The Wildewomen of Lucius are at the Wedge

Lucius, with Jess Wolfe second on the right.
Lucius, with Jess Wolfe second on the right.
Portsmouth Philharmonia players following their concert to raise funds for Hayling Island Community Centre

STUART REED: Players pull out all the stops at charity concert

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The Beatles have been responsible for starting lots of bands down the decades.

But in the case of Lucius, it was something more than merely being an influence that proved the catalyst for the New York band’s creation.

The band’s creative nucleus Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig met at university, and as Jess told The Guide, they had known each other for a while before deciding to try working on their music together: ‘We had a lot of mutual friends, we kind of hung in the same group.

‘One night we got to talking over several glasses of wine about our musical upbringings, and we were blown away by all the similar inspirations so we thought it would be fun to do a retake on the White Album.

‘We started working on the rearrangement of Happiness is a Warm Gun, but we started writing our own music and never got around to finishing that project.

‘I kind of feel that at some point we’re going to have to go back and finish it.’

In the meantime though, we’ll have to make do with their impressive debut album Wildewoman which blends 60s girl-group pop with indie bite and upbeat murder ballads. At the heart of it all though is the powerful combination of Jess and Holly’s voices.

And they’ve been busy honing their craft on the road.

‘It’s been nonstop,’ says Jess. ‘I think since January we’ve had a total of two weeks off, and that’s not all at once. It makes you a little crazy, but it’s been very exciting – you’re forced into this tunnel vision and this momentum, you just keep going and keep at it.’

And earlier this year they got soul diva Mavis Staples to sing with them onstage at the Newport Folk Festival.

‘She played one of our songs, Go Home, with us,’ explains Jess. It’s certainly a career highlight. She’s just full of joy and light – she’s just this ball of happiness.

‘It was just an idea we had, and she’s the queen of that festival, so she’s involved in lots of projects throughout the weekend, so we put it out there, and I guess she liked the song.’

See them at the Wedgewood Rooms on Monday, doors at 8pm. Tickets £9.50. Go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk