ALRIGHT are five lads from the Fylde Coast who have known each other since being kids. Featuring Joe Darnell (vocals), Matt Bunnage (rhythm guitar), Brad Mills (bass), Liam Smith (drums) and Conagh Griffin (lead guitar), their shared love for music eventually brought them together in their mid-twenties just after lockdown. Joe chats ahead of their hometown show at The Waterloo on 8th March.

Your wear Blackpool origins on your sleeve, when other bands may shy away from their heritage. What draws you to Blackpool iconography, such as the single art and title for Tangerine Dream, and why is the town important to you?

We love Blackpool. We’re not blind to the fact that it has its troubles. But it’s also the place where we grew up, the place that moulded us into the people we are today, and ultimately it’s a town that backs each other and sticks together through thick and thin. Our moderate success as a band has been down to the people of Blackpool driving us. 

You’re known for some upbeat bangers but listening more closely to lyrics, in Slipping for example, shows a depth to your music that goes beyond bouncy hits. Do you like to play with audience’s expectations or is it just what happens naturally during the songwriting process?

In terms of our songwriting, we are in a very privileged position of being a band where every member writes, which is rare. We all write about similar things too – our own lived experiences. Which, as highlighted earlier, are very much relatable to the general people of Blackpool and surrounding areas. All of our music tastes are slightly different, which is why we bring a different type of tune pretty much every time we release something. But lyrically, none of us will ever shy away from sharing our true thoughts, feelings and/or experiences.

You’ve had quite an astronomical rise since getting together in lockdown. What’s been a highlight of your relatively short but jampacked journey, and why do you think people have connected with you?

Yeah it’s been quite mad and unexpected really. Obviously we’re still striving to go even further. But reflecting upon everything we’ve done so far, there have been so many highlights – Pet Shop Boys publicly praising us; headlining Blackpool Tower; selling out shows – the list goes on. But I think we’d have to say playing YNot Festival last year alongside the likes of Kasabian and Paul Weller was a proper “how the f*ck have we ended up here” moment. With people connecting with us, we put it down to just being a group of genuinely normal lads who happened to end up making music. We dress like everyone else, act like everyone else and we speak about the things that everyone else has experienced.

You’ve been compared to Reverend and the Makers and The Twang. Are these influences of yours, and are there any other bands that you think have shaped your sound and attitude?

Some of the comparisons that we’ve drawn have been quality to be fair. To even be thought of alongside the likes of Rev and The Twang is crazy. Most of us grew up listening to them so I think, subconsciously, bands like that will always be in the back of our minds when writing because we’ve had loads of mega nights watching them. I think we take a lot from the Britpop era, particularly the north west bands such as The Verve and Cast.

What’s the elevator pitch that one of your fans should give their friends to get them down to an ALRIGHT show?

The reason to get down to an ALRIGHT show is pretty simple – it’s a massive party! Everyone is made to feel welcome by each other and the energy in the room – both on stage and in the crowd – is always magical.

Get tickets to ALRIGHT’s hometown show at the Waterloo Music Bar on 8th March here.

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  • Mully is a writer and musician from Blackpool. Formerly an English Literature teacher, he is currently a copywriter, and enjoys movies, long walks on the beach, and clichéd lists.

  • Show Comments (1)

  • Rob Menzies

    LOVE these lads. High octane party starters who aren’t afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeve. 🧡

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