We catch up with local band The Chase about what they've been up to lately...
Parents’ record collections – they can make or break you, can’t they? Be born lucky enough to have the sort of folks whose youthful crate-digging bestowed you twenty years later with a bounty of stone-cold classics, and you’ve hit musical influences pay dirt. On the other hand, if your mum or dad’s taste were left somewhat wanting, tragic consequences can unfold which leave you decidedly down the pecking order in the street cred stakes.
The Nottingham-raised Heaney brothers Tyler, 24, and Dion, 22, were thankfully in safe hands in the Noughties. Growing up in a Caribbean and Scottish-influenced household in St Anns, the pair, who are the driving force behind ebullient upstarts The Chase (named after the Estate they knocked about on, and not the TV quiz show, they’re quick to add), were exposed to some of the stellar pillars of British music through their old man.
“Our dad is into his classic Beatles, Oasis and some of the old school hip-hop, house and reggae,” Dion says. His elder brother is swift to point out he ploughed his own furrow too, though. “It’s a bit of mix really, we got into music ourselves as well – I started going out buying CDs when I was about fifteen and my dad got into new music through us too.” Dion adds: “I never used to buy them, I just used to borrow his as he had every single thing I would listen to anyway – so I’d just go into his room and nick it!”
The producer said send it over and he’ll do it in five minutes and, before we knew it, by eleven o'clock the next morning we had saxophone, trombone, trumpets all back – he doesn’t mess about!
Fresh from playing their first sold out show in London and summer festival dates spanning the Isle of Wight, Y Not and The Great Escape, The Chase have tastemakers like Radio X’s John Kennedy firmly in their corner thanks to storming new single, Trumpet, which has more bounce than a space hopper factory whose staff have gone full tilt at a Red Bull vending machine. Formed in their pre-teens and joined by cousin Luke Childs on the bass and keyboardist James Cahill, the result is an infectious as it British, in the best sense of the word.
So, how did it come about? “It was a weird one actually," Dion explains. "We were going into the studio, and we had five songs done and with literally the last rehearsal, we thought we could do with a killer single as you’re always searching for one, aren’t you? An hour before we were about to leave, we came up with the main hook and it was like ‘no one is going anywhere!’. We smashed it out in about five minutes and we were buzzing!"
“It was down to me to get the lyrics sorted," Tyler adds, "so I was writing them on the way to the studio and we thought we needed some brass to add to it. The producer said send it over and he’ll do it in five minutes and, before we knew it, by eleven o'clock the next morning we had saxophone, trombone, trumpets all back – he doesn’t mess about!” It is now the song that they opt to start their live shows with: "It gets everyone going, and from there you’re on a good vibe."
It was staple breakthrough venues like the Chameleon, the Angel and Rescue Rooms that attracted their patronage as teenagers
After a hectic twelve months, which has seen them blitz motorways and A-roads from Dunfermline to Brighton, the band have two more singles lined up for next year, plus a hometown show at January’s Beat The Streets festival pencilled in – which begs the question, just how understanding have their day job bosses been? “I’m a self-employed ground worker and the number of days I’ve had to say, ‘I’m going to need tomorrow off!'" Tyler laughs.
Meanwhile, Dion is a teaching assistant at a special needs school: “I’ve been doing it for about a year, and I didn’t know what to expect but I enjoy it. My gaffer has been proper supportive too with the music, so that’s really helped.” Laughing and shaking his head, Tyler adds: "Yeah, we’ve both been lucky in that respect, the number of times we’ve come back at three in the morning and got up at six o'clock!”
Turning back the clock on the brothers' music gigging antics, there’s no doubt they were early starters. “I saw 50 Cent at the arena, when I was about nine, Dion was about seven," Tyler reminisces, "My dad took me to N.E.R.D in Manchester too about a year later, which was wicked!” Back on home turf, it was staple breakthrough venues like the Chameleon, the Angel and Rescue Rooms that attracted their patronage as teenagers. “I'd go anywhere that played live music really. Our whole life has been music, we’ve never known anything else.”
Leon adds: “Nowadays, I’m into up-and-coming bands, aside from bigger bands like Liam Gallagher and Kasabian. I like to hear some new energy, which is why we’re here.” A melting pot of new and old, there’s no doubt The Chase are clearly on track for becoming Nottingham’s next breakthrough act - if Dion and Tyler have got anything to do with it.
Trumpet is out now on This Feeling Records
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