Alex and Tom from the band PartyClub are not your average rockstars in any way shape or form. Alex Beevers, the house and techno loving Physics student, and Tom Banks, the unashamed 80s music lover and Law student, are two guys you just want to be mates with. After a half hour chat with them I feel like I’ve the known the pair all my life: they have a down-to-earth, solid relationship which, mixed with a bit of good luck and some very good music has shot them into the music hemisphere.
“Fun, infectious and bouncy” were the three words chosen by Tom and Alex to describe the music of PartyClub. However, this was not an easy conclusion to make. “Fun… Happy… Lively… they all mean the same thing! I guess our music is just fun: fun in music form. We try and inject as much energy into our songs as possible by using strong baselines and playing around with synth and electro influences, which simply makes our sound very bouncy and very, very fun”. And they are not alone in this opinion. The well known Breaking More Waves music blog says that PartyClub is “so playful, so rapturously happy sounding that if it didn’t raise your spirits a little you are most certainly dead to joy forever.”
It is important to remember, especially as they are relatively new bad, how currently there has been a massive stream of electro/indie/pop bands in the charts, so when asked about how they hope to differentiate their music from all those similar to them, Tom responds “it feels like today artists are trying more and more to put indie into pop, trying to give pop this alternative edge. However, as I see it, we are kind of doing the opposite; we are trying to put pop back into indie”.
Something which also sets PartyClub apart from other up and coming bands of the moment, is quite simply the level of success they have reached in such a small amount of time. “2012 was, quite literally, crazy. It seemed like overnight we went from just being two uni students messing about together, to having gigs lined up in London, our first play on Radio 1, being part of Hollister’s in store playlist”. There is something about these guys that is special; they catch on to people’s minds. Having been personally compared to the likes of Friendly Fires and Delphic by Radio 1 DJ Greg James, Alex comments on how this new wave of exposure has affected the band. “It’s certainly overwhelming to say the least, and to be compared to bands like those is amazing. However, our main aim when making music is to constantly try something new, and not be afraid to push boundaries. We never want to just play it safe”.
Touring seems to be the thing that allows PartyClub to continue taking risks again and again. “There is no doubt that the music industry is becoming a more and more difficult place for bands starting out today, however this just makes us want to work harder to keep up. Our live shows are what give us the edge. Essentially, it’s hard to fill a stage with just two people, but in a weird way this also means we give more energy, experiment with more technology… generally just make them the best shows we possibly can”.
When I asked how they manage to fit in two intensive degrees with such a rock and roll lifestyle, Alex replied “there isn’t anything rock ‘n’ roll about it! Last week we taking it in turns driving our little car down to a gig, whilst the other one sat writing their dissertation in the back seat!”
PartyClub may be shooting off into fame and fortune, however their fan base is what keeps them grounded and motivated constantly. “We started this, what, about a year ago, and the level of success we’ve had in that year simply would not have happened without the friends and the fans here at the University who listened and shared our music” said Alex. “Ultimately every band has that one place, where they came from and where they started, and for us that’s right here in York. No matter what direction we may be heading in now, no matter where we might be in five years time, our roots and our fan base here is what motivates us to keep going”. That said, Tom comments on how the mind blowing support from all over the world has affected them. “People say that technology’s increasing presence in music is a bad thing, however if it wasn’t for the internet, for social media, we would not be in the position we are now, or have half the opportunities we do. It’s incredible to see our YouTube statistics and see that we’ve had five hundred views in Saudi Arabia, crazy things like that. The internet allows you to share your music with people who you could never have met or even known existed, and I think that can only be a good thing for the music industry”.
Whether they are playing at open mic nights, or at sold out gigs in Camden, PartyClub will always be just two guys making music, for fun, for the love of it and for their fans. If the last year has been any indication of their future, then it looks like it’s going to be bright one for these boys.