‘I don’t put myself out as a mod musician, it’s just the tag you get given if you have sideburns and play in a band!’: An interview with George Dummett of The Costellos

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The Costellos. You’re going to want to remember that name. This young four-piece from Southampton have gone from relatively unknowns, to playing Common People and securing a spot on the line-up at Isle Of Wight Festival. They have tracks that have the potential to get thousands of people jumping at these festivals, but also have the tracks that will get a small crowd in an intimate venue going absolutely crazy.

They promised in the past that they would go onto big things, and if recent events are anything to go by, they are definitely on their way to fulfilling that. They have a charismatic frontman in George Dummett, who has the natural ability to get a crowd onside, and I was luck enough to catch up with him and ask him a few questions.

Hey George, how has 2015 been going so far for you and the lads?

George Dummett is the frontman of Southampton rock 'n' rollers The Costellos

George Dummett is the frontman of Southampton rock ‘n’ rollers The Costellos

Hi mate, it’s been a mad journey! We have just had non-stop positive feedback and just some of the biggest announcements that we never thought we would be involved in.

You’ve just played your first ever festival, having a set at Common People! How was that?

Mental. Probably the best experience I’ve had. Everything from the way we were treated to the fact that we had about 200/300 people going mad to songs that they hadn’t heard before.

What’s it like being backstage and preparing for and during such a big event?

It’s a massive buzz! We’re not a nervous bunch, we just have a few beers, listen to tunes and get pumped for it!

Do you have any pre-show rituals that you like to go through before going on stage?

I personally like to warm my voice up a bit, stretch my legs and make sure I’m all relaxed. I suppose the others do the same.

Did you get a chance to see many other acts over the weekend? Who stood out for you?

Yes we did!  The main one that stood out for me was Seán McGowan! He was just so mind blowing. The Rising also played a great set.

You recently announced that you’ve joined the lineup for this year’s Isle Of Wight Festival! How did that come about? What was your initial reaction?

I was on my lunch break when I saw the email, I was so excited! I rang the lads straight away! We just couldn’t believe we had been asked to play at one of the country’s biggest festivals.

Do you think Common People has been good preparation for Isle Of Wight? Will you change your set at all to adapt to a bigger crowd or will you keep it the same?

We wrote a festival set which we used at Common People, and we’ll use it for Isle Of Wight as well. It’s good to plan ahead. We have made it fast and upbeat to get the crowd lively.

When you started the band a year ago, did you envisage playing these big festivals this year?

I never thought it would get this big so soon, no. But we worked really hard because we knew we wanted to make a thing of The Costellos. We didn’t want to be just a boring old covers band, we wanted to take it as far as we could go and we are still going.

Do you prefer to play these big shows or do you prefer smaller, more intimate venues?

George sees Miles Kane as one of his biggest influences as a frontman

George sees Miles Kane as one of his biggest influences as a frontman

Festivals are a mad vibe, everyone is just crazy! But small shows are a real big buzz aswell. Like, playing a sold out show in a 150 capacity venue in London really put hairs on our backs. Probably the best gig we have played, everyone just went mad. That’s the best feeling you can have.

Who are your personal influences musically?

For me it’s Paul Weller, Oasis and artists like that. But as a frontman with a guitar, Miles Kane is one of my biggest influences. I also like psychedelic bands like Temples and POND, people like that who have 8 minute songs that are just so complex, you know?

Most young bands at the moment try and either go down the pop or rock route, but you guys have instead opted to embrace the mod culture. Why is that?

Well, us four lads have always tried not to follow mainstream bands and styles. The mod thing is obviously a big part of me although I don’t put myself out as a mod musician, it’s just the tag you get given if you have sideburns and play in a band! We’re influenced by The Who and all that but we don’t put ourselfs out as a mod band. More rock and roll! (Without the flares.)

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

We have some big announcements coming gig-wise, but after Isle Of Wight we are straight in the studio to record our new single! Then it’s push push push and trying to get as big as we can.

Have you set any goals for the band in the short- or long-term?

Mine, personally, is to crowd surf, see how far I get! But for the band it’s just to play everywhere! Fancy playing abroad at some point as well I suppose!

Is there anything you’d like to say to the reader who perhaps haven’t listened to you before? What should they expect from you?

If you want to hear a raw 3 minute upbeat Indie tune you can dance to, type in ThecostellosUK on Soundcloud and download our original tune ‘Bring Your Love Down’, which was remastered by Green Bacon Records.

Thanks a lot for your time, good luck for the rest of the year!

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22 years of age and Live Editor here at The Edge. In my spare time you'll either find me on a basketball court dunking like Jordan (that may have been a dream...), going to gigs or attending stand-up comedy shows!

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