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(Credit: Holly Whitaker)

Music

Get to know English Teacher

@josephtaysom

Intoxicating Leeds four-piece English Teacher are on the cusp of exploding in 2022, but, before they do, they are rounding off the year in style with a headline performance BBC Introducing’s ‘Live At The Lexington’ this evening.

BBC Introducing has played a crucial role in making the music industry a meritocracy in Britain and helping young artists who aren’t getting their voices heard elsewhere on radio. They have laid out a blueprint which begins with receiving that precious first airplay on the artist’s local BBC station to being playlisted on either Radio 1 or 6 Music.

BBC Introducing’s ‘Artist for the Year’ in 2021 was Self Esteem, who first uploaded a track in 2017 and has since gone onto widespread greatness. The following year, she debuted at the world-famous Maida Vale Studios, and BBC 6 Music has supported her from the start.

In response to receiving the award, she tweeted, “I’m SO CHUFFED. I built Self Esteem from absolutely nothing and BBC Introducing has been fundamental in its growth. I am so overwhelmed and grateful. NEW MUSIC MATTERS. NEW VOICES MATTER. Thank you!!!! 

Similarly, English Teacher have built up a close relationship with BBC Introducing in Leeds, which has helped them immeasurably on their journey. Earlier this year, the group signed to Nice Swan Recordings and found success with their addictive single, ‘R&B’, which they followed up with ‘Good Grief’. Next year looks sure to be when English Teacher level up and become another success story for Introducing.

Read the band’s conversation with Far Out below, where they talk about getting Tim Burgess’ seal of approval, the power of BBC Introducing, and share their cryptic plans for 2022.

Doors open for tonight’s show at The Lexington at 19:30 pm and the last tickets are available here. Support comes from Frankie Beetlestone and VIIA.

Q&A with English Teacher

FO: How important has BBC Introducing been in helping you on a national scale and through their local new music show on BBC Radio Leeds presented by Emily Pilbeam?

“The BBC Introducing uploader is a portal of friendship and Radio 1 plays, a place where dreams really do come true. Emily Pilbeam is now a great friend of ours all thanks to BBC Introducing, nepotism is alive and well. No, but seriously, it’s helped us so much in breaking out of Yorkshire. We are forever grateful”

What’s the state of the current scene in Leeds and what other bands from the area should people listen to?

“With the Brudenell Social Club at its centre, the Leeds music scene is this crazy little petri dish of literally everything great. Small, semi-incestuous and forever multiplying. Some of the artists we’d recommend: Treeboy and Arc, Big Softy, Thank, Rodeo, Honey Guide, Fuzz Lightyear, Pop Vulture

Since forming in 2018, how much has the identity of English Teacher fluctuated?

“We were originally a dream-pop band so yeah, a fair bit of honing has happened. There have been a few lineup changes over the years so I guess with that, we have naturally progressed into what we are today.

From a creative perspective was lockdown a help or a hindrance?

“At first it was pretty stunting, to be honest. Lily was living at home and a couple of the boys were finishing their degrees so the band was on a back burner, but when we signed with Nice Swan Records we got the kick up the A55 we needed, our mojo was returned and have been smashing butts ever since.

Returning to playing live this summer must have been an even sweeter experience after the prolonged absence coupled with all the new songs you released during that period?

“It’s been intense but very fun. As a band, we’ve now shared many beds, megabuses and deodorants so it’s been an excellent bonding experience too. Will never get over seeing people sing our music back to us either, tempted to tell them to learn the words to better songs, to be honest.

Recently, you got an endorsement from Tim Burgess, how did that feel?

Surreal. What a lovely man too.

Finally, will we see a debut album in 2022?

“Plenty of gigs and m a y b e some new music…”