Gig preview: Heir at Oporto, Leeds

Heir. Picture: Portia HuntHeir. Picture: Portia Hunt
Heir. Picture: Portia Hunt
'It's been a long time coming,' says Sam Luca, discussing Leeds band Heir's new single I'll Pick You Up.

“We wrote it a year and a half ago, the first time we took ourselves away to get a load of tunes out. We’re thrilled to get to the point of being able to share it with other people.”

The song’s lyric is “focussed around the broad idea of escapism”, Luca explains.

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“There’s a lyric in the second verse where once you’ve got out of the city, tt’s obviously metaphorical but it’s also literally nice to sometimes get out of Leeds, but once you get to where you’ve ended up, where you desired to go, you’re then looking back and wanting [the city] again,” adds fellow band member Ste Fisher.

“It’s a simple message in the song,” frontman Tom Hammond chips in. “It’s feel good, you know it takes just someone to pick you up or just take a breather.”

“It’s a nice feeling when you know there are places you can go – metaphorical, spiritual or physical that are different to where you are currently,” Luca agrees. “The song is saying, ‘Come with me’, I suppose.”

Another new track, Be Somebody, also debuted recently on the band’s Bandcamp and Facebook accounts and was played by DJ Alan Raw on his BBC Introducing West Yorkshire programme.

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The five-piece band – who formed two years ago while they were studying at Leeds College of Music – are now juggling day jobs with rehearsing, recording and gigging. Yet they’ve purposely managed to find time for the occasional writing retreat.

“We recently went back to Northumberland, where we went for our first writing retreat, and got a new song down,” Luca says. “We’re demo-ing stuff in the hosue at the moment. We’re lucky enough to have our own home studio.

“We haven’t done a lot of writing intertwining with our everyday lives as such. At the moment we still try to book in time to go away and completely focus our minds entirely on the process.”

The band have a mini UK tour coming – starting on Wednesday with a show at Oporto in Leeds, with further shows in Manchester and London.

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“Then we’re going over to Belgium and the Netherlands which is actually the main bulk of the tour,” says Freeman. “It’s not because we don’t like the UK, it just made more sense this time to do three gigs in places where we know we’ve got a following and then go over and develop what we had last time when we went to the Netherlands. We were received really well when we went over there last time. We want to go over with the new material and say thanks because there’s been some people who’ve stayed in touch with us since we last went over.”

The Oporto gig will be a release party for the new single. “We’ve got some really good friends of ours – Krrum, Laminate Pet Animal and Peakes – with us. It’s free and it’s going to be a really nice atmosphere. It’s looking like it’s going to be rammed already which is just a really good feeling,” Freeman says.

Heir play at Oporto, on Call Lane, Leeds on Wednesday March 22. Doors 7.30pm, admission free. For further details visit