Victoria are Alex Thomas (guitar), Charlie Martin (keys), Chris Moore (drums), Harry Johnson (bass) and Joe Housley (vocals), five young guys who live in London and eat, sleep and breathe music – all masters of their craft – skilled players, songwriters and composers. Refreshingly, the band make unashamed pop-rock – infectious, feel-good anthems – from their North London house share. Their latest offering, ‘Summertime’, the new single set for release in August is an uplifting track that encapsulates the spirit of the often short-lived British summertime that rouses us briefly from hibernation year after year.
Their energetic live performances and the individual personalities of these five riotous boys is captured entirely on record. ‘Summertime’ follows on from ‘Into The Wild’, the lads first single, released in February earlier this year.
Lulu our music editor met the boys for a pint at the Old Queens Head in Islington to have a chat…
Hi guys, so how did you all meet?
Charlie: Me and Alex met at school when we were 12, and were in another band, then I moved schools and met Harry, then we moved up to London to try and make it with our old singer who didn’t really like London, so he left, then Joe went to the same uni as Alex which is how we met him and we knew Chris from when he was in another band, and when we needed a drummer we contacted him and that is how we all met. So now we’ve been together for about a year and a half.
So where does the name come from, I thought maybe you were all in love with the same girl called Victoria…
That’s actually a cool story…but it’s not that exciting. We tend to change our answer to that whenever we’re asked that…
Please tell me it’s not for the love of Victoria station…
It’s not, though that is when it first started, we basically saw it on the front of a bus when we were sat at a pub in Kingston trying to think of names, and yeah we saw it on the front of a bus!
What’s the best story you’ve given for the name?
Favourite Spice Girl…
Tell us how your song writing process works
Charlie: I do the majority of it, we all live in the same house and I’ve got a set up in my room. So it all depends on who’s in the house at the time, but I kind of start off the ideas. Joe does a bit as well.
What about the instrumentals?
Charlie: we do it on logic, and I play a few instruments so we get it roughly down on that then when we start rehearsing and it develops from there
So Summertime was the first track I heard from you guys, I’m going to assume it’s about summer, anything else?
Haha yeah it’s quite straight up, the theme of relationships tied in with summer time. I think it’s like looking back retrospectively at the summer, from the end of the summer and thinking it was like before.
What are your main musical influences?
Coldplay, Keane, One Republic – piano stuff, limestone rock…
Where’s your favourite venue to play in London, or anywhere?
Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, or the Barfly where our next gig is, and the Old Queens Head, we played an acoustic show here with a string quartet which was fun
Hoxton is probably our favourite as that was our busiest show so far!
Have you played many places outside of London?
Yeah we’ve played in Manchester, and a castle in Durham, also we played a gig at Warwick University for an accountants party…that was a weird one
Where would you most like to play – anywhere in the world
Brixton Academy, also Koko in Camden would be cool. The pyramid stage at Glastonbury though would be the ambitious choice.
Have you done any festivals?
We did RedFest, Bastille were there which was cool, I think we’re gonna try and do more next year. WE haven’t been gigging much as it’s been quite a slow process of getting everyone together and writing all the songs, so now we’ve got quite a lot of songs and a good live set up so now we’ve all finished uni we need more gigs!
Have you got any musical recommendations for us?
We saw Lisbon at the Barfly who were really good, and Fret who supported them were good. And Bad Sons, they’re a really good band. Anything on our Spotify playlist…
Ok, so now describe each band member in 3 words (this did not happen, it should have been ‘describe each member of the band in many words’ this has also been edited down from about 10 minutes of discussion – Lulu thoroughly regrets asking this question)
Chris: kind, he works at Starbucks so coffee (he actually won an award for best barista in North West London apparently) loveable
Charlie: cheeky, humble, sporty, sunglasses, smiley
Alex: jeggings, impressions (Alex then proceeded to do a very good Gollum impression), dry
Joe: welsh, encouraging, ‘the voice’
Harry: bubbly, fun, floppy…you know those inflatable things that wave around – he does that
You can catch the band live at Camden Barfly on 20th August.
And if you were interested about that Gollum impression…