If you haven’t heard of New Hope Club, well then now you do. The British pop-rock trio consisting of Reece Bibby, George Smith and Blake Richardson, had covered Wake Up by fellow British band The Vamps in October 2015 and several months later in December, the latter signed the trio to their label Steady Records, a subsidiary of Virgin EMI Records.
The band’s debut EP, Welcome to the Club, was released in May 2017 and they have since gained quite the following, especially here in Asia where Singapore is their second largest market on Spotify.
Originally from Northern England, the band came together in 2015, following the dissolution of Bibby’s former boy band Stereo Kicks, which was formed in the eleventh season of The X Factor in the UK. ‘We grew up listening to music so our families are really supportive of us being in a band,’ Richardson explains their families’ reaction to them pursuing music as a career. ‘We all started playing instruments at a really young age and grew up wanting to be in a band.’
On their discovery by The Vamps and having them as mentors, the band notes that with the former being so successful and older than they are, they take all the advice they can in moving forward with their career. ‘The first show we ever did was to 15,000 people so we were very nervous,’ Bibby recalls. ‘But they helped us through it and have helped us ever since. We always learn from watching them live.’ He anticipates that both bands will be friends for a long time to come, and hopes to do more tours with them in the future.
Smith cites it to be an amazing time for the band, this being their first set of headlining tours in Asia (including the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand), and explains that the fans’ enthusiasm adds to the fun times they have experienced. One memorable moment for them on this trip had to be the time when they made an appearance on a boat at the Venice Grand Canal Mall in Manila.
A multitude of fans had shown up, filling out the mall and even crowding the bridge just to catch a glimpse of the band. Richardson remembers it to be a ‘crazy but surreal’ experience and notes that the fans in Asia tend to be more crazed. ‘I think it’s because we don’t come here often, so they take advantage of that,’ Bibby chimes in. ‘It’s amazing to see how much we’re loved on the other side of the world.’
During their time in Singapore, the band made an appearance at a fan session held exclusively for some 60 fans, answering questions and treating them to a set of six songs including hits such as Fixed and Perfume, along with a cover of Two Ghosts by Harry Styles. The lucky fans even had the chance to take photos with the boys in a photo taking session at the end of the event.
‘We want to be known as a band who has amazing live shows, music and a band that puts their heart and soul into their own music,’ Bibby explains on behalf of the trio of the kind of legacy the band would like to leave. ‘Every song is meaningful to us as well. It’s not just a song that’s just been given to us.’
The Fifth Parlour would like to thank Universal Music Singapore for the invitation to the fan session, as well as coordinating the interview with New Hope Club.