In what is now a very crowded field of sensitive singer songwriters the debut album from Eaves stood out because of its commitment to melody but with some deceptively dark lyrics.
What Green Feels Like got good reviews but success in the modern music industry only comes through hard work on the live circuit and Eaves – aka Joseph Lyons – is one of the new generation that gets that reality.
“We’re doing festivals every weekend so it is pretty much nonstop shows until we hit the October tour, and we’re rehearsing new music two or three times a week” says Eaves. “We’re constantly playing so we’ll be on form for this next run of gigs.
“We’ve done lot of festivals, so we did Bestival, Blackheath, Glastonbury and End of the Road. Glastonbury was really special as none of us had been there before so it was kind of a dream for us that the first time we went was the first time we played so it really worked.
“There’s going to be new material, but we’re gonna be really selective about that, and there is stuff that we’re not played off the record that we’re going to introduce.”
It’s a testament to Heavenly Records that after 25 years in the business they are still willing to take risks on new artists like Eaves, and as pay back for his solid work ethic they are repackaging his debut.
“There’s a deluxe version of the record coming in October which has four new tracks that we recorded during the process of making it and we’re going to be performing them,” notes Eaves. “We’ve done some of those songs at a few of the festivals so there will be new material on the tour. Some will be solo, but the majority will be full band.
“Heavenly are a label you want to be on because they give you a lot of freedom and they really let the artists take control of the route they want to go down. You see that with Temples and H Hawkline at the moment, so everybody has their niche in the industry to grow out of. There is a real vibe about the label.”
Leeds based Eaves is a nice guy so it’s not surprising that Nick Mulvey picked him to join his tour splaying bigger venues as he build up his live experience. Eaves did that tour the hard way via National Express coaches.
“We’re good friends and I played with him a couple of years ago. We did this one show at the George in London, we had few drinks, he said he’d love for me to tour with him and I’ve done two.
“I love the guy and he’s a very talented musician who has been through a lot since the Portico Quartet. We both admire the same kind of artists and we have the same temperament which is what you need on tour.”
Eaves might write all the songs but unlike many singer songwriter he recognises that playing with a regular band enriches his sound as prepares to go into the studio after this tour to record his second album.
“I love playing on my own but there is something special performing with my friends and there is a lot more to work with as a band. That’s how I write the music with a full band in mind and I guess the record reflects both sides of that.
“It’s a performance and we love doing that and it really helps us playing back to back shows for so long as it is shaping how the second record is sounding. I think we’re into the up paced and louder ones.”
If there one thing that is true of the music industry is if a performer in any genre goes big then the record companies run around like headless chickens trying to sign a bunch of similar artists. The success of the mediocre James Bay et al has sparked a rush to sign singer songwriters, but Eaves is suspicious of this.
“Singer songwriters are what labels are looking at the moment rather than bands, but I don’t think that is necessarily a great thing. Much as I love singer songwriters, I’m into big band sounds, and there is not enough of that at the moment.
“Labels like Heavenly are bringing that back. I guess I’ve been labelled a singer songwriter because of the initial tracks I put out so I think people get a little confused when I turn up with a band and it’s loud and a big sound.”
Eaves is on the brink of the big time because he has worked at it, so this tour might the last chance to see this switched on young artist in an intimate venue.
Eaves plays Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Wednesday 21 October.
Other tour dates are:
October 20 – Georgian Theatre. Stockton
October 22 – Bush Hall, London
October 23 – Music Hall, Ramsgate
October 24 – Start The Bus. Bristol
October 26 – Clwb Ifor Back, Cardiff
October 27 – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
October 28 – Brudenell Social Club. Leeds
October 29 – The Soup Kitchen, Manchester