Lewis Capaldi is Indigo Velvet’s No 1 fan

INDIGO VELVET and Lewis Capaldi go way back. In the past, the chart-topper has described the Leith outfit as his “favourite band”.

Saturday, 14th September 2019, 3:56 pm
Indigo Velvet circa 2016

So it’s hardly surprising that he chose them to support him at this year’s Summer Sessions at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens.

Sitting with the four founding members of the band - Darren Barclay (lead vocals), Jason Tucker (lead guitar), Billy McMahon (drums) and Laurie Adam (bass) - ahead of a gig at The Bongo Club, all four are laugh when told that Capaldi has gone on the record, hailing them his ‘favourite band ever’.

“Did he actually say that,” asks Darren, 25, before, as one the guys declare, “Thank you, Lewis!”

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Indigo Velvet

“We first met him at Electric Fields in 2014,” reveals Laurie, 23. “We were gigging by then and Lewis was just starting out.”

Darren takes up the story, “Then, when we played Electric Circus, we put him on to open for us.”

As show time approached, however, there was no sign of the singer, the band-mates recall.

“We were going ‘Where’s Lewis? He’s supposed to be sound-checking, he’s on soon’,” Darren says.

Indigo Velvet soundcheck

“Actually, “I don’t think he ever did do a sound check. Even as the doors were opening, we were still saying, ‘Where is he?’

“No one could get a hold of him. Jason phoned, there was no answer.

“What had happened was that he’d arrived on the train and gone to McDonalds... then he wandered in with his guitar on his back and a cheeseburger in his hand, with minutes to spare, saying ‘What’s happening? Where do you want me?’”

Billy, 24, chips in, “He was about 17 then and the number of people who came up to him afterwards and said, ‘You’re going to be a superstar’, was incredible. So, after that we took him on tour with us.”

Indigo Velvet discovered Lewis Capadli, then?

They all laugh, “We gave him his break, aye,” quips Jason, 24.

Formed in 2014, Darren is shocked to realise they’ve now been around for nearly six years, Indigo Velvet have carved a credible niche for themselves on the Scottish music scene since Laurie came up with their “random” name.

He remembers, “I was on the phone to Billy. He had the word ‘velvet’ in mind and wanted a two word name.

“I was walking about my house and went into my mum’s room, she had an indigo velvet throw over her sofa, so I said Indigo Velvet... and that was it. Very random, eh?”

The boys all met while still at school, Leith Academy for Darren, Jason and Laurie and Holyrood High, for Billy.

“Me and Billy played football together for Leith Athletic but found we weren’t cut out for it,” explains Darren.

“I knew Billy played drums and I played guitar, so I got a couple of lyrics down.

“Laurie and I were in a lot of classes together and he played sax at school, so we formed The Kiks, a high school rock band that wanted to sound like the Kings of Leon.

“Jason was a fan of the band and we’d jam together, so when the fresh start came with Indigo Velvet, we got him on board too.”

A love and passion for music has kept the band together the four agree, and as they have grown as a unit so their sound has now evolved away from the ‘tropical pop’ that helped make their name .

“Music evolves, it’s natural,” says Darren.

“Trying to find a niche sound, everyone is quick to label you.

“We had an Afro-Caribbean guitar riff, a very calypso summer vibe at the start, but now we’re trying to get away from that label to become known as a pop band with a nice, mature washy-guitar sound.”

The plan certainly seems to be working and with new keyboard player David Ritchie on board since August, they’ve never been in more demand.

“We love and are very passionate about what we do, that’s what makes us get out our beds in the morning...” says Jason. “...but sometimes you have to take a step back to realise just what you’ve achieved,” continues Billy.

“We’ve now played venues we always imagined playing, Princes Street Gardens, T in the Park and The Hydro,” adds Darren.

“It really is bucket-list stuff, smiles Billy.