If you’ve been into a branch of Caffe Nero recently, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard India Electric Company.
Tracks from the duo’s sublime debut album The Girl I Left Behind Me have been in regular rotation in the chain’s 600 branches.
It’s a fitting partnership given that the pair, Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe, are die-hard coffeephiles.
‘We like to dabble in speciality coffee,’ Cole tells The Guide during a break from touring. ‘We’ve got a roaster we know who sends us beans – James Gourmet. It kept us going through making the album, I think.
‘I think our friends would say we’re geekishly annoying about it.’
While the duo are often categorised as folk, their sound is wide-ranging and pleasingly tough to pigeonhole. As Cole explains: ‘We moved to Paris a couple of years ago to try and learn that side of things and get immersed in a different culture of playing, that gypsy jazz thing.
We wanted to produce an album that wasn’t constrained by anythingCole Stacey of India Electric Company
‘We were there for about a year and then we came back to Devon to write this album.
‘Obviously folk music is around us all the time but with the album we have a lot of musical influences and we were just trying to bind those together to create our own sound. It’s about trying to have the broadest mindset.’
And the album has a much bigger sound than your typical acoustic-based duo. ‘We wanted to produce a band sound. Joe plays a huge amount of instruments, and we wanted to produce an album that wasn’t constrained by anything. It’s only two of us on stage though, but it’s part of the challenge for us to recreate that sound live.’
And will we be seeing IEC-branded coffee on the merch stall at their gigs any time soon?
‘We’d lose all our integrity’, laugh Cole, ‘Not that we’ve got a lot, but we’d lose that.’
They play The Spring Arts Centre in Havant on Thursday, doors open 8pm.
Tickets cost £10. Go to thespring.co.uk