A Chat With Coaves

A spark of passion and a desire to make music brought these four lads together. And now, a year on from their first jamming session, they’re climbing new heights.

Coaves - photograph by Paul Newbon
Coaves – photograph by Paul Newbon

A “much needed thing” after they’d all found themselves in a messy puddle of dissolved bands, Jon Calvert, Liam Foster, Jordan van Beem and Conor Maher got together to form Coaves. When asked to define their sound, they described a mixture of influences which fused together “catchy guitar hooks” and “rhythm sections”, delivering something truly their own without settling too comfortably into any specific genre.

It’s not just about the music though, they said. “We take the music seriously”, Jordan assured me after stating that “we don’t take ourselves too seriously”. What has this band performing wherever, whenever they can, is that connection with and reaction from the audience. On stage, you’ll see them dancing around and enjoying themselves, conversing with the crowd and inviting them to join in with the fun. We couldn’t not talk about Hulloween when they dressed as Santa’s, offering themselves as a gift to the audience before dousing us in silly string. It’s that natural fervour within them that had me interested the first time I saw them perform at The Sesh back in the last few Linnet and Lark weeks.

Jon Calvert
Jon Calvert

Having performed at 35 gigs since February and regular plays on BBC Introducing Humberside, they’ve been making a mark on the Hull music scene. And now they’re working hard to move up the rungs of the proverbial ladder.

Recently they’ve been working with Mickey Dale, from rock band Embrace, to record their new single ‘Waves’, which will be released in early January. Summarising the track in three words, Jon simply said “it is good” later extending his thoughts to promote “Conor’s backing vocals” as it will feature the drummer singing for the first time. They’ve big plans for the single launch, ensuring it captures this aspect of the band throughout; the constant energy and love of music. I’d love to tell you more, but it’s going to be one of those moments you just have to experience for yourself.

Conor Maher - photo by Paul Newbon
Conor Maher – photo by Paul Newbon

Alongside performing the main stage at Trinity Festival, recording the single has been a highlight of this year for the band. They explained that it “felt really professional and sort of loose at the same time”, demonstrating the thought which goes into their work as well as the sheer enjoyment it generates. It’s with a professionalism that they take each step, learning from mistakes and complications which are often out of their hands.

One such learning curve has had a significantly positive impact on the band and the way in which they perform. This Saturday they take on the Grand Final of Scunthorpe’s Rock Open, after having been entered at the last minute. Messaged by the promoter the night before, they saw the competition as a bit of fun. However, It’s taken them on a journey which has helped them recognise what’s involved in “putting on a show”, developing them as performers and making them “more enthusiastic” about the atmosphere they can create. They want to see people dancing at their gigs, and taking opportunities like this sees them outside of the comforts of playing in hometown Hull and out into a mixture of other personalities. They “had heavy rockers dancing” during their set at the second heat, and admitted that their expectation was that these people would mock and taunt them; what better reaction could you ask for?

Describing the Lincoln Imp, which hosts the battle of the bands style contest, as “Adelphi with attitude” they considered the different venues they’ve played. Starting off the year at O’Riley’s with an audience of “about seven”, they’re supporting Pigeon Detectives at Fruit in a couple of weeks’ time, with the expectation of a sold out gig.

Jon Calvert - photo by Paul Newbon
Jon Calvert – photo provided by Paul Newbon

It’s been a fast-paced year, an educational year and a year to look back on with fond memories.

But 2015 sees higher hopes and another rollercoaster of events. Their single launch kicks it all off on the 15th January, and then they hope they can “hit all the local festivals” as well as getting “out of town a bit”. The aim seems to be not to stop, to reach for the skies and take one of those “slots at the top”.

One year on and Coaves is a name optimistically muttered in venues around their home city. Another year and Coaves should be a name bouncing from the walls of venues across the country.

This article was originally written for Browse Magazine: issue 017.

I am pleased to announce that Coaves came 3rd in the Scunthorpe Rock Open Challenge, held at the Lincoln Imp. This is a video of their performance, with popular track ‘Change Your Mind’.

 Important Coaves dates for your diaries:

  • Wednesday 17th December – Coaves support Pigeon Detectives alongside The Hubbards at Fruit. Tickets are £10 from Hull Box Office (and they are selling fast!)
  • Thursday 15th January – Coaves single launch at Adelphi. Details will be released nearer the date.


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