If you hadn’t heard already, look busy are an electronic rock group from Stoke-on-Trent. The three lads combine catchy melodies, powerful vocals and bouncy rhythms to form a polished sound. I had the pleasure of chatting with the band; Caleb Allport, the singer who has a metal plate in his arm and the scar to prove it. Mayson Nicholson on the gee-tar, who claims to have moles in secret areas. Last but not least, Ron J Rode who dedicates his time to turning the dials and frowns into smiles.
Like the rest of us, look busy are in lockdown meaning they have been apart. “We’re doing competently!” they said. “Enjoying the weather and the company we have, whilst trying to stay creative and taking care of ourselves to keep our mental health in check. As a band we are trying not to look at this as a negative and just prepare for after lockdown, when we bounce back.”
Although they are from Stoke, Look busy are now based in Salford, they said the move turned out to be ‘make or break’ for them. “Overall, it’s certainly turned out to be a positive move for us. It’s given us access to better facilities, new opportunities and allowed us to meet new contacts, which has helped us evolve as a band. Stoke is a mega platform for local artists and we still continue to be as active as possible there.”
However, living further apart inevitably came with challenges. “It tested our strength as a group, making it harder to commit. We’ve jumped that hurdle now though, and become more conscious about using the time we have together effectively.”
When asked if there had been any conflict between the three members, Ron instantly ‘pleaded the 5th’. Caleb gave more of an insight. “We’ve never fallen out properly, no. We have had our fair share of disputes over the years but that’s natural. Some just down to frustration and some come from more personal issues, but we operate as a family does, our bond is stronger than our disagreements. We look out for one another and discuss any issues that we may have, no matter how close to the bone.”
Look busy’s influences include David Bowie, LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead, Tame Impala and Four Tet, along with music from the UK bass scene and local music. “Locally, I’ve always loved Joe Hulme’s work, influencing me as a nipper with The Control and now with Average Joe. Also other local artists have made us want to do what we’re doing, such as All The Young, Get Alongs and Flesh.”
The band have also been influenced outside of music, whether that be a romantic endeavour, or simply because ‘we have more faith in our creativity when we’re skint.’ There is a clear political message behind certain lyrics on their debut EP, Let Go. “Politics has had a big influence on me throughout most of my life. Social issues that concern me make me want to write and express my anger or discontent.” said Caleb, the group’s lyricist.
“We had an exciting period approaching, gigs in London, Manchester and Stoke with some promising collaborations to accompany them with. However, things aren’t what they were just a few weeks ago. We are already in the process of rearranging our events and meetings with venues to later dates and it’s great we have a lot to look forward to when times are brighter. For now, we must take advantage of the time we have and make the days count.”
“Shout out to all the key workers getting us through this ruthless period. You are the true heroes of our society. Hope everyone stays safe. Love and strength to all.”
Article by Joe Hough