Sunday, May 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Heronshaw: One to Watch

With any luck, Heronshaw is a name you’ll be hearing much more in the future. The best way to describe their genre is ‘Alternative Indie Folk Rock’ but that doesn’t quite do their varied music justice. As they say on their website, defining their music is like finding Wally – exciting, addictive and you can’t quite put your finger on it! Most importantly, their drummer, Matt Arnold, is from Royal Holloway!

Heronshaw’s music is a melting pot of different genres that works a treat. The five band members – Tom Seebold (Vocals, Keyboard), James Gibson (Guitar, Banjo), Miles Walker (Guitar, Violin), Connor Guille (Bass, Vocals) and Matt Arnold (Drums & Percussion) – work together to make enchanting music that’s already made an impact, and with their forward planning they look to make even more of an impact soon.

The band met at school in Portsmouth and now they all study at various University of London colleges. About practicing between studying their drummer, Matt Arnold, says “It’s a difficult one really but we make it work. There are a lot of hours spent talking on the group page on Facebook discussing ideas, rehearsal dates, future gigs, but it just works. We usually rehearse either at Royal Holloway or in Matt’s Studio in Hampshire. When we do rehearse, we always try and be on the ball and learn our parts or have an aim.”

Their influences range from Mumford & Sons, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Kodaline and acoustic acts such as Ben Howard. These influences are clear in their covers and the music they write themselves, which have garnered lots of attention on the internet. “One thing we love though is playing a gig and from that we get say a few likes on Facebook and a message saying I really enjoyed your set or something similar. It’s awesome because we know that they have gone home, typed in Heronshaw to Facebook and liked the page,” says Arnold.

They recently released their first EP, ‘The Truth, It Hurts’, apparently an “interesting” experience: “It was exciting, nerve racking and tiring all in one. It’s an amazing experience hearing your own work develop in this way.” It’s a tremendous EP which shows their varied musical interests and just how talented they are. Their YouTube page is also fizzing with excitement with their covers and new music gaining lots of coverage and views. Their focus on one take live performance has paid off, with their videos totting up views and fans.

Other than recording, they’ve been busy performing. They launched the EP at Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower, 100m about ground, something the band say might be their biggest achievement yet. They’ve done numerous gigs and are planning more HD videos for YouTube in the coming months. Expect covers of Ben Howard, Kodaline, Bastille and many more very soon. You can also see them this summer, with various dates of gigs planned in the upcoming months in London, Hayling, Swanmore and Portsmouth.

So what’s next for Heronshaw? “In the short term over Summer we’re going to be recording another batch of original tracks (around 6) to add to our collection of songs now totalling around 20,” says drummer Matthew Arnold, “We’re also going to be recording loads of videos for YouTube so you can expect a few uploads over Summer. We’re then going to be learning some more covers for our live set which is always fun as we put our little twist on things. In the long term, we’re going to be writing around 30-40 tracks before we start thinking of an album and before that we will most likely do a second EP in the studio. It’s during this time that we will be approaching management and labels. That will happen within the next 2 years most likely. We’re going to be really busy gigging, but the main focuses for us are videos, originals and covers for gigs and we’re really excited about it.” This year they look to push into new territory with their new repertoire. Their EP is available now on their website and this is really one band to watch. 2013 looks likely to propel them even further.

Article: Nicholas Hyder