17:54 Thursday 05 December 2013

Festive fun at home town gig for LostAlone


STEVEN Battelle is still buzzing from the excitement of another gig supporting The Darkness when he picks up the phone in his hotel room.

The LostAlone frontman played in Holmfirth the night before (“it’s where they filmed Last of the Summer Wine and we have all been to the cafe where Norah Batty worked”).

“We played in this beautiful old cinema; it was such a great show,” Steven says. “It’s a very different audience to those we have played in front of for the last two years but they all love rock and I think we will get a lot of new fans from it.

“The Darkness are playing their debut album in full. So we are getting to see a record we love played live – 29 times.”

LostAlone will head back to home turf to play Derby Assembly Rooms on December 20, headlining a night that will also feature Burton’s Max Raptor.

“It’s a definite tradition for us,” says Steven. “We have done it every year since we have been a band and it just gets bigger and bigger. Last year we did the Assembly Rooms for the first time and it was an incredible show for us, one of the best we have done. So I booked this year’s literally the day after, saying ‘we have to do that show again’.

“We have spent a lot of this year making the new album so the gig will be the start of the campaign.”

LostAlone have given us a taste of what to expect with an early Christmas present – the free download The Bells! The Bells!

Steven says: “It’s hard to put out a song that represents the whole record as it’s so diverse. We knew if we put this track out people might go ‘what is that?’ as it’s not straightforward but the reaction has been incredible.”

Steven says the new album, a follow-up to the highly-rated 2012 release I’m A UFO in This City, is now ready for release in April.

“We recorded it in a 300-year-old hops kiln in Dorset. We wanted an old school Led Zeppelin-Queen vibe so went out into the countryside and then I did a lot of overdubbing in London. For one track we got the official 2012 Olympic choir, who did the opening ceremony, and they were unbelievable.

“The album was finished in September but there are only about four times in a year you can release a record. Nobody releases one now unless they are aiming for the Christmas market. But we are already being booked for festivals next summer as they know we will have a new album out.

“There will be a new single in January or February and then we know what we are doing all the way into 2015.”

LostAlone have gone down the Pledge Music route to finance the album (with fans investing in the music directly) after their experiences with a major international label on the last release.

“I was massively reluctant at first,” says Steven. “I thought ‘why would we do that when we are on a label’. But it made sense after the Warner Brothers experience, which was incredble to start with and then just because someone changes their job everything you have worked for disappears.

“So eventually the idea of controlling 100 per cent of the money that goes into the record lit up as being the best way – the only way it won’t work is if we mess it up. We have made a record that in our opinion sounds better than the one we made with Warner Brothers. With them we had $250,000 and for this one £20,000. The producers we worked with at Warner were amazing but we have grown as a band and Dan Weller, who produced this album, hunted us out and it was a real melding of similar personalities.

“It’s the record I’m the most proud of and the benchmark for us and hopefully for UK rock. I definitely think it’s better than anything else out there at the moment.”

We may get a taster of the album at the Christmas gig and Steven is looking forward to welcoming Burton’s Max Raptor.

He says: “We are from the same area but didn’t know each other. They are having a good year and there’s a lot of attention on their mini album so it made sense to have another local profile band. We went to see them play and they are amazing. We are are really happy they are playing and it makes for an even better show.”

Not that it stops then for LostAlone. After the Christmas show the band get two weeks off before embarking on another tour, with The Black Out.

Steven says: “Then it’s promo stuff for the record, our own headline tour, Europe and the summer festivals. We are going to very busy.”

LostAlone can be seen at Derby Assembly Rooms on Friday, December 20. Go to www.derbylive.co.uk

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