Meet the Coventry band who have played with Kings of Leon and gone national within their first year of existence

The Institutes have only been in existence for just over a year but have done as much as any band would have in five.

From playing with Kings of Leon at the Genting Arena to being quoted by Oasis record producer Owen Morris as “epic”, the quartet have become the city’s hottest music artists.

On the back of their new singe ‘You Stole My Baby’, I travelled with the band on their minibus ahead of their gig in Manchester.

After arriving with production manager Jessica Brunt at the The Standard Triumphon a cool winters afternoon, I was greeted by frontman Andrew Ferris (also known as Fez) and bassist Andy Lowe who both gave me warm welcomes.

Soon after, lead guitarist Andy Hall appeared and, with Ferris’ Dad at the wheel, his brother in the back and long-time friend of the band Eion all inside the musical wagon, we set off for The Zombie Shack.

The bus journey went something along these lines:

A few hours, toilet stops and Greggs pasties later, we arrived in a dark, atmospheric corner of Manchester as we were escorted to the venue, situated above a vibrant local bar.

The room exerted a Hawaiian beach outlay, with tropical features, such as a surfboard, looping palm trees and empty rum barrels, scattered around the room. The stage was no wider than the length of a speedboat, but that added to the close intimacy of the show.

 

The Institutes put in a classic performance as their set got heads bopping and feet moving, playing their latest song and the classic anthem All I Need.

 

The band has evolved massively on many levels, Ferris and Hall told me.

Musically we’ve crafted songs that were already good songs, but we haven’t been scared to change hooks and cut chunks out of songs in order to make them better and results are showing.

And they’re not wrong. From releasing their new album to playing on the main stage at the Godiva festival – the biggest free music festival in the United Kingdom – the four men from Coventry have started making a name for themselves nationally.

 

 

The very fact the group are travelling to historically musical cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and London to perform, is a testament to their growth.

The next stage for them, they say, is getting on board with a record label.

There’s no beating around the bush, we want to get a record deal and release an album that people believe in. We believe in it, and feel it’s just a matter of time, they stated.

There’s been many comparisons (of The Institutes) to The Doors and The Verve, as far as we’re concerned these are welcome, great bands, great tunes and we’re up there with them.

This kind of confidence is not blind nor unwarranted. I talked to Brunt about their progression since she took them under her wing in June.

The Institutes have always been great musicians, even though I’ve know them for only a couple of months, you can tell they’re naturally talented, she told me.

I have noticed is that every performance gets better and better. Their confidence has grown so much!

When I asked her what ambitions she has for the band, she replied:

Every manager wants the bands they work with to be successful. Whether that’s a record deal, a number one album or to play at Glastonbury’s pyramid stage. Obviously, I want all of that and more for The Institutes, but as long as the guys are happy in what they do then I’m happy.

The Institutes have several more gigs lined up to round off an unbelievable year as they prepare to look forward to 2018 and what the next 12 month holds. If it’s anything like 2017, the lads will be in for the time of their lives.

 

 Isaac Johnson

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