Festival Q&A: Stillia

Jack Bennett and Connor Moran from the St Helens four piece chat as they gear up to play Rec Rock, 15-17 Sept

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Who else are you excited to see?
Connor: I’m really looking forward to seeing Cabbage and The Blinders – two top bands, We know ‘em pretty well!
Jack: Cabbage and The Blinders both put on mega live shows – and both totally engaging.

What’s your best festival memory?
Connor: My best festival memory was playing at the Great Escape in Brighton, which was a top gig for us, and then when we got back to our hotel we saw Blossoms in the bar and we had a few drinks with them because they were staying in the same place. We got the dominoes out, and the Scrabble board and had inter-band friendly rivalry. Our bass player Johnny was the referee.
Jack: I think going on stage at Blackthorn Festival was our coolest festival experience. Our kid [Matty, drummer] started the first tune and as soon as we started to play, looking out of the tent we were watching people pour over the hill and just filling into the tent. That was nice – it was totally surreal! Hoping we get a similar response at Rec Rock.

What are your festival essentials?
Connor: It’s all about the music for me. Rain or shine, I want to hear what our contemporaries are up to. Other than that, a parka, plenty of beers (please drink responsibly), a good pair of sunglasses and a toothbrush, haha. Matty just takes his hairbrush in his stick bag. And rightly so. Best hair in the band, that lad.

How does playing a festival differ from playing your own gig?
Connor: I really like playing festivals because there are people there watching us that wouldn’t normally come to see us and it gives us the perfect opportunity to win over a new audience. We kinda wrote this album knowing that the festivals would start – and that the tunes are perfect festival fodder. Hope you feel the same.
Jack: It’s a lot of people who haven’t seen you, so there’s that thing of needing to put on a great show to make sure you leave that Stillia imprint in people’s minds as they go to the next stage, venue or tent. We’ve a little rule amongst ourselves for gigs: “Make sure they take us home with them!” Figuratively speaking, of course.

What’s your favourite part of playing a festival?

Connor: Some of my favourite parts of playing festivals are getting to see bands that we’ve not seen for a while and I love playing outdoor stages. The crowd, the buzz, the expectation, the anticipation. Heard great things about Rec Rock so it’s an honour to be asked to perform. Hope they raise loads for the charities.
Jack: My favourite part has got to be the rushing on the stage after the previous band, no soundcheck, just line checking, plugging in and playing. I think it’s an adrenaline thing. 3,2,1 GO! It’s just a buzz, I just love festivals as a whole! A one-take movie scenario where you just go out and give the best account of yourselves. Smash the audience to pieces, leave them bewildered and have you come home with them. Hearing our audiences singing along to our music now more and more is what it’s all about. Totally looking forward to Rec Rock. Great cause too – sure we can do a great job for you!

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