It’s been a long wait for the next recorded chapter of young music band Full Colour to emerge. Now Full Colour have issued a new track, Times Change and I can declare it (ha, along with everyone else); the track is a banger.
The 5 piece band (Conrad Beriff (vocals and keys), Will Bolton and Alex Holdsworth (guitars), Henry Strangeway (bass) and Dillon Harrison (drums) are from the Huddersfield – Halifax – Bradford area, and since the autumn have built up a dedicated fan base, following tours with Larkins, Bloxx, Vistas and Love, Fame and Tragedy.
Full Colour released their first EP Miles Apart in their original band name Gauranga in June 2019. I guess the band possibly didn’t quite appreciate how quickly things would take off. Spotted (!) by Spotify, they were added to their top indie list, and from this exposure, the guys quickly picked up a management company and then a big recording contract signed in November 2019. Time is on the side of these teenagers, and their new record label have clearly looked to get the next tunes just right before issue.
The band have had a name change to Full Colour and most of the original EP tracks were withdrawn, either to be re-recorded or retired. I hear rumour that one retired track (Fallen) can still be found lurking online in a couple of places. For old times sake here’s my original EP review .
Instagram is home to the creative genius of a small but dedicated group of fans called Full Colour FC (or FCFC) who pick up on some of the band’s conversations and development through cut out images of the band, imaginary merch and creative hash tags.
Currently the messages #ginger #playfallen and #givewillhismicprivilegesback loom large amongst others.
Each time I’ve caught Full Colour live, they have released a burst of infectious enthusiasm into the room. Whether it’s Will and Alex shredding and filling the space with dueling but complimenting guitars, Conrad clearly wrapt into the sound and the moment, subconsciously using his fingers to almost conduct the band, Dillon working like a maniac behind the drums or Henry intently drawing that creative bass beat together, there’s something to see.
You just can’t help but grin from ear to ear and enjoy as you watch Full Colour move into HD and come alive on stage. This is a band that channels the likes of Foals with a classy high quality brand of indie, strong melody and lyrics which chime and mean something.
It’s also true that Full Colour live just gets better; all that gigging has made them tighter and they have a much fuller sound with a lot of sound loops involved.
The new video picks up on the strength of the Full Colour live performance, and sees the band perform in what might be intended to be a family living room and childhood bedroom, clearly pondering the forthcoming change in their lives.
Conrad explained that the shot took place in London from early in the morning until 10pm for the outdoor night shot and the guys got very hot and sweaty doing take after take. The imagery of the house in the video is designed to mirror the Miles Apart house which featured as the image for the EP, and the night shots are intended to indicate the closure of a Full Colour phase.
Even the new song’s title Times Change perhaps has a certain poignancy within the Full Colour story. The song is actually about a recurring song theme of the band; a relationship which suffers through physical distance; here the boy is moving away and pondering what he will lose in the relationship, which already seems somewhat vulnerable and uncertain. Conrad explained the track was written while thinking about the emotion from leaving school and his friends in London and returning to Huddersfield.
I have no insider knowledge on this, but the video, the subject matter and that some of the EP tracks have been rerecorded gives some logic to a relaunch of the EP with this track replacing Fallen.
I certainly recall the track being part of the band’s autumn live repertoire where a snaffled set list reveals the song was then the opener and provisionally called The City. As I tend to take a couple of 30 second gig snippets as an aide memoire for my later scribbling, I even have a piece of the live track on video from when Full Colour supported Vistas. The new title works; it is less direct to the song but draws out the emotional connection.
Conrad highlighted that Alex had originally produced the key guitar line and Conrad started writing the lyrics for the song last May. While it was a track they first recorded in October at Octagon Studios in Brixton with Larry Hibbert, they weren’t entirely satisfied with the outcome and a slight speeding up of 5 bpm, a new vocal, and the tune was finally ready for a polish and release.
Conrad was keen that the opener was like no other track; Larry came up with the idea of playing a short line on a cheap keyboard and then playing it backwards. That’s the original sound to open.
The Full Colour sound has developed over the past year and Times Change has a much fuller feel to it. The original Miles Apart EP was recorded quite quickly at Gafro Studios, and as their Instagram accounts have confirmed; since signing to their new label a little before Christmas, the boys had been relentlessly in and out of the rehearsal rooms, recording and production studio to perfect the fuller (colour) sound. Of course it is not surprising to hear that it is a little difficult for the band to listen to the track now given its lengthy gestation period, but it is still a fun one for them to play live.
When I spoke with Conrad and Will at the end of February for an interview, it was clear the recording process was a meeting of common minds and that the extra collaboration and support provided through the label simply made the sound and the songs stronger for them. As Will told me, the current Full Colour sound is how they have always wanted to sound.
The single lives up to that big sound promise; Times Change has a huge production and complete with those competing, complimentary swirling guitars of Will and Alex. Conrad is in fine voice, and the chorus has plenty of radio play potential. I know some of the other new tracks also take advantage of Conrad’s considerable vocal range, and Times Change will fit in nicely. The track has a solid and pleasing mix of pensive parts and then with a soaring chorus to draw it together. In short, it’s a very reflective, banging, tuneful return for the guys.
Images taken from the band’s social media pages. Many of the images are from the inspired @shots.by.tom