Hype List 2024: Lip Filler: “We just want to give energy”

Energetic Chess Club-signed upstarts Lip Filler are bringing their own take on dance-punk.

Words: Ciaran Picker.
Photos: Jennifer McCord.

One year ago, Lip Filler had played a handful of gigs around London with only one released song to their name. They were also knee-deep in dissertations and trying to get used to life in the Big Smoke. Fast forward to November 2023, vocalist George Tucker and guitarist Verity Hughes are holding a copy of their debut self-titled EP in Rough Trade East as they prepare for their December headline at the now-prestigious Windmill in Brixton. Across those twelve months, they’ve moved flats and found jobs, played about a million London shows, supported the likes of Alfie Templeman and Picture Parlour on tour, and even made liberal use of the free bar at their first European show. But that’s only the start. 

“I love the reciprocal experience of playing live”, Verity states, “especially at our stage, we just want to give energy.” Being life-long friends who, until recently, shared a flat, the chemistry on stage comes naturally, allowing them to be the freest versions of themselves. They’re also a band that can fit onto pretty much any line-up at any venue and make it their own. “Our first show in Rotterdam, we played in a salsa bar,” George laughs, “but we love those long, thin, sweaty venues”. 

“We’ve got such a cocktail of influences; I started off as a SoundCloud rapper”

George Tucker

Lip Filler epitomise energy, both live and on record. Their debut EP was a rip-roaring indie-rock success, combining heavy guitar lines with electronica and hip-hop lyricism that makes it impossible to pigeonhole this jack-of-all-trades collective. “We’ve got such a cocktail of influences; I started off as a SoundCloud rapper,” George admits candidly. “We’re so much more confident and comfortable with them all now.” Talking through their albums of the year, artists such as Sampha, boygenius, Arlo Parks, and Fat Dog are all namechecked, highlighting the eclectic and diverse context of Lip Filler. 

This past year has seen the gang throw everything they have into Lip Filler, speaking to their youthful hunger and joy for the music they make, firing sparks off all around the band that feel destined to ignite and catapult them into the stratosphere. 2023 is only the first phase, though, with their house party at their old West London flat rounding off EP1 with their now trademark swagger, frenetic energy, and enough J√§germeister to sink a battleship. Reminiscing about the night, it was clearly a seminal moment for both George and Verity: “It was such a special moment; I don’t think we can ever do it again because it was just so full circle. Like, that’s where Lip Filler was born.”

The ability to take a breath is crucial for new bands, especially ones who have built up such expectation. As such, 2024 is more about curating a direction than anything else. Verity acknowledges how difficult but necessary that is: “It’s so hard to rein it in, but we’re happy with where we’re going next. We’ve got so much material, but it’s about being patient and timing it right.” Don’t worry, though; you’re still going to hear a lot from Lip Filler over the next twelve months. 

EP2 is well and truly on the way, with George and Verity giving a tentative nod to a springtime release. Where EP1 was about making the move from Somerset to London, EP2 is a more introspective body of work. “The word to describe this EP is vulnerability,” George surmises. “It’s lyrically more personal and heartfelt, but it came quite naturally.” Musically, they both agree that it’s unpredictable. “Don’t listen to [new single] ‘Limelite’ and think you’ve figured it out,” George teases. Verity adds, “It’s a showcase of what we can do; it’s all guns blazing.” Frankly, who’d expect anything else? 

Naturally, new music means new live dates. Breaking out of London has brought a greater desire to tour the UK, with Verity making reference to their Live at Leeds performance. “It was just sick; we loved going up north and getting that warmth from fans.” When asked about festival season, in unison, they say, “C’mon Glasto!” so no prizes for guessing what their dream for the coming year is. 

As 2023 bleeds into 2024, the consistent factor for the band is that they stick to the vision of what they are and want to be. “We’re an indie-rock band, and we’re going to own that; we don’t need to overcomplicate it or justify it to anyone. We’re being more daring and distinctive; we’re super excited for what’s next.” Pucker up, world, Lip Filler are coming for you.

Taken from the December 2023 / January 2024 issue of Dork.


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