Coming out of the shadows: Shadowlark

Bands come together in a variety of different ways; singing competitions like X Factor, mutual friends, or auditions. But the main origins behind bands seems to be school or college friends looking for something to do. That’s what it is like for three-piece indie band, Shadowlark.

If you enjoy listening to the ethereal music of Bat For Lashes and Florence and the Machine, the front-woman of Shadowlark, Ellen Smith, is one of the main reasons why you should be into the band. Hailing from Leeds, Smith is joined by keyboardist, Chris Quick, and drummer, James Warrender. Smith explains how they all joined together; “We all knew each other from college and playing in various different bands or working on other projects.” She explains, “Leeds has a really great music scene, so it was pretty easy to get it together.”

The three piece released their first single ‘Control’ last year and have recently put out ‘Hunger’ which Warrender jokes that the inspiration behind the song was because “Chris loves eating cake.” However, Smith goes on to explain it’s true meaning; “It’s a straight up, break-up tune,” she continues, “It’s pretty heavy but sometimes I suppose good things come from bad places.”

Recently, the band have played The Great Escape Festival as well as Glastonbury. “Glastonbury was an entire city that appears out of nowhere, you could get lost for hours exploring it,” Quick explains, “Playing it was incredible, it’s such a great opportunity to make fans and meet lots of new people.” As for The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, Warrender is quick to reveal that the 6 hour drive from Leeds wasn’t the best. However, Quick steps in to say; “The crowds were amazing. You would’ve thought that after a whole day of walking around town, seeing band after band, that it would be quiet for a 11:30pm slot but the venue was packed.”

All three members thank their parents for being big music lovers which gave them inspiration to make music themselves. Warrender claims that he got his drumming inspiration from his dad pointing out drummers on music DVD’s and enjoys the drummers of Queen and Genesis. Quick’s parents encouraged him to purse a career in music and when his dad became a professor in Fine Arts, the keyboardist understood that there had always been an arty influence in his life. As for front-woman Smith, she explains that The Beatles and the Britpop movement were always playing in her house.

The band have known each other for a long time and have big plans for their future. Warrender explains his hopes for Shadowlark; “To headline the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury and to join Tim and Simon on Sunday Brunch.” Quick agrees with him but also adds that performing on Jools Holland would be surreal. The band seem to understand each other well and have a great dynamic. “We’re all prim donnas with massive egos,” Quick jokes, “We’ve known each other for so long, it’s a well-oiled machine.” Smith then jokes, “I kick off minimum 5 times a day.”


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