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English Teacher – JSF’s Featured Artist for May

Hello you lot. First off, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. You’ve been absolutely smashing it these past weeks/months – but let’s wind it back a bit: where are you from and where did it all start?

Hello! It’s my absolute pleasure, thanks for asking us. It’s been a crazy few months for sure, we’re all exhausted but only in the best way. Its got to the point where we just want to be on the road for the rest of eternity. We all met whilst studying at Leeds Conservatoire, which is pretty convenient. Leeds is still where we’re based although we are originally from all over. Lily and Lewis are from the north somewhere, Douglas and Nick are from the south somewhere. Perhaps that’s why we get on so well, a perfect state of equilibrium.

We’ve been hooked since your 2020 arrival and it’s been great to watch your progress. Your latest EP ‘Polyawkward’ is a blinder. Tell us about it: the stories, the recording process etc. And is there an LP in the works?

You’re too kind! It’s the first collection of songs we’ve kind of shoehorned into one finished piece which is a pretty satisfying process. The songs were all written around the same time, between recording R&B in January 2021 and going to record the EP in August the same year. Our songwriting is very collaborative, usually with one of bringing some sort of guitar part to the table and then Lily will match that we some lyrics and we’ll all just play around with it until we almost want to vomit, and only then do we know the song is approaching the finish line. The name ‘Polyawkward’ is derived from the term ‘Polyorchid’ which is a person who possesses more than two testicles.

I can neither confirm nor deny that an album is in the works.

(Yes)

We see you did rather well in the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition and can’t wait to see you there. What was it like, how did it come about, and what does it mean to you as a young band to do so well, and now to be performing at Glasto?

We spent a fair bit of the afternoon not really believing where we were, whilst lying in a very sunny Pilton graveyard (it was nicer than it sounds). It was a surreal experience, just seeing Emily Eavis casually making sure her kids have enough sausage rolls like she doesn’t run literally one of the best festivals in the world. Some really amazing artists too, everyone smashed it. We’re ridiculously excited to play the festival, definitely top of the bucket list material! It means so much, we are all fairly self-conscious people so to have this confirmation that maybe we’re doing ok is such a comforting feeling.

As a young band currently breaking out, what advice would you have for other bands trying to take the same strides right now?

Try and play as many gigs as you physically can, and if possible play outside of your own town/city. BUT don’t ever play ‘pay to play’ gigs, they’re almost always a con. Get yourselves on social media too if you haven’t already. I know most platforms are grim and toxic and horrendous but it’s the price you have to pay.
And finally, I guess just make sure your music is interesting and varied (however subjective that is) and that you actually truly like it and enjoy playing it. Energy and enthusiasm on stage can make such a difference.

Get tuning into English Teacher pronto: https://push.fm/fl/etpoly

& give them a follow on those socials: https://www.instagram.com/englishteacherband/

Photo Credit: Tatiana Pozuelo

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Without People You’re Nothing – Joe Strummer

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