In the months ahead many thousands of people will storm the palace gates but before her Maj gets alarmed the monarchy is not under threat. The Palace in question are a four-piece from London whose bluesy riff on love, loss, and hope sound vintage and relevant at the same time. Their songs invite you in and offer you a warm beverage while staring you down menacingly with piercing eyes.
They are, in short, fucking brilliant.
We caught up with singer/guitarist Leo to discuss festivals, that song from Dirty Dancing, and Luka Modric but before you read on check out the video below.
There are palace gates to storm and we want you in that number.
DC: You’ve only been going for a short while yet already you’ve drawn comparisons to Morrissey and Jeff Buckley. That’s not too shabby is it?
Leo: It’s pretty good and we’ll take both of those. I’ve got no idea where the Morrissey thing comes from – maybe I look a little bit like him, I don’t know – but it’s good man: these are amazing musicians who we hugely admire so we can’t complain.
DC: We’ve had two fantastic EPs. When can we expect the debut album?
Leo: At the moment we’re getting all the songs together and we’re in the process of talking to producers. We’re set to record it in about three week’s time and it should be out around March of next year. We’re really excited. It was only recently that we released these EPs so it’s pretty nuts.
DC: Playing live have you noticed a groundswell of support and interest as more and more people get acquainted with your music?
Leo: Definitely. It’s really weird because as a musician you see clear signs of how well you’re doing literally by the numbers who come to your gigs. For our first gig we played in front of 15 people then suddenly its 400 and it goes up and up. It is a good indication of the level you’re at and there’s nothing more exciting than playing in front of a packed room who are really into it. It’s fucking amazing man. Really cool.
Two weeks ago we played to 20,000 at a festival in France. It’s the best thing in the world.
DC: Is the cliché true that it’s scarier playing to a very select audience than a large crowd?
Leo: I actually think that’s really true. I remember hearing people say that and I just thought ‘Nah, that’s completely ridiculous’ but when you’re in a small room and it’s intimate and you can see the whites in their eyes it suddenly feels really personal. You have this fear of letting them down because you can see the reactions on their faces and whether they’re enjoying it or not. Whereas the big audiences you can’t make anything out and for some reason it feels completely natural and fine.
DC: There’s a lot of space in your music which is so rare these days for a song to be allowed to breathe. Is that a reflection on your personalities? Are you all laid-back individuals?
Leo: I guess we’re kind of laid-back thought we’re not horizontal. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a reflection of us because when people talk about the space in our music it just turned out that way. We quite liked that lazy stoner-rock-ish music. Maybe there’s a bit of that in there.
DC: Tell us about touring with Jamie T…
Leo: That was amazing. It was pretty much the most incredible thing we’ve done as a band. He asked us to go on tour with him and we did about two weeks. It was his big comeback – he hadn’t played for about six years – so to visit all these countries and see all the reactions from people who have come to watch his return was just insane really. The love was still very much there.
And he was so nice to us. You hear all these stories of small bands going on tour with bigger bands and they don’t connect with them at all or watch them play.
The first night we warmed up for him in Berlin he was sat in the wings nodding his head and so into it and applauding after each song. He really didn’t have to do that. He is just a dude and it was so inspiring to be with this seasoned performer.
When we were first asked we thought we wouldn’t be a match. On paper we’re quite different types of music and we feared we’d be heckled. But people just really dug it and it shows that good guitar music transcends to everybody.
DC: What’s your guilty listening pleasure? For example if you were do a highly unlikely cover would might it be?
Leo: Maybe Pina Colada Song by Rubert Holmes or that song from Dirty Dancing…I’ve Had The Time Of My Life. Sometimes in rehearsals we jam that as a joke.
DC: Moving on to football. You support Spurs but what about the rest of the lads?
Leo: Rubert, our guitarist, is a big Fulham fan. Then Will, our bass player, supports Bournemouth but he’s not massively into football. And Matt supports Chelsea but again he’s not hugely a football guy. It’s mainly me and Rupert.
DC: So what was your favourite ever game following Spurs?
Leo: In my lifetime it has to be Tottenham beating Chelsea in the Carling Cup. Seeing us beat our ultimate rivals was the best thing in the world. It was a dream and seeing us lift some silverware – which doesn’t happen often – was pretty epic.
DC: And what about your favourite ever player?
Leo: I’ve always loved Luka Modric. Ginola and Van Der Vaart too. I loved them.
DC: So back in the day you would have been a big Hoddle and Waddle fan?
Leo: That kind of player who can ping a sixty yard pass. My dad always tells me about Glenn Hoddle and how he had a magic touch and amazing vision. I do love that kind of player who pulls all the strings.
DC: How do you think Spurs will fare this season?
Leo: Realistically a similar position to last. Fifth or sixth. I’m still completely bummed out by the money that was spent from the sale of Bale on these useless players. Thankfully many have now been shipped out – Chiriches, Soldado, and Capoue – but it was just so depressing when we bought players who were clearly not researched properly and were actually crap. It kills me.
DC: Who do you want to see coming in to replace them?
Leo: I really like seeing players such as Ryan Mason coming through and then there’s Dele Ali who is a sick young player. Against Real Madrid in the Audi Cup he was unreal. He nutmegged two of the Real players and he’s just 19 years old. I think he’s going to be big, big, big.
And of course we’ve got Kane but there are a couple of areas where we need to improve. We need a quick striker and there’s talk of Berahino from West Brom and that’s probably a good call. I like him as a player even though he’s not massively proven in the Premier League. He’s had one really good season.
We desperately need a good striker and someone in the Modric mould.
Tottenham always seem obsessed with buying defensive midfielders but we need a playmaker with some creativity.
Palace will release their new single ‘Head Above The Water’ on 7th September on Beatnik Creative/Fiction Records