LOWES Interview: "Highest Point, it’s just magic"

With two sets at their native Lancaster's Highest Point Festival on the horizon, as well as a new single out today, we caught up with Evie, James, and Luke of LOWES to chat about it all!

Thomas Hirst

Last updated: 22nd Mar 2024

LOWES, the Lancaster-based Electronic Pop Trio, consisting of vocalist Evie Plumb (EP) and producers/multi-instrumentalists Jamie Walker (JW) and Luke Paget (LP), are back with a brand new single - Satisfaction - in 2024; a single that marks their first as an independent band.

With more new music on the horizon, as well as two sets at their native Highest Point Festival, we caught up with Evie, Jamie, and Luke to chat all about the track, as well as diving deep into what Highest Point means to the city of Lancaster, their experiences of the Festival, and what else 2024 hold for them Scroll down and check out what they had to say!

 

Hi guys, it's great to be chatting with you! You’ve got a new single, 'Satisfaction', out today,  What can you guys tell us about it?

EP - "Yeah, I can't believe it's today. It's been on the horizon for so long, now it's like:  ‘Oh my goodness, we've arrived!’

It's the first release of this year and the first release of a whole new chapter for us really. 

We're embracing independent after a big stint as part of big teams at labels, and while we've taken a lot from all that experience, it's really refreshing for us now to be pretty much allowed to do whatever we want.

Obviously, that comes with big responsibilities and loads of extra jobs and things to think about, but we're relishing the opportunity to just truly be creatively free. 

I think that's reflected in the song too, it really sounds like we're creatively free. It sounds a bit…

LP - Raucous. 

EP - haha, yeah a bit rebellious too, a bit crazy. 

I think, as the first song back, we wanted to make the statement of the sort of like - this is us when we're allowed to just run with ideas and it's exciting!

 

 

You’ve got a video being released alongside the single, is it going to mirror a similar creative freedom that you’ve found since becoming independent?

JW - It's just fun to, as you say, have that creative freedom to actually make our own video. 

The videos that we've done in the past have worked in a way where we've had treatments sent to us and we’ve had to pick from a variety of different ideas.

But this one is purely us, and we’ve made the decisions we want to make.

Plus with it being the first song back as an independent band now, we thought we deserved to have a video that, I don't want to say makes a statement, but let's just say that.

But it was just fun to go through that process of creating something out of absolutely nothing and, having never done it before all ourselves, It was a cool thing to explore. 

EP - It was very collaborative as well and was so liberating. We couldn’t really go wrong because as an independent, every ounce of effort you put in is rewarded straight back to you.

LP - When we’ve been with a label, we were just doing the musical side 24/7. But now, doing something like this, and having all these other jobs, it's been really exciting for us to dip ourselves into those things that we've never really done much of before. 

Plus, when we write music, I always have a kind of visual in mind, and sometimes that never quite kind of transcended into the video we ended up doing, so now I think we can put across what we want with that. So, yeah, exciting times ahead with a lot more to come.

EP - It’s always fun working with a tight budget as well. You have to be very creative and you’re always thinking: What talented friends have we got that can help add something to this? 

LP- I think that's cool though, because the people are there because they want to be there and everyone really pulls together to get things done. I think it makes a difference and we hope that shows in the video!

 

Image: LOWES on Facebook // Last year's acoustic set at Highest Point

Moving on to Highest Point, you guys are Lancaster locals, what’s it like coming back to the festival every year?

EP - It's so much fun.

It's such a novelty because where we're sat now, we've got the basement studio 10ft below our feet, and then the festival site is literally, 300 yards away. So it's all very cosy. 

LP - We could write a new song, walk out of the rehearsal room, and then go on stage and play straight after. 

EP - Haha, but It's such a novelty to be able to do that, and it's so much fun to see your city come alive like it does during Highest Point, it’s just magic.

You see all your friends there. If you go off to play in Bristol or London or Glasgow, there are very few familiar faces, but at Highest Point, you see so many friends, old and new, and it's great. 

People really root for you around here. They want to see you succeed and you feel that when you're playing your new songs out live and everyone's excited. So yeah, It's really cool, especially for a local band like us. 

 

I think it's such a special thing about truly local festivals like Highest Point, where the whole community come along to them, and they become a real annual event where you see people you haven't seen in a while, maybe even since the last one, and everyone comes together, they can become so important to a place, is that something you feel?

JW - Definitely, we're all from here, or at least have strong roots in Lancaster, and people locally know who you are because we've started by playing in the pubs, or people know you as like, oh, it's Jamie from down the road or whatever. 

But then for us to play on a bigger stage, in Lancaster, with some pretty well-established international acts, it's a really cool experience for people locally seeing you in a different light on a different stage. 

Also, the fact that Lancaster has such a strong local music scene, and always has done, to then now having a festival that brings in these well-established artists from all over the country, it’s just adding more and more to the music community here. 

It's great for Lancaster, and it's about time that we've had a well-established festival here, especially Williamson's Park as it’s such a lovely setting, its perfect!

LP -  It's been much needed, hasn't it?

EP -  I think as well for the big artists that come, it's probably just another date in their calendar, but the repercussions of having something like Highest Point in Lancaster, it really puts the place on the map. 

Also, if you live in Lancaster, to see most big bands, you need to travel at least an hour and a half to see them. 

Whereas to be able to just walk up the road and watch Tom Odell, or Caity Baser, or Busted, or Cat Burns, all these big DJs as well, it's brilliant and it's a rare opportunity. 

I think everyone should really relish it and jump on board with tickets, because who wouldn't want to be there? Everyone will be talking about it.

 

You touched on it there Jamie, but I do think Williamson Park is such a great space for a festival, too, with the memorial, and the views over Morecambe Bay, it’s special. It’s one of the things returning acts always mention too, what’s it like to have such a space in your hometown and for it to be used in such a way? 

EP - 100%, When you're going up to the Main Stage and they have those little buggies and you pile all your guitar amps and on and you're wandering up through the woods in this little buggy, it’s such a rare, calming thing right before you go on stage to just be in bit of nature. It's great.

JW -  It is unique, I can't think of another festival that I've ever played that is similar, you get ones in parks, but it's normally just big open spaces. It's quite different with the Hill, and Memorial

EP - It's like a very explorative festival too. 

At some festivals, you go through the gates and you can see everything at once, whereas Williamson Park really invites you to sort of wander around and see all the different areas and the different stages. 

 

I’d love to get your opinions on what a festival like this does for the local scene and local people, especially those who are younger?

LP - I've been playing in the music scene around here for years, and there was a time when there was literally nothing. 

Now there's Highest Point and the Lancaster Music Festival, two well-established festivals, which the city has been crying out for. 

There's local talent on both those festivals that now can actually showcase themselves on a big stage, which you just didn't get to do before. 

EP -  It's important for youngsters as well, we're not ancient, but I'm talking about proper youngsters, like teenagers who are having guitar lessons or teaching themselves piano. 

If you have these places where can see your own people up there doing it and making it happen, it suddenly becomes achievable. You can’t imagine yourself in those shoes without that. You just think, oh, none of these big performers come from where I'm from, they all come from big cities.

But it's like, no, you can be from a small city in the North West of England and this can be your career, this can be your job. But you have to see it to believe it. 

 

Image: LOWES / Facebook.com

It moves nicely on to the competition that Highest Point are doing this year, with having a local band opening the stage and keeping that localised to, like, Lancaster and Lancashire I think such an opportunity rings true to what you are saying. 

JW - It’s hats off to the organisers as well, who give those young local bands the opportunity to do that, as you could quite easily just dominate the main stage with major acts, international acts, whatever. It's just ace that they give people from the area the opportunity as well. 

As you could quite easily just dominate the main stage with major acts, international acts, whatever. But to have that slot and for us to play, being from around here and stuff, it's just ace that they give people from the town the opportunity as well. It's really good. Yeah.

EP - There's so much chat at the minute around the closure of music venues and, oh, we need to do more to develop young acts, so it's great to see people putting that into action and be like, well, what can we do in our circumstance to elevate young bands and to give them an opportunity? 

It's not just that though, it’s the experience in itself. That band will then have photos from the event, which look great and can help propel them forward. They get experience in how to deal with the big stage and all the tech. They’ll take so much from it with you forward. 

All of us, when we were late teenagers, got given these amazing opportunities, and they're the things that you really cling on to and treasure. 

JW - It can just be massive for your confidence too, can't it? 

LP - Yeah, It drives you forward, definitely, and makes you think: Yeah, I want to do that again, bring it on.

So then you'll go home and work twice as hard to do it. It's an addictive feeling and a great opportunity. 

 

So onto you guys at Highest Point, you’re doing two sets this year, what are they going to look like? Are we going to see a difference in the sets? Is there going to be any new stuff?

LP - Juggling and Acrobatics for sure…

JW - Probably some Stand-Up Comedy too…

Joking aside, the Friday night on the Main Stage we’re just going to full band it and do what we do. 

But with the Saturday, we're still discussing the best way to approach that. So maybe we'll leave it as a surprise. Is it going to be a DJ or full band? A hybrid thing? We don’t know yet

But it's ace, we always like doing the smaller stages at festivals as well, Main Stage is great, but a tent or a smaller stage is always cool. 

So I think we're just going to think about the best way to kind of roll that out on the Saturday, But I'm sure that that's going to be as enjoyable as Fridays Main Stage set. 

LP - Oh, yeah. I think when you have loads of people sweating crammed into a tent, that's sometimes a lot more fun when it's up close and personal. 

EP - I mean, it's a late set as far as the festival is concerned.

It's like 9pm on the Six Music stage, which hopefully means everyone will be up for a good time. So we don't want to be too chilled out. We want to give people some good energy. 

LP - A smash in the face, yeah…

EP - Luke can do the splits. 

LP - You'll definitely get some high notes out of me doing that.

 

Image: LOWES / Facebook.com

It’s been a pleasure chatting with you guys, just to round things off, you’ve got your first music of the year out today, but what else does 2024 hold for LOWES?

EP - So the single is the first one of the year, but it is part of a bigger project, an EP on the way coming out in late spring, which we're really excited about. 

We’ve been plugging a lot of time into the final mixes and the aesthetics at the minute and just getting it how we want it to be. 

So yeah, more mad music is on the way, but some familiar stuff as well. I think this first one really is like an out-of-the-box feeling, but the EP as a whole is quite together. It's not all completely crazy. 

 

 


 

For tickets to Highest Point 2024, where you can catch LOWES two sets live, scroll down to the bottom of this page. 

Or, if you would like to find out more information, and some FAQs on Highest Point 2024, visit the event page on Skiddle, by clicking or tapping - HERE

Find tickets to all other upcoming LOWES gigs - HERE

 


 

Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.

 

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