Up and coming rock-pop band Witterquick set the stage alight on Friday 30th October with their electrifying live set at The Electric Ballroom, Camden as one of the openers for the hottest new band of 2015: Nothing But Thieves. The 5-piece from Exeter formed in 2013 and have steadily been making a name for themselves in the alt-rock scene. Will, Ollie, Ben, Nate and Joe have been dedicating the past two years to gigging and song writing and have gained a growing and enthusiastic fan base from the word go.
Will [Alford, vocals], the main songwriter in the band, says that he’s inspired by life in general; the good, the bad, the unexpected, and the rollercoaster of highs and lows we’re all taken on. The band say the distinctive Witterquick sound is influenced by rock/pop heavyweights such as Brand New, Thrice, Oasis, Manchester Orchestra and Biffy Clyro. With regards to the song writing process itself, Will creates the main vibe but guitarist Ben [Chanter] cleverly described it as: “Will sets the foundation and the rest of us build the house.”
The Witterquick guys all agree that touring with Nothing But Thieves has been an incredible experience and certainly a highlight of their musical career so far. Nothing But Thieves, Witterquick and second support act Pretty Vicious are bands which all have their own unique sound, but the rocky undertones, edgy hooks and soaring vocals means that the three bands complement one another and it makes for a cracking live show.
“the NBT guys are the nicest and most genuine guys I’ve ever met”
Will explained that they first found out about NBT a while back when they shared the same management and were shown a video of the band playing live. The ensuing meeting where Witterquick displayed their musical capabilities led to them supporting NBT on 13 dates across the UK on their Ban All The Music tour, which accompanies the release of their debut album on 23rd October – A truly incredible opportunity for an as yet unsigned band. Will explained that the show at the Electric Ballroom was the biggest on the tour so far and everyone was overwhelmed by the response from the crowd. It’s a venue they’d dreamt of playing at and can be ticked off their bucket list. Hopefully, next time they return they’ll be heading the bill (and with a rider that includes more than a measly 8 beers!)
The Witterquick boys have a young fanbase who show true dedication, many of which have spent time travelling across the country to watch them perform at numerous venues. I asked Will how he sustained the nasty graze on his face and he explained that it was inflicted by an overexcited fan who jumped on him. Yes it’s early in their musical careers, but they’ve already experienced crazed fans. Just another rite of passage for a rock band! The fans at the Electric Ballroom were crowding round the merch stand waiting to get t-shirts and singles signed and grabbing selfies with the boys, but luckily no injuries were sustained this time round.
They all agree that touring with the NBT lads is an incredible experience that they don’t want to end: that “the NBT guys are the nicest and most genuine guys I’ve ever met” said Will, and life on the 16 bed tour bus is a laugh as they all vibe off each other and have a great rapport. Somehow 16 beds are crammed into a relatively inconspicuous-looking bus and this is where they’ve called home for the past few weeks. Will noted that, as fun as it is being on tour, it makes you appreciate the home comforts that you take for granted, such as hot showers. The rock and roll lifestyle certainly takes its toll after a while but nonetheless, they’re all relishing the time they’re getting to spend on tour and already looking forward to going back out on the road in 2016.
But it’s not all rock and roll for Witterquick, as since they’re still unsigned (albeit for probably not very long) they still have day jobs (Will is a chef by day and Ben is in admin). They’re “taking time out to observe where it’s all starting from and growing from here” and are truly grateful for all the brilliant experiences this tour has given them so far.
Listening to ‘The Otherside’ and current single ‘Soldiers‘ I can detect some Plus 44 and Taking Back Sunday influences but their sound is ultimately all in their own making. ‘Soldiers‘ is an awesome angsty, atmospheric track with a highly addictive anthem-like chorus. The complex guitar solos are faultless and Will’s vocals are smooth and effortless. The Otherside is more fast-paced and incorporates quirky guitar twangs which to me instantly scream ‘country’ — a sure sign that I’ve been watching too much Nashville — but have a toughened up edge. Judging by their electrifying live performance and the hoards of fans they’ve already amassed, I’m tipping Witterquick as one to watch in 2016.
January sees the release of their new single and they’re hoping to do some extensive touring in the New Year. One track they said they’d love to cover is ‘Give Me Shelter‘ by The Rolling Stones and also a Taylor Swift classic, so watch this space. After a guided tour of the venue we parted ways at Camden Town station as the boys embarked on a mission to sink a few hard-earned celebratory beers.
They’ll be hooking up with the NBT boys at the end of the month for the remaining Ban All The Music UK tour dates, kicking off on November 26th in Bristol. But for now, check out their current single ‘Soldiers’ below, taken from their debut EP Beneath The Spinning Lights.