Holloway Road – Jack Cooper & Robert Gulston
Dirty South Sessions,
Southampton 23rd August 2016
By Helen Pocock
On sunny evening in Southampton (yes they do exist!), Jack & Rob from Holloway Road took time from the pre-gig prep for 5 minutes to have a quick chat with me.
Helen – Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, you are school friends aren’t you? What sort of age – junior, senior?
Rob – It is the tail end of senior school, year 10, I used to think he was a bit of a twit! (Both boys laughed at this!)
Jack – Yeah, so me & Rob were in the same year at school, we started senior school at the same time, but we weren’t necessarily friends. We then got put into a music class with each other, when we started our GCSE’s in Year 10, & that is kind of how we became friends.
Rob – Yeah, our teacher forced us to work together & it kinda started from there.
Helen – So you’ve got her to thank?
Rob – She was at one of our shows the other day. She still comes to see us.
Helen – Brilliant, that is like Striking Matches.
Jack – Oh yeah, they went to Uni together didn’t they & they were put together at Uni
Helen – He wasn’t happy because he was put together with a girl
Jack – Yeah, he then realised she could she could shred, boy that girl can really play. Yes definitely
Helen – As far as I am concerned, the first time I heard of you was when you exploded on the stage at FSA fest last year, but you’d been a pop-up before that hadn’t you? You were a Pop up at C2C, this year and last year.
Jack – Yes we were.
Helen – So where do you think you got the biggest exposure, from C2C or from FSA?
Jack – Oh, I would’ve said FSA
Rob – Yeah after that it was mad. We couldn’t believe how many people were there.
Jack – It hasn’t been a year yet has it?
Helen – No, it was last October.
Jack – Word just kind of spread after that. We wanted to make a bit of an impact because we weren’t that new on the scene, but not many people knew who we were and we were both really eager to get on that festival. We thought we have just got to give it our all and people took to it & took to us.
Helen – You had a rubbish time slot ay C2C this year didn’t you it was 10:30 in the morning
Rob – Yes we had 2 very tough times
Jack – We were lucky.
Rob – The 10:30 wasn’t too bad
Jack – People are coming up to watch. The second show we were up against Chris Stapleton
Rob – We had exactly the same stage time as him, in the Brooklyn Bowl, so that was difficult
Jack – But there were people watching, so it was all good.
Helen – So the other thing about FSA you had Jacob with you how do you know John and Jacob?
Jack – Again FSA last year going back to February same year, when we did C2C the first time we did a couple of dates with John and Jacob. We did London, Manchester and Glasgow with them and we got really friendly with them and Jacob came & stayed with us for a few months. We got on alright with him, we hung out with him & we became really good pals. We then went out with them when they did the Striking Matches tour. Rob did the sound (Rob is also a self employed sound engineer) and we just hung out for a few weeks on the road with them and Striking Matches, we are just really good friends with them now.
Helen – Quite good that the two countries, the other side of the world have still got that connection
Jack – Yeah yeah definitely, I think we are going out there in November and hopefully staying with them
Helen – He looked as if he really enjoyed it, whereas I would’ve said to him and John normally were quite straightlaced when I saw them.
Jack – Really do you think?
Rob – Where did you see them?
Helen – Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms, they were supporting The Shires.
Jack – Ah, we weren’t there. I know they were on a bus crammed for a couple of weeks
Rob – Don’t know maybe they weren’t enjoying themselves (both guys laugh). They’ve always been really really REALLY high energy, yeah very high energy.
Jack – We didn’t see them on that tour though.
Rob – No, when Jacob was staying with us he would walk into the kitchen and just fill the room with energy, instantly, literally, dunno, maybe they just had headaches or something?
Jack – Maybe they were hungover that day?
Helen – Well, he certainly looked like he was having fun with you guys, cos he mixed in immediately.
Jack – He better have been.
Rob – I think he was yeah,
Jack – That was good, I think it was a nice change of pace for him to come out with a new set of guys we just had fun
Rob – Yeah he was just over at the time, so we said to him we are going up there for the day it’s a little country festival why don’t you come along & he said Hell yeah & that was it. We were like bring a trumpet we are going to do Ring of Fire
Jack – Completely unrehearsed it was good laugh and good fun.
Helen – You have been really busy over the summer; you’ve been doing lots of gigs, lots of festivals, best festival?
Jack – Buckle & Boots?
Rob – Yeah, Buckle & Boots.
Helen – That is coming out the resounding answer.
Rob – It was good, very good. For a 1st year, very impressed
Jack – Yeah, it was madness!
Helen – And your best gig?
Rob – Ohhh, Sunday just gone I would have said (Manchester with The Pauper Kings). It is going to be a memorable one in Manchester.
Jack – For us we play Manchester quite a lot and that is kind of where our biggest fan base is and where everybody’s biggest fan base is.
Rob – Yeah we love Manchester
Jack – Whenever we go and play Manchester we can guarantee people will be there, which is nice for us.
Rob – Yeah, the room was rammed, front to back
Jack – And that was the last Manchester show we will be doing for a while so it was a nice ‘see you later for a little bit’.
Helen – What are your plans then?
Jack & Rob in unison – We are going to write some new music!
Jack – We only put our last EP out about for 4 – 5 months ago
Rob – But we have been touring the same songs now for a while and now we have managed to sneak a couple of new ones in, but that is it and we’ve been doing that for the best part of a year now so even though we have just put out a new EP in April we were playing those songs a long time before we put it out so just something to mix it up a bit really you know have some new music.
Jack – We want to keep people wanting more music & give them something new, but at the same time we don’t want to bore people by keep playing the same music all the time. It is hard finding that balance, it is a fine line.
Helen – On the UK scene what acts have you not yet played with that you would like to or have you played with them all now?
Jack – Ohhh, we have played with a lot! Oh, I don’t know!
Rob – Do you know we’ve played with a lot of acts that I that I like. I would like to do a show with Ward Thomas
Jack – Yeah yeah that would be good, a duo tour, I really like the new stuff it’s good yeah I’d say that’s good. As far as our favourite – Lisa Wright definitely. (For anyone who knows me, I did not prime them to say this, honest!!)
Helen – I love Lisa, I am really biased about her!
Jack – Yeah everybody you speak to it’s like we love Lisa you can’t not likely so she is incredible.
Helen – You have actually written with her haven’t you?
Jack – Yeah we will be doing one we co-wrote with her tonight when we do a show like this we kind of take it down a little bit it’s a nice little place to put it we can’t really get away with it with the big band shows but it’s kind of nice to do it.
Helen – So if you could support an American act, Which American act would you support?
Rob – (without missing a beat!!) Florida Georgia line
Jack – That was going to be the most obvious answer. That is the honest answer they just look like they’re having so much fun every night I’d quite like to get in on that.
Helen – Were are you at C2C when they were there? When they bounded out singing We Do This Every Night?
Rob – Yeah yeah they opened with that didn’t they because that inspired me.
Helen – Jack your wrist what have you done? (Jack’s wrist has been in a splint for a couple of months now.)
Jack – In about March I fell over on the ice and I’ve torn the cartilage. I’ve done everything you can do, I’ve seen a wrist specialist, I am going to have to do some keyhole (surgery) see if that can fix it so I have seen the best of the best. I haven’t played guitar for about three months now it’s probably going to be a year until I can play again, maybe a year since I did it.
Helen – The only thing is, having seen you beforehand and afterwards you bounce around the stage an awful lot more now.
Jack – Yes, yes, yeah I mean do you know what,
Rob – Its kinda working for me,
Jack – It’s working around, I think I am probably enjoying it more, I mean obviously I miss being able to write we are trying to find new ways so Rob can still play but….
Rob – Yeah careful what you say!
Jack – Yeah I am having to find new ways to kind of get around that and you know it’s working still and if I can hold my guitar in a weird way yeah I think I’m definitely enjoying it without my guitar and I think maybe when I can play again we will probably find a couple of slow ones I don’t know though.
Rob – Yeah we will have a play around with it.
Jack – And reassess and maybe I will play a few.
Helen – If you had the choice, what event would you sing the National Anthem at, or sing the theme tune for, like Paloma Faith sang the rugby World Cup song, so either National Anthem or theme tune.
Without any hesitation at all – Rob – does the National Cheese Rolling competition count?
Helen – If that’s what you want to yes
Jack – I like that. Yeah I’m all for that dude that’s a great answer.
Helen – Final question then cartoon character for a day which 1 and why?
Rob – Donald Duck cos he has been my favourite ever since I have been a kid
Jack – Ahh, cartoon…. can I have Disney?
Rob – Dude, Donald Duck is Disney!
Jack – Oh yeah, oh I don’t know erm, probably Peter Pan just because he’s like he doesn’t grow up & he can fly.
Rob – what about Minnie Mouse?
Jack – I wouldn’t look good in a frilly skirt
Holloway Road have 2 EPs out – Holloway Road and Roots. Both available from iTunes and Amazon.
Keep up with Holloway Road’s news on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/hollowayroaduk/?fref=ts
If you have yet to see them live, I urge you to do so, they have such energy & camaraderie both on stage & off, they really need to be seen!
Holloway Road have a new single called ‘Where We Are Tonight’ and comes out on 23rd September, with a live single launch gig at Cargo, Hoxton that night.