MOST bands get together, have a jam, write some songs, record them, play some shows and then - if they’re lucky - start to get attention from the industry big wigs.
But Sheffield’s High Hazels have done everything in reverse. They’ve never played a show and they haven’t produced any mastered material but, on the back of nothing but a rough demo, the band appeared on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music and were ‘Tweeted’ by Lauren Laverene.
“We couldn’t believe it. It was only a few weeks after we recorded our track French Rue. We had no idea at the time - someone texted my brother and said ‘We’ve just heard your brother’s band on the radio,” said drummer Anthony Barlow.
“That reassured us that we were on the right track,” said Anthony. “Until then we were just rehearsing to ourselves and trusting that what we were playing sounded good.”
The band describes its sound as ‘dream pop’. “We’ve only been doing this properly a year and we didn’t want to rush into playing gigs until we knew that we were good enough.” This modest, hard-working approach comes across in the band’s demeanour - pleasant, enthusiastic, keen and genuinely delighted that their musical project has got off to such a flying start.
“We want to build on that momentum now,” says singer James Leesley.
To help them do this Penny Blackham - who manages Sheffield indie pop band The Crookes - has signed them up. “She’s been brilliant and she’s really helped us so far. It means we can concentrate on the music because that’s what matters.”
High Hazels play at the Great Gatsby on Friday January 18 and The Harley on March 18, supporting Theme Park.