The Turning's Luke McLaughlin

We caught up with the front man to give us the low down on the band

Sitting down to a latte and chocolate eclair – the bun, not the sweet – I caught up with Luke McLaughlin, front man of London based band ‘The Turning’ while he was taking a short time out from his busy touring schedule.

The guys have been on the road for months now, travelling the length and breadth of England and Northern Ireland, as well as making their way across to France and Belgium. They have also managed to find the time to release a fantastic new video for their single ‘Groundhog Day’ which was shot in Derry by award winning documentary filmmaker and director Paul Brown.

Luke gave me the low down of what’s been happening with the band…

With the rest of the band based in London, how did you guys get together?
I met a guy called Robert Stevenson who was a manager based in London, and at that time I was in a Classic Rock band called ‘The Reverb’ but I was also a singer songwriter too. He asked me to send him some stuff and he liked it. He asked me if I would play a gig in Dublin, which I did. Then he asked me to come over to London to play.

He already knew the rest of the guys in the band, and they were looking for a singer so he asked them to come along and hear me play. The rest of the band are all from London, they actually all grew up together. They guys liked me and asked me to join them and it all kicked off from there. We released the EP really quickly. Our first single, Magazine Street, was actually written on the first day we met.

The video for your single ‘Groundhog Day’ was released last month and has a great narrative running through it. Tell us a bit about it…
A really close friend of mine, Paul Brown, made the video and he’s great. We were playing in Derry at the time and Paul had said he would love to do a video for us and that he would love to do it in Derry.

When people see it they say to me ‘this is your day-to-day life’ - Frankie Ramsey’s, playing snooker, going to the bar... the only thing it missed out was going to the Brandywell! It was a bit new and a lot different from our earlier videos which were just of us playing. It’s something a lot of young bands aren’t doing anymore, actual music videos.

So when did you first start out in music, and what were you’re influences growing up, and the influences of the band?
The first proper gig I ever played was when I was 10 or 11, in the summer before First Year and was in the Craft Village. I had just won the Roaring Meg busking competition for my age group.

I grew up on The Undertones, as most people in Derry probably are. I still love The Undertones and actually supported them too. I never lost the punk influence growing up and got quite into Pop/Punk when I was about 12 or 13. Once I hit 14 I started listening to Stone Roses, Oasis and The Jam. I still listen to a lot of 90’s Manchester music.

The rest of the band are all quite different. Our drummer (Ruben Kenton-Harris) is big into Ska. His dad is actually in a Ska band and has played with a lot of big well known musicians within the Ska/Raggae scene. Dave (Bardon) is Beatles on the head. He’s obsessed. Louis is into the same stuff as me. It can all cause a bit of friction, but it’s a good friction.

The Turning - Groundhog Day

The official video of Groundhog Day film right here in the city by Paul Brown

With the rest of the guys based in London and you based over here, how does writing and recording come about?
Usually we write separately, then when we come into practice it all comes together. Maybe we change a few bits and pieces here and there though. David would be the main writer and the drummer has only just started writing but he is fantastic.

All of us would write songs really, except for Louis. He doesn’t write at the minute, but I know he could. He can fairly chat enough so he just needs to sit down and put it on paper! It’s good because it makes it less likely we’d have a dry spell.

Your gig list for the past few months has been guys fairly get around!
It’s tiring. The novelty wears off in the first fifteen minutes of the first day! Our tour manager John Heard is also our driver and in his van there’s six seats in the front, all the gear goes in the back, but on-top there’s a compartment with a double bed. I slept the whole way from London to Paris, Paris to Belgium and then back to London.

But it’s something you never think you would get a chance to do. I was in more countries last year than I have ever been in my whole life. So it’s a mad experience, especially being from Derry. It’s getting more common. Look at The Clameens who are close pals of mine. They were in London a few weeks ago. Bridie, SOAK, as well is doing absolutely amazing. 

She’s just back from America and also Glastonbury. It’s starting to really kick off. The talent in this city is second to none. I know a lot of people would say that about their own city, but I used to go to Bennigans Bar during the original Open Mic Night on a Monday and you would have The Clameens, SOAK, Paddy Nash, Rozza (Kevin Rotherham), Little Bear- some incredible people. I don’t care what anyone says, you wouldn’t get that anywhere else. There’s also a sense of unity in Derry too in the music scene, everyone are really good friends.

What are the future recording plans with the band?
We have three tunes ready to go and a re-record of a song from the first EP. So they’ll be out soon. Our musical direction is kind of changing at the minute as there’s probably more of an indie influence with the band so you might find that with the new music.


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