Earlier today, the latest round of artists funded by PRS for Music Foundation and Arts Council England’s Momentum Music Fund was revealed, with Hooton Tennis Club being one of the eighteen chosen.
Fresh from a performance at Benicassim, we spoke to the Liverpool-based band to find out exactly how they came across the Momentum Fund, what advice they’d offer to anyone wanting to apply and how it’s already helped to record their second album with Edwyn Collins.
Hello Hooton Tennis Club! How’re you doing?
Hola! We just got back from Spain last night after playing at Benicassim. Three of us are delicately nursing our British tans, and Ry was seduced by cheap beers and tapas, so he’s still in sunny, sunny Barcelona!
It’s just been announced that you’ve awarded funding through the Momentum Music Fund - how does it feel?
It’s really amazing and we all feel very lucky, very grateful, and very relieved. The money will help a lot on tour - we might actually get to sleep in actual beds now! We’re really looking forward to getting back in the van, listening to smooth.fm, eating Sainsburys meal deals and playing the new songs live.
What have you actually applied for the funding to help with?
The funding has allowed us to record our second record with Edwyn Collins! Edwyn and Grace are some of the loveliest, most helpful people we’ve met as a band and their beautiful studio is up in beautiful Helmsdale. The funding is also going to help us tour the UK to promote the album, it also really helps us go to places that may not be on the usual touring circuit of big cities.
What was it that made you turn to the idea of funding? Is it something you were familiar with before submitting your application or were you introduced to it fairly recently? Was it something you really thought available?
Ryan lives next door to some of Stealing Sheep and they had received funding, so we knew how much of a help it could be. Unless you’re a huge, huge band or artist then it is really difficult to make money as a musician, and it’s an expensive hobby! So it really is a massive help to be able to apply for arts funding, and we’re very lucky that it has been made available to us!
What was it like to fill in the application? Do you think it prompted you to come up with more of a concise plan?
It really made us plot out what we wanted to achieve and how to get there in the coming months. It made us give ourselves proper targets and a proper structure that we could aim for.
How much do you think the money will really benefit you? Is it hard to convey how necessary support like this is in the music industry?
When we recorded our first album it was done in several sessions - three days here, three days there, etc. The funding let us book time in Edwyn’s studio so that we could complete the album all in one go. It let us relax a bit more and get ‘in the zone’.
What advice would you give to bands in your position, especially if they’re considering doing similar?
We know that funding would massively help so many bands and artists, but we’d probably advise bands to not just apply on a whim because you’d like some instant £££. Wait until you know exactly how you want to progress and then come up with a well prepared and achievable plan that will help you get where you want to be. When you’ve done that then you should definitely give the PRS for Music Foundation a call.
DIY and PRS for Music Foundation will be bringing you information, advice and interviews with the artists funded through the Momentum Fund over the next week. Stay tuned for more, or head to their official website to find out how to apply.
Momentum receives support from Arts Council England and Spotify. Check out Spotify’s Momentum Music Fund playlist below.