With bands in the calibre of Idles making a strong statement of intent to revive punk, and nail it as a staple genre amidst the alternative scene, it is no surprise that the talent of more underground groups like Ladybird is starting to get the recognition it deserves. As the group starts to broaden their horizons, experimenting with sounds and different energies, we are hoping their visceral, versatile and vivacious vibrations live a legacy.
Kent’s punk trio have torn up the festival circuit this summer, releasing an enriching, enthralling EP and single along their way. They also, very casually, became the first band to be backed by Slaves on their new label ‘Girl Fight Records’. With so much happening to the group over the last year, we were thrilled to ask them some questions and reflect on the career they’ve had thus far.
Tell us one thing about each of you that no one really knows
I don’t think I know anything nobody doesn’t
What are the origins of Ladybird, where did you meet? How do you guys know each other?
Sam put us together about two and a half years ago. We all grew up about the Tunbridge Wells Forum at the same time, which is how we know Laurie and Isaac as well. Sams a bit older than us n was always in better bands, so we were all well up for it when he said he wanted to put a band together with us in it. The rest went from there. Tuesdays and Thursdays up Dudley’s studio on the Ash Down Forest.
You’ve had a lot of success over the last year, but what was the most career defining moment of it?
Reading was pretty special. Getting to walk off from our set n see Slaves do their thing a couple hours later. The whole weekend was wicked, just being in amongst it all. Headlining The Forum in June this year was probably the best thing we’ve done on a personal level. We all lived out of town for a few years before we got together, and I’d always feel really appreciative of bands who could turn up and set The Forum off. That scene was our whole world when we were teenagers so it’s great to be a part of it in the way we are now.
Have you ever discussed collaborating with Isaac and Laurie? What is it like to have their backing?
Yeah it’s unbelievable. They’re top blokes and proper artists to work with as well. They co-produced our last single Boot Fillers with Jolyon Thomas. Isaac and Sam were good mates growing up so have done loads of stuff together before. We’d be well up for developing that creative relationship we’ve all got with each other. Let’s see what happens when we’re living on top of each other all November.
How important is Kent, and your general background, to the music you make?
I think growing up in a small town where cool stuff happening is limited led us to be focused on every day stuff, finding significance in small things and especially not being picky about good ways to have a laugh and make the most of what’s going on. Kent is our roots, and we feel a strong sense of identity being from here so that definitely informs how we’re confident about who we are and what Lady Bird is. At the same time though, its just where we’re from. It’s what we know. It wouldn’t make sense if it didn’t feel like that, but I think it’s important to try view yourself in the bigger picture of the world we’re all in as much as it’s good to focus on your little bit of it.
How do you think Boot Fillers differs from your Social Potions ep? The use of the organ I thought really added to your sound, how else are you experimenting?
We’re trying putting ourselves more directly at the centre of our stories at the moment. I hadn’t really thought of it as experimenting though we’re just trying to do stuff that’s relevant to what’s going on with us as we do it. Things are always developing - it’s really interesting for us looking at what we’re gonna release next, what we’re writing right now, and what we’ve already put out cos it’s all one thing in that it’s all us but we’ve been playing together over two years now and things definitely change quite naturally over time without you really thinking about it. That first batch of songs came out of us being mates in a room fucking about with no one looking, but I think our sounds developed with each move we’ve made to take ourselves more seriously. That sounds kinda nobby though doesn’t it. We’re still just three mates messing about in a room with no one looking. Just we’re closer mates now so that relationships more serious I guess and what it produces maybe is as well.
You’ve played quite a variation of festivals over the summer; Boomtown and Reading are very different, but what was the highlight of the summer for you?
All Points East early on was massive for us. We are still getting used to having crowds turn up to see us and they had to put a line of stewards across the front of the stage to contain the mosh pit up front! A few bands we’re good mates with were there as well which is always nice
Did you expect your audience to be as varied as this? And appeal to the range of events you do?
Honestly hadn’t really thought about it. I think we always knew we really meant what we’re doing, but you never know if it’s gonna make sense to anyone else
What genres and specific bands/artists are you influenced by? Does this influence your style/the way you dress too?
Yeah definitely but I don’t think it’s completely conscious. We’ve all got really varied taste in what we listen to and what we think is cool but I guess it all adds up. I think there’s a general current in British bands that have had a big impact like The Smiths, The Clash, The Stone Roses even though they all sound and look really different there’s something common to all of them and I think being where we’re at it’s good to be aware of that but also not think about it too much and just get on with trying to get your point across whatever that might be. Whether you’re trying to connect with the most or the least open minded people you’ve gotta have conviction to get your point across so you’ve got to be being honest about who you are if it’s gonna happen
What have you got planned for your show with Slaves at Alley Pally? Slowthai and Amyl and the Sniffers are also supporting the duo, are they artists you’ve ever listened to?
Yeah we’re big Slow Thai fans. Haven’t got on to Amyl yet but really looking forward to going out with them. There’s a lot of crossover between Oz and the UK at the moment. Bands, travellers, politics. Really interested to see what they’re saying.
After achieving so much this year, what is next for Lady Bird? What are you hoping to have achieved this time next year?
We want to be emotionally sound young men writing and releasing bangers and sharing the buzz we feel doing it with as many men, women, yoots and croons as wanna be a part of it.
BIG THANKS TO LADY BIRD FOR ANSWERING OUR QUESTIONS. LISTEN TO THEIR EP BELOW AND SHOW THEM SOME LOVE.