'aka Sheffield Beatles'
From their first gig to performing at Leeds Festival in five months, we catch up with local band LUNARCA.
Introducing LUNARCA; a locally based Indie Rock four-piece band, inspired by the 60s their sound is raw and energetic, their influence of the era is showcased in their songs with Beatlesque harmonies and jangly, melodic guitars.
The band is made up of singer Connor Berry, guitarist Elliot Britton, bassist Jasper Elliott and drummer Tom Stafford. As well as the 60s, they also take inspiration from the 90s with bands such as the Stone Roses and Verve.
Where did it start? “We all go to the same college,” says Connor. “I was in a rehearsal room in college one day when Elliot walked in, he heard I was a singer and asked if I wanted to help form a band. Jasper joined shortly after when we saw him perform at a gig, and Tom we found on social media. The name LUNARCA came randomly months prior to forming the band, I came up with it in case I ever joined a band."
“It was strange going from my bedroom to a stage, it was new to me,” explains Connor. “The others had all been in bands before, all I’d done was acoustic gigs by myself, the first gigs were quite small which allowed me to develop confidence on stage. Now I enjoy being on stage, ask me to dance at a wedding and there’s no chance but stick a guitar in my hands and I’m ready to perform!”
Describe your sound. It’s got elements of 60s rock, think The Beatles and The Who, but at the same token has a psychedelic 90s groove to it. A combination of the Stone Roses and the Verve. It’s a pretty unique sound” says Connor. “Jasper’s music taste is different to mine and Elliot’s. He’s into Mac Demarco, Blur and Reef. Which is why I think our sound is so original, because our music taste is so diverse. It shouldn’t really work, but it does.”
“My Dad was an Elvis fan and I’ve picked up on the love of the Beatles, I’m a massive fan of their more psychedelic tracks from Revolver and Magical Mystery Tour."
How does the band work creatively? "We work together, I’ll bring a finished song to the rest of the lads on my acoustic guitar, and then they’ll pretty much just play it back on the spot, but add all sorts of different elements. And it’s the same with whoever brings a song to the table as we all write. It really is a massive team effort, we all have a vision of what we want a song to sound like but we don’t normally plan what we’re going to do, it just happens.”
‘LUNARCA’s first gig was at Sidney & Matilda in Sheffield on 2 March 2022’ Connor adds “It’s pretty mental to see how far we’ve come in less than 5 months, the even crazier part is that we’re performing at this year's Leeds Festival, so in five months we’ve gone from doing our first ever gig to performing at one of the biggest festivals in the world.”
“We’re starting to see audience members singing along with the lyrics which is fab, people bring their friends, and our audience is growing.
“We recently had two girls do a three-hour drive to see us at a festival in the Peace Gardens, they’d found us on social media and wanted to see us live which was just crazy.”
Give me a few fave tracks, bands you’re listening to now and a summertime track. “This changes so much depending on my mood. ‘The Word’ by The Beatles, ‘Life on Mars’ by David Bowie, these match my mood today.
"For my summertime track I’ll offer up The Beatles ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, it’s one of my favourite songs.”
So, is there a plan? “I have a massive plan, and we all have visions of where we’re wanting to go. I’m constantly booking us for gigs, talking to people within the industry and getting our name out on social media, I seem to have become the band manager which is quite a fun role. Next year, we’re hoping to make an appearance at some festivals, YNOT is one of our goals and so is Tramlines as we would be representing Sheffield.
“There aren’t many music venues in Chesterfield unfortunately. We’ve played at The County Music Bar quite a few times and have always enjoyed gigging there, but Sheffield is notorious for its music scene, so we’re trying our best to make a name for ourselves there as we love it so much." Ed: An opportunity for someone perhaps?
The band have been recording at Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield and their single ‘Runaway’ is due for release on 23 September, scan QR code below.
You can hear LUNARCA live at Sidney & Matilda in Sheffield on the 17 September, 21 October at Sidney & Matilda supporting The Haciendas and on 29 October at the Blue Note in Derby supporting The Public Eye. Tickets are available on their social media pages below.
Words: Paul Chapman