Hop on board The Goa Express from Burnley to beyond
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Already making a name for themselves across the nation with their catchy name and even catchier Britpop-infused tunes, the five boyhood friends who met at Burnley’s Blessed Trinity RC College and decided to form a band in 2015 are starting to get noticed.
Composed of vocalist James Clarke, his brother Joe on keyboard, lead guitarist Joey Stein, drummer Sam Launder and bassist Naham Muzaffar, The Goa Express spoke to the Burnley Express about their whirlwind ride so far.
Joey (23) said: “It all started for us at Blessed Trinity where we were all in the same year group except Joe. There was nothing much to do in Burnley for our age group at the time so we decided to form a band.
"Naham couldn’t play an instrument at the time and didn’t even know what a fret was, but we stuck at it and we’re now really pleased with the direction we’re going. We started out rehearsing in my dad’s garage and conservatory and now we’re working on our first album.”
Indeed, the band have come a long way from Burnley garages in a short time.
After recording their first single, The Day, the band was spotted by talent agent Paul Jones who quickly signed them up to Rough Trade.
It was not long before opportunities to record with some respected names from the music industry followed. The lads soon found themselves working in a Sheffield studio with Ross Orton, who helped to produce the Arctic Monkeys’ 2013 album AM.
They have also worked with Mark Gardener from Ride.
Joey added: “It’s been pretty surreal to be honest. Ross and Mark are very well respected but we just see them as good mates now. We’ve toured around the country, playing gigs all over, and now we want to make our first album.”
There are more reasons than just good musicianship why the lads are so in tune with one another. A friendship that started in school led to Burnley College together, shared universities and even shared digs for the group who are all understandably closely knit.
And what’s the origin of their unusual name you might ask, as I did?
"We were thinking of a name for the band when James and Joe’s mum brought home a tin of soup from Sainsbury’s,” Joey explained. “It was called Goa Express. We loved the name and thought it looked cool so went with that.”
So what next for the talented quintet?
"We’ve been involved in something very big which we can’t reveal just yet, but it’s very exciting. We’ve also got a tour coming up in May,” Joey revealed.
The band are due to play at Chameleon in Nottingham on May 10th followed by gigs in Brighton, Southampton, Bristol, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds, London, Manchester, Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, Norwich, Guildford, Cardiff and ending in Birmingham on June 4th.