By David Hennessy
Hudson Taylor, the band led by Blackrock brothers Harry and Alfie Hudson Taylor, are currently touring the UK with Kodaline but in the past have supported big names like Jake Bugg and even The Rolling Stones. However, at the end of this month they will take centre stage with their very first headline tour of the UK. Much like there was a buzz about Kodaline this time last year, Hudson Taylor’s debut album is becoming very eagerly awaited.
“We’ve never done a headline tour, we’ve only done a few headline shows,” begins Harry. “It’s gonna be mad but it’s also gonna be class because we get to play a full hour set. The one downside to support set is that it’s too short, you get half an hour and literally on the last one or two songs, that’s when you’re really getting into it and so you’re like we want to do more.”
The pair learned their craft busking on Grafton Street and around Temple Bar before making the move to London two years ago. “We came over for two weeks and we just got so much done in that two weeks, we were meeting people from labels and that wasn’t happening for us over in Ireland so we just followed our gut really,” says 19 year old Alfie. Alfie is going out with well known singer, Gabrielle Aplin who the two brothers lived with when all three musicians, all unsigned at the time, were very new to London.
Harry, Alfie’s older brother at 21, adds: “It’s kind of classic of Dublin bands in general, I think. Sometimes it helps to get out. We both left our respective education and just moved over in 2011.”
Harry was studying in DIT while Alfie was yet to sit his leaving cert so this was a bold move. Alfie says: “We didn’t really have the money to do it or anything like that, we just properly busked it. We did two weeks of extensive busking before we went, made, I dunno, €2,000 and then moved over to London and then were like: ‘What are we gonna do?’”
What was their mother’s reaction to her sons abandoning education to chase their musical aspirations? Harry answers: “I suppose like any mum, she was a little bit concerned. It was more her friends: ‘Oh Melanie, you don’t want to be letting those boys go off to London, they’ve got to finish their education’. But as it happened, there was a window of opportunity there for us and now they’re all asking for guest lists. We just went for it because the opportunity was there, we had to do it, take it by the balls and just go.”
Do the lads still busk for the craic? “A little bit,” says Harry. “When we go home for Christmas, we’ll definitely do some busking and in any European cities that we haven’t played in before, we tend to go out to a pedestrian shopping street and whip out the guitars. We learned our craft there. It’s not so much for the money anymore as it was. At one point it was really our job. We were doing it because our mum wasn’t giving us any pocket money.”
The band have earned many of their fans from their busking days. Alfie says: “Recently we put up a picture on facebook that was celebrating hitting 50,000 likes but we asked: ‘Where are you from? And how did you find us?’ And a good chunk of them were people who just saw us busking three years ago but they were from all over the world: ‘One of my friends saw you busking, put up a photo of you guys so I checked you out and then..’ ‘I’m from Argentina and I was in Dublin in 2011..’ or whatever and I saw you guys and been following you ever since all that sort of stuff, it’s really cool.”
So when we expect the album? Harry answers: “We won’t actually start the album until next year. We’ve got five or six songs already done. We have all the songs, it’s not about writing the songs, it’s more about just having time to record them. The album will come the middle of next year, hopefully before the summer.”
The EP OSea by Hudson Taylor is out now. Hudson Taylor are supporting Kodaline on their current tour and headlining their own tour of the UK from November 25. For more information, go to: http://www.hudsontaylormusic.com/.