It’s been an exciting few years for The Night Café. With two EP releases and several tours around the country, it’s safe to say they kept themselves busy. Now, after two years in the studio, Sean, Josh, Carl and Arran are finally dropping their debut album, and they’re excited to share it with their fans.
Having met in secondary school where they bonded over their shared love of music, this album has been a long time coming. The band recorded their first singles in 2015, now, four years and two EPs later, they’re taking it up a notch with ‘0151′, a record that, across 18 songs, gives a glimpse into the past, present and future of The Night Café.
Talking about the process of recording the album, it seems to have been a smooth ride. “We just kinda did one song at a time,” guitarist Josh explains. “Between us as a band, you can just tell when something is going to turn out good. Making sure that everything was perfect probably took the longest out of the whole process.”
This perfectionist nature can be found in every single track on ‘0151′. Next to songs that long-time fans will already be familiar with such as ‘Addicted’ – a track that goes all the way back to 2015 and didn’t lose any of its infectious charm in the time in-between – the album also showcases some fresher, more experimental sounds: Interludes that came about quite organically.
“The way we work as a band is mostly just all of us in a room playing together. Sometimes, that results in interlude type things or a jam session. It won’t really be a song in its own right, but it’s part of how our songs get written, so we thought it makes sense to have it as part of the album and join everything together.”
Writing original songs is something that The Night Café made a priority from the very beginning. While other up and coming artists tend to incorporate covers into their live performances, these four made it a point to play their own material. A plus if you want to track your progress as a band and how you have changed over the years. The themes have most definitely matured from when they first started; ranging from heartbreak to heavier topics such as social isolation and depression their songs tell stories straight from their lives growing up in Liverpool.
The name of the album, ‘0151′, quite fittingly is a nod to their hometown. Asked about how the name came about, Josh remembers: “From my memory, it came along as a joke. We were just joking around, and Sean mentioned 0151 [the area code the boys grew up in]. As soon as he said it, we thought that it would actually be a good album title and it gave the record a new meaning from there. We decided the name quite early on and then based the whole artwork concept around it.”
Having grown up in Liverpool, you might think that The Night Café’s sound might bear heavy northern influences or take inspiration from hometown heroes, but that’s not the case at all. “It’s not like we grew up worshipping the Beatles or anything like that. Obviously, it’s part of who we are as people, but I don’t think we’ve been majorly inspired by anything that is specific to the town. We grew up with the internet, so we’ve been lucky to not just have been exposed to what’s happening locally. Our sound is more of a mixture of everything.”
Their sound combines their individual tastes, ranging from Techno to Fleetwood Mac. What it translates to are crisp indie tunes, infectious guitar infused melodies with heavy beats that make it almost impossible to stand still.
It’s no wonder, then, that their live shows form a huge part of their appeal. Roaring audiences singing along to every word are basically part of the package, and for good reason, as the band has not only built up a loyal fanbase but also had a chance to perfect their live sound over the years. A big chunk of this year was spent on the road supporting fellow Liverpool bands The Wombats and Circa Waves. In September, they’re embarking on their own UK headline tour playing the likes of London’s Electric Ballroom and Manchester’s Albert Hall, but it’s not their first time at the rodeo.
“We’ve done a first set of shows in 2016 and a few more since then. We started off in quite small places. This one is going to be the biggest one, yet. We’re going to be playing our biggest headline shows.” And fans can expect bangers across the board. “We want to have a good time with every song we play. Luckily, we’re in a position where we can pick and choose which parts we want to play, whether that’s the interludes, some older tracks or songs from the album.”
Looking at their journey so far, there’s not much room for doubt that the only way is up for The Night Café, but talking about their future goals, it’s clear to see that, even with their rising success, the band have their feet firmly on the ground.
“We’re just trying to focus on one thing at a time and take things as they come. We didn’t really set to achieve anything in the first place. We started making music together because that’s what we wanted to do, have fun as mates. Anything that we’ve achieved so far, we didn’t think we’d ever achieve, so anywhere we go from here, is a good place to be.”
Taken from the September issue of Dork. The Night Café’s debut album ‘0151’ is out 23rd August.
Words: Laura Freyaldenhoven