Her Name is Calla are no strangers to Leicester’s music scene. In the aftermath of the live recording of their Handmade Festival 2017 set, Great Central sat down to chat with Tom, Adam, Tiernan and Thom about their show at Bishop Street Church.
Playing in Bishop Street Church is nothing new to the band. Tom explains: “We have played the church before, and were in a good position when it came to the live recording. We have a lot of material so we were able to pick all the bits that would be best suited for it as opposed to going in and playing all the heavy stuff. The big noisescapes in Dreamlands and Navigator let the acoustics in the room swell, and it really works for us.” “And the contrast with the quieter bits are amazing as well.” Thom adds.
Because of a recent change in line-up, Her Name is Calla were able to refresh their repertoire and play some songs they hadn’t played in a long time for their live recording. “Now that Thom is back, it means that we can widen the net in regards to what sounds good,” bassist Tiernan tells us. “It has also narrowed the net in regards to what I can learn in a short amount of time,” Thom adds jokingly.
Thom is no stranger to the Calla bunch – he was part of the band when they recorded their first album The Heritage in 2008. “One of the songs we played during our set at Bishop Street Church we’ve only played live a couple of times, but we never played it in a way that we were happy with.” says Tom. “We used to play it with backing tracks and we hate backing tracks. We like to control time; not time to control us,” Adam adds.
“When we arranged doing the live recording in the church, Dreamlands was a song that was picked out and we worked around doing that song. There are bits in Dreamlands where we felt like because Thom was back in the band, that for the first time we could potentially really play it properly with the five of us and the instrumentation that he brings; even though that’s not a part of the original recording.” Tom tells us.
Her Name is Calla is a name that you’ll have undoubtedly seen on a poster somewhere around the city at some point. Since they formed in 2004 the band has played numerous festivals and shows in Leicester, several of those being at Handmade Festival. “We’ve played every year except for two years ago; and even then, that edition both Adam and me played a solo set.” Tom tells us. “And I did a comedy set,” Thom adds, “it was hilarious!” “We keep saying to the organizers that they should make us their house band, but it’s not catching on…”.
The band have a close connection with the festival and that clearly shows when they talk about it. “It is nice to have seen the festival go from strength to strength.” says Tom. “Because we’ve been involved in the Leicester music scene for as long as we have, we’ve seen the precursors that came up to that. This isn’t a thing that’s been going on for a few years; you can trace this back the best part of 10 years and it’s still the same people that are involved and are doing this. Having lived in a bunch of different cities, I’ve never really seen other places that have done that and still have the same people involved commited to it.”
Her Name Is Calla will release the live recording of their Handmade set in the coming months. It is available to pre-order now.