British punk with bluesy garage riffs is not what you would normally associate with the Kentish spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells.
But two musicians for the historic town are determined to be recognised for just that.
Together, Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman are rising stars Slaves – signed by top label Virgin EMI, nominated for BBC Sound of 2015 and preparing for the release of their debut album Are You Satisfied? next month with a UK headline tour.
The band only formed in 2012 – and success seems to have come quickly.
But Laurie, who sings and plays guitar alongside drummer and singer Isaac, says: “We’ve spent the past few years honing our craft.”
He says earning support slots with the likes of Jamie T and performing on the NME tour has enabled them to warm to bigger stages and has prepped them for this tour, which ends with a show at iconic Sheffield venue The Leadmill on Tuesday, May 19.
It will not be their first Steel City gig – having already performed in Division Street’s The Great Gatsby several times in the past – but the band are looking forward to ‘stepping it up to bigger venues’.
Laurie says: “Sheffield crowds can be hard to please because they’ve got great bands from their own city. Basically, you know you’re doing something right if you’re pleasing a Sheffield crowd, but they’re always fun.”
Slaves have developed a reputation for chaotic and raucous live shows – and are promising more of the same at The Leadmill.
“There will be a lot of sweat, high-energy everything and a lot of fun,” says Laurie, who says the band pride themselves on their mid-track conversations and have even warmed to their nickname of ‘panto-punk’.
And he says Sheffield can also look forward to hearing a lot of new album material, with, Laurie says, a set list of eight new songs mixed in with ‘some old gems to keep them all happy’.
Slaves play The Leadmill, Leadmill Road, Sheffield city centre, on Tuesday, May 19. For tickets, priced £10, visit The Leadmill.
The band also have a summer of festival dates lined up, including Sheffield’s Tramlines festival on Friday, July 24, and Derbyshire’s Y Not Festival on Friday, July 31.