Kula Bay have been a band since June 2017 and our time together so far has been a bit of a whirlwind experience. From starting completely fresh and the band meeting almost as strangers to where we are today 18 months later is a massive achievement for all of us and we only see it as we’re just getting going.
The first 6 months together as a band were crazy, I had known David through high school and college and after both coming out of previous bands at a similar time for similar reasons we decided we should start doing a bit of writing together and to show one and other some of things we’d been working on. After a few weeks David brought the rest of the band together, from people he had known were looking for a band.
We first got together in a practise room in Woolston (The Vault Studios). This is where we all met properly for the first time. After a few hours playing through songs that David had brought to the table it was clear that this arrangement had the potential to be something special. I remember getting home after our first practise and messaging David about how excited I was at the prospect of this new band.
We practised for a few months before we really introduced our selves as a band, we spent a long time trying to choose a name. We wanted something that would match the vibe we were going for in our music, something summery, upbeat, catchy and not been used before.
We then started gigging in and around Manchester, playing a set of about 30 minutes that wouldn’t be recognisable at one of our gigs today (7 Hours is the only song that has withstood the 18 months).
Our first gig was in September 2017 at the deaf institute, it went extremely well. This was a huge boost in confidence for the band and I as it meant that all our hard work so far had paid off and we were right to be confident in what we had going.
After this gig we were offered a headline slot at Manchester Academy 3, we had just finishing recording 7 hours and i had also just finished the music video for the song, so we saw this as a good opportunity to have this as our release show.
This is also a personal highlight for me as we uploaded the song to BBC introducing on the Saturday morning, that night 5 minutes before we were set to go on stage we had an email letting us know that our debut single had just been played on BBC introducing Manchester and Liverpool.
This was a huge turning point for us, not only did
the gig and the updated set go down well, our name had started to get out there and our foot was in the door with BBC introducing.
The next year was then a bit of a blur, with our songs getting regular plays on BBC introducing and us going in to do live sessions and interviews with the BBC introducing Manchester team. We also had a great run of gigs, playing lots of different venues in and around Manchester whilst at the same time solidifying our songs and really starting to find what our sound as a band was.
Personal highlights so far for me have been, Our first headline gig at academy 3 which really put our name out there. Our gig supporting Marsicans at the deaf institute on their sold our tour, we got Manchester on the Thursday night after getting offered the gig two nights before and played to a full crowd (this really boosted our fan base in Manchester).
My final highlight came in September this year as we played, and sold out, the lounge in our home time Warrington. This was a great time to put on a show for free and really show people our new songs and the new direction we were taking the band in.
For the future of the band I have a lot of confidence in us and high expectations, if we keep working as hard as we have in the last 18 months I really think we can go on to do great things.
We’re currently working on a body of work that we hope to be releasing in early 2019, these songs are new and fresh and show a different side of the band that hasn’t really been seen before. We’re going to keep gigging as much as possible and try to work our way into more cities around the country.
- Oli Thomas (drummer and founding member of Kula Bay
Kula Bay headline the final Friday of [WAM] Festival at The Auction Rooms on the 22nd March. Tickets are on sale now via Seetickets. They are joined on the night by Olly Thornton & The Shirts, The Capitals and La Scala.