It’s been five years in the making, but Sunderland six-piece Lilliput have this month released their much-anticipated debut album.
Since forming in 2011, the band has earned its rock pop stripes with a host of single releases and gigs, culminating in the debut album Midnight Daydream.
The band – made up of lead singer Joseph Collins; Jamie Gilling on electric guitar; Jonathan Hibbert on electric guitar; Joshua Hawick on bass; Carmen Green on keys and David Waterston on drums – will mark the release with their annual festive show at Sage Gateshead next month and a hometown gig at Independent in Holmeside in January.
Joseph, from Ashbrooke, says they are looking forward to bringing the album to a large crowd.
“We’ve had a bit of a soft launch and it’s been well-received so far,” he said. “It’s the result of five years of writing and performing. Some of the songs are a couple of years old, and others are new.
“It’s a sound that covers from the beginning of the band to our most recent intentions, everything we’ve learnt since 2011 we’ve applied to the album and that’s been intentional.
“We didn’t want it to be indulgent, we felt our debut should express everything, not just whatever takes our fancy at that moment.”
The band’s debut EP, Who Knows Where The Time Goes?, was released via Pop Sex LTD back in 2013 and was met with high praise both nationally and locally. Shortly after this, the five-piece became six with the addition of Jordan Miller (keyboards and vocals) who appeared on the EP.
Fast forward three years and the band travelled to Liverpool to record their debut album with colleague and friend Robert Whiteley (Whitewood Studios) who was engineer and co-producer of the album.
As you’d expect from an album that’s been five years in the making, the result covers a variety of genres, an amalgamation of West Coast rock and British pop with influences from CSNY to the The Zombies, The Band to White Denim, Super Furry Animals to The Beach Boys.
Jordan Miller departed on good terms shortly after the album’s completion and the band welcomed the arrival of Carmen Green (previously of Polarsets / former The Railway Club) into the fold.
The band, who hone their sound at practice studios in Villiers Street, Sunniside, hope the Sage gig, in particular, will help celebrate a new chapter.
Performing at the prestigious venue has become something of a Christmas tradition for the band.
“We played there last Christmas and it was a great gig,” said Joseph. “We’d play there every year if we could.”
In January, the Independent gig will take place during Independent Venue Week, and it’s a venue which is close to the band’s heart. Joseph and Jamie founded Holmeside Coffee in the former entrance to the venue three years ago.
Today, Joseph’s at the helm of the independent coffee shop and its four staff, which has become a culture hub, hosting art exhibitions, as well as book and film clubs.
The venue is a passionate supporter of Sunderland’s City of Culture 2021 bid and has appeared in its promotional video.
Joseph attended Liverpool University around the time it became European Capital of Culture in 2008.
“The amount of infrastructure brought into the city because of it was amazing,” he said. “And it left a legacy which is still there a decade later. That can only be good for Sunderland too.”
*Lilliput play Sage Gateshead on December 21 at 8pm. Tickets available from www.sagegateshead.com/event/lilliput-2016/