LIVE: Our Girl @ The Southbank Centre, 06.03.19

Following last year’s debut album Stranger Today, we’ve been massive fans of the lush, fuzzed out sounds of Our Girl. And so last week, having already supported Bill Ryder Jones in Queen Elizabeth Hall last year, we were excited to catch them live in The Purcell Room, at my favourite place in London – The Southbank Centre – last week.

Immediately captivating the intimate seated crowd, Soph, Josh and Lauren kick off the set with the delicate, twinkling romanticism of ‘I Really Like It’, and that’s me gone – instantly welling up to the fuzzy, scuzzy loveliness flowing into my ears. I should point out I’m feeling a little fragile lately, but I’m sure I’d have been overcome with emotion regardless…

Continuing with the sparkling charm of ‘Being Around’, the trio ooze shades of the other-worldly splendour of Warpaint, whilst retaining their own unique command of all they do, as Lauren’s thrashing beats complement the interplay between Soph and Josh perfectly. Employing a completely immersive energy throughout, Our Girl continue with the atmospheric scuzz and scintillating riffs of ‘Two Life’, before building with a sparkling intensity to the raw, raging climax of ‘Josephine’.

Treating us to songs from both Stranger Today and The Bedroom Record, the band showcase their ability to fluctuate between a gritty fuzz-filled energy and a luscious dreamy haze seamlessly. And, whilst some bands may not have found the prospect of performing to such an intimate, seated crowd appealing, Soph assures us that they’re happy with it: “It’s nice and quiet… I like it. It’s calming, but scary at the same time.”

From the beautifully delicate tenderness of ‘Sub Rosa’ to the swirling energy of ‘In My Head’, or the seething whirlwind of sound flowing from ‘Boring’, Our Girl’s ethereal majesty is a true delight to witness; leaving each one of the seated audience members utterly spellbound.

Mari Lane

Interview: Our Girl

Following last year’s debut album Stranger Today, we’ve been massive fans of the lush, fuzzed out sounds of Our Girl. And now, having supported the likes of Bill Ryder Jones, as playing as wowing crowds headlining The Garage, they’ve announced a gig at London’s Southbank Centre next month.

Ahead of the upcoming intimate set, we caught up with Soph from the band to find out more…

Hi Our Girl, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how you all initially got together and started creating music?
Hey! Josh and I were living in Brighton at the time, and I had written a bunch of songs I was desperate to get a band together for. I was obsessed with this Canadian two piece called Cousins at the time, so I initially imagined the band would be a two piece. It totally needed bass though, and Josh and I really wanted to play together so, although he’s primarily a guitarist, he started playing bass! We then tracked down Lauren through friends of friends and met up for a practice. We asked her to be in the band on the spot and it’s been the three of us ever since!

Your debut album Stranger Today was out last year to much acclaim, can you tell us about the writing process and the inspiration behind this album?
The songs on the record were written over a period of four years. About half the record was written before we started playing live, so it was really nice to be able to finally get them on record and make them sound exactly how we wanted them to. I write the songs at home on the guitar, and then I’ll normally send Josh and Lauren an unfinished demo. We’ll then get together in a practice room near where we live and we’ll flesh it out! It’s such a satisfying feeling when it all comes together.

We’re big fans of your lush, fuzzed out sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Thanks very much! We have so many different influences – I guess our sound is just the product of them all coming together! It’s not something we think of consciously during the writing process, but when I started writing songs I was listening to a lot of St. Vincent (mainly Strange Mercy which is my favourite of her records). I love the dynamics and theatrics in her music. We’re all fans of Warpaint too, seeing them perform as a teenager really solidified my want to play music with people. They make it look so easy and fun and I love the way they interact and play off each other – that’s a huge part of the joy of being in a band.

You’ve previously supported the likes of Bill Ryder Jones and Pale Waves, but is there a particular gig you’ve played that stands out as a highlight over the last couple of years? Our own headline show at The Garage was one of my favourite shows ever. It was the biggest headline show we’ve ever done and the crowd was amazing. It felt like we’d been building up to it for a long time, so it was quite cathartic. Another one of our faves was supporting our friend Marika Hackman at Shepherds Bush Empire! The venue’s beautiful, we had a great time.

And you’re going to be playing at London’s Southbank Centre next month, how are you feeling about this? And how do you think it will differ from your other gigs?
Yeah really excited! We played there (in the Queen Elizabeth Hall) when we supported Bill Ryder Jones and it was one of my favourite shows. I was a bit daunted by the idea of having everyone seated but actually it felt quite special. This show will feel similar but it’s in the Purcell Room which is smaller so will be quite intimate and we’re playing some more stripped down songs from a record we made called Bedroom Record which is an album of demos that accompanied our debut Stranger Today.

You’re currently based in Brighton which is well known for its array of new bands and artists! Are there any in particular you’ve come across recently that you’d recommend we check out?
We’ve actually all moved to London now but Brighton is one of my favourite places. A new Brighton based band I think are great are CLT DRP. It’s heavy and quite different to other things coming out of Brighton at the moment I think.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Yeah I think it is difficult. It’s also so multifaceted it’s hard to know who you even want to get noticed by. I guess it depends on what you want from being in a band! There are a lot of bands all trying to achieve the same things, especially in London, which makes it harder. Having said that, there are lots of opportunities for new bands to play gigs – DIY have set up a cool scheme that bands can apply to to get shows. We also have friends who put on shows which give new bands an opportunity to perform in really friendly and supportive environments (Echochamp do a lot in Brighton and Memorials of Distinction in London).

It’s that time of year when we’re just starting to hear about all the various festival line-ups… which ones are you particularly looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to Liverpool Sound City! We recorded part of our record there and loved it, so it’ll be nice to be back.

Finally, besides your upcoming gig at Southbank Centre, what else does 2019 have in store for Our Girl?
Well, we have a UK tour around the Southbank Centre show that are all in intimate venues/churches so I think that’ll be quite an interesting change from the kinds of places we normally play. After that it’s festival season and in the gaps we’re going to be writing and working on new songs!

Huge thanks to Our Girl for answering our questions! Catch them live at The Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room on 6th March at 7.45pm – tickets available here

Photo Credit: Hollie Fernando