Independent Lincoln thugs write bangers for small town life


Do you know what they say about Lincoln? Absolutely nothing. Believe me, I am from there. No small feat: it is a beautiful cathedral city with a rich history and warm people. But leave the Midlands and say ‘Lincoln’ to someone and you’ll usually be greeted with a shrug. “WE INVENTED THE TANK! We protest, for little gain.

Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods grew up a few miles down the road in the village of Saxilby while Elton John collaborator Bernie Taupin is from Sleaford, as are 2000s indie-blues band The 22-20s. Two of the Sea Girls Who Disturb the Cards are also from here. Beyond that, however: these are very thin pickings.

“We’ve always had a problem with that identity thing, really,” admits Mitch Spencer, frontman and guitarist for hard-hitting indie upstarts The Rills. “At first, we were really embarrassed to be from Lincoln, because there aren’t really any artists from here. Maybe it’s the sheer calm of it.

He notes how “it is even very difficult to go to a small show, let alone organize one” in Lincoln, the choice of venue being either pubs with cover bands or the venue. 500 The Engine Shed seats wherever you would go. see Kaiser Chiefs. “If you like music or something alternative Lincoln can be like a stepping stone pushing you down. The tension builds and before you know it – bang, you just have to do something.

Bassist Callum Warner-Webb agrees: “There’s a small town mentality that shapes us. When we were younger and decided to move our mindset was ‘let’s get out of this place and prove everyone wrong’. Now, being gone and coming back, it gives you a different attitude towards it all. We look at Lincoln through a new lens.

Mitch and Callum first met at the age of 13 while spending their time in a skate park. A few years later, one saw the other wearing a guitar on the first day of sixth, before they started jamming and a creative partnership formed. Sensing that they had exhausted Lincoln’s limited scene, they moved to Sheffield to see if the magic of their heroes Arctic Monkeys could rub off – but it was a little more humbling than that.

“We left home around 19 with no idea what we were going to do,” admits Callum. “When you’re that age, and you live in Lincoln and do concerts, you think you’re huge and just steps away from playing Glastonbury. Suddenly working, paying bills, messing everything up and learning from your mistakes – it was that cold, hard-hitting reality that you really need if you want to move forward and write great songs.

Returning to Lincoln for college, Callum met drummer and Essex boy Mason Cassar at a conference. “These guys booked a gig without having a drummer and had no intention of changing that until the last minute,” laughs Mason. Adding a thunderous new touch to their sound, Mason has also become their indispensable “anchor” in the South, as Mitch adds: “Our greatest inspirations are the Arctic Monkeys of the North and the Libertines of the South. We have always been in this happy medium. We’re not that Northern Oasis inspired band, but neither are we a super trendy post-punk band from South London – we mix them both through the funnel of contemporary music.

Lincolnshire is England’s second largest county, and with that comes its own personality. More Nordic in spirit and accent but culturally in limbo, no one really knows how to place a Yellowbelly. These are the characters that live on in The Rills songs, but anyone who grew up in a quiet town and dreamed of a little excitement should recognize them.

That’s what helped the trio rack up millions of likes on TikTok, thousands of streams, and a healthy following on social media. You can hear that rogue charm on the early singles with the punk and raspy “Pyro” and the bittersweet “Us & Them”, to the recent garage rocker “Stardog” and the spicy “The Angler”.

Having signed to Nice Swan Records (home to early releases from Sports Team, Fur, FEET and more), this is the latest single from the band “Skint Eastwood” that best captures what the Rills are: an anthemic banger that swaying. between scuzzy and dreamy rings as they pay homage to “a loner, BMX bandit who prowls the streets in search of affection, be it begging, stealing or borrowing”. Here’s someone every small town suburb will remember – those kids “who are bored and basically pretty lonely,” says Mitch. “We’ve all been Skint Eastwoods at some point in our lives.”

The Rills have just left the road after supporting Bloxx on a UK tour after previously breaking the BBC Introducing Stage in Reading & Leeds, and the trio are now set for their own UK tour until December. They also have a five-track EP in the bag due out soon, and aside from a “side quest” to help kickstart more of an indie scene at home, they have their sights set far beyond this horizon. end.

“I don’t know if it’s because we’re from Lincoln, but from day one we were like, ‘We want to cover Glastonbury, we want to be the biggest fucking band possible,'” admits Mitch. Citing his heroes, Callum says the 2006 Arctic Monkeys song “Maybe vampires are a bit strong, but…” sums up where he thinks the Rills are.

“Alex Turner sings about getting advice from people telling them to just do shows at local pubs,” he says. “It makes you think, ‘No, I’m not going to limit myself to a situation where it makes sense to be in a band in a small town. I’m going to go completely against that and run with this idea – even if it kills me ”.

The Rills’ “Skint Eastwood” is now available

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