1st December 2017 // Cultural // Live Music // Music // Whats On // Interview
On a miserable November evening, frontman Reuben and guitarist Ronan are sat together in the back room of a busy bar in Manchester’s famous Northern Quarter. They’d just finished an impromptu set at ‘Off The Record’, a new music conference and show case. While having to perform two men down, they’re in good spirits and seemed to have enjoyed their evening. At the very least, they’re much calmer than they were before they performed.
The gig had gone very well, the boys found a lot of new fans in Manchester that evening. If I hadn’t myself bared witness to the chaos backstage beforehand, I wouldn’t have questioned a thing. They had borrowed all of the equipment (bar Reuben’s bass) as it was still in London, along with a missing member of the band, guitarist Alex. They’d borrowed a drummer, fellow Hull-ite, Cliffy, who had only just made it in time with the instruments, thanks to the unpredictable and always inconvenient M62. Just as their load-in was due to start, Ronan checked out his guitar for the evening. It only had 5 strings. If it weren’t for the generosity of a fellow musician, their set might not have gone so well.
You’ve been playing as a band for a few years now, all over the country and even abroad. What has been your favourite gig?
Reuben: We’ve headlined at Fruit four times now. There is nothing quite like a gig in Hull, it’s the highlight of any tour. We’ve always enjoyed playing there, and have been lucky enough to support some great bands there too.
Talking of other bands, who was your favourite to watch at Humber Street Sesh this year?
Reuben: La Bête Blooms, they’re our best mates, they lent us all the gear for tonight.
Ronan: So we have to say that don’t we?
Haha, how touching. The whole band is from Hull, but you are now spread across the country, how has that been for the band?
Ronan: Uh, a real pain in the ass.
Reuben: Well, it definitely keeps things fresh. And because it takes some organising to get us all together, every time we do meet up, there’s always a new idea or material.
Well even with the geographical issues you’ve recently released 2 new tracks and videos. What’s been your favourite music video that you’ve put out there so far?
Reuben: It has to be our latest video, Easy Go, we had nothing to do with it haha. We knew nothing about it until the day before it was released, when we watched it for the first time. While we were away on tour we left the whole thing in the capable hands of our very talented friends. And it turned out great! For any hard-core fans out there, the video has some throwbacks to Cold Cut.
Definitely something to look out for then. So when you’re not on tour and you visit your beautiful hometown, where’s your Favourite place to eat?
Ronan: Yankee (Fried)* Chicken on Beverly Road.
Reuben: And for the non-meat-eating half of the band, it has to be Hitchcocks.
Slightly different answers haha, how about your favourite beer? Any unity there?
Reuben: It has to be Schöfferhofer, nice low percentage, if there was such a thing as good driving beer that would be it.
Ronan: Can you say that?
Reuben: Yeah good point, I don’t want people to think I support drink driving.
Well maybe a good summary would be that The Hubbards encourage responsible drinking. How about a hopefully less controversial topic, what’s your favourite song or album at the minute?
Ronan: Heaven or Las Vegas by Cocteau Twins.
Reuben: Yeah, we listened to it on the drive to the gig tonight.
Bit of a throwback there, I think that came out before you were born. The Christmas adverts are all coming out at the minute and when you should put your decorations up is always a big debate. When will you guys be tackling the festive challenge?
Ronan: I can’t afford a tree.
Reuben: I haven’t take mine down since last year.
Your sincerity is wholly appreciated haha. So what’s next for The Hubbards? What can your fans look forward to?
Reuben: We’ll be back in the studio in the New Year, which we’re all really excited about. And then back on tour in March.
Ronan: And we really can’t tell you any more than that, it’s very hush hush.
(I had tried to ask about venues, but the boys were adamant they could not part with that information.)
The Hubbards had just played a gig with half of the band missing and borrowed instruments. They clearly love what they do and their commitment to their music is a reason in itself to support them. Their catchy songs and cool shoes are others. Their new single Body Confident / Easy Go is well worth a listen, and the videos are great accompaniments. Since the interview, the band have announced a UK tour, which includes a very intimate hometown gig at Thieving Harry's. Tickets are available on Hull Box Office (HERE) from 10am Monday. You can find the band on Facebook, Instagram and twitter, give them a follow on your platform of choice and keep updated on new music, videos and gigs.
*After a lengthy discussion/debate and some googling we found that the establishment had dropped fried from the name and so was now known simply as Yankee Chicken