|Duo Leo Braukmann Pugsley and Callum White|
Forming but five months ago, forged deep in the Devonian wilds, Blues-Rock duo 'The Lion' are slowly but surely working their way up through the ranks. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Drenge and The White Stripes the two took a minute before their gig at Exeter's Phoenix Arts Centre to bask in the blazing Exeter sunshine and consolidate their rising success.
So how long have you been together?
Leo: We were in another band before with a friend. We had loads of names, but it never really kicked off. It was difficult so we ended up cutting it down and he wanted to go own way anyway and we kept it just simple, two piece, rock n roll.
How do you find the two-piece works in terms of dynamics, is it right for you?
Leo: it's good because when we play together live,it's just two of us and we can just sort of go with it. The energy's there, even though there's not a lot of texture and things it's fun and it means we can do a lot with our live performance. When we're live it means then we go out there we just make the performance as good as we can.
Callum: we only rely on each other. There's no one else to rely on it's just TWO. It's a lot easier.
With the rise of two piece bands such as Drenge, would you say that they had an influence on you at all?
Leo: Oh definitely a lot yeah! We've seen them, they came to our local venue and we do have a lot of influence from bands like the White Stripes, a little bit of early Black Keys, just all that kinda vibe. Blues/Rock influence, Garage/Rock Guitar sort of stuff.
How would you categorise your sound then?
Leo: Blues? Rock, Garage, Rock n Roll. Something like that, it's a hybrid infusion.
Where do you see yourselves going from this gig? Do you have high aspirations?
Callum: FUCK YES.
Leo: (more tentatively) We'd love to hit it big time, definitely. We'd sell out in a heartbeat. We wanna go to the top. Next year we're going separate ways but I see the band staying together and we'll keep gigging. It's good for us, it's promotion and experience and an opportunity to get in with the local bands.
Do you think there is a specific Exeter scene then?
Leo: There is an Exeter scene, yeah but it's a bit.. shit. We're just breaking into it really but there are also some really good bands in Exeter. We like 'The Big V', they're quite big I mean they're playing gigs in London and stuff. I saw they were playing one the other week in London, not that that means it's a huge venue but I think two of the members actually live there. There's a lot of bands who are around who are popular but we think are shit. But I won't name any names.
Obviously you've got this gig tonight, any other upcoming gigs where people can catch you?
Leo: Yeah we're playing on Friday 18th April at Tobacco House on the Quay which is like a new up and coming venue. There's quite a lot going on down there and there's a festival down there as well in May which we're playing at with loads of other local bands so that'll be good for us.
Do you find it easier to write lyrics of music first? Or do they come relatively together?
Callum: It changes every time really, though the lyrics usually come first.
What have you two been listening to recently?
Leo: Who was it who performed on Letterman recently? Future Islands, they're like a synth-pop group. Man that performance was so good, you seen it? The guys is there literally fully going for it and turns into a goblin, it's fucking sound. They're like 40 or something?
Callum: to be fair, there's a group from Ireland playing at the moment called The Strypes?
Leo: Oh god, not the young guys?
Calum: I think fair play to them I think they're pretty good for their age.
Leo: The Rolling Stones did a gig for their 50th Anniversary and they thought: 'ooooh let's ride on that wave!'. They're definitely doing well I mean they're great musicians and they're so young so good for them. I shouldn't be jealous really, but, I am.
Callum: I dunno, I haven't listened to them but I've definitely checked them out.
And finally, the age old conundrum; (as answered by the fabled James Bagshaw himself) B-ow-ie or B-oh-ie?
Leo: B-OH-IE! EVERY SINGLE TIME B-OH-IE! and he's a big influence as well
Callum: oh no. I used to say B-ow-ie. Should I say B-ow-ie? I'll say B-ow-ie for you.
The Lion perform at The Old Tobacco House on Friday 18th April and Off Quay Festival from 25th-26th May.
For fail-safe groovin' and musical enrichment, click on over to:
for more details look below at: