Best known for singles ‘Addicted’ ‘Mixed Signals’ and ‘Felicity’, The Night Café’s alternative indie vibe is increasingly atmospheric and easy to listen to; a mix of upbeat guitar riffs and definitive vocals, the Liverpool boys are creating music that’s optimistic and relatable.
We caught up with drummer Carl and bass guitarist Arran after their set at Live at Leeds Festival to discuss lyrics, their album release and who’d eat the last rolo.
Did you enjoy the set today?
Arran: Yeah it was boss! Really really good.
Carl: It was a surprising reception from the crowd – we didn’t expect it because last year we played a venue that was only 200 people, so this was a complete step up for us.
Why did you pick the name The Night Café?
Arran: Originally we were called Canvas but we had to change it because there’s already a band releasing under that. We were searching for a while just typing in names of famous things to get some inspiration and The Night Café came up – it’s a famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh. When we chose the name none of us really liked it but now it’s established, we love it!
What’s your latest single ‘Turn’ about?
Carl: It focuses on being at the rock bottom of the situation, feeling like there’s nothing left. A bit of a moody song really! There are brighter lyrics in our newer releases. They’re not all dark, but when that song was written it was a dark time for all of us – we tend to write about how we feel at that time.
It comes across like you’re all really great friends from songs like ‘Together’ – how did it all start?
Carl: I went to school with Josh and Sean and Josh knew Arran through skateboarding. Josh and Sean formed a band and began to write songs together at Josh’s house and they asked me to be the drummer, then asked Arran and we all came together. It’s blossomed since then!
Do you all have an input in writing the lyrics?
Arran: No, Sean writes the lyrics. We’ve had a small input when he’s been stuck on something but it’s mainly him. I think I’d feel weird writing personal lyrics he has to sing because if I was in his position I’d want to be singing lyrics that mean something to me.
Carl: Songs normally start from an idea of what it could be about, then Sean translates it in his own way. We find it really hard to write lyrics but Sean is great at it! We write the music first then Sean fits the lyrics to the music.
Carl: Felicity is a name that everyone can latch on to. It’s not about a specific person, Sean just thought it was a really nice name.
You’ve previously supported Sundara Karma, The Hunna and Will Joseph Cook. Who’s been your favourite to play alongside?
Carl: Out of the three you’ve listed, Sundara Karma. They’re so good live. We were lucky enough to do three tours with them because they were with the same management as us at the time. The last tour was a big one!
Arran: We’ve also supported The Wombats and personally for me, that was my favourite! That was the first time we’d toured Europe too so that felt really rewarding because we’ve worked so hard for it over the past three years. It was a great tour and they’re great guys.
What festivals can we catch you at this Summer?
Arran: Liverpool Sound City (our hometown show so that will be good!) The Great Escape, Barn on the Farm and Reading & Leeds.
Who’s the clumsiest of the group?
Carl: I’d probably say I am – I dropped my high hat of the stage once and the symbol went inside out so I probably deafened everyone!
Who would try to chat up the girl at the bar?
Carl: Yeah probably me again, only if I was drunk though.
Who’s the most adventurous?
Arran: I’m an adventurous guy. I love nature… hugging trees and that!
Who’s most likely to eat the last rolo?
Arran: I don’t even like rolos so it definitely wouldn’t be me!
Who’s inspired your sound?
Carl: So many different kinds of music! Fleetwood Mac sort of vibes are in some of our songs. It’s a combination of bands that we’ve listened to as teenagers, then artists we listen to now and it’s all just coming together as we go along.
Arran: Growing up I loved Bombay Bicycle Club and Kings of Leon – they were a huge inspiration.
Can fans expect an album soon?
Carl: Yes, next year! We’ve got a few songs that are out already that will go on it. It’s a work in progress. We’re writing the full album this year so hopefully it’ll be ready to be released by April time.
Words by Sophie Eastham // @sophyvictoriae