Expect big things from Sunderland’s Lilliput

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Self-recorded and self-produced in the band’s Sunniside studio, the new single from Lilliput showcases a new sound for the Sunderland six-piece.

Turn It Around, which is released next week, was written off the back of a jam, from which they then developed a chorus while infusing it with the big harmony sound that’s become a Lilliput trademark.

A classic pop rock song with layered instrumentals, the track deals with perception and how easy it is to be misunderstood.

Lead singer Joe Collins, from Ashbrooke, explains: “We’ve released a couple of songs this year which we’ll be considering for the debut album. It’s a relaunch for the band as we’ve changed direction a bit and we wanted to get our sound out there.

“It’s rockier and a more direct sound, with a bit of ’70s feel. We’re playing more to our strengths, it’s vocally stronger with more of an upbeat vibe.”

The band has recently increased its number to six after Jordan Miller came on board on keys. He joins existing members who, as well as Joe, include James Gilling on backing vocals and guitar, Jonathan Hibbert on lead guitar, Joshua Hawick on bass and backing vocals and Dan Waterston on drums.

Lilliput

Lilliput

“Jordan’s played with us for a while,” explained Joe. “But now he’s come on board as a full-time member. He’s contributed to the writing and producing side and gives us more of a creative finish as a whole.”

Speaking about the video for Turn It Around, which was filmed at Tanfield Railway, near Beamish, Joe said: “We needed a location and knew we wanted a worker in the video.

“Through contacts we found out about Tanfield and it worked perfectly because of the Northern industrial element.”

To mark the release, the lads will be playing a 45-minute set supporting Hollis Brown at The Islington, London, on Monday.

And on October 30, the day of the single release, they’ll be taking to the stage at Independent in Sunderland to launch the single on home turf. It’s a venue the band hold close to their heart. Not only is it one where they get their biggest reception, Joe runs Holmeside Coffee, which is based within Independent.

“It’s a bit of a juggling act being in the band and running Holmeside Coffee, but it’s doing well. And it’s a nice problem to have,” he said.

As well as selling locally-brewed coffee, the coffee shop is itself a music and arts venue.

“We hold a monthly music night called The Gathering, which is really busy,” said Joe. “It’s a bit different to other gigs in that people listen and respect the artists. It’s a singer songwriter night and the idea is that the audience sit down in a round and appreciate the music. It’s a night we’ve always wanted to do.”

Holmeside Coffee is one in a burgeoning crop of live music venues in Sunderland, with The Point in Park Lane recently reopening as a live music venue, Pop Recs about to return to the city and plans afoot to transform the Old Fire Station for live music and 
theatre.

Joe said: “There’s definitely a lot more going on in the city and we’ve noticed more requests coming in for gigs. The City of Culture bid ties in with that and can only help further.

“It’s a great time to be in a band in Sunderland.”

•Tickets for Lilliput at Independent, Holmeside, on Friday, October 30, are available from www.seetickets.com.