Interview: Courts


“We love the 90s” exclaims Courts bassist Dan, who’s currently sat in a studio somewhere near the band’s hometown of Basildon. You could’ve guessed that judging by the video for latest track ‘Santana’. “It’s a bit Top of the Pops-y” Dan confesses but assures me that the quintet have never consciously made the effort to sound like anything before them.

Looking like they’ve just stepped out from the BBC archives, in ‘Santana’ lead singer Chris spits the lyrics “Change is for the better, regardless of the better and we know.” The ethos of the band couldn’t be more different though; “We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing, stay true to ourselves, don’t let anyone tell us what to do” is the mentality says Dan.

It’s been a while coming too. Dan and Chris both met at college and formed Courts when they were eighteen, acquiring Joe on drums. After a few line up changes, in 2012 Reece and James were invited into the band by their brother Dan and played T in the Park in the same year. “Unfortunately the exposure wasn’t big enough. It was probably a bit too early for us” admits Dan. “We took a step back and locked ourselves away. We don’t really feel like the band launched properly until March this year.”

Some launch it was too, with Zane Lowe spinning their debut track ‘Part Of’ as his last ever Next Hype on BBC Radio 1. It was a springboard for the band to push on past their nine-five jobs. “That was probably the highlight so far. The more that happens, the more and more we think we want. You wanna take it to the next level.”

They’re not getting too carried away though. The band are still unsigned and in no rush to play non-stop shows. “Everything we’ve done so far there’s a strategy to it. It’s all a gradual build.” Having wet the tastebuds with the upbeat summer jam of ‘Part Of’ and the more woozy ‘Santana’, Courts are creating the kind of music that feels fun to make. “With us when we’re in a room together there’s something special there. I think it’s a one off and we’re all blessed and lucky to have all found each other” beams Dan.

Not only does their music have a care free attitude, the kind which could find itself on a Mike Skinner/ FIFA Street soundtrack, but their videos are stripped back so far they could’ve been nicked from your parents VHS collection. “The Part Of video was shot on holiday in Tenerife. We hired out a villa with fifteen people and fucked around for two weeks” laughs Dan.

Expect a slightly more serious approach to the band’s upcoming EP though which will be out in Autumn. “You’ll hear a bit of brass, some more 70s influence, maybe some rocky bits in there as well. Every song we write does sound quite different but then it all fits in with what we do, in a similar way to what Radiohead do” Dan says casually. A big claim but all signs are pointing in the right direction for Courts at this moment in time, just don’t expect them go full throttle on the gigs.

About The Author

Josh Shreeve

Director of VLM and radio man at Forge Radio. Studies journalism at the University of Sheffield.

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