Music interview '“ Heir: '˜We're glad to break new ground'

Leeds band Heir have big plans, it must be said. Not to necessarily conquer the world with their DIY, Eighties-infused pop '“ that goes without saying, almost '“ but to instead leave a mark on the city's cultural landscape in a different kind of vein, a mark in the shape of a bi-monthly collaborative arts event at the Hyde Park Book Club just shy of Headingley.

Tuesday, 20th February 2018, 12:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th February 2018, 12:05 pm
Heir are launching a new night, Blueprint, at Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds. Picture: Portia Hunt
Heir are launching a new night, Blueprint, at Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds. Picture: Portia Hunt

Entitled Blueprint, it is the brainchild of the group; inspired by the desire to give something new back to the area that wasn’t just another band night or arts meeting.

“This is very much something that has come from what we would have loved to have attended as students, what we would like to attend now as young artistic professionals,” keyboardist Sam Luca explains, at the venue over coffee. “There’s very much a social aspect to it; when you’re a student, you’re always looking for new circles to get involved in outside of the immediate community. We’re hopeful that the people who come along will find themselves further integrated into this rich network of music and arts that permeates the city.”

Having met at the College of Music, all five members have remained in West Yorkshire, with Luca citing it as “a desire to be somewhere where there’s a little more going on under the surface” than his hometown of Exeter. Frontman Tom Hammond affectionately refers to it as “a hostage situation”. “These events we’re planning to put on,” he notes, “are very much non-existent here. You see gig nights and arts groups, but you don’t see collaborative curation and creation. That’s what we’re hoping to achieve.”

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Heir will only play the initial Blueprint this month, intended to step away from the stage in future editions, and as such, have assembled a line-up that shares their creed to tackle the debut event. “We’ve got Portia Hunt and Monique Fleming doing photography and artwork at this opening night, both of whom are phenomenal,” Hammond outlines. “We’ve worked with them plenty of times of the years, and they’re always on the same wavelength.”

As for bands, Luca has brought in fellow College of Music alumni Tamzene to open, plus Southampton’s Wild Front. “Again, they’re very much of the same ethos,” he adds. “That’s what excites us; every time will be different. That’s the charm and we’re glad to break new ground with this.”

Heir Presents Blueprint#1 at Hyde Park Book Club, Headingley Lane, Leeds on Wednesday February 21.