Tramlines 2017: Liberty Ship interview

It’s been a year since we last caught up with the Liberty Ship boys; they’d just released their debut single, ‘Learning to Fly’, after being around the best part of nine years. Now, they’ve got two globally playlisted singles under their belt, a slot supporting The Libertines this summer and have recently played their biggest headline show to date. Eleanor Fidler caught up with the S35 four-piece to see how things were shaping up for Tramlines.

It’s been a huge year since your last Exposed interview. Could you tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to?
Jack: Bit of this, bit of that – loads of gigs and festivals!
Lewis: We’ve been in the studio quite a bit, recording our new singles. We released ‘Cast Away’ and ‘Don’t Wish’, but we’ve got a couple of new tunes recorded now as well.

New tunes, eh?
Kierran: We’ve got two new singles. Our first one, ‘Which Way’, is getting released the day before Tramlines … it’s gonna be a number one.
Lewis: Then we’ll be releasing ‘Snakes and Ladders’.

You’ve established an old school rock‘n’roll sound that has been really prominent throughout your releases. What should we expect from these new tracks?
Jimmy: If you liked our other singles, you’ll definitely like these ones. But if you compare both to each other, they’re two very different tunes.
Lewis: ‘Snakes and Ladders’ is a direction we’ve never really gone in before.
Kierran: We wanted to just take it in the studio and see what we could do with it – and it’s paid off.
Jack: Yeah, you can carry on with the same sounding songs, but we just see that as boring. It’s good to keep things fresh.

You just concluded your UK tour with SHEAFS and The Strawberries, also playing your biggest headline gig to date at Plug. What was that like for you?
Jimmy: Sweaty.
Jack: The tour itself was sick – great gigs and great lads. But the headliner Plug gig was just amazing. Like, when you’re grafting on a Monday morning on a site and then come Saturday you can play a gig where everyone’s singing your tunes, it just makes it all worth it. I can’t wait to start smashing the festivals now.

Talking of festivals, how does it feel to be supporting The Libertines at Ponderosa for Tramlines this year?
Jack: God, it’s all bit surreal really. You’re used to seeing Pete and Carl and that on the telly when you were young, we went through school listening to them, but now we’re supporting them. It’s mad.

You’re Tramlines veterans now; from playing The Frog and Parrot alongside Catfish and the Bottlemen in 2012 to now. What’s been your favourite Tramlines experience?
Jack: The year we toured with King Charles [2013], we went to go and see them play at Leadmill and ended up getting up onstage with them. We eventually got in at about 7am and then played a shocking gig the next day.
Kierran: What? You might have been shit, but I thought the rest of us were class the day after.

This year’s line-up for Tramlines is pretty tasty. Who are you off to see this year?
Jack: I reyt want to see Primal Scream, The Coral and October Drift.
Kierran: I’ll definitely go down to the Crystal stage; there are a lot of good bands on there like Henderson.
Jimmy: Yeah, get down to see Frazer and The Leathernecks too.

Who would be your dream Tramlines headliner?
Kierran: The Beatles.
Lewis: Bob Marley.
Jack: They’ve all got to be alive, you idiots! I’d want to see Tame Impala at Ponderosa – that would be mad. Because owt’s possible now – who would have thought that The Libertines would play?
Kierran: Oh, well in that case, I’d say Ice Cube. In fact, fuck it. Liberty Ship.

Liberty Ship play the Ponderosa, Friday 21st July, 6pm.

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