While the majority of the event will be taking over various spaces across Wakefield on Saturday 11th June, this year’s Long Division festival opens the previous night, with Poet Laureate Simon Armitage - a relatively local boy - in conversation. Then the following day will feature acts new and old - Sea Power and Field Music top the bill, with Neu faves Honeyglaze, Modern Woman, deep tan, Prima Queen and DEADLETTER along for the ride.
Also appearing are Hull exports LIFE, who are preparing to release third album ‘North East Coastal Town’. Frontman Mez Green fills us in on what they’ve got in store.
Earlier this year, you announced plans to release your new album ‘North East Coastal Town’ next month. Can you tell us a bit about what went into making this record?
As you can imagine we had time on our side during the writing of this album; we wrote it together in our studio in Hull. Our studio sits on the banks of the Humber. The scenery was of abandonment. It was quiet and thus we just focused on writing. Once the album was shaped and written, we then took it to a studio below the river where we lived together in a chapel to record the album with our friend Luke Smith. It was also important to us that the sense of belonging that we had written about was also reflected in the album’s craft. We solely used locally-based studios, equipment, gear, friendship and the community around us to establish what it means to belong in a North East Coastal Town.
You’ve called the album a bit of a love letter to your hometown. What prompted you to explore that idea? In hindsight, how do you think you’ve done representing Hull on the record?
Hull and the surrounding area runs through our DNA. Hull has shaped us, weathered us, empowered us, embraced us and made us feel accepted. You’re correct, ‘North East Coastal Town’ is our love letter to the city. The album is an ode to kinship and relationship with its musical and lyrical spine picking out themes of love, desire, beauty, horror, chaos, pride and most importantly the sense of belonging. It’s a reflective body of work dedicated to people and place and those that have always been there and made us feel like we belong; so, I guess that’s how we’ve represented Hull on this record!
You’re also getting back into the swing of life on the road at the minute. What’s it been like being back on stage after a couple of years away?
It’s been revitalising. Last year, the band got back on stage as soon as we could with a full UK tour throughout the winter months. It really did mean the world to us to be able to be back in the communities we had longed for throughout the long lockdown months. We’ve also recently been back to Europe for some festivals, which was again a special feeling especially as in March 2020 we had to abandon our USA tour and come home early due to the global circumstances. Nothing beats being on stage together.
You’ll also be heading back to a bunch of different festivals throughout the summer. Do you relish the challenge of a gear change like that, when it comes to your live show?
Yes definitely; nothing beats playing live and even more so nothing beats seeing familiar faces in crowds and making new friends on the road. The gear change is always welcome.
The band are going to be playing at Long Division - how are you looking forward to it? Which other acts will you be trying to check out?
We’re looking forward to hitting the main stage this year, we’ve done the festival a few times and Wakefield is always heated when the event is on, plus it’s always great to play a northern town that appreciates music like Wakefield does. I’d like to see deep tan and Low Hummer.