Yorkshire indie-rockers Skylights play their biggest gig to date at The Wardrobe on Saturday. Ross Heppenstall talks to guitarist Turnbull Smith about the band’s rise.
Anybody who believes that life in a band is all sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll should speak to Turnbull Smith.
The charismatic guitarist of up and coming Yorkshire indie-rock quartet Skylights tells a different story.
“I’m an electrician, our singer Rob Scarisbrick works on the trains, the drummer Myles Soley is a chef and bassist Jonny Scarisbrick works at a building society. Not very rock ‘n’ roll is it?” says Smith.
“There’s just no money at all in music nowadays. We do it because we love it, but we’ve actually started selling places out. Our following is growing.”
On Saturday, Skylights will play at The Wardrobe in Leeds in their biggest gig to date.
The lads, who are all in their thirties and hail from Acomb in York, have built a strong following in their home city and in Leeds.
All four are ardent Leeds United supporters and Smith explains: “We played at Belgrave Music Hall in February and that was a fantastic gig.
“It was mainly young footie fans, who are all into Oasis and the Stone Roses nowadays, but they’re getting behind us too and that’s really positive.
“Scaz (Rob Scarisbrick) knows all the casual lads in York and a lot of their friends and family also support us.
“We’re interacting with a lot of Leeds United fans on social media as we’re all big fans ourselves – a few years ago Scaz was pictured in the Daily Mirror celebrating a goal with Luciano Becchio at Elland Road.
“We’re gaining a big following in Leeds and York and cannot wait for Saturday.”
Support has come from Whites defender Gaetano Berardi and Leeds boxing world champion Josh Warrington.
“I messaged Berardi on Instagram and he replied saying he liked the passion of our music and energy in our songs,” says Smith.
“He said it was his type of thing and I sent him a T-shirt and a CD – he then sent me a signed Leeds shirt.
“We met up for a coffee in Wetherby and spent an hour having a really good chat about music, football and life in general.
“When Leeds played York at Bootham Crescent in the recent pre-season friendly, my little lad Milo had his picture taken with him.
“Josh and I have messaged each other too and he will hopefully be at the Wardrobe on Saturday.”
Skylights whose self-funded debut single YRA was added to the BBC Radio 1 Introducing playlist, are backed by Leeds music company Futuresound and promoted Toby Womack.
Smith says they are influenced by Yorkshire bands such as The Music, Shed Seven, Bridewell Taxis and The Cult as well as north-west rockers The Courteeners, Oasis and The Verve.
Smith adds: “I’d love for us to get a big gig at Leeds University or the o2 Academy – maybe even Elland Road one day.”
Just don't expect Skylights to give up their day jobs any time soon.