Coach Party are traversing a clear path to success with tunes that embrace the feelings of everyday life with an authenticity and rawness that hits home with listeners – on their first UK tour, they embrace the chaos of spreading their honest messages far and wide.
Finally making their way up North from their small but sweet home of the Isle of Wight, Coach Party are exploring some of the UK’s finest cities for the first time on their debut headline tour – one that singer and bassist Jess describes as both, “really fun and really unpredictable. We didn’t expect anyone to come and watch this tour, even though we’ve had it planned for two years, buts it’s been amazing every night and we’ve met some amazing people.”
Maintaining a staple attitude of humility as always, the grounded group have nevertheless been achieving great things since the legal barriers of lockdowns have crumbled. One huge but unforeseen opportunity for the band has actually arrived from pure chance in the form of a support slot alongside indie rockers Sea Girls. Going from small cafes to Academies in a week is quite a jump… how do Coach Party feel? “Scared shitless, mate,” Steph (guitarist) answers.
The upcoming attention has been earned, as the four-piece have been working relentlessly over the last year or so, dropping two EPs – Party Food and After Party – from behind closed doors. It seems the group must like a drink or two, and you might need one to handle some of the more intense themes explored on the latter release. “It’s darker, isn’t it?” Steph agrees. “It’s a darker EP, it’s definitely heavier, so that title just made sense.”
“The focus is always on what women should be doing… when really it should be the reverse”
Thrashing single ‘Everybody Hates Me’ is a great example of these focused moments of cathartic pessimism, and this approach is certainly not fading away any time soon. In fact, new track ‘FLAG (Feel Like A Girl)’ only ups the ante on serious thoughts being explored with explosive instrumentals. It serves to expose the inevitable anger women are forced to contain beneath the surface as they deal with constant mistreatment from men while trying to simply live their lives. As Jess says, “being a woman is tough pretty much all the time, but being a woman right now is absolutely horrendous.” This couldn’t be more true with half the UK’s population not even being safe from abuse at the hands of the country’s alleged guardians in the shape of a concerning police force. Steph elaborates on the unjust placement of blame here: “the focus is always on what women should be doing to prevent those things from happening when really it should be the reverse – we should be educating the men. We shouldn’t have to censor what we wear when going out or how we act around people, its men who shouldn’t be doing these things to women; that’s where it starts.”
Passionate lyricisms demonstrate the frustration of modern existence for women, and the screeching soundscape perfectly facilitates such messages. After utilising production quirks on their first EP and replicating their live sound on the second, Guy – who drums and produces – is concentrating on shooting somewhere in the middle for what comes next. “Although all our songs have meant something, this time around they go a bit deeper; we have to be more careful with what we do musically with those lyrics,” he elaborates. “We don’t want to water them down; the music should only emphasise what we’re trying to say.”
This sticks and stones approach is perhaps why Coach Party appeal to their fanbase as much as they do. Steph explains simply: “we just wear the clothes we feel comfortable in and play what we want to play. There’s no self-glamorisation in any shape or form.” This authenticity was never solidified as a conscious choice, but evolved from the people forming the group. “In any community of artists, there’s variety and you want to do something different to everyone else,” Guy says. “You don’t try to be different, but you try to give yourself a recognisable flavour.” It’s seemingly a matter of luck that such a flavour came about from a group that Joe (guitarist) says came about, “as a bit of a laugh. That’s what it is still, we don’t see it as a chore at all – our flavour is unintentional and that’s great.”
“People don’t talk about being boring”
The outfit has even written a song about the mundanity of some aspects of their life away from the rock’n’roll persona associated with touring; ‘Can’t Talk, Won’t’ tells the tale of a human struggling to function and feeling incompetent, and in doing so encourages us all to accept that we are enough. “People don’t talk about being boring, but that can be fine – you don’t always have to glamorise your existence,” Steph clears up. “We should talk about it because it makes everyone else feel comfortable, it’s a mutual feeling.”
These shared experiences are appreciated best through to-the-point lyricisms: “Did you know I feel old today?/Unachieved and far away from my own goals”. How very relatable, huh? Guy shares that, “the biggest compliment is when people relate to us talking about life being mundane or shit because people like how we say that in black and white rather than hiding me behind metaphors.” Or, as Jess rephrases, “people don’t like being bullshitted.”
When you come to a Coach Party show, bullshit is the one thing you should not expect. Instead, anticipate an extremely tight-knit band feeding off each other’s energy. Jess draws the attention with simple but effective vocal delivery on top of throbbing bass, Steph brings the rhythm while Joe shreds and Guy backs it all up with a skilful percussive performance – the pieces fit together perfectly in a way that only close friends can pull off. I guess knowing everyone on the Ise of Wight has its bonuses, no?
Although they obviously strive for your undying support and passion, providing gig attendees with a live experience that exceeds expectations of their music is enough for Coach Party. As Steph says, there’s only one emotion you’re guaranteed to feel after such a show: “pumped.”