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New interview with up and coming band Keyside

Music writer Matthew Jacobson interviews up and coming band and one to watch, Keyside.

Indie guitars, floating vocals from the streets and scouse filters sweep through the world of Keyside. The band have already cemented their arrival to the flourishing scene with a blistering pace and ease while serenading their devoted audience with a blissful sound of The Smiths, The La’s and The Coral – but more importantly still remaining, Keyside.

Their first single ‘Lights Out’ was a bouncing indie stomper and they have just hit the mark again with their new hit, ‘Paris to Marseille’ – with graceful and first class guitar riffs, rising vocals and delightful zestful drums, the single has informed us all that Keyside are here to stay and they are one to watch, not next year, but this year!

Keyside are Dan Parker (vocals, acoustic guitar), Ben Cassidy (lead guitar), Oisin McAvoy (drums) and Max Gibson (bass, vocals). 

I wanted to know more about their journey so I interviewed the band about influences, recording process and their recent gigs.

When and how did the band form?

Oisin – The band itself has taken many different forms, with different members coming and going. The bands latest lineup has been together for over a year now. We all met each other in different ways but mainly came together through our mutual love of music. We all had a desire to put 100% into the band and we’re so excited for what’s to come.

What was the connection between you all, was it similar taste, influence or a desire to be in a band?

Max – I wouldn’t say we always come eye to eye when it comes to music taste, Ben and Dan grew up in Liverpool and grew up with bands such as the LA’s, the Coral, Pink Floyd or The Police  whilst myself and Oisín grew up surrounded by music respective of were we grew up (Northern Ireland in the case of Oisín and myself in Spain), so music taste isn’t really a common denominator between us all.  What we all have in common is the journey we embarked in together, looking forward to the future, but not looking too far ahead, enjoying every moment as it comes. 

How do you write and record – together or separately and then you bring your work to the studio to work on as a group?

Dan – A bit of both, most of the time I’ll get a canvas of a song and I’ll play it and see if they reckon it’s worth working on and from there we all add our own colour to it and it becomes what people hear as a Keyside song. (Dan)

Are you individually always thinking about writing, or do you have to stop and say, time to write a song?

Dan – There’s never a day where I don’t think ‘that could be a good title’ or humming something random through the day and launching at the voice memo app to catch it. Sometimes I’ll dream a melody and crawl to the phone to groan a croaky half in tune melody half asleep. It’s like an itch writing. You need to itch it. 

Is the city of Liverpool an influence?

Ben – In a lot of ways yes but not in the ways people might necessarily think. People often mention The Beatles and the legacy they left but for me it’s more about how the city has a musical identity. Personally I’m more inspired by Bands like the La’s and The Coral. I feel there is a typical musical identity attached to the city in some form of a ‘jangle’. 

The single, ‘Lights Out’ –  I felt was one of the songs of 2022 and I feel the new single, ‘Paris to Marseille’ will again create a further buzz about the band with the unique Keyside sound – tell me more about the single?

Dan – “Paris To Marseille” was written sometime in winter 2021, and I had already written most of the lyrics apart from the verses. I remember walking by the Mersey at the time, which inspired the opening lyric: “across the water / moon lit reservoir”.

And congratulations again on the sellout gig at the EBGB’s – the loyal fanbase loved it – how was the gig for the band?

Ben – The heebies gig was boss. For a while before we got anything recorded we gigged almost week in week out to very few numbers. Since we’ve come back and started to put some material out it’s been a great buzz. It’s something else to be on stage and hear the words sang back and seeing everyone bouncing. 

Thanks to Keyside for their time and best wishes for the future!


Matt Jacobson                                                                                                                                 

Explore Liverpool

READ MORE: Matthew Jacobson “On The Streets I Ran” Interview with singer Nick Ellis

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