Music interview: The Pale White are ones to watch

The Pale White headline the first Ones To Watch gig at The Wardrobe.
The Pale White headline the first Ones To Watch gig at The Wardrobe.
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The team behind one of Britain’s most successful urban music festivals, Live At Leeds, is branching out with two new events.

Ones To Watch will showcase artists the Leeds booking team feels are names to watch in 2018.

The first, nine-band, bill at The Wardrobe on September 30 is headlined by The Pale White, an indie rock trio from Newcastle who have rapidly ascended to stages at Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading festivals and Bingley Music Live.

Singer and guitarist Adam Hope explains the group began in April 2016 (after shedding their old name, Sun Dance). “By the time we found our sound and we found the song that we wanted to launch as us, we thought that we wanted a name that suited the aesthetic of the music better,” he says.

“We’ve got quite a dark streak in our music, although it’s got the pop riffs, The Pale White describes the light you see before you die, so I quite like that, it’s mysterious.”

In addition to Adam and his drummer brother Jack is bass player Tom Booth, who Adam recalled from his teens when they were in other bands on the local circuit. “He’s primarily a guitarist but he wanted to play the bass. When I started this project I was originally doing bedroom demos and it was an obvious choice to get my brother in but I also remembered [Tom] had a voice like an angel so I asked him on the off-chance and he said yes. We’d never really spoken much before but now we’re a unit.”

We’ve got quite a dark streak in our music, although it’s got the pop riff.

Adam Hope

The Pale White have released three singles since January, the latest of which is called Downer. “It’s about a night gone wrong,” says Adam. “You’ve gone out on a date or something and it’s about chasing something that loves to be chased but then you fluff that off and throw yourself into Newcastle nightlife.”

The trio landed slots at Glastonbury and Leeds and Reading thanks after backing from BBC Introducing. “They’ve supported us non-stop. We released our first single in January and that got BBC Introducing track of the week. We got played on Radio 1 every day for a week and it was brilliant, we’d never experienced anything like that before.

“Since then we’ve put the second single out and Radio 1 started backing it and then we got Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds.”

Their first festival season has been “an amazing experience”, Adam says. “When you get off stage and you realise you’ve just played Glastonbury and you’re walking round the site and you watch the video back online it’s a bit surreal. It doesn’t feel real in the moment but it’s obviously one of life’s ambitions crossed off the old bucket list.”

The band played at The Church during this year’s Live At Leeds in April. “We had a great turnout and everyone was loving it and it got rowdy,” says Adam. “I can’t wait to see what The Wardrobe is going to bring.”

The Pale White play at The Wardrobe, in St Peter’s Square, Leeds, on Saturday September 30. Doors open 1pm.

The second Ones To Watch gig, headlined by Lewis Capaldi, takes place at the same venue on Saturday November 25. www.liveatleeds.com

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