Indie band Springfield hitting the road to success

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IT'S fair to say that West Cumbria loves its heavy metal and rock and roll, but it seems that there's a new generation of indie bands fighting to get their voices heard.

Whitehaven band Springfield are one such band, along with their hometown mates the Northern Threads, who have sprung up in the region over the past 12 months aiming to upset the balance of things around here.

Still at the formative stage of their existence, they started out as The Scene last year, changing their name to something a little less generic before Christmas.

Now Springfield are ready to make inroads into the rest of the county - and beyond.

"We'd heard that there was another band called The Scene, so we thought we'd best come up with an alternative," says drummer Mitchell Sloan.

"The place where we used to practise is called Springfield Gardens, so we took it from that and it felt right to have a name with a meaning behind it.

"It wasn't a conscious decision, but around the same time we started doing a lot more of our own originals, and we've now got about six or seven that we're really happy with.

"We're becoming more known around Whitehaven and West Cumbria, and I think people like what we're doing - we always get positive feedback, but then not many people have the face to tell you if you're bad. Not that I think we are at all - I'm really happy with our sound."

All still teenagers, they've done well to land some big gigs in these early days: The Mighty Boof Boxing Day show in Whitehaven was the first, with recent slots at Barrow's In Bloom and Carlisle's Within The Walls festivals their debut appearances in both towns.

Later this summer they'll be going one step better still, featuring at the Aspatria Music Festival alongside the likes of Scouting For Girls. And while there's no fixed plan, they're eager to make the most of this promising start.

The four-piece outfit are recognisable for their identical twin guitarists Lewis and Rhys Pritchard - with the latter also on lead vocals - and completed by bassist Ben Tucker, they've also made a name for themselves with their mature and accomplished sound.

Lewis says: "Our original stuff is closer to alternative rock music, but I'd say it's maybe a cross between Kasabian and Two Door Cinema Club.

"We've got Kasabian and Oasis covers in our set at the moment, and I think that's probably what we sound like, but with a bit of post-punk in there somewhere as well."

They're still some way off a proper EP or album - so for now they're handing out their demo tracks on self-burnt CDs at their gigs (and a few copies may have found their way onto the shelves at HMV on their recent trip to Carlisle).

Although it's not easy for an indie band to break through in an area off the beaten path for the type of bands they'd like to support, their willingness to travel and get themselves on any bill going should see Springfield become a name that's known across Cumbria before too long.

Rhys continues: "It's hard for a band in Whitehaven, as there's not a lot of people putting things on. The Mighty Boof have been good to us, putting us on at their Boxing Day show and Within the Walls, and they're doing a good job of promoting local bands.

"They're definitely the biggest shows we've played, though we've not done much outside our area yet - until we went to Barrow, I think the furthest we'd been was to Cockermouth.

"I think we'll have to get a van, because we had to pile everything into three cars to get all our equipment down there.

"We've never really thought about where we want to get to as a band, but we've all been playing since we were eight or nine years old, just for something to do.

"Kendal Calling is probably the festival we really want to play, and we're playing Aspatria soon, which is kind of the next level up for us.

"For now, we just want to be playing as many shows as we can - we're young and ambitious, and I'm honestly happy to play anywhere."

Springfield appear at Aspatria Music Festival, which runs from Friday July 14 to Sunday 16. Tickets are available from www.aspatriamusicfestival.co.uk

Monday, June 19, 2017 at 3:14PM
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