Being asked about your name is an occupational hazard for many new bands.
But the all-male five-piece Eliza and the Bear found a way to tackle it head-on – they printed up a whole load of T-shirts stating: ‘No-one in this band is called Eliza.’
Guitarist Martin Dukelow told WOW247: ‘Me and James (Kellegher, vocals) do most of the interviews, and being asked which one in the band is Eliza was a very common question, not even just from interviewsI
‘It was also from people who were seeing us live for the first time, and the amount of times we said: “There’s no-one in the band called Eliza,” we thought, actually we should put it on a T-shirt.
However, with the indie-pop band’s star on the rise, there may soon be a lot more people wondering who Eliza is.
They embarked on a month-long, 26-date tour on Wednesday that arrives at The Joiners in Southampton on Thursday.
We can’t thank the fans enough who’ve already been behind us, but there’s a much bigger audience out there who have no idea who we areMartin Dukelow of Eliza and the Bear
‘It’s going to be full on,’ says Martin, ‘but to be fair, we did quite an intense tour the year before last, but we haven’t done an extensive date tour in a short period of time.
‘We’ve been lucky in that we haven’t been touring 365 days a year, we’ve done lots of festivals but the last tour was only eight dates, so it felt like it was over before it got properly started.’
And things have been going so well for the band that they’ve actually delayed the release of their debut album to squeeze in another single first and build on the momentum.
‘It was set to come out in February, but we didn’t really know what the extent of the radio was going to be. From a label perspective, we didn’t really know how it was going to connect, you kind of have to guess.
‘Radio 1 picked up Lion’s Heart and It Gets Cold and XFM have put it on their daytime list, we thought we’re going to take time to release another single after this one and try to get it out to as many people as possible.
‘We can’t thank the fans enough who’ve already been behind us, but there’s a much bigger audience out there who have no idea who we are, and for a lot of people, this album will be their introduction to the band.’
The self-titled album, which was recorded in Nashville, is now set to be released through Capitol Records on April 1.
‘It was a year ago we were recording it, and we put ourselves back in the rehearsal room and we’ve written about 20-30 songs, and you’re not necessarily thinking second album but it’s at the back of your mind.
‘At the moment the first album is 100 per cent the focus, but writing songs is what we love doing.
‘There are some songs on the album that are old to the people who’ve stuck by this band from the start, but to someone who’s not heard of us yet they’re brand new songs and it feels like they deserve the chance to be heard too, rather than be put on the scrap pile just because they’re old.
‘They’ve got us to where we are now, so they deserve their place too.’
The Joiners, Southampton
Thursday, January 28