The music industry has had more than its fair share of British imports who brought their catchy and lovable tunes across the pond for us American music fans to dig and devour. The latest of these is the Pop/Rock band Lawson. Last week Mercury Records invited Clizbeats to Lawson’s debut American performance in New York City. It was an awesome night of great music that provided us a first hand look at what made both that night, and their career over seas so successful. After having the chance to see it all for ourselves up close and in person, we wanted to introduce you to some cool facts about Lawson, and why we think they’re a band to keep your eye on.
In many ways, Lawson’s story appears to begin like a lot of bands, through the humble task of like-minded musicians coming together and trying to find themselves by making music. At a first glance take, the four guys who would evolve into Lawson, began this process when drummer Adam Pitts messaged Andy Brown on Myspace. The story told is that lead to the Liverpool lads bonding over drinks in London, and beginning to build the band that would change their lives. Brown then introduced Pitts to Ryan Fletcher and his childhood friend, Joel Peat who completed the band, and it’s off to the races. The freshly formed foursome then begin recording in pursuit of the musical achievement that they’re now famous for in their native England.
However, after finding out we would be seeing them live, we did some research and learned that their “rags to riches” story is particularly poignant because how who they were as separate individuals brought together the right blend of preparation, opportunity, and rarely found, obstacle defying skill needed to make it all pop. When watching the band with fresh eyes and ears, we couldn’t help but find their music enjoyable, and their presentation to be tight. This was especially impressive because we went in knowing that the guys were in their early to mid 20’s, and their lead singer, Andy Brown, could only hear out of one ear.
Watching Andy naturally command the stage with easy, made us forget any trace of his partial deafness that was mentioned in the band’s press kit. In fact it only made the talent he and the rest of Lawson had that much more evident when we watched him overcome his disability so definitively. From the first song, their performance was on the next level, and their “it factor” that allowed them to defy odds, and become one of the UK’s biggest bands was obvious.
British fans got to know Lawson because of their steady work opening for The Wanted. That being said , their famed friendship with the “Glad You Came” singing boy band only put their music in front of fans. After looking beyond the Pop music marketing, we discovered that much of their success should be credited to their intense study of music. It gave them the skill that first won over The Wanted, and later us.
In spite of also going through the personal trial of overcoming the brain tumor surgery that resulted in his deafness, Andy Brown also attended England’s famed Academy of Contemporary Music approximately at the same time. ACM is uniquely important to mention because unlike similar academies, its curriculum focuses on teaching teen students Rock and Pop music disciplines, with the intent of facilitating professional careers opportunities for them. While there, Brown and other stand out ACM alums like Ed Sheeran, and fellow Lawson member Ryan Fletcher were granted the opportunity to take part in full time courses that covered guitar, bass, drums, vocals, keyboards, music production, artist development & songwriting, radio broadcasting and music business. This is important because when Brown, Fletcher, and their friend Joel Peat randomly met Adam Pitts, who also had similarly rigorous training from the Brighton Institute of Modern Music, the foursome had the ability and experience to make becoming professionals possible.
As a result, all their musical elements came together to create their first hit “When She Was Mine.” The band first released it to You Tube in 2010, and watched it become one of the most popular music clips out that very week. This attention is what earned them their notable work touring with The Wanted, as well as other acts like Westlife, and Avril Lavigne. Universal Music Group saw that success, and signed Lawson to a lucrative two album deal with the British Polydor Records.
By 2012, Lawson was a hit through out the UK and “When She Was Mine” peaked at number four on the UK singles chart. Their success then continued with the release of follow up singles like, “Taking Over Me”, and “Standing In The Dark.” They too also cracked the top ten.
Now they’ve teamed up with Mercury Records and the Island Def Jam Music Group, to introduce their sound to US audiences. Their soulful Pop/Rock is a slight departure from the Dance/Pop sound that’s been dominating US radio, but if over seas hits like The Script are any indication, we think there’s a good chance that Lawson will find a home here too. Take a listen below and see what you think.
“When She Was Mine”
From: Capman Square
“Taking Over Me”
From: Capman Square
“Standing In The Dark.”
From: Capman Square