With a new musical approach, Nottingham five-piece ASHFIELDS have seen the rewards as their latest single has entered the Dutch Indie charts, writes Amos Wynn.
Guitarist Carl Kynaston said things are going ‘great’ for them at the moment.
Earlier on in the year they took some time off to map out what path they would follow, as they moved towards a more indie-rock approach, something that “felt natural when writing for us.”
“It came as a natural thing for us. Since we made our come back in March things have just blown up, which is a blessing as you never know how fans will react to a sudden change in writing style.”
Kynaston along with bandmates Dev (vocals), Thomas Cotterill (guitar), Jay Sanderson (bass) and Josh Boam (drums), released their latest single last month.
‘We Don’t Talk,’ entered the Dutch Indie charts at #35, the band say “it was amazing seeing it blowing up as it felt like a new life for us and a fresh start.”
“The feedback has been insane. The feeling, of seeing people singing a song that I wrote in my bedroom, just never gets old.”
They describe releasing music as a ‘nerve wracking’ experience but is also “refreshing to sit back and know people are loving what you’ve created.”
“You spend months writing new music and you go through phases of ‘OMG this is the best song ever, I love it so much’ to then, having heard it a hundred times you begin to think ‘maybe we should re-record this part or we should take this out.”
The band also have a series of shows and big festivals, including Y Not and Dot to Dot coming up.
They will then head off to support the Libertines in September.
Carl said: “You’ll never replace that feeling of walking out to a sea of music thirsty fans aching to cut shapes to your tunes.”
He added that it was hard to pick out the standout date for this summer. “Coming from Nottingham, Splendour has always been the festival we’ve gone to, so to be playing somewhere where we have been spectating is a lifelong achievement.”
“We are on just before Toploader, so I mean come on, we get to finish playing, have a beer, and then throw more shapes than maths GCSE to ‘Dancing in the Moonlight.’
Meanwhile being asked to play Y Not Festival is ‘an absolute standout shocker’.
“I’ve been that kid losing it to a band at the quarry stage; now we get to be the band making people lose their nut.”
Kynaston is ready to go from being a spectator to a performer; “the crowds are big, the beer is free, I’m out the house, happy days!”
The prospect of playing in front of 30,000 people supporting the Libertines is something Kynaston is not only looking forward to but is also nervous about playing, joking “if I said I haven’t lost sleep over this then I’d be lying through my teeth.”
A past gig that stands out was Ashfields’ support slot with The Sherlocks at Rock City.
“It was our home town and we’d just hit top of the food chain round here, the crowd were mad for it, dancing shoes were polished, and the dance moves had been practised in the mirror. We smashed it. It was mental from start to finish. Dev went off crowd surfing. Suppose The Sherlocks were alright as well.”
Being their ‘home turf,’ Nottingham is one of their favourite places to play and Carl admits: “We always get a big crowd of loving fans.”
He states playing in his own city is a ‘biblical feeling’ and that “if I could bottle it up and sell it I’d be richer than that chap who owns Virgin.”
He adds: “It’s madmess. your own city, your name in big letters on that poster behind some of the industry’s biggest names, you know your own town are going to welcome you with open arms, it’s magical.”
Meanwhile Manchester has become a second home to the five-piece after playing only their second show there and selling it out.
The band are not fussed about where they play. Carl said: “We just play wherever and whenever. Obviously it would be nice to go overseas and start selling out some shows, but I think we need a few more UK shows before we think about that.”
The band are influenced by their hometown. As a songwriter Carl cites: “Listening to Dog is Dead and Amber Run as a wee kipper shape the way I approach a tune
when I’m putting pen to paper.”
“Nottingham is also thriving with amazing bands, like George Gadd and The Shrives, so to be a part of the music scene with guys like that is an honour in my eyes.”
In the local community the band are also becoming more recognisable; “People know our names, I walk down to the shops and I get asked: ‘Hey are you Carl from ASHFIELDS. We didn’t choose the name, the name chose us. Seriously, I’m proud to be from Ashfield, it made sense just to put the ‘S’ on the end and write it in capitals.”
The band’s aim is to put Ashfield on the map, so people say: “that’s where that averagely decent band are from.
“The way things are going, our writing is getting better, the festivals are getting bigger, the crowds are growing, the fans are coming in thick and fast. It can only go up. So hopefully thistime next year we could be looking at a label, an album, touring Europe. The possibilities are endless.”