Meet in Coventry. Take drama. Move to Nottingham. See music. Make music. Bish, bash, bosh. Fast forward to 2015 and you’re shoving Torvill & Dean off their spot as the city’s most loved duo. Ice skating, huh? You should see what these guys can do. Before their highly mesmerising and hugely successful gig at The Bodega last Thursday, Luke at The Mic caught up with both Liam and Robin to discuss their past, present, future and all the weird and wonderful bits between.
So, my first question’s asked in the least Cilla Black way possible, how did you two guys meet?
Liam: Blind date!
Robin: We met at school, year 8 I think we met. Can you remember what class it was in – was it music?
Liam: I think it was drama.
Robin: Was it!?
Did you hit it off music-wise or were you hoping to make a break on the stage?
Robin: No, we hated each other for quite a while, ha!
Liam: We had different friendship groups but, yeah, I think both of us wanted at some point to do drama, we only really saw music as a hobby but we wanted to go into acting.
Was this back in Coventry then?
Born in Coventry but grown music-wise in Nottingham, how easy has it been to make a break in this musically driven city?
Liam: Coventry isn’t a great city for up-and-coming acts. It’s a small city anyway, there’s no competition there and there’s no drive. I came here and in the first month I was here, I’d already met up with quite a few of the acoustic artists and then after 6 months of being here, we knew a lot of them. Everyone goes to each other’s shows so it really helps.
It helps having a venue every 10 steps, doesn’t it?
You’ve played the majority of them now haven’t you. Rough Trade, The Bodega already …
Liam: We haven’t played Rock City yet, that’s pretty much it to be honest.
Is that the aim?
Liam: Yeah, I think it’d be good to play there! It’d be great.
Did you do a club night at Lacehouse once?
Liam: We performed once at Lacehouse, but it was a live set up.
Robin: We kinda promoted it as a club night though.
Liam: Did we?
Robin: Yeah, “Lookin’ for Some”
Liam: Oh yeah! I forgot about that, ha.
Robin: Our friends Kagoule, they had a club night downstairs and we thought we’d tag along with theirs and do something interesting. It was just us and Keto, it was good.
Does it feel like a ‘homecoming’ gig every time you come back from playing elsewhere? Do you get loads of friends and family coming along?
Liam: We get good crowds in Nottingham yeah.
Robin: It’s always nice playing Nottingham ‘cause it’s people we know and we know what the reception’s going to be like.
Liam: It’s good to play new songs in Nottingham too ‘cause a lot of people talk about it afterwards and those who’ve seen us before, it’s good to see what songs in the set stand out to them. It’s really easy to vibe off the crowd, isn’t it?
Robin: Yeah, they go mental.
What’s your favourite one to have played at so far?
Liam: It’s got to be the Royal Concert Hall.
Robin: It wasn’t like a lively gig, but it was just amazing.
Liam: We had like a full on orchestra.
How long ago was that?
Robin: That was last year, in September, yeah.
We’re both quite long in the shower but about the same amount of time – especially when we shower together.
I’ve noticed you like to close your eyes when singing Liam. Do you find that’s easier when embracing with the crowd or do you like to be in the zone when you’re into a song?
Liam: For me, it’s not like a thing that I’m aware of at the time. It’s more in my zone, rather than locking myself off from the crowd A lot of the time when I’m like, singing and I do open my eyes and see people enjoying themselves, it’s good. Rather than staring at a crowd like “Listen to this!!!”
I’ve heard and it’s evident that you bring out the best in each other’s musical talents, would you agree? How do you help each other?
Robin: it’s hard to put it down , we never really know what works and what doesn’t.
Liam: Robin will make like a full track, or like three-quarters of a track and I’ll go and listen to it and try and write some lyrics or music to it or sometimes I’ll write a song and Robin will come and put a spin on it with his production. Other times, we’ll sit there and Robin will be playing a synth or a keyboard bass line and I’ll play along on guitar and get some vocal melodies going in my head. It’s cool.
Talk to me about your upcoming single ‘Glass Into Gold’. Is there a message? Are we hearing a hint of Robin’s voice as backing vocals or is that for a later date?
Liam: It’s just overdubbed. It’s just multi-tracked so it’ll be my voice twice. We’ve got a lot of like, layered vocals in the songs we do, that’s one of the main things I like doing. Yeah, Glass into Gold itself, in the verses – see, I wrote the verses before I wrote the chorus, and I told Robin about what the song was, it’s supposed to be like a troubled relationship and yeah.
Robin: The way we did the chorus –
Liam: Yeah, it’s weird the way we did it. So I told Robin what the song was about and that helped him getting some production going, then subconsciously we were stumped on this chorus for ages. Tried some stuff out, we basically wrote vowels and adjectives down on –
Robin: Yeah, we just wrote like random words on little strips of paper, put them into a hat and then just picked out some words.
Liam: Yeah, we pulled them out the hat and I think it was ‘My glass turns shaking hands into gold’ or something like that and we just switched them round to make it ‘My shaking hands turn glass into gold’ and it really fit-
Robin: We were like, wow that’s a really good line.
That’s quality! As if –
Liam: I know, and this isn’t a lie –
Robin: It’s not the first time we’ve done it, we’ve done it before on our old, our first EP ‘Forever For Now’, that was just words on little bits of paper and we got a group of friends doing it, all writing down words –
Liam: Yeah, it was ‘forever burn your picture in my mind’ wasn’t it?
Liam: Or something along that sentence.
For me, it’d have to be Jack Black. I’d love to have Jack Black play me.
I was just about to ask had you done it before, do you reckon you’ll use that technique again then as it’s worked both times now?
Liam: That was like a trick that worked once and we thought we can’t use that again, that’s worked perfect, it won’t work again; yet, we’ve used it again and now it’s our next single!
Robin: Sometimes we write, we get lyrics from chopping up old vocal takes and then rearranging how they play, and then hearing what they sound like. That’s quite a cool thing to do!
So imagine in 5 years time, will you look to bring more to your music; will your sound be the same?
Robin: I don’t think it’ll be the same in 5 years.
Liam: I’d like to get –
Robin: More musicians, hopefully.
Robin: I dunno, we kind of want to keep it us two.
Liam: I’m also completely happy to change direction musically, in the next 5 years, I don’t mind that. I’m not all about following trends or anything, I’m really happy with what we’re doing at the minute and I’m really enjoying making it, but if something else happens in the next 5 years and it’s something we really want to do, then we’ll do that. Although, if Robin and I are happy with it, maybe we’ll be making bhangra.
I’d love to see that! Ha ha. If you could choose two actors to do a movie about Shelter Point, whom would you choose?
Liam: Ha! So, what, who’d portray me? For me, it’d have to be Jack Black. I’d love to have Jack Black play me.
Robin: Ah, what’s his name, Jason …
Liam: Jason … what’s his name in, ‘How I Met Your Mother’?
Robin: Jason Briggs?
Liam: No, Jason Statham … no! Not him.
Robin: Have you seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall?
Robin: The lead guy in that.
Ohhh, him! Erm …
Liam: Jason Segel!
Robin: Yeah, it’d have to be him as I look the spitting-image of him.
Will we see a rendition of the Dracula song?
Robin: Ha, yeah that’d be sick!
Irrelevant of how many months or years it takes, what’s the final dream? What’s Shelter Point’s main goal?
Robin: Jules Holland, maybe?
Liam: Really? What? That’s our thing, I’d love to do that.
Robin: Obviously we could say Glastonbury main stage or something like that.
Liam: It’s hard for us because, it’s hard for us to be an arena band because of what we are. We’re a little bit left of centre when it comes to pop music. I’d love to combine moving image with our sound and make a really, I dunno, get a lot of musicians in and make an orchestral / electronic music like what we do and have a moving film and actually put on a performance of that and get a lot of people on board watching that and enjoying that.
That sounds sick! Ok, another quirky one, 3 artists, past or present to support you on a headline tour, who’d you pick?
Liam: I’d have to say I’d have to have Jeff Buckley there. Erm … Beatles have had their day haven’t they, they’ve had their chance …
Robin: J Diller
Robin Ooh, or Erik Satie?
Liam: Ok yeah, can you put Erik Satie slash Thom Yorke?
Sure thing! Nice picks, it’s good to see choices outside of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin’s of the world.
Robin: They blew it, they had their chance.
Will we be treated to any exclusive new tracks or some samples of future plans?
Robin: Yes, definitely! We’ve got loads of new tracks to play and we’re really excited to play them.
First time you’ve ever played them?
Robin: Yep, first time.
Liam: It’ll also be the first time we’ve played ‘Glass Into Gold’ and we’ll also be doing an acoustic performance of ‘Pale’, that’ll be fun. Yeah, we’ll also be getting a cameo performance of a Notts artist on stage –
Robin: Special guests …
Shelter Point recently did a beautiful live studio performance of ‘Pale’ for Vevo DSCVR, the second of two tracks on the upcoming dual-single ‘Glass Into Gold / Pale’. Watch the video below and be sure to check out their other incredible tracks on their YouTube account here.
If you don’t mind, we’re going to play a quick variation of the game ‘Back Yourself’. If you’re not familiar with the game, I’ll ask a series of questions and you have to agree on the answer. Simple, really. Ok, so who’d win in an arm wrestle?
Liam: Robin. It’s happened before.
Robin: There’s a video of it. That’s how I got this (shows wrist bandage).
Ha, ok I’m scared to ask the next question then if you give the same answer. Who’s longer in the shower?
Liam: We’re probably about the same really. We live together –
Robin: We take quite long. When my girlfriend showers she’s just kind of in and out and I’m like “you can’t be clean?”
Liam: We’re both quite long in the shower but about the same amount of time – especially when we shower together.
Robin: Well, you get out earlier don’t you ‘cause you can’t stand the heat.
Who’d have more groupies?
Robin: It’s Liam, he’s a front man.
Nottingham or Coventry?
Stadium shows or club night sets?
Liam: Stadium man!
Robin: Hmm, I’d say club nights.
Liam: That’s where we differ isn’t it.
Ok, and last one: Liam making beats or Robin singing?
Robin: Oh god, that’s the worst question.
Liam: Ah, it’d probably be –
Robin: We’re both equally terrible at those jobs, that’s why we work so well together ‘cause we don’t stray into each other
Liam: I’d say –
Robin: I’d say Liam making beats because I don’t sing, I’ll say that because Liam won’t say that.
Liam: Yeah, I suppose if I sat down for a week trying to make a 16-beat loop I could get a better outcome than you singing, probably. Which is great!
So we’re not going to see a role reversal tonight then?
Robin: There’s some backing vocals out there tonight. They’re quite edited to fuck though so you can’t tell it’s me!
Well it was great to meet you two, best of luck for the gig! You’ll smash it, I’m sure. Be sure to stay posted as the review of the gig last week will be up on the website tomorrow.
By Luke Matthews