Recommended By Russell

Bristol band Tidy Street talk celebrity endorsements, Justin Bieber and the Bristol music scene.

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Russell Brand’s tweet about Bristol five-piece Tidy Street caused a controlled period of hysteria within the Bristol music scene, but the members were almost none-the-wiser.

“It all happened completely out of the blue,” says vocalist Gabe Churchill, “we’re not even on Twitter so if our friends hadn’t seen it we wouldn’t have known.”

That’s not to say they weren’t excited when they found out. As bassist Adam Flood owns up to nods of agreement, “I pretty much soiled myself.”

Twitter or no Twitter, Tidy Street would have been sure to notice something special was happening: post-tweet, views on their SoundCloud surged over 1000, and hits on an Inter:Mission article on the band sky-rocketed to unprecedented levels.

Although the members are visibly buzzing about the scale of attention Brand’s tweet has generated around the band, for lead singer Gabe, the timing could have been a little better.

“In a way the whole Russell Brand thing has come at a bit of a bad time,” he confesses. “We’ve just recorded a new song and we’ve got a bit of a different sound going on now, now we’re a full electric band.”

Photo: Tom Hills

Nonetheless, the members have been overwhelmed by the reaction from students and friends in Bristol, and are keener than ever to debut their new sound, in the form of a single, recorded in UoB’s Victoria Rooms.

The latest track, they profess, is more of a fun vibe, and a bit more upbeat. But there are murmurs of dissent amongst the ranks when the term “pop” is used.

But Adam, in dulcet northern tones, astutely points out that “these days pop means something different to Cilla Black.” Which, of course, can only be a good thing, given that her last smash hit was in 1971.

To be fair, at a uni boasting a disproportionate amount of indie-kids and hipsters, pop can be a bit of a dirty word. In most social circles, it would probably take a certain amount of courage to divulge a penchant for Kelly Clarkson, unless it’s a track remixed by some obscure House DJ.

But Tidy Street freely agree pop music, although capable of being abominable to the point of being offensive, can also be pretty listenable. The members agree there’s nothing wrong at all with being influenced by pop music (giving The Beatles as the perfect example), though they’re pretty sure they don’t sound hugely mainstream.

Photo: Tom Hills

In an unpredicted turn of events, the members are soon eager to air their dirty commercial laundry, and when The Tab asks whether the members listen to anything that might surprise readers, Tidy Street grants access to a treasure trove of guilty pop pleasures.

Guitarist Ben Goodall revealed, “I Shazam-ed Bieber’s new track the other day, obviously I had no idea it was his,” then after a brief moment of reflection admitted, “it’s a pretty good song though.”

Gabe’s secret admiration of the world’s catchiest tune, Candy, by Robbie Williams also comes to light. This draws a slightly stunned reaction from the rest of Tidy Street, with drummer Conor Fuller pleading, “Oh no, don’t put that in.”

When it comes down to it, they conclude pop basically means popular, and that’s never a bad thing when you’re making music (unless you’re shit).

The band is pretty nonplussed about maintaining an exterior of impenetrable edginess, an affliction that does have a bit of a habit of plaguing indie bands.  Nor do they seem to subscribe to any sort of hipster culture that occasionally serves to segregate the ‘proper’ music-lovers of Stokes Croft from those who frequent the Triangle, which is refreshing.

Photo: Tom Hills

Gabe gushes about the friendliness of the uni’s music scene, and how supportive the environment can be. The band note that media like Helicon and UBTV have garnered Tidy Street a lot of uni publicity, whilst events organised by students like Just for Kicks mean that bands at UoB have become a little community.

Although the members all have different favourite gigs in Bristol, the common themes are intimate venues, full crowds and a student-y atmosphere. Conor says when performing at Happy Daze his drum kit was on the ground and people were dancing around him: “that was without a doubt my favourite gig. I was right in the middle of everything. Plus I was wearing pink trousers.”

And if Russell Brand and pink trousers aren’t enough to persuade you to check them out, you’re probably a lost cause.

Tidy Street’s new single Green Eyes will be out over Easter. Follow the band on Twitter, and like them on Facebook. You can check out their SoundCloud here.