Gig preview: Clay at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Enthusiastic and blurring the line between confidence and arrogance that all hungry young bands must tread, when the hype-machine surrounds you either play up to its predictions or become another Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong fading into obscurity before releasing an album.


Although Clay have been firing in the kiln for a couple of years, the band, fronted by Joe Harvey, are now a fully rounded and glazed masterpiece set to take on the world.

We spoke with the band who have become the poster boys of Leeds’ next big musical boom.

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How has this been viewed by yourselves?


Incredibly humbling. We started this band with the very intention of going to the top, and won’t stop until we get there. I think if you’re in a band in 2016 it can be difficult at times, but we’ve always put everything aside and chased the desire to be huge.

There are many great Yorkshire and indeed Leeds bands that have gone before you, who did you listen to growing up in Yorkshire?

Growing up I listened to a lot of The Music, and then things like Michael Jackson and Duran Duran, CDs that were just on in the house, really. I remember it just being constant 80s, that’s had a huge effect on us now.

Which is your favourite venue in Leeds, and which do you miss that have sadly closed over the years?


Brudenell Social Club is our favourite venue. Had some amazing shows there so far. Such a good vibe about the place. It’s such a shame The Cockpit has closed, the best venue in the country hands down. When our debut record goes to number 1, I’ll be buying it and re-opening it.

Is it important you are seen as a Leeds band outside of our city? How is Leeds seen by other bands you tour with?

Definitely, I think it’s important to be proud of where you’re from. Especially somewhere like Leeds which is very rich in musical culture. The festivals really fly the flag for that.

There has been much hype and talk of being scouted by top names in the industry, did you expect such a reaction when you started this journey?

It’s hard to say we aren’t surprised, we expected to get a big reaction, due to working so hard behind the scenes. So we knew the music we released was the best we at that time. But it’s very humbling when people get what you’re doing definitely.

Could you reinvigorate the Leeds music scene and bring back the glory days of ‘New Yorkshire’?

I genuinely believe so. I think Leeds is lacking an act that can be at the forefront of the city. We are that band. People can be afraid to step up and say it. Why? We love what we do, and believe we’re the best.

Do you have any festival plans this year?

We have Tramlines in Sheffield, but this summer is taken up by our debut headline UK tour. Which we’re so hyped about. It’s going to be properly insane.

Your new track ‘Stay Calm!’ had it’s video release recently. It’s a pure anthemic slice of summer festival sunshine. What songs remind you of summer?

Thanks! For me, every time I hear Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight. Plus I get told I look like the singer. Or rather he looks like me?

If you could curate your own festival, who would play?

Jackson 5, Duran Duran, Gorillaz, The Streets, Craig David, Clay.

If you could give advice to aspiring musicians looking to pick up an instrument and join a band, what would you tell them?

No matter who tells you no, do it because the dream is in your head and it is 100 per cent worth chasing.

Clay play at Brudenell Games Room, Leeds on August 13. For details visit