As promised in the most recent edition of Kirkstall Matters, here is an interview with a long time favorite of Kirkstall Festival goers, Hope and Social!
Here’s a little bit of info about them if this is the first time you have come across them:
We’re a band who do things a little bit differently. We wear blue jackets. We play mind-blowing, balls-to-the-floor, anything-for-a-laugh, much-more-for-a-tear, heart-on-your-sleeve, foot-on-your-monitor gigs. Not gigs. Shows. No, not shows…events. We’re gloriously and fiercely independent. We formed the UK’s first fan-funded record label Alamo Music Ltd. We’ve made just about every mistake a ‘professional’ band can make and decided that entertaining people and making the songs we love is the most important thing in music. And we like people. We like involving people. “People they are some good”.
We are prolific. In May we release our third album in under three years. There’s also been an EP, a live album, countless live shows, thousands of kazoos, Glastonbury, many many Living Room Gigs, the JD Set, a Come Dine With Us event, a Big Band Christmas romp, a trip to the seaside on an open top bus, a Brass Band session, a live recording in our studio The Crypt, numerous music videos, music-industry events…and a baby. Admittedly we do look pretty tired.
Loved by our fans, and converting people gig by gig… the most honest thing to say is that we try our best!
We speak to Richard Huxley to get the low down on their act and why they choose to play at Kirkstall Festival.
KM: How long have you been playing at Kirkstall Festival?
Rich: I’ve been going to Kirkstall Festival since 2009 when I just happened upon it by chance during my regular dog walk to the Abbey. It was such a happy accident, and felt great – family friendly, a bit boozy, and with plenty of great stalls, and activities. Alan asked us in 2011 and we got to play a set in the beautiful Cloisters. It was a beautiful sunny day and such a gorgeous setting. Kirkstall Festival’s been in the Hope and Social calendar ever since. Last year we played the main stage – there was what’s affectionately now referred to as “The Hope and Social Crèche” at the front of the stage. Dozens of kids dancing and freaking out right in front of us. It was a bit “Lord of The Flies”, but we loved it.
KM: What do you like about the Kirkstall Festival?
Rich: It’s ALL good. Fish& with their tasty take-away goodness, Manjit’s Kitchen and plenty of tasty beers and ciders. This ticks a lot of boxes for H&S.
KM: Why is Hope & Social a must see event at this year’s Festival?
Rich: We play both kinds of music, loud and quiet. [grins] We’ll be playing our funtime festival set. Music for all ages, from the crèche, to the grandparents. We’re not ageist. We’ll be sweating away in our Blue Jackets and we’ll make you run on the spot, dance, and cheer. We might ask you to join in. We might do a lap of the entire field during a guitar solo. All this and more. [also, we will kill one cat for each person who walks past the stage during our set. 8 kittens died last year - terribly sad - make sure this tragedy doesn't happen again]
To find out more about Hope & Social and their gig-list check out their website or follow them on social media:
Just so you don’t forget, this year’s festival is happening on SATURDAY!! The weather is set to be gorgeous, so don your shorts and suncream and come join us!!