RISING indie stars Jordan Allen say that playing Leeds tonight on their first headline tour will be like a second homecoming.
The high-flying Bolton band are veterans of Leeds Festival and Live at Leeds and frontman Jordan worked at the Lending Rooms on Woodhouse Lane for two years whilst at university in the city.
They also have strong links with Yorkshire music after supporting good pals The Sherlocks during an epic 35-date tour in February and appearing with them again in September in front of 2,600 fans at Manchester Academy. Both bands were highlights of this year’s Tramlines in Sheffield.
Now songwriter Jordan, lead guitarist Danny Quin, bassist Kieran Loughran and drummer Nathan Howard are top of the bill at The Chapel in Leeds this evening with support from Sheffield rockers SHEAFS and Manchester’s The Elephant Trees.
Front man Jordan says that even fans who know the band should expect some surprises on this tour.
“All our favourite songs are still there, but a lot has changed since the summer festivals. A new number called Without Any Clothes is now in the set and we’ve been in the studio with our producer David Radahd-Jones re-working Out of My Mind and Wasted Generation. Other songs we couldn’t always fit into our shorter support slots are also back in.”
Latest single R.O.S.I.E. was first heard on the band’s punchy debut EP Livin’ La Vida Bolton and is now lighting the touch paper for what could be the start of something even bigger for them, according to Jordan.
“It’s not easy turning heads in the music industry, but we think we’ve reached a turning point with this song and the gigs we’re playing now. People are starting to notice us, but we’re definitely having to work hard for it” he says.
Virgin Radio has been a huge supporter this year with listeners choosing the band as winners of the station’s Summer Freshfest Competition for unsigned acts, a contest previously won by SHEAFS.
And then last month DJ Matt Richardson named R.O.S.I.E as his track of week, playing the song every day on his show. “That was a big step for us” said Jordan. “There are so many unsigned bands and so few radio slots that to get that level of support was really special. None of us expected it.”
All four of the group realise the importance of playing live and letting fans hear their music. Jordan says they learnt a lot from touring with the biggest new band in Britain this year.
“Being on so many dates with The Sherlocks was perfect for us; it was fun and everything we needed at the time and more. Having a leg up to help get out around the country was invaluable. They’re top Yorkshire lads and their first album, the best-selling debut by a group this year, is cracking.
“They lead the way for bands like us. Playing with them at venues like Manchester Academy was brilliant. Now we need to work towards getting there on our own.”
On this tour Jordan Allen will be alongside other hotly-tipped up and coming bands including their good mates SHEAFS in Leeds.
“We’re from Bolton and they’re from Sheffield, but we met when we both played in Southampton in March” said Jordan. “They’re unbelievable live. I watched them at Kazoopa festival in Leeds last week and Laurence, the lead singer, got me up to help sing their song This is Not a Protest before a stage invasion by fans. There’s a lively video of it somewhere.
“Having them with us in Leeds, along with The Elephant Trees, is brilliant. It may be one of those gigs that people look back on in years to come and say how did those three all end on the same bill in such an intimate venue?”
After earlier ventures as a goalie, actor and solo artist, Jordan now values the camaraderie of being in a band.
“It’s like going from working for yourself to running a business with three others. Sometimes it’s chaotic, but we’re a really strong unit, tight on stage, and, most of all, it’s about sharing the special moments together. We’re hoping for a few more of those in 2018.”
It’s all a long way from Jordan’s first solo show when he was on the bill at The Ruby Lounge in Manchester with future Stockport stars Blossoms, just as they were also starting out. “Some people went out for a cigarette when they were playing, little did they know what they were missing!” he laughed.
Jordan Allen plays The Chapel, Leeds tonight Friday December 8, 2017. Tickets at Jordan-allen.com. Their latest single R.O.S.I.E is out now on all music platforms.