Award-winning duo Lucas & King are getting ready to play at Graze Festival

Billing itself as Hampshire's '˜Â finest music and food festival,' Graze Festival in the heart of the county, is now in its fourth year.

Lucas and King playing at the Fender Guitars Undiscovered Artist of the Year Awards ceremony 2018
Lucas and King playing at the Fender Guitars Undiscovered Artist of the Year Awards ceremony 2018

Performers at the day-long event include punk/new wave stars From The Jam, Neville Staples of ska legends The Specials, rising indie singer-songwriter, This Is The Kit.

Also playing, fresh from winning the Fender Undiscovered Artist award for 2018 are duo Lucas and King.

Bo Lucas and Hayleigh King met in Brighton, where they both were studying for a degree in contemporary music at university but a year or so in, neither of them were finding the creative outlet they desired. 

Despite having been friends for a while, they had never played together. In fact, Bo had never heard Hayleigh play guitar. As Bo tells The Guide: '˜We would just hang out. Then one night she started playing guitar, and I had no idea she could do that. We wrote our first song that night quite quickly, and it was: 'Wow, where did that come from?' And we've been doing that ever since.'

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    Bo sings lead vocal and plays acoustic guitar whilst Hayleigh plays electric guitar and sings harmony-backing vocals and sometimes adds the odd flourish of synth.

    Their first break came when they were invited to tour with and open for The Kinks' founder Ray Davies on his 50th anniversary tour in 2014 at short notice. They burnt CDs on laptops, with handmade sleeves, hand-stamped with '˜Lucas & King' and handwritten track listings. They spent two days and nights burning and making the CDs so that they had enough to sell. 

    Often described as Americana, Bo is more circumspect about their music: '˜Its funny because I don't really know what we are. We do get put on a fair amount of Americana stuff, but genre-wise, we just sort of write, and we leave it as a natural process. It's just what's come out '“ we've never really forced anything. But I listen to a lot of '˜60s music and Hayleigh's into some more minimalist things, but we both like a bit of country and some indie-Americana, things like Ryan Adams, and I love Simon & Garfunkel.'

    And in July of this year they were crowned winners of the prestigious Fender award after a live final, which saw them win a trip to LA, gigs at the Fender factory in Corona, and the Cal Jam Festival and free Fender products.

    '˜It felt great to win' says Bo. '˜If you've been doing this for a while, then being recognised for something like this, that acknowledgement gives you a boost. I didn't think I would be nervous, I was trying to think of it just like a regular gig, but it was a relief when it was over and we won.'

    They have also played a host of festivals, including Glastonbury (twice), Cambridge Folk Festival 2017, Victorious 2017, Maverick 2016 and 2018, Southern Fried Festival 2018, Summer Tyne 2018, and Rhythm Tree Festival 2018. 

    '˜We played Glastonbury again last year, and played on two stages - that was really great. Glastonbury is such a massive event, and it's such a great thing to do '“ everyone you know knows what it is, it's still such an iconic event.'

    But her favourite festivals are a little quieter.

    '˜The ones I've enjoyed most though were Cambridge Folk Festival, and Ireby Festival in Cumbria, the audiences at both of those festivals were the most appreciative audiences we've played to and Southern Fried in Perth '“ it was just a great atmosphere.'

    While the pair are ambitious, Bo adds: '˜Success is different for everyone, but if we can progress and make a decent living off this. It's mainly just doing music as much as possible, it is your life. We've both had part-time and full-time jobs to support us doing this.'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'

    Their self-titled debut album is set for release on November 26.'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹

    Graze Festival

    Hazeley Fields, Twyford

    Sunday, August 26