It seems a long time ago since I was traipsing my way over to the other side of Yorkshire to Holmfirth to see Courtyards headline Local Hero Promotions first live show at the Picturedrome. For me though, the Courtyards set was so good that it feels only yesterday we were watching them kill it up on that stage and then kill it in the interview room afterwards.
Kicking off with fan favourite Dissaray, Courtyards were out to prove a point as the two bands that had gone before them Ables Army and Palmes were superb and the headliner clearly didn’t want to be overshadowed. With Matt’s vocals completely on point throughout the first couple of tracks the crowd began to edge forward perhaps realising that this band are the real deal. Luke’s drums and Cal’s guitar drove most of the tracks with Louis’ bass provided the structure, providing the overall sound and as the band ripped into Carnaby’s classic Is That My Body they were all in sync and sounding fantastic.
New single Firelight went down a storm with plenty of people singing along and slower but H2N favourite Go Down always shows a side to the band that I love. Yet to be released tracks Background Noise and Backseat are, musically, the set highlights with everything you’d expect in a chart indie hit whilst still having the unique Courtyards sound. This band are going places, their live shows are tight, explosive and they’re only going to get bigger and better with more shows and more released tracks. Watch this space!
As it should have – the interview kicked off with the new single which the whole band said they’d “been blown away to be honest with the reception”. The song Firelight also has an accompanying video (below) which is really well constructed: “We didn’t know what to expect with the video. We’re all quite pessimistic but just hope for the best.” The video currently has more than 10K views on YouTube and Matt added “I’d have been happy with 5, with 3K really, even just my mum seeing it.” The video itself was filmed by somebody in our own City of York and the guys explained they basically “hired out a big room, it was one man one camera and we just played the track a load of times really. Was great fun.”
The whole band were almost in agreement though that Firelight wasn’t their overall favourite track they’ve written. Cal said that “Matt goes through phases of loving a song then a week later thinking, actually that’s shit. But that’s good because he’s so critical.” Louis added that “we’re getting close to a good set. We’re not 100% keen on Dissaray (cue the boo’s) but yeah it is much better played live.” The future looks bright though for Courtyards who are “recording a song called Background Noise in March. We’ve got another polished off. We’re thinking EP this year then that single probable. Th one we’ve just recorded though, we think that’s the best we’ve written.” So keep an eye out for those new tracks coming soon!
Whereas Palmes took nearly ten minutes to describe their sound – Courtyards had this question nailed straight away. Matt said “Indie, anthemic, rocky, we start with a catchy baseline, try get a hook in and [Cal] put a shit tonne of reverb over everything.” Band influences included Kings of Leon, Muse and Young the Giant. Matt had a slightly more eclectic taste “I’d say I like a bit of everything, I like rap and hip hop, a bit of blues and I just take little bits from everything.” Lucy from Local Hero asked if we would be seeing any rap on a Courtyards track in the future. I think overall it was a resounding no but they did say “We used to cover Bulls on Parade and Cal used to do the rap on that. We’ve not played that in quite a while though. I feel like we like doing like fitting loads of words in a short space of time, say like 21 Pilots, it’s not rapping because we literally have no ability to rap but we could do that.”
The band went on to explain their hectic live schedule that was coming up at the time. They have since played in York, Huddersfield (again) and are due to play the likes of Manchester soon. Playing with Mahatma Raindrop and Mint at the end of the month the guys said they were looking forward to the shows but until May they can’t really tour due to university deadlines. Many recent shows have been headline slots but the band have played with a number of artists – “A lot of our influence comes from bands we play with. When we played with Carnabys we were blown away. We supported a band called Heir too and every band like that you play with makes you want to be better and practice more.” Louis said “like they’ll have subtle harmonies and crazy time signature changes and we’re just like we need it all!”
The band we’re cracking to speak to and by the end we were just reeling off amazing bands that they’ve recently played with. Limit Break, Carnabys, Heir and of course Howland (shout out to Tyler) are all amazing bands they’ve supported. Being a Northern band it can be hard to “get out” so to speak so the fact the band have played with such great southern bands like Carnabys, and Lighthouse as well as London band Deep City Diver is great for them moving forward.
Thanks to the guys for sticking around after the show so late to talk to use – we’ll be catching up with Courtyards throughout the year to see how the new songs are coming along so keep a close eye on H2N in the next few months.