By Sam Lambeth
Quentin Francis are one of the most exciting acts to arrive in Birmingham…and it all started from a boycotted baby name. Sam Lambeth spoke to guitarist Ross Carley about their new single ‘Molly’, lockdown and more.
Just like how Harry Redknapp (and San) seem to pop up on every bloody teatime show these days, Matty Smith seems to rock up in nearly every Birmingham band this side of Solihull.
The bespectacled behemoth has lent his multifarious skills to a number of Brummie brands, from powerful, politically charged punk firebrands P.E.T. to the ethereal dream pop purveyors The Sunset Beach Hut.
Now he’s taking centre stage with a band name that sounds more like a character from Jeeves and Wooster than a music moniker.
“Matty always liked the idea of a band name just being a random name, a bit like Biffy Clyro,” explains Ross Carley, the band’s guitarist and a Brum music veteran in his own right.
“The name ‘Quentin Francis’ came from a discussion Matty had with his girlfriend about future baby names, to which she said ‘absolutely not’. So instead he decided to name his band Quentin Francis.”
After initially starting as a solo acoustic project, Smith decided he wanted a band behind him. After recruiting Carley and co for a few rehearsals, Quentin Francis became a quartet, with rave reviews following their first few gigs.
Then came the unforgiving Miss Rona and her mean, mean ways.
“We’d just started to find our footing and had been offered some really cool shows,” Carley sighs. “I think we managed about six shows before lockdown, and our last gig was with one of our favourites, supporting Gaffa Tape Sandy.”
Instead, lockdown was spent swapping song ideas and honing their craft. Influenced by the likes of Sports Team, The Vaccines and The Strokes (in other words, “punchy vocals, distorted guitars, and songs being fun and full of life”, according to Carley), the results are already paying off.
Lead single ‘Molly’ is a thrilling ride of squelching synth, raucous indie abandon and a chorus to die for. With the rhythm coming from the cranium of Carley and the lead coming from the strums of Smith, ‘Molly’ (set for release on Friday 16 April) will cement Quentin Francis’ position as one of the most promising acts around.
Maybe Smith’s girlfriend will change her mind on that baby name, after all…