In Conversation with Marsicans
Photos by Amy Vearncombe
Sat back-stage ahead of their homecoming headline show, I had the chance to catch up with to the 4-piece Leeds outfit, Marsicans. The trademark high energy that they bring to the stage filled the small space with no glimmer of pre-performance nerves to be seen; rather, a sense of friendly teasing that you’d expect to see from any group of friends as close as these clearly are. We talked touring in the snow, buggies and mums in the crowds.
You sold out 5 out of 6 venues first ever headline tour, congratulations are definitely in order! What have been your highlights?
(various jubilant outpours ensue)
James: I think battling the snow and prevailing has been pretty fun, you’re constantly getting that underdog vibe like “we will get to this gig, we WILL get there” and then you get there, and its chucking it down with snow and you still have to load in. Then you get back to the hotel and it’s like “well done everyone!”.
Oli: Plus, well done to everyone fanwise. With trains and everything, we were lucky as well with what was getting cancelled in each city.
Rob: You know what, if I would have booked tickets to see a show and it would’ve been snowing like that then I wouldn’t have gone.
James: Sometimes even when it’s raining I’m like “UGH, do I have to leave the house?”
Rob: But … we all love music – support your local bands!
Which song has been your favourite to play live, and were you surprised at which ones you enjoyed the most?
Oli: I think we’ve said, ‘Too Good’
Cale: I’m on a ‘Far Away’ ting
Rob: How about Throw Ourselves In
Oli: There’s been no consistency across venues which songs have gone down well, like on the first show in Birmingham, we played Gone in a Second, which is quite an old song, but everyone was still buzzing on it. We thought that was weird but yeah, it’s been good, and it keeps us on our toes which is nice. We play the same set every night, so it’s cool when you play a tune, and everyone goes ballistic.
James: And then people will do different stuff to different parts to different songs, there was a part where a circle pit formed the other night. I was singing, and I looked over at him [Oli] and he was looking over back at Cale and it was just so much fun to see that!
How does it feel to be playing a sold-out show in your very own hometown?
Rob: We didn’t think we would sell the venue out, this is massive and scary.
James: We did Brud [Brudenell Social Club] and we managed to sell that out but only with tickets going on the night, but tonight sold out a week in advance
Oli: It’s wild, when it’s your hometown show you always know that you are going to have friends and family being their and they’re the people who were there at your first gigs. It’s a slow process to turn friends and family into fans, but booking this venue was statement of intent. We have barely shifted a ticket to our family, I think it’s just our mums.
James: They’re all on the balcony tonight, we are showing off for them!
Do you think Leeds has shaped you as a band?
Rob: It’s kept us humble
James: We have a lot of friends who play in different kinds of bands in the scene and stuff, it’s very diverse and we go to a lot of gigs.
Rob: Rather than just an impact musically, I mean there is such a good music scene and so many venues, promoters and people going to gigs just makes you want to do it more, and it enables you to do it more. You can work your way up, there is such an infrastructure for gigs
Oli: I think there is something inherently northern about anyone who has any success, there’s always going to be your mates there who will just knock you back down a few pegs.
James: “Oi, ya dickhead”
Oli: That’s really good, you’ll never turn into someone with an ego when you’re saying, “oh we sold out this show” and your mates are like “boooring” “oh, you’re in a band?” *sarcasm dripping* and you get some stick for it. It keeps you from turning into egotistical people through the bands successes, we wouldn’t be allowed and wouldn’t have any mates left.
You already have a few EP’s under your belt but are you working on a full-length album at all?
Rob: In a very broad sense yes
Oli: We don’t even know how any of that stuff goes, we will just get on with writing a few songs for the moment
Rob: We want it to be right when we release it, so we’re going to hold off that and just make sure that when we release, it will be the best it can be. In the meantime, its not going to go underground, we will still keep about.
You have quite a few festivals booked for the upcoming summer, which one are you most looking forward to playing?
Cale: Kendal Calling definitely, we played it a year or two ago and that was such a fun festival, size wise it gets big bands, but the capacity is still quite small. So, it still feels quite intimate, plus you don’t have to walk a mile to get to the main stage.
James: It’s great as well, they have buggies! We were getting rides everywhere, we all just pilled in and got lifts around like “yeeeah”. Buggies are for when you’re the bigtime!
Cale: I got the guys number at Leeds fest who was running the buggies, got a direct line for when we want them, like our very own chauffer.
Finally, I’ve heard you’ve been working on a sitcom on the road, which one of your songs would be the theme tune?
(interesting vocal renditions of Fawlty Tower noises ensue)
Oli: You know the Fawlty Towers theme tune, NOT that, but something along those lines. With the strings
James: It needs to be classic and grandiose
Rob: I reckon it could be the Throw Ourselves In chorus but done really *enthusiastic exaggerated violin mime*
James: The main character is a bumbling posh idiot, that’s the whole bit, so it fits
Rob: I had to go into some detail last night, on a phoner, about the whole sitcom concept. I literally thought, no one is going to find this funny!?
Oli: This sitcom idea, just stems from being in the van together so many hours with no radio. We have make our own entertainment
James: Most of the character names are made up of road signs. So, we see a road sign with like five different places listed and we just put them all together, the height of creativity!
As if by magic, the interview draws to a close and a celebratory bottle of Moët appears at the door in the hands of their manager.