Allo Darlin’ are an Anglo/Australian band comprised of Elizabeth Morris (vocals & ukulele), Paul Rains (guitars, lapsteel, vocals), Bill Botting – (bass, vocals) and Mikey Collins (drums, vocals). The band are perhaps best known for their single ‘Henry Rollins Can’t Dance’ which was described by the Guardian as the best indie pop song for years. The band’s debut album is due out soon and they will be touring with ace Cardiff band The School in March. We caught up with Elizabeth to find out more about Allo Darlin’.
How did the band get together?
Love the name of the band. How did you come up with it?
I used to work in Soho, near the market traders. They’d call out “allo darlin” to me every day, and at that stage we were looking for a new name for our band The Darlings. It seemed kind of stupid, but funny. I never expected we’d have to stick with it. But it does mean you get to come first in any listing, which is good. I like bands that start with A, like ABBA or AC/DC.
The band is a mix of Australian and British. Has that produced any interesting cultural differences in the ways you interact and approach music?
Mainly interesting cultural differences in the way we approach barbequing.
How does the Australian music scene differ from the British one?
Well, I wasn’t really involved in music when I lived in Brisbane. I was studying at university and going out and seeing a lot of bands, but mainly post-post-punky shouty stuff. There was a lot of that around. Bill lived in Brisbane at the same time as me and he was actually in a pretty successful rock band. Grant McLennan from the Go Betweens saw his band play once and told Bill that he wished he’d written one of his songs. I love that!
The band always sound very ‘up’ and positive. What is the secret of your cheery disposition?
Hmm, well I don’t know about that. I think the songs that have been singles are very upbeat musically, just because that’s what singles are really. We do have quite a few heartbreakers. The B-side to the new single “Dreaming” is called “You Still Send Me”. It’s really very sad. Much too sad for the album, even though it’s probably one of the better songs I’ve written. My favourite songs are the ones that have shades of both light and dark. Ones that make you laugh and cry, you know?
Stoked! That was a complete surprise – it was just a tiny release of 300 copies on vinyl and suddenly we were getting reviewed in Metro. It was a world gone topsy turvy.
We recorded it with Simon Trought, who had recorded the Henry Rollins songs and who we knew through Darren Hayman and The Wave Pictures. Simon is an incredible producer and it was such an amazing time. It was the middle of summer and we had so much fun recording it – hopefully I think that’s one of the things that comes across on the album. It’s definitely a summer album. All of the songs are new, apart from Heartbeat Chilli, which was on the Henry Rollins 7 “, but we’ve re-recorded it. People who’ve seen us play will recognise some of the songs. All of the songs are live band tracks, so it sounds very alive, and some of the vocals are live as well. There’s 7 fasties and 3 slowies. 10 songs in all. We can’t wait for people to hear it now.
You are touring with Cardiff band The School. How did that connection come about?
Well, anyone who plays in indie pop knows Liz. She’s a tireless promoter as well as the singer in an ace band. I also know Harri through his other band Little My, who were on Wee Pop records like us. Liz has been amazing at organizing the tour, she really deserves a medal. I can’t wait to hear the School album, it’s going to be ace,
You are off to SXSW in March partly funded by the PRS (performing rights society). What are you looking forward to about the trip?
I am looking forward to seeing people wearing Stetsons for real. And to playing, of course! There’s some really fun parties planned. I’ve also agreed to join Darren Hanlon’s band for SXSW, so I’m rapidly learning all his songs. It’s going to be amazing! I don’t know how much sleeping will be done, but you’re only young once, right?
You can expect to see lots of bouncing! We really love playing live. It’s the best thing ever. It’s such a privilege to be able to play for people, and we are just grateful we have the opportunity every time. It will be a party, for sure. We’ll sing our hearts out.
Singles & EPs
The Polaroid Song (2009)
Henry Rollins Don’t Dance (2009)
Merry Christmas From Allo Darlin’ (2008)
The Photo EP (2007)
Allo Darlin will be appearing at Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff with The School on Saturday 6th March.