Earlier this month Lauran Hibberd went to her first ever Glastonbury.
Having never even been as a punter, it was straight in at the deep end for the singer-songwriter.
The Isle of Wight-based performer played three times in two days, on the PRS For Music, Greenpeace and BBC Introducing stages, putting her infectiously catchy, guitar-driven songs in front of thousands of new people.
Speaking to The Guide from her home in Yarmouth, she says: ‘I’m still a bit tired, but it was so much fun.
‘We arrived on the Thursday and camped right through, so we had the full experience. I just couldn’t get over the amount of people there and how big it was. It was like being at Disneyland or something – and it was so hot as well, which was a blessing. If it had been raining and muddy, I would have been a different person.’
‘We definitely had some great responses. I’m an up-and-coming artist and it was lovely to see people walking past the tent or stage and go, hang on, what’s that going on over there? And stay and watch.
‘It was really nice to meet a lot of new people and be in that environment where everybody’s up for discovering new music – it’s the perfect place for someone like me to be.’
Although based on the island, Lauran has played frequently on this side of the water.
‘I love Portsmouth, I’ve played Victorious and that was amazing, there’s a really great music scene there, and a lot of great bands coming out of Portsmouth, they’re everywhere at the minute, and my friend Jerry Williams, she’s always doing bits and bobs.
‘It’s amazing to see so many people in such a small place coming up through the works.’
Lauran thinks that starting off somewhere off the beaten gigging track helped her develop initially as an artist. ‘For a while it was a good thing to be there and it gave me time and space to write without worrying about what I was doing.
‘It definitely helped me in how I write and the songs I create, but I do have to go the extra mile to make sure that living here doesn’t hinder me – like when I play in London and we catch the 3am boat back. We don’t complain any more we’re so used to it, me and the band. It’s really good fun, and it’s a lovely place to come back to, for sure.’
And Lauran has played all over the UK and in Europe – with more already lined up.
‘We pretty much say “yes” to everything and go where we need to go.
‘We just did a festival in Prague and we’re off to Sweden in a couple of weeks, so it feels like we’re never here anyway!’
With a handful of well-received singles released online over the past year or so, Lauran will soon be putting out her debut EP.
‘It’s all done now – that’s all packaged up and ready to go for release in September. That will be my first EP, and it will be really nice to hold a physical product, hold a vinyl, and be like: “I made this”.
‘So far we’ve only put singles out, which is amazing, but it’s great to wrap them up and package them together.’
A trademark of her songs has been her quirky outlook and darkly humorous take on life – checkout Hoochie or Sugardaddy.
And those songs have been getting some high profile support from BBC radio, which has helped convince Lauran she’s on the right track.
‘A lot of people don’t understand – your friends you went to school are off doing different jobs, getting married and having babies and you’re still living with your mum writing songs in your bedroom at night.
‘So when someone like Huw Stephens or Annie Mac says something nice, it’s like, okay, somebody gets it! It’s reassuring and it gives you that little push to think, I can do this.’
As she is constantly writing, Lauran is keen to keep developing and releasing more material.
‘I’m always on the go, writing things on my phone or singing into my phone in the car, and things like that.
‘Most of my tracks are pretty imaginative, and most of the original ideas stem from little thoughts and words I write down during the day.
‘Somehow it turns into something I can relate to in my life. It’s funny, I seem to write subconsciously and then realise later: “Oh, that was about that”. I don’t realise until afterwards.’
Ultimately Lauran is working towards her debut album, which while it doesn't have anything as concrete as a release date, is definitely a work-in-progress.
‘It’s not in the works in so far as I’ve started recording it or anything, but it’s definitely in my mind to do.
‘I’ve got loads of titles written down and artwork I’ve drawn, and track-listings. At the moment it’s a big dream of mine. But I’m consciously ready for it to go when it needs to go.
‘I’ve got about 20 songs to choose from at the moment, but I’ll probably write more, and then the new ones will knock out the older ones, so I really need to settle on some things.
‘I can be quite scatty, like, that one in and that one out!’
And there’s also the matter of a rather sweary T-shirt among her merch, featuring an epithet Lauran has used for herself on occasion.
She laughs when it’s mentioned. ‘I used to say it quite a bit on stage as a bit of a joke. To look at, I look about 12, and I’ve got pink hair, and I wear stupid colourful clothes, I’m like a walking rainbow.
‘People think, what’s going on here, then? And then I start singing about sugar daddies and all sorts, so I think it’s quite a funny juxtaposition to call myself that, like I’m in a big rock band. It’s more of a play on the character of me in a band and how rock’n’roll I actually am – I just drink orange juice on stage!’
Lauran is headlining The Follow The Sun festival put on by CloseUp Promotions. Also playing are Lona, Only Sun, Dutch Criminal Record, Shanghai Blues, Jeph, Sad Palace and Megan Linford.
FOLLOW THE SUN
The Edge of The Wedge, Southsea
Saturday, July 13