La Bête Blooms have a sound which is propelled by the raw energy the band expel on stage. A review in NME compared their single ‘Stay Away’ to the “feral ferocity of Nirvana’s ‘Territorial Pissings’”.
Off stage, you find a very different group of individuals. They are lead singer and guitarist Daniel Mawer, Jack Gallagher on bass, John Copley on lead guitar, Louisa Robinson on keys and James Coggin behind the drumkit. With the exception of spritely James, who breaks all stereotypes associated with drummers, they all appear to be serene, even timid, souls. They admit to being rather camera-shy, having one of their most iconic music videos using animation by Jake Machen to express their personality in a potent and colourful manner.
But this is the power of their music, which brings forth the beast within and offers a way to express that sense of freedom and enthusiasm.
A La Bête Blooms set is difficult to describe without sounding a little over-dramatic. Mawer’s lyrics are laced with heart-felt emotion, drawing the audience into their grasp. Once there, the thrashing guitar-fuelled sound captures you and refuses to let you loose again. I’ve never seen Mawer remain on stage for an entire set, needing to sit, or even lie down in the crowd, as a means of cooling off during one of their more heavy songs. They perform with a natural ease, taking it in their way, and leading the audience down the path in which they build.
Photographs by Luke Hallett.
This is the interview I conducted with La Bête Blooms back in October, when they released their EP:
And here is the interview I conducted more recently for their cover feature in Browse Magazine:
Nix: Last time we interviewed you guys, you’d just released your debut EP. What’s been going on since then?
Daniel Mawer: We’ve recorded two singles. We did that… like a month ago.
John Copley: It was a bit more than that. Was it February? The start of February.
Daniel: Yeah, so we recorded two singles with the same guy who did the EP – Matt Peel, in Leeds. He’s moved places, into in like a converted church. And then we’ve just finished a run of four days [of their April tour] with London, Nottingham, Coventry and Liverpool.
Nix: How have you found this tour?
Daniel: The last time we spoke to you, we’d just done the October one with six dates over the course of a month. This was… we have seven dates, but four of them were like Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. That was different, coz we stayed over for a couple of them – we’ve not done that before, have we?
James Coggin: No. It was good.
Daniel: It felt better doing that as well. It felt good doing like a little batch all together.
Nix: Did it feel more like a proper tour?
Daniel: Yeah, exactly, yeah. Rather than coming home and having a few days, we straight to a hotel and then back to it the next day. It was more like a holiday really though, wasn’t it?
John: We forgot we had gigs sometimes.
Daniel: Spent too much money as well. Went to a Monkey Forest. John’s idea, wasn’t it John?
John: It was.
James: I enjoyed that!
John: It wasn’t that good.
Louisa Robinson: Everyone enjoyed that.
Daniel: It was kind of like East Park but worse… there’s more to see at East Park.
Louisa: Yeah, different varieties.
Daniel: Once you’ve seen one monkey, you’ve…
James: Don’t say you’ve seen them all. Coz you haven’t. There were 140 monkeys there, and you didn’t see them all.
John: Anyway, enough about monkeys…
Nix: Were there any venues which you particularly enjoyed?
Daniel: Well, we’ve played Nottingham before, so we knew what we were expecting with that. It was a Friday night; it does really well on a Friday.
James: I think every venue seemed to have its own…
John: It was all very different, wasn’t it?
James: Yeah, everything was so distinct. It was really nice, actually.
John: Yeah. Some were really big, and one was literally a tiny, little…
(Here, John was asked why he was wearing his sunglasses indoors by a member of staff. James pointed out that this is because John is “cool”.)
Daniel: Coventry was nice: the Tin. It was next to a canal, and it felt the middle of nowhere to be honest. It kinda was. Maybe ten minutes before we played, a lot… like twenty, thirty people were stood up, ready to watch us play. So that felt like a gig, a proper gig. Not like a night where we’d just jumped in…
John: Yeah, and people had paid for that one.
Daniel: Yeah, people had paid to come and see us. They looked after us as well.
James: Yeah, yeah, very hospitable.
John: Good food.
Nix: So, where else features on this tour?
Daniel: Wakefield, Leeds and the Sesh. We’re playing The Hop in Wakefield, Wharf Chambers in Leeds, and then we’ve got the Sesh. But they’re like the other tour; it’s really over the next month.
Nix: And, then, what’s next for La Bête Blooms?
Daniel: I suppose when we’ve done these dates, we’ve got the first single coming out in July, which we’ve recorded.
James: Got to do a video.
Daniel: Yeah, video and a few dates will go with that as well. It all kicks into summer after we release the single. The usual… same kind of summer we always have.
John: Yeah, Wembley Festival…
Daniel: Yeah, no. Obviously, we’ve been doing them [Hull festivals] for three or four years. Everybody looks after you, everybody knows each other. So, yeah…