The music business can be a fickle thing at the best of times, we normally run 'Introducing' features on bands that are yet to 'make it', so how did we feel when we were invited to check out a legendary Welsh band called Kids in Glass Houses who were embarking on their Farewell Tour?
The show was amazing and afterwards, we caught up with the charismatic and super talented vocalist Aled Phillips and chatted about why the band were calling it a day, Dr Martens instore events and Travelodge Olympics, here's how we got on....
After eight years, four albums, millions of ecstatic fans (most of which were at the gig tonight), you've decided to call it a day, WHY?
When we started out, we knew that everything has its time and place and we never wanted to outstay our welcome, never wanted to appear stale or that we were starting to repeat ourselves, we've produced some cracking albums, our careers have never dipped and we just thought it'd be a great time to do a last tour at the kind of level that we'd always like to remembered for, just go out on a high and crack on with our lives, it was about self control more than anything.
Are you planning to setup any new bands or solo projects?
definitely want to do something but I think it's a case of I haven't really thought about it too much just yet, I think we'll wait until the band finishes cos as long as I'm in this band, my mindset is to create songs for the band, I need a nail in the coffin or a full stop to make me want to change direction. I love singing and performing too much to give it all up!
You certainly had the crowd eating out of the palm of your hand tonight!
You're playing the Great Hall in Cardiff on October 31st which happens to be the LAST date on your Farewell Tour, how are you planning on preparing yourself emotionally for the show?
I think preparation is pointless for that to be honest, we practiced like crazy for the tour but I don't think that we can emotionally prepare for that show. In one way I know that it's gonna be an amazing Cardiff show, it's a venue that means a lot to us, we've always had great shows there and we've done a lot of meaningful stuff there but come the day, I think that emotions are going to be running very high. People are going to be upset, we'll be upset, our families will be upset too, it's inevitable, I'm fairly confident that everyone's gonna have a very weird but good time, it's a really weird thing to comprehend, to say it's the end of an era is a cliche but it is!
Looking back over your 8 year career, what have been the highs and the lows?
There have been plenty of lows but the first time you do anything as a band it's incredible, selling out a venue, whether it be for 50 people or 1000 it's an amazing feeling, there's so many milestones that you have in the first few years as a band, playing Reading Festival for the first time, signing a record deal, getting a full time manager, getting an agent, just feeling like you've morphed from a hobby into something that ultimately employs people and these people rely on you, it's a bizarre thing to go through. Obviously there is the ugly side of the business that comes with all the highs, sometimes you learn that people that you employ aren't always on your side (you doing well is a band is better for them than it is for you). We can't really complain, we've come from humble beginnings and wouldn't have done any of the stuff we've achieved, leaving the country, touring Australia and Japan, there's lots of bands that will never have the chance to achieve that so we're very lucky!
You played an instore event at the Dr Marten store in Portsmouth as part of your farewell tour, how did this come about? You all wear Doc's, is it some sponsorship deal?
We've done a lot with Dr Martens, they've always been really supportive of new bands, our manager's office is also just around the corner from their store on Carnaby Street in London so we've always been pretty close to them. They've worked with new bands for the past 30 years, especially over the past few years, they've been really nice to us, giving us shoes, we refer to them as our hard wearing gig shoes, they're really well built and last a lifetime! (shameless plug), we just wanted to give them something back.
Are you legally allowed to discuss Travelodge Olympics?
Aaaarrrrgggghhhh, well we paid the fuckin' price for it so yeah!
What are Travelodge Olympics, is it something clean that you can talk about?
Well, there's a lot of different disciplines as there are like the discus and hammer throw, we built an assault course once out of our Travelodge furniture, a bit like a steeplechase crossed with the pole vault, it ended up costing us in the region of £700 which is amazing as every Travelodge room contains about 30 pence worth of furnishings, it's all about making the most of the limited resources that they give you and combining it with a sporting theme! There's no medals either, it just goes on whoever doesn't get caught by the police!
We thanked Aled for sparing his time and wished him all the best for the remaining dates on their farewell tour which is snaking it's way up the country as I am typing this....
Interview by Steve Muscutt
Photograph by Julian Baird