Music preview: The Orwells at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

The Orwells
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It’s 5pm here in the UK and the sun’s already gone. The lights on and I’m waiting for a call from London to link me with The Orwells, who ahead of their tour with the Arctic Monkeys across the US, is getting some well earned R n R in their hometown Elmhurst, Illinois.

It’s 5pm here in the UK and the sun’s already gone. The lights on and I’m waiting for a call from London to link me with The Orwells, who ahead of their tour with the Arctic Monkeys across the US, is getting some well earned R n R in their hometown Elmhurst, Illinois.

When the call comes through I’m put on the line with Matt O’Keefe, the band’s guitarist, who sounds audibly shattered. And with good reason as they’ve just returned from New York, where they were working with Chris Coady on their new album which, according to Matt himself, is going to be released on June 3.

The upcoming release is something O’Keef says he’s looking forward to most this year, with “songs that we’ve had a for a while” waiting to be released to the world. After their brief trip home they’ll pretty much be on tour for “the rest of their lives”. Although he said it jokingly, there was some essence of belief that this band is a 100 per cent life commitment. And you can’t blame them, they’ve been gaining enormous fame and popularity, all without even being old enough to drink in their home country.

Despite the band’s success, O’Keefe appreciates that this couldn’t be done without real effort. He describes the journey as a “steady incline, sometimes there have been little bumps like with David Letterman, but it’s mostly been a steep incline”. And what an incline, playing small venues in their home town to eventually touring the whole country with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, of whom they’ve “all been fans since 6th grade”.

The obvious benefit is that it gives more people the chance to see their somewhat infamous show. However this wasn’t something that came from nowhere, it was The Black Lips who “set the bar to try to beat”, although O’Keefe feels that the band has “never come close”. He applauds The Black Lips for the fact that “they’ll do anything, it’s completely in the moment, and they put how they’re feeling into each song”.

Although their live shows are definitely one to check out, they’re not a band who thinks it’s too good to catch up with the fans, always finding time to “have a beer with some people who came out”. He even shows a soft spot British fans, stating “the kids who come out, are awesome, after the shows I always end up talking to them”.

February 21, Brudenell Social Club, Queens Road, Leeds, 7pm, £7. www.seetickets.com /event/the-orwells/brudenell-social-club/721622

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