palace are jamie t's favourite new band and should be yours too
If Jeff Buckley and Wu Lyf had a lovechild, it would be a lot like hot new alternative rockers Palace. Formed a year a half ago by some friends from secondary school, the boys have already racked up a commendable following - including Jamie T.
With NME already describing them as one 2014's rising stars and shout outs from Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens already making their former teen dreams come true, it's safe to say that the future is looking bright for Will Rhodes, Leo Wyndham, Matt Hodges and Rupert Turner. Before we catch up with lead singing Leo whose velvety vocals will send shivers down your spine, here are five facts about the band that everybody's talking about: 1 is the number of EPs they released before being hand picked by Jamie T to support him at his come back gig. 2 is the number of weeks it took for their debut track Veins to reach 50,000 hits on Soundcloud. 3 is the number of tracks that have been released from their EP so far. 4 is the number of people in the band and 5 is the number of stars that any self respecting music critic should be giving them. Introducing Palace.
How did Palace come about and what's the story by the name?
We formed about a year and half ago. We've known each other for a long time - we went to school together. We thought it was about time we started a band, so started jamming together in the smallest studio in the world in Camden. It was a pretty vibey little place, but ridiculously hot in the summer, so we would basically have to rehearse in our pants so as not to pass out. My little brother Wilby was the original bassist, and he came up with the name 'Palace' as a joke. It somehow worked. Plus some of the other ideas were horrifically shit.
Growing up did you guys always want to be in a 'boy band'?
For quite a long time I wanted to be a Cheetah. It's such a depressing thought that technically on gender alone we could be classed as a 'boy band'. Perhaps Britney mics, quiffs and denim waistcoats is what we should really be doing? But I'd rather be Hulk Hogan's jock strap than dothat.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Wu Lyf, Jeff Buckley, John Martyn, Rage Against The Machine, John Fahey, Stevie Ray Vaughan.
How would you describe your sound?
It's kind of hard to pin down. I'd say big, atmospheric, epic. The incredibly cringey genre description we came up with was 'Alternative Blues Space Rock'...
What was it like getting a shout out from Zane Lowe?
That was pretty wild. My girlfriend used to be in love with Zane Lowe when she was about 13 and used to record his radio sessions onto tape, so hearing us mentioned by him slightly blew her mind.
How did the call up from Jamie T come about?
Apparently he hand-picked us, I'm not actually sure if that's true though. We like to convince ourselves it is how it happened...
What was it like supporting him?
Amazing. Quite scary also, as there were all these die-hard Jamie T fans topless and hammered, chanting his name before we'd even gone on. It felt a bit like being fed to the lions. But we ended up getting a really nice response; no bottles full of urine were thrown.
What was it like hearing yourselves on the radio? Did it sound different?
It's the weirdest thing. We can't quite believe that it actually happened. You almost get this weird out of body experience.
What do you prefer: performing small intimate gigs or in front of large crowds at festivals? Why?
Although we played Secret Garden Party and Live at Leeds this summer, so far we've pretty much only done small-ish quite intimate gigs. We started out playing really cool shows at our friend Max Maguire's nights at The George Tavern, and The Wreck in Camberwell. There's something pretty awesome playing to a small group of people where you can see the whites of their eyes. That's where we got good. Our recent London shows at St Pancras Church to celebrate the release of our debut EP where really special though, and the highlight so far!
What's next for Palace?
Next year it's looking quite good for a few festivals hopefully and playing in Europe. Glastonbury would be the dream. We'd definitely all slightly puke in our mouths if we landed a show there.
Text Tish Weinstock
Photography Hollie Fernando