Give a Manx lad a guitar and watch him fling himself around a stage in front of 1500 people. Not Punk enough for you? Ramsey lad Ffin Colley and his mate Joey Brayshaw of Delaire, the Liar might have a thing or two to say about that, as they deconstruct the parameters of what it takes to be enough…
With only two members, Delaire, the Liar have a simplicity to them that only seems to emphasise their sound, which is both aggressive and emotionally raw. They combine emo and punk with explosive results and seem to lay themselves bare on the stage – the place they clearly love to be the most. The release of their debut EP Not Punk Enough, has been met with a significant amount of praise, and Kerrang recently dedicated a full page spread to them as a rising talent. The band are often compared to At the Drive In but Ffinlo insists his influences lie in early-noughties emo, “It was actually Jack and Lilly Wolter (of Penelope Isles) that got me into At the Drive In” Ffin tells me whilst taking a break from his 9 to 5, “but although everyone draws that comparison, I wouldn’t say they were a massive influence on me. It was the record Orchestra of Wolves by the Gallows that changed it for me. It threw me into heavy punk”. Regardless of influence, they’re definitely turning some heads, and most recently their newest single One of Us is the Killer has gained air time on BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show.
The secret to Delaire, the Liar’s fast progression and energy seems to rely heavily on the relationship between Ffin and Joey. Whether its holding hands in promotional pictures or hugging on stage in front of a huge crowd, the pair seem to lift each other up and push each other forward. Ffin certainly recognises the importance of this “I’ve never felt more comfortable, not just as a band, but as a person. Our friendship has grown so infinitely since we started. I’m quite hyperactive. I get very excited and enthusiastic. Joey is level headed, strong and determined. So, when I start spinning out over shit, he is super grounding. At the same time, I get so hyped up that I can hype him up.” The pair seem dedicated to tackling the stigma behind masculinity by being emotionally raw on track, but also by being there for each other on stage. Nothing demonstrates this more so than the video for Medicine from their debut EP, in which they struggle with restricting ropes in a desperate effort to reach each other, ultimately ending with a shot of the pair reunited, holding hands (…of course).
The debut EP Not Punk Enough contains 5 songs that hit with a punch, but within this stereotypical punk energy there are clear themes of introspection and self-doubt. Ffin explains all: “The word Punk is interchangeable. It’s about constantly feeling that you don’t have what it takes. The parameters of… bollocks basically. It’s a realisation that if you get rid of those parameters you can be whatever the fuck you want to be.” This seems even more relevant at a time when the world is challenging the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly so in men. As someone who has struggled with his own mental health, Ffin says that releasing this EP serves as a reminder that although we all have crippling doubts, especially in such a fickle industry as the music business, we just need to keep moving forward.
It certainly seems that these boys are doing just that, and recently they played their biggest gig yet in the KOKO club in Camden supporting Creeper. The club has a capacity of almost 1500 people and was full to the brim, which isn’t too shabby for a band that are still in their infancy. It’s clear from the live footage that they loved every second, as Joey lays in to his drum set whilst Ffinlo throws himself from one side of the stage to the other, “its almost embarrassingly obvious how little I actually play guitar in that video,” Ffin confesses, “ I fell over at one point and I’ve never been more mortified in my life. Luckily it was right at the end of the set and my mum said it kind of looked like it was choreographed. So as long as my mum thinks it looked cool…”.
Whether actually playing the guitar or falling with style, it’s evident that the crowd loved Delaire, the Liar, and they have big things lined up for the future. They’ve just announced that they’ll be playing 2000 Trees festival in July with the likes of Frank Turner and Deaf Havana, along with a string of other gigs and festivals over the course of the year. Despite touring, they aren’t taking their finger off the button creatively, and aim to follow up the initial EP as soon as they can, but Ffin is very conscious of rushing things, “the first EP went down so well that we don’t want to fuck up the next one”. Regardless of his hesitation, it’s hard to imagine that Delaire, the Liar won’t keep pushing the boundaries with new music, reminding us all that even an island boy can be punk enough.