Meet Nathan, Andy, Will and Adam who together form Lapels; a 4-piece band of singer/songwriter/musicians from the East Midlands, whose honest, no-fuss take on indie/pop, is fast becoming likened to a Blur/Oasis-esque evolution of those early days of mid-90s Britpop. Lyrically depicting everyday mundane ‘stuff’, Lapels' candid approach to British guitar based pop, resonates with audiences for its relevance and honesty. The band formed in 2018, when Nathan and Andy sparked off a singer/songwriter chemistry at college in Nottingham. Pulling in band mates Will and Adam, the boys began gigging across the East Midlands and quickly had to find a band name to go onto a gig flyer; because they were all wearing jackets at the time, ‘lapels’ was the first word that connected them all.
Lapels were born whilst playing at a live gig in the East Midlands, the boys had a fortuitous meeting with, Colin Peter, the CEO of the newly formed, Marquee Records. Well known for nurturing burgeoning British talent, the iconic Marquee Records was formed as an evolution of its original club brand, stepping into the 21 Century to nurture and support the cream of breakthrough artists. With their honest, no nonsense on stage charisma, Marquee Records snapped them up instantly.
His dad a musician, Nathan was raised on a staple diet of The Beatles, Oasis and The Arctic Monkeys. The turning point came when his dad bought him ‘Abbey Road’; Nathan sees that album almost as a schooling on how to write songs. From that point on, weekly paper-round money went on buying a new Beatles album each week, spending every spare moment devouring those iconic sounds. Originally a drummer, by the age of 11, Nathan was self-taught on a cheap guitar given to him by a family member, who brought it back from a trip to Memphis USA. Influences grew to a full spectrum of genres from The Jam, Kinks, Small Faces, Pulp, Blur and The Stone Roses, right through to the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
The baby of the band, Adam’s played drums since he was just 8 years old, joining Lapels when he was 14. The cheeky chap honestly admits that he didn’t really stand a chance of staying in the band, because of his age ‘but here we are!’ Adams’ vibrance and enthusiasm on stage often see him breaking the kit during gigs, from snare drum skins and bass drum skins right through to his sticks. In his spare time, Adam teaches drums.
Again, the offspring of a musician, Andy was already playing the guitar by the age of 8. Influenced heavily by bands such as The Kinks, The Beatles, The Libertines and The Arctic Monkeys, it was a live performance by the Arctic Monkeys when they headlined Reading Festival in 2014 that turned Andy’s passion for music into an obsession. As the band kicked into ‘Brainstorm’ and the smoke flares flew over his head, Andy knew that he needed to be in a band. Fresh out of school, with no skill set other than music, he thought. ‘I can do that! There’s bands I’ve seen at this festival this weekend and I can do better than that.’
Years later Andy met Nathan at Derby College. The chemistry wasn’t instant, their personalities clashed; but somehow they knew they could make great music together, it just wasn’t meant to be at that time. They reconnected a year later at a festival performance by The Charlatans, both ended up going to college together in Nottingham and suddenly these two creatives were buzzin’ on life together.
It was clear that both boys had egos and wanted to sing and write songs, so they looked to bands like The Beatles and The Libertines and decided to follow the general rule that, whoever has written the song will be the one who sings it. The competitive edge sparked off both boys, pushing them into becoming better writers.
Born a bassist, Will jokes how the first 12 years of his life were spent on an electric guitar, which he had to ‘make do’ with, tuning it down and kidding himself into believing it was a bass. Until his first Christmas in secondary school brought that much needed instrument into his life. Also a drummer, Will confesses that he’s actually drummed in more bands than he’s played bass for. Will’s strongest memories ‘live’ including playing drums, where the bassist’s amp started smoking, ‘though I honestly thought I was playing so fast that my drumsticks were starting to catch fire!’ he laughs. He also reminisces on a gig where he played so hard that his fingers bled ‘not as rock-n-roll as it sounds,’ he admits, ‘I just stuck a dinosaur plaster on it.’
Will’s musical influences vary massively from 60s rock to 70s new-wave, all the way to modern day neo-psych, favourite artists include The Kinks, Blur, Bowie, Eno and King Gizzard. "In terms of influencing my playing style in the band I’d say the bassists that’ve had the biggest impact are John Entwistle and Alex James."