Low and behold...

Low Duo 2012
Low Duo 2012
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IT has to be said there are probably slightly more favourable settings to test out new songs than a fetish club.

That was where brothers Leigh and Adam Greenwood made their debut as a modern folk twosome, having tired of band life.

“We were in a couple of bands before and really enjoyed it and we did pretty well,” recalls Leigh, now one half of Low Duo.

“We got a bit of airplay, supported a few famous bands, but we ended up with a bit of a merry-go-round of members. Then when two left together we just thought ‘can’t be bothered to teach anyone else these songs’.

“We still had a couple of gigs booked that we had to honour and we started kicking round the idea of doing something just the two of us. So we spent about two weeks writing a short set and debuted it at a random London fetish night we’d been booked to play.”

The success of another gig, for Tramlines 2010, prompted the pair to adopt the format and they swiftly gained good early praise and airplay from BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson and Steve Lamacq.

“It’s been really odd the way things have happened for us. We didn’t have a grand plan but we assumed things would be more gradual, that maybe it would take a couple of EPs to build interest in Sheffield and then in time we might get a little more national recognition, but it was much quicker.

“I guess it does add a bit of pressure, but it doesn’t bother us too much. The creative process of writing new songs is our favourite thing so I don’t think anything could ever really stifle that.”

Hence the Greenwoods have high hopes for a third release that sees them shine in a sector of the Sheffield scene dominated by the likes of David J Roch and Neil McSweeney.

Be warned, however, the EP of Truth & Regret sees the pair unveiling their more intimate side with tunes fuelled by love lost and the associated grief, yet sonically packaged in a way that doesn’t wallow.

“We’ve got a style and a sound, but it’s a really natural thing,” says Leigh. “We don’t sit down and talk about the sort of things we want to write. We just have these periods where we bash out loads of new songs and pick our favourite five.

“I’m such a miserable lyricist, though. I don’t know what it is. Our mum always says ‘Can’t you write a happy song for once?’ I think it’s because we like music that is emotionally affecting and we’re quite sensitive too; we’re sensitive to other people’s feelings.

“When people listen to our music I want them to take something away from the experience. Getting people to tap their feet is great but I think making them feel something is better.

“In terms of what we write about, it’s not a conscious thing. Adam will just write a guitar part and I’ll sing, completely free spirited about whatever that piece of music conjures up.

“We definitely write everything from a personal perspective. It’s not social commentary, it’s emotional commentary. Is that a new genre?”

Ambulance eases us into the EP before the double-edged demeanour of Our Little House bursts into feverish life. Sleep Alone is a tightly-woven marriage of guitar and voice that ponders the fragility of surrendering coupling and rediscovering solitude. Secret Matters Of The Heart is more urgent with wistful interludes while closer Waltz With Her is almost pastoral.

“This new EP is quite varied in terms of lyrics; there’s a song about the guilt of a paramedic who fails to save a beautiful girl who has been in a car crash; there’s a song about the emotional risks of being in a relationship and there’s one written from the perspective of a man looking back at a childhood infatuation with his dance partner. So it’s all going on.”

Low Duo play a launch gig at The Great Gatsby, Division Street, Sheffield, tomorrow. Doors 8pm. £5 adv.