CLT DRP: Finding the joy in live music

Backed by their recently-released debut album Without The Eyes, CLT DRP will be tearing the Dome down this Saturday for Live is Alive. We spoke to lead singer Annie about reprsentation, the bright sparks of the local music scene and trying to stay connected.

Header image by Stewart Gardiner: Instagram // Website 
CLT DRP: Facebook // Instagram // Bigcartel

It’s been a long time since shows were a thing, how does it feel to be playing this Saturday?

I am not going to lie, I was a bit wary of playing when we first heard about the project as it was this unknown thing, but we streamed last week’s show with Libra Libra, Ditz, Lambrini Girls and Wife Swap USA and suddenly was just so excited about playing, even a bit jealous we didn’t get to play on that particular show, it was so good, it was really fun watching everyone, the atmosphere was great and it’s all for such a good cause, so I’m so excited to play now.

How do you feel playing up on the big Dome stage will be?

Different for sure. I was watching Wife Swap USA on the stream and thinking “god this must be so strange for them” they’re so used to running in the crowd and getting really wild on stage.

I actually put them on right before lockdown in March for a charity event at the Prince Albert for the Survivor’s Network and their show was so crazy. People were running around, people were getting naked, climbing on the bar, and having seen that it just seemed so weird to see them up on a stage not getting involved with the crowd. That said, everyone did so well, all the bands did such a good job of playing up there and you could just tell that everyone was so happy to even just be playing in the first place.

Is this down to the absence of live shows we’ve had?

Totally, you could hear people screaming from the audience even though it was seated, you could tell that people were so stoked for the show in general. I’m so excited to be playing and also see the other bands. I’ve got tickets to make sure I can see the rest of the acts and I’m really looking forward to that. One of my good friends Lucy is in Projector and we’ve been messaging saying how we are just so excited to see each other play, we’ve been like excited little teenagers, really getting rowdy for a gig! It’s so nice to have that joy back, it’s been so long.

Sometimes on tour or during a long run of shows you maybe lose a bit of that excitement, so it’s nice to be really, really looking forward to playing. 

With the Brighton music scene being a close-knit one, is it also great to just be seeing each other for what will be the first time in months for some?

Totally. I haven’t seen some of my friend’s bands play for yonks, for so long. Even before Coronavirus it was a bit of the case. I know Ditz, Libra Libra, Lambrini Girls, Wife Swap, and others on the line up all really well, and I haven’t seen them all in so, so long, because everyone is at a level where everyone is out touring a lot of time, busy playing shows – so it is definitely so nice that everyone is on the same bill and actually playing together and getting to see each other.

Have you had to take into consideration the size of the stage, have you adapted the live show in any way?

I think first and foremost it’s just really exciting to be up there. It’s such a privilege to be playing on such a massive stage, and with such an incredible sound set up. I feel as though a lot of us as bands aren’t at the size where we’d be playing there as a regular thing so it’s mainly just excitement about doing it. The set is going to be shorter than usual to fit the timings and we would obviously want to play a full 30 minutes, especially with it being so long! But it’s completely understandable, the venue has done so well to get the show going ahead and at the end of the day we are happy to be playing at all, it’s a good atmosphere and it’s for a good cause so you can’t really complain.

It is a diverse line up, do you feel this is a good reflection of the Brighton music scene?

I do. Especially our show and the bill before it is really nice to see. It’s bands that these massive bands that don’t need any exposure, but they are bands that have worked hard to get where they are, have taken part in the scene heavily and really built themselves up. These are bands that are still very much DIY in a lot of what they do, us for example, we’re signed to Small Pond,  but it’s not like we’ve got managers and a ton of financial backing and stuff like that. I think the line up is a great mix of bands that are doing things for themselves and have worked hard to bring a little sparkle to the scene as a whole.

And giving these kinds of bands such a huge stage is nice way to celebrate that?

It’s really cool. I was talking to some friends the other day and were just saying that with a band like Lamrbini Girls, how cool is it that you’ve got this three girl punk band, ripping off their clothes on stage, saying whatever the heck they want up on the Brighton Dome stage? It’s great to see. Also, seeing the last show, with LibraLibra finishing off the night with Listerine, it was such an amazing, moving thing, as a headliner that is quite queer, open and out there, we were all sitting there almost in tears it was so beautiful and so important. I thought it was awesome to see up on the stage and just such an awesome line up. 

I know the organisers ensured it was a diverse line up in terms of representation, do you feel that’s important? 

I do, but you should have diversity there, just change it up, it’s really not that hard. So yeah, I thought it was pretty cool and I’m happy that they figured it out. There’s still work to be done don’t get me wrong, for example there wasn’t a single person of colour on the last bill. There’s work to be done, but that’s just a little observation, we’re getting there, people are trying.

You release a record in lockdown, what was that like?

It was hard in some ways. We were supposed to release it in May but, not knowing how long lockdown would go on for we pushed it back to August thinking it would be better! I think we all would agree that we are happy to have it out, it’s been a long time in the making and we are all proud of it. That said, it is sad that we can’t tour it and we aren’t sure when we will be able to. We are planning for the best,  but we are trying not to get our hopes too high. It is very hard to feel connected to the music industry right now and a lot of creatives I know are getting really down and feeling disconnected which is really hard – if you can’t play gigs, you can’t get a buzz from seeing things life, from performing. 

But again, we are happy to have the album out, we have had such great support and so many kind reviews, a lot kinder than I was maybe expecting! It is what it is and we are looking forward to getting out and playing shows in support of it just whenever that may be.