Stag & Dagger # 7 – Chapel Club

Who? Chapel Club Where? Stereo

You’re playing at Stereo at Glasgow‘s Stag & Dagger festival. It’s a little while away from the other venues – have you pulled the shortest straw?

Lewis Bowman (vocals): I hadn’t thought so. Until now.

Who are Chapel Club’s three main inspirations?

Right now for me it’s Lou Reed, Arthur Russell and the word ‘Telluride’. The other guys would probably argue that Telluride doesn’t deserve inclusion here, but that would be because they don’t understand. It’s been hanging about in my head for months and I think there must be a reason for that. So it’s going into a song pretty soon.

Are you a fan of chapels or is just a name?

Massive fans. Touring is just an excuse for us to visit the nation’s finest churches, after all. Last time around we saw a really extraordinary altarpiece in the Brecon Beacons.

You’re playing at Glastonbury this summer. What’s the best music venue – a massive farm or a sweaty club?

We haven’t played a massive farm yet so I’m not sure I can be objective. I think the stage we’re playing at Glastonbury is a mock pub thing anyway, so effectively we’ll be playing a sweaty club on a massive farm. Best of both etc.

How important is image to Chapel Club, or is solely about the music?

It’s about the music and the lyrics first and foremost, of course. Everything else is secondary. I mean, we care about image a little bit. We wouldn’t go on stage with beans down our shirts or anything. But we’re not indie boy clotheshorses, wandering around looking wilfully dishevelled in 25 strands of rosary beads and pirate blouses. We’re not twats, I mean. We want to be ourselves and not to fake or exaggerate anything, otherwise the songs – which are, after all, intended to hold some kind of emotional meaning and honesty – wouldn’t come across properly.

– Are Scottish crowds generally a fan of your music?

We’ve only played in Scotland once and we got some amazing responses as well as possibly the worst review of any band ever, so it’s a mixed bag. But the person reviewing us did sound a little… difficult. So that softened the blow a bit.

And finally, who would you rather duel with – a stag or a dagger?

A dagger, totally. Firstly it’s an inanimate object and wouldn’t have the heart to beat me in combat, and second it has no family, so if I defeat it I don’t have to watch over my shoulder for years to come in case some tiny daggerling decides to avenge his dad. Stags however have both an animating force and whole herds of wives that bear many progeny.

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