Preview & Interview: Three London Planes at Canteen


Written by Melz Durston
23 Thursday 23rd January 2014

Three London Planes: The Canteen, Bristol

With influences ranging from the likes of 60s psychedelic artists to the cyclical, never-ending soundscapes of the Chemical Brothers and Orbital, we introduce Three London Planes, so called and inspired by an attraction in the centre of the Roman city of Bath, as Tom - guitarist and vocalist in the band explains:

"We took the name from one of our lyrics in 'Dream Writing'. There's a circus in Bath with these huge London Plane trees in it, but they've kind of merged into one huge organism. I wrote a lyric about it and we needed a name and it was suitably abstract, so it just fell into place."

The four band-mates met in and around Bristol—either through their schooldays or the mandatory call-centre job. Tom met James (piano, organ, synths) at uni whilst in Leeds - and the rest fell into place when the decision was made to move to Bristol for its thriving music scene. They have been playing together as a band for a year or more now. Based mostly in St Pauls, they find a lot of inspiration from local haunt Stokes Croft—as Tom tells Don't Panic:

"It's a great community, the street art and the general anti-establishment ethos is inspiring, it's easy to meet interesting artistic people out and about. Fairly cheap. You couldn't really want more."

So how does this inspiration translate into the sounds of Three London Planes, and what might we expect from their forthcoming gig at Bristol's venue, The Canteen, tonight?

"A lot of my compositional influences come from new folk artists like Tunng, Adem, Fink, and 90s-era bands like The Stone Roses, Radiohead, Gomez, The Smiths, and Blur. I'm well into the old **Warp Records** stuff and new electronica like Fourtet, Gold Panda, Baths, who all influence my electronic music production. I guess I would say that James is more influenced by a lot of soul music like Otis Redding, Muddy Waters, rag-time pianists and the old school jazzers. Fin's big into all the soul classics too, and is a great composer and producer in his own right. Max, again, massively digs the soul but his drumming style is a really lush blend of hip-hop and rockier elements. We make no effort to blank out or withhold influences at all, and our only hope is that the music we make is a reflection of all of our tastes and styles. I guess I like to think that the music evolves quite organically that way."

There's also definitely a bit of The Beta Band and The Happy Mondays in there too, we think. Lyrically, the main push of the songs have been created by Tom and James, as Tom explains:

"James and I have been writing music together for five years on and off. We've been told a few times that our vocal harmonies are reminiscent of 60s psychedelia, which is something we never intended but are happy to carry on with."

Max, Fin, James and Tom, aka Three London Planes, will be playing Bristol's The Canteen with support from their friends Toyface. Future plans include:

"Finishing home recording for our next EP which we're producing, and also shooting a live video. We're going to build a press-pack and hopefully play a few festivals, and we should be getting into the studio and shooting another video this spring."

When we asked Tom if he could recommend any recording studios in Bristol, his response was as follows:

"I doubt I can tell people much about the Bristol music scene that they don't know already, but I will say that Maverick Studios in Speedwell make a brilliant practice space. The guys there are really sound and there's a bar and stuff, it's really chilled and makes for a great atmosphere."

There's no greater reason than the one Tom lists as his reason for making music:

"As a band we just enjoy creating music for the sake of the music itself. I suppose any art consists in the generation of an external identity through self-expression, and by contributing our expression of identity we're reaching out to people. Hopefully our music will bring positivity and happiness to people in the way so many other people's music has done for us."

Three London Planes
The Canteen, Stokes Croft
Thursday 23rd January
Music from 21:00, tickets available at usual outlets.

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