Thirteen is lucky for some
Thirteen might be an unlucky number for some – but not for the Cornish quartet Thirteen Senses who struck it lucky as soon as they adopted the name.
Speaking backstage at a Virgin Megastores' gig, the band, previously known as Soul Magician, say their luck changed as soon as they dropped the name – and they were given a record deal almost immediately.
"People would come up to us and say ‘oh I didn’t know you were this kind of a band, I thought you were a tribute band or magicians’ – it didn’t help us at all," says tattooed bass player Adam Wilson. Sporting the obligatory shoulder length hair and wearing a uniform of baggy jeans and skater trainers, the four 21 and 22-year-old lads wouldn’t look out of place at a sixth form disco – or in a twentysomething American rock band come to think of it.
Maybe it was the haircuts which spurred their PR to compare them to Tennessee bluesy rock icons King of Leon.
"That comparison is just bizarre," the most serious member of the band, lead singer Will South, says. "We are nothing like them!"
With their debut album The Invitation overflowing with tender heartfelt lyrics and soulful melodies, Will admits that a Coldplay association is closer to the truth.
"We do have a similar sound to Coldplay and it was a compliment to be mentioned in the same breath as them, but hopefully at some point soon we’ll be able to shake off all the comparisons."
An eventful past year has seen the Land's End lads work hard to establish themselves as a band in their own right: they were signed to the Vertigo record label, upped their country sticks to the big smoke in North London, headlined at the legendary 100 Club and made a career-defining appearance at the South by Southwest Festival in Texas. They also found time to squeeze in support tours with indie big-league bands Embrace and Starsailor.
But the rock 'n' roll lifestyle hasn't gone to their heads just yet.
"We could possibly be the least rock 'n' roll band in existence," the least talkative member of the band, drummer Brendon James, says chirpily. "Although we did stay up to 2 am last night and I didn’t even iron my pyjamas," Adam adds with a touch of sarcasm.
As for groupies, well, it's bad news for their female fans - the boys are all spoken for.
"We've all got long-term girlfriends and two of us are engaged to be married in the not so distant future, so that's not a perk of the job either," says Tom.
With fully supportive parents and hailing from a rural idyll on the Cornish coast, the quartet confess that they don’t exactly epitomise the hard men of rock images that some young bands try to court.
All the band members had university places secured and would be engineers and physiotherapists had 50 A&R men not made the trip to the coast, to start a bidding war over signing them.
And now with their debut album charting at No.14, tour dates announced for March and their single Thru The Glass, featured on latest Vodafone adverts, it looks like the boys were right to follow the A&R men back to London.