd bounced around sending a sea of Carlsberg into the air. Shortly after, The Reytons made their way to the stage a roar of cheers and chants were let out by fans: ‘Here we, here we, here we f**king go’ – and the first connection between the band and their supporters was made.

They kicked off their set with the electric Low Life, the pits opened up and pretty much everyone in the room was leaping around, smashing their way into each other and singing their hearts out – an absolute pleasure to witness. Five songs in, On The Back Burner was met with a warm welcome by the crowd – being one of their biggest tracks and having some of their best-known lyrics “Everybody round ere’ has got a cousin or mate who’s best friends wi’ Alex Turner”. Every single soul in the venue sang every line together arm in arm, strangers and friends, connect by this phenomenal band.

As Lee and Joe teased fans with their chords, hearts racing we knew it was time for Kids Off The Estate. Jonny reached out to the fans, and it’s evident how grateful he is: “Sheffield, we came from f**king nothing and collectively we made it here tonight; see, we are the kids off the estate… are you ready?” That working-class nation, the emotion and passion they spoke of in regards to this song was displayed throughout the performance. Every single person in the room singing from their soul and from deep in their hearts.

They finished their set with the classic Slice Of Lime, a set that I believe no one wanted to end, not even the boys. As fans came out dripping wet, covered in sweat and beer, history was made for these four lads. Their journey has just started and there is not another single band who deserves it more than these guys. We’re all backing you, Reytons!

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