The three members of London’s We Have Band are sitting on the floor of the BBC’s recording studios, all talking into the speaker of a cell phone. They have just recorded a live session, the band’s first, for Radio1 and everyone’s simultaneously giving their impression of the experience. Even though I am on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and the connection leaves much to be desired, one thing is clear from the chatter of members Darren Bancroft, Thomas WP and Dede WP: these guys are fucking stoked.
Since playing their very first show in May of 2008, things have moved amazingly fast for this percussive art pop trio, especially considering that they originally never intended to perform live. Home recordings led to a MySpace page, that quickly begat singles, their “Hear it in the Cans” popped up on the sixth Maison Compilation from chic Parisian label Kitsuné, extensive European touring and party-mongering followed, then the labels and high-powered managers came calling. “We’re not sure how things can get more exciting,” says Thomas. “To be honest, if anything else happens, we all might explode.” Before the goldrush, We Have Band began as the product of an “office romance of sorts” when the three members were working as temps at the same London company. Thomas and Dede liked each other so much that they fell in love and got married, and the two were such good friends with Bancroft that they all decided to make music together (“They keep me around to settle their marital disputes,” he jokes).
In their songs, We Have Band find the balance between propulsive post-punk and goofy electropop. “We’re lucky that we sit nicely in the middle,” says Thomas. “We can play dance clubs or play rock clubs.” Evidence of the band’s elastic style is all over tracks like lo-fi ESG-style jammer “You Came Out” and the polished, incantatory debut single, “Oh!” All three members of We Have Band shuffle singing duties, and while Dede’s vocals can recall Le Tigre at their cheerleadingest, Bancroft’s adds a solemn gravity to new song “How To Make Friends” as he repeats Cavalry falls/ And artillery fall/ And then infantry fall. “Our music is proof that something that can be smart and still kind of dumb at the same time,” says Bancroft. “Whatever that means.”
Stream: We Have Band, WHB