Silverdale duo Aquilo gear up for Kendal Calling

Picture by Harvey Pearson

Picture by Harvey Pearson

First published in News

METALLICA, Dolly Parton and an abandoned dog may have been the big talking points of this year’s Glastonbury – but an electronic duo from Silverdale also managed to draw a big crowd at the festival’s BBC Introducing stage .

“I really didn’t expect so many people to come and see us,” confessed Ben Fletcher, one half of Aquilo.

“It was my first big festival and I didn’t know what to expect, so that was a pleasant surprise.”
Ben, 19, and Tom Higham, 23, have known each other since primary school and live on the same road in the picturesque north Lancashire village.

Their combined musical talents have produced a dreamy, calming electronic sound but separately they both come from more rocky backgrounds, having been in bands since their very early teens.

Things changed for Tom when he went to university to study music production.

“While I was at uni dubstep became quite big so that’s how I got into the electronic side of things,” he explained.

“Ben and I had kept in touch and one day I heard a song that he’d put on Soundcloud and suggested we should have a little writing session.

“At first we were writing a lot of acoustic music but we were influenced by a lot of electronic stuff like James Blake.

“So we started using more electronic production and then gradually the acoustic stuff became irrelevant.”

Aquilo released their debut EP ‘You There’ – recorded in Tom’s basement - in April and the titular track made it onto the Radio 1 playlist last month.

The pair describe their songwriting partnership as 50/50 and, as Tom said, “the more we talk about it the more we realise how rare that actually is.”

The live side, however, was slower in coming: “We’d written all the songs for the EP with no intention of playing them live, finished it and realised, ‘Oh, right, now we’ve got to play it’.

“It was about trial and error – we were used to strapping on our guitars and playing loud rock music but this is a different ball game.”

For those of us that missed Glastonbury, Aquilo have a local festival slot at Kendal Calling, before they get back in the studio to record their second EP this year. 
 

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