Review: The Howl & The Hum Christmas Show, The Crescent, York, December 15

The Howl & The Hum: “What better way to end a really weird year”

IF you could put together one York double bill for Christmas, this would surely be the one.

Headliners, for art rock with a heart and anthemic choruses? The Howl & The Hum. Tick. Late addition, as party poppers, not party poopers? Bull. Tick. Definitely, not probably, “the greatest band in the world”, according to Sam Griffiths in his thanks, as if he were only here for the Beers, frontman Tom and festive sister Holly on keyboards.

History will record that both bands had the misfortune to release their big-label debut albums in the mire of lockdown: first, The Howl & The Hum’s presciently titled Human Contact on AWAL in May 2020; then Bull, snapped up by EMI after a decade’s toil, with their March 2021 invitation to Discover Effortless Living: a state denied us by the silent, stealthy creep of shape-shifting Covid.

This, however, was a night to reinforce just how much those contrasting albums have mattered in these inhibited times, prompting busy trading at the merchandise desk.

Bull entered, not quite like the proverbial bovine in the porcelain department, but certainly with bags of pent-up energy, Tom seemingly sporting a makeshift Santa white beard for the occasion (unless the lighting was playing tricks).

This was impromptu Bull, not only sister Holly for Christmas, but Jack Woods guesting on guitar and Joe Lancaster, on secondment from the New York Brass Band, on trumpet. Later, Tom would join in on trombone in a clash for top of the brass class.

Discover Effortless Living’s perfectly formed guitar pop nuggets featured prominently, from Eugene to Perfect Teeth to Disco Living – but not Green surprisingly – and Bull even stepped into Christmas territory with a delightfully messy but merry number that may or may not have been called I’m Coming Home For Christmas.

When we last gathered for a Howl & The Hum alternative carol concert in 2019, Sam Griffiths raided the Nativity Play cupboard for angel’s wings. This time, at 9.35pm precisely, he lit up the stage dressed as a decorated Christmas tree, giving him the shape of a block of Toblerone, but with the specs and cherubic look of a choir boy.

Sam revealed he had been in a grumpy mood before the gig, blaming his cat for persistently hiding, but as soon as he put on that shiny tree ready to come on stage with “these three idiots”, he felt much better.

Bull: Perfectly formed guitar pop nuggets

One of the joys of Christmas is meeting up with old friends again, never more so than at this gig. “Ladies and gentlemen, Bradley Blackwell is back,” said Sam, to the biggest cheer of the night, and there he was, back among “the idiots” on bass after time away from the band.

The fab four was restored: Blackwell’s bass ballast; Griffiths, out front on rhythm guitar and ever more transcendent vocals as York’s answer to Thom Yorke; Conor Hirons, on eclectic guitar, and Jack Williams as “the clock at the back”, as Sam has called him, on drums.

Human Contact addresses the absence of such tactile relations, the withdrawal to liaising online, choosing the bedroom over the dancefloor. Yet here, at last, after the band’s livestreamed concert from York Minster in May, was life with the human touch, that togetherness restored.

Band and audience alike loved it, so many songs turning into singalongs, from “our greatest hit”, Godmanchester Chinese Bridge – played early rather than held back till the home straight – to Sweet Fading Silver; from The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island, now usurping ‘Bridge’ as the climax, to first encore Hostages.

Death and vulnerability, modern masculinity and mental health have come to the fore in Sam’s songwriting, but at least he could celebrate outliving the sentiment of last year’s 27. More poignant still was this year’s new recording, Thumbs Up, a confessional about “men not knowing how to talk to other men about important stuff”, so he wrote a song about it instead.

Nick Drake and Ian Curtis did not survive such candour in their songwriting; hopefully, in 2021, we can now both talk more freely and listen too.

“Thank you, I couldn’t think of a better end to a really weird year,” said Sam, before taking Hostages to new heights.

Christmas tree fancy-dress back on, he welcomed back Bull for a full team line-up for THE Christmas cover version, playing Kirsty to Tom’s Shane in a rumbustious rendition of The Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York, bolstered further by Tom’s accordion and Joe’s trumpet as the bells were ringing out for Christmas.

What could possibly spoil the memory of such a special York night and its Fairytale Of Old York finale? Being pinged on Sunday to say “you were in close contact with someone with Covid-19” on December 15. Happy Christmas, my a**e, I pray God it’s our last with this accursed plague causing such misery. Thankfully, the PCR test was negative.

Today is the day to Discover Effortless Living in York as Bull release debut album

Band and the banner: Bull take to the River Ouse on the album launch day for Discover Effortless Living as the artwork hangs from Millennium Bridge, York

BAND formed: 2011. Debut album released on major label: March 26 2021. No wonder York alt-rock  dandies Bull rolled out a large banner of the cover artwork for Discover Effortless Living from Millennium Bridge today.

“It feels great. I’m really excited,” says songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Tom Beer, revelling in one of the most joyful stories in the history of York’s music scene, as the first buds of spring deliver Bull’s 13-track flourish on EMI Records, in conjunction with York promoters, producers and proponents of potent pop, Young Thugs.

“We’ve been working on bringing out the album all year [since signing to EMI last July] and it’s just exciting that it’s done and ready to go.”

Ten years to reach this zenith, and you thought elephants had a long gestation period. “We didn’t know we’d ever get to this point. We’d never bet on it,” admits Tom, after Bull became the first York act since Shed Seven in October 1993 to sign to a major label.

“It definitely feels all the more significant because it’s not only a year’s work. Everything we’ve done has been incremental, learning as we go, for years.”

Are Bull the hardest working band in York, Tom? “I’m not sure we can be called that! I’ll give that to The Howl & The Hum. Not that we haven’t worked hard, but we’ve always just done what we wanted to do. When you work at something you love, it’s not work, is it?” he says. “I’ve only just started calling it ‘work’ in recent years.”

Going Green: The artwork for Bull’s first single for EMI, a song written as long ago as 2012

Bull have hit the roof, in the best way possible. “We’ve just played a gig on the EMI roof,” reveals Tom. When? “Um…I only remember dates in the future.”

Sometime in March, anyway, as Tom, guitarist Dan Lucas, drummer Tom Gabbatiss and bass player and artist Kai West followed in the London footsteps of The Beatles in their last public performance on the Apple offices rooftop at Savile Row on January 30 1969 and U2 in a not-so-secret gig atop BBC Broadcasting House on February 27 2009 to launch their 12th album, No Line On The Horizon.

The Beatles, U2, what esteemed company Bull are keeping. “We’ve actually been called The English Beatles, which we quite liked!” says Tom.

“We had a few meetings at The Golden Ball [York’s first community co-operative pub in Cromwell Road] and came up with a few whacky ideas, and originally we thought we’d just try to play on the roof without telling EMI, just doing it on the day, maybe with the help of the janitor.”

Instead, it developed into a full-blown performance, playing all 13 tracks from Discover Effortless Living. “It will be broadcast on Jericho Keys’ BBC Music Introducing show on BBC Radio York tomorrow [27/3/2021, from 8pm],” says Tom.

“As for actually releasing it, we’re pitching it to various sources, but it will be available to watch via our Facebook site on a date to be confirmed.”

“Everything we’ve done has been incremental, learning as we go, for years,” says Bull’s Tom Beer on the day their debut album arrives

Bull made their little piece of rock’n’roll history on that rooftop. “Apparently we’re the first band to play on EMI’s offices, at the Universal Music building next to King’s Cross [Four Pancras Square, to be precise],” says Tom.

“It was insane! Like, the food that day was better than anything we’d eaten in years! The roof must be 20 storeys up. Brilliant up there, but cold. It was bracing to say the least. We even had a drone photographing us that looked as big as a helicopter! We’re editing that now.”

No fewer than seven singles were released from Michael Jackson’s 1982 album, Thriller, and Bull are on his tail with Eugene this week becoming the fifth from Discover Effortless Living, in the wake of Green, Bonzo Please, Love Goo and Disco Living.

Tom’s mini-symphony of self-flagellation spans the various stages of feeling down on yourself – from lethargy and frustration to anger – using tempo changes to “paint an audio picture”. In its brief visit of only two minutes and 38 seconds, the idiosyncratic song manages to be both melancholy and spritely at the same time.

“It’s a real kick-yourself-when-you’re-down song,” says Tom. “I wrote Eugene when I was feeling dissatisfied with what I was doing. It’s kind of a self-hate song, you know when people talk about self-love? It’s not that. I’m slating myself; it moves through the key changes and different moods, and ends in a way that mocks the sadness, another form of self-deprecation!”

One of the red apples from Bull’s animated video for new single Eugene

Recalling penning Eugene, Tom says: “I felt rubbish at the time but I did feel better for writing it. The problem is singing it for ten years, still having to revisit that apathy, but hopefully it’s preventative to getting back to that state.”

Mulling over the kick-yourself-when-you’re-down subject matter: “I used to listen to a lot of Elliott Smith [the American singer-songwriter who took his own life with a knife in 2003],” says Tom. “There’s a line in High Fidelity: ‘What comes first? The music or the misery? I had a down year when I wrote Eugene…but I think the answer might be ‘music’, though…”.

Who’s Eugene, Tom? “We used to name a lot of our songs around our original drummer Louis’s friends, such as Eddie’s Cap. We like the idea of giving the song a name, as opposed to lifting it from a lyric.

“Eugene is named after Joe G, Joseph G. Louis used to call him Gorgeous G. So Eugene. My brother Paddy’s band are called Eugene Gorgeous after this guy too.”

The video is an animated gem in a collaboration with artist friends of the band that reflects the song’s different moods. Band members Dan and Kai set the ball rolling with a burst of DIY Claymation before handing over to artists Jack Iredale, Rory Welbrock, Roxy Linklater and Tom’s sister, Holly Beer, who each tackled a different animation style.

York band Bull pictured in….Scarborough. Picture: Amy D’Agorne Craghill

“With all those key changes, the song’s a bit of a rollercoaster, and we wanted to mirror that in the visuals, splitting it into animated sections, but we also thought: ‘Does it need something to tie it together?’, so we made the arbitrary decision, or maybe not, that all the animations had to feature a red apple,” says Tom. First Adam and Eve, then Snow White, now Bull!

Summing up the album as “13 songs written and rocked on between the years 2012 and 2020”, Tom elaborates on the origin of the title: “It’s taken from the opening lyric to the final track, Disco Living. We wanted to use a lyric from the album and felt like this was a good one.

” I first saw the words Discover Effortless Living in London, written on the side of a mansion being built and thought it was funny. It also ties in with ideas around class, new beginnings, a golden era of prosperity, and hoping to have life ‘in the bag’.”

What would constitute “effortless living”, Tom? “I just think it’s a contradiction in terms. That’s what was funny about it. Effortless living? I don’t think anyone would want to discover it. Effort is surely worth the effort?” he says.

“My idea of discovering how to live is to take things slowly; finding joy in the little things; having lots of different things on the go at the same time, and not worrying about any of them too much. Maybe lockdown has been a necessary change of pace. A nice change of pace. It’s the first time I’ve had a routine since school.”

Spread out: The artwork for Bull’s debut album, Discover Effortless Living

Tom finds joy in going for walks. “I love walking in suburbia; it’s my favourite thing. I’ve always loved it. You have really good conversations on walks, and I love discovering roads and parts of communities I’ve not seen before,” he says.

Now those discoveries are as much in Scarborough as elsewhere after moving from York with girlfriend Martha – band member Dan’s sister – a year and a half ago.

“Martha is a midwife and it was either Oxford or Scarborough that she would be working in. It was time we lived together; we both liked Scarborough; it’s close, so I can go to York, rehearse all day, then get back to Scarborough.”

Tom and Martha are living in Castle Road. “We’re south-facing, so out of the window we have incredible views of the South Bay,” he says.

“In fact, Castle Road is where we made the album cover, at St Mary’s Church. We knew we wanted somewhere with beautifully green grass, the greener the better. I called the church up on the phone, to ask if we could use the churchyard [where Haworth novelist Anne Bronte is buried, by the way].

Richard Hawley pictured at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, for the album cover for Coles Corner

“I said, ‘can we have it between 10am and 5pm, if we clean up afterwards ourselves?’, and this man very kindly said ‘yes’.”

To create the cover image, Bull combined items they found on the street with “lots of flowers we picked”. “I hope they’ve grown back,” says Tom. “A bunch of people came up to ask ‘what are you  doing?’, and once we told them, they said, ‘oh, that’s nice’. Some people even sat and watched!”

And so, St Mary’s Church churchyard becomes the second Scarborough setting for a landmark album sleeve, after the Art Deco frontage of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, at the former Scarborough Odeon, graced the cover of Richard Hawley’s Coles Corner, released in September 2005.

The band portrait at the top of this interview was taken in Scarborough too by Amy D’Agorne Craghill. “There’s this amazing place on the North Bay. From the castle, you walk through the castle walls to woodland with all these orange-coloured rocks and that’s where Amy took it,” says Tom.

A further Bull image in Scarborough came about when they stumbled across 100 gnomes in a woman’s garden. Who could resist using gnomes for a picture? Not Bull. Permission was duly forthcoming.

What’s next? Bull in a china shop?

On the edge: “We didn’t know we’d ever get to this point. We’d never bet on it,” says Tom Beer of Bull’s progress to a major-label debut album

Track listing for Bull’s Discover Effortless Living: Bedroom Floor; Love Goo; Green; Shiny Bowl; Eugene; Eddie’s Cap; Serious Baby; Perfect Teeth; Find Myself A Job; Bonzo Please;
In A Jar; Smoke and Disco Living.


Bull invite you to Discover Effortless Living with March release of their debut album

On the charge: York band Bull announce spring release for debut album

STILL sworn to secrecy in December, York band Bull have now confirmed the long-mooted name and release date for their major label debut album, no bull.

Discover Effortless Living – a title abbreviated for last year’s single Disco Living – will be out on March 26, launched on EMI Records in conjunction with York music hive Young Thugs.

To celebrate, here comes the York alt-rockers’ fifth single, Eugene, released today on the back of Disco Living, Green, Bonzo Please and the Love Goo EP that closed out a year when Bull became the first York band to sign to a major label since Nineties’ chart regulars Shed Seven.

“I wrote the song when I was feeling dissatisfied with what I was doing,” says singer Tom Beer of his mini-symphony of self-flagellation that trips through the various stages of feeling down on yourself.

Moods of lethargy, frustration and anger are captured in the tempo changes of a song that is melancholic yet spritely simultaneously: typical tropes of Bull’s idiosyncratic song-writing.   

“It’s kind of a self-hate song. You know when people talk about self-love? It’s not that. I’m slating myself,” reveals Tom. “It moves through the key changes and different moods and ends in a way that mocks the sadness, another form of self-deprecation!”

The accompanying video is again a collaboration with artist friends of Bull that reflects the song’s ever-changing moods. Guitarist Dan Lucas and bassist Kai West kick everything off with some DIY Claymation before handing over to artists Jack Iredale, Rory Welbrock, Roxy Linklater and Holly Beer, who each tackle a different animation style.

Discover Effortless Living promises a “cornucopia of alt. rock sounds, the band having refined their song-writing style into 13 indie bangers”.

“It features songs written and rocked on between the years 2012 and 2018, with Love Goo being the newest one on there, the freshest,” Tom says. “The album title is taken from the opening lyric to the final track Disco Living. We wanted to use a lyric from the album and felt like this was a good one.

“I first saw the words in London written on the side of a mansion being built on the Millionaire Mile and thought it was hilarious.  

“I was on my way to Hampstead, got off somewhere wrong, which usually happens to me in London, and that’s when I saw the billboard – and the tune came to me immediately!

“The billboard was advertising what was going to be built behind: homes for ‘effortless living’, and that led to lyrics that tie in with ideas around class, new beginnings, a golden era of prosperity, and hoping to have life ‘in the bag’.”

Bull hope that 2021 will see them returning to the stage to promote their debut album, although December’s talk of an April tour, taking in York and Leeds, is yet to be set in stone amid the ongoing Lockdown 3. On Twitter today, however, they tantalise: “World’s largest Bull party at The Crescent as soon as.”

In the meantime, the track listing is rubber-stamped as: Bedroom Floor; Love Goo; Green; Shiny Bowl; Eugene; Eddie’s Cap; Serious Baby; Perfect Teeth; Find Myself A Job; Bonzo Please; In A Jar; Smoke and Disco Living.

Looking ahead, “we’ve written lots of new songs, progressing towards the next album,” says Tom.

Bull end year with EP message of love and friendship and promise of spring album

Bullish for you: York band Bull end their year with an EP and look ahead to a spring album release and return to gigging in 2021. Picture: Amy D’Agorne Craghill

YORK alt-rockers Bull close out their breakthrough year with a new digital EP.

Out now on EMI Records in conjunction with York label Young Thugs, it combines the new title track with Bull’s three 2020 singles: the fuzz-rocking Disco Living, the noisy pop of Bonzo Please and the summer high of Green. 

Billed as a “brilliant slice of indie maximalism”, Love Goo hooks sweet pop melodies onto a ramshackle jangle rock template, with spritely xaphoon lines (a kind of pocket saxophone), tin whistle and piano to the fore.

“It’s a song about getting along with people,” explains wry-humoured Bull songwriter and singer Tom Beer. “It looks at my relationship with my family as well as my own feelings of ‘sticky love goo’, when thinking about people in my life and from my childhood.

“It’s about the difference between people, universal truth, gender fluidity, peace and love, understanding and all of that stuff.”

Tom penned Love Goo in 2018. “It’s one of my more recent songs on our upcoming album, in fact it’s the newest one on there. Out of the 13 songs, it’s the freshest,” he says. “It was written before all of what’s gone on this year but that now adds to it.

“It’s probably the happiest song I’ve ever written and I’m so happy to have written it. It’s both a reminder of why I wrote it, to make myself a better person and to be positive, and it’s nostalgic too, reflecting on people in my life and people I love.

“One of the reasons it sounds so good and comes across so well is that we recorded it maybe only a month after I wrote it.”

Contributing to Loo Goo’s happy disposition is the xaphoon, the aforementioned pocket saxophone. “It was ‘advertised’ to me on Facebook thanks to the wonders of algorithms; I showed it to [lead guitarist] Dan Lucas’s dad, Ross, who very kindly bought it for me for Christmas,” recalls Tom.

“We’d never thought of using it on any other song – though there may be a toot on Bonzo Please – but it suited Love Goo.”

Love Goo: Bull’s artwork for their new EP

Bull have made not one, but two videos to accompany Love Goo. “We started off making one video after our bassist, Kai West, bought a VHS camera for £6. It came with all the tape, so we thought, ‘we’ve got everything we need, let’s film while we’re on tour’,” says Tom, as they headed off to Amsterdam for shows with Dutch group Canshaker Pi.

“Kai’s idea was to take lots of two-second clips, tiny little snippets of whatever we were doing, for a song with a ‘Jing Jing’ rhythm to it. It’s simple but effective in what it does, showing us knocking about on tour, starting with getting on a train at York station, taking a ferry from Newcastle, playing the Dutch shows and coming back for our UK tour, playing Bristol and Manchester in the days when we could tour.”

Love Goo video number two has just been recorded, filmed against a blue screen backdrop, in the manner of Curtis Mayfield’s Seventies’ shows “before they were going to add all the hippy stuff”.  “Keeping it on the blue screen, it looks like we’re floating in this crazy space,” says Tom.

The Love Goo EP closes a year when Bull became the first York band to sign to a major record label since Nineties’ chart regulars Shed Seven. “2020 has been a mixed bag, but I think I can say it’s been a good year for us, in as far as how well it could have gone under the circumstances,” says Tom.

“We’ve done a lot of good things; we’ve finished our album; we’ve just done our live-streamed Christmas gig, the Snow Global Tour show we filmed at Reel Recording Studio in Elvington.

“We’ve made lots of videos; we’ve designed the album sleeve – and we’ve written lots of songs, progressing towards the next album.

“In a normal year, we’d have had the usual stresses of touring, though the other side has been great, but of course I’ve missed touring, seeing people, as everyone has, but it could have been worse.”

Looking ahead, the album is scheduled for March release and a tour is booked in for April for Beer, Lucas, West and drummer Tom Gabbatiss. “We’ve decided to go ahead, even if the gigs have to be socially distanced. We’ll be headlining at The Crescent [in York] and we’re going to play Leeds Brudenell Social Club, which is a dream come for me. It’s my favourite venue,” says Tom.

His wish for next year will strike a chord with everyone as the pandemic refuses to back down. “I just kinda hope that the vaccine really gets going and everyone gets it and we can all start moving on again,” he says.

Copyright of The Press, York

Bull spread Love Goo’s message of getting on with people on eve of Snow Global show

Feeling Bullish: York band Bull see out 2020 with the Love Goo EP and a live-streamed show

YORK alt-rockers Bull close out their breakthrough year with a new EP and a live-streamed gig tomorrow night (16/12/2020).

The Love Goo EP, out now on EMI Records in conjunction with York label Young Thugs, combines the new title track with Bull’s three 2020 singles: the fuzz-rocking Disco Living, the noisy pop of Bonzo Please and the summer high of Green.

Billed as a “brilliant slice of indie maximalism”, Love Goo hooks sweet pop melodies onto a ramshackle jangle rock template, with spritely xaphoon lines (a kind of pocket saxophone), tin whistle and piano to the fore.

“It’s a song about getting along with people,” explains wry-humoured Bull songwriter and singer Tom Beer. “It looks at my relationship with my family as well as my own feelings of ‘sticky love goo’, when thinking about people in my life and from my childhood.

“It’s about the difference between people, universal truth, gender fluidity, peace and love, understanding and all of that stuff.”

Tomorrow, Bull will be performing a live-streamed gig, The Snow Global Tour, from a special winter wonderland location at 8pm. Each ticket not only guarantees access to the stream, but fans also will receive a special screen-printed T-shirt or commemorative poster designed by bassist Kai West. Tickets for this online event, hosted by Bull and Reel Recording Studio, are available at bull.veeps.com.

“We recorded it at Reel Recording Studio in Elvington on Monday (14/12/2020), in one of the industrial warehouses near the airfield, where we did up the whole studio like a Christmas grotto,” says Tom.

“We didn’t do a Christmas cover version, but I wrote a Christmas song two years ago though I didn’t know it was a Christmas song until it was! I wrote it when I was busking in York; I played these notes and thought, ‘Oh, this sounds Christmasy’, and it turned into a song about Christmas and my relationships at this time of year.

Bass player Kai West’s poster for Bull’s Snow Global Tour live-streamed gig on December 16

“I love it! I just think it’s a really nice song and for this live-streamed gig we had a brass band playing it with us: Bargestra, the Arts Barge’s community band, with Kai’s stepdad, Christian Topman, arranging it.”

Christian, York musician, teacher, workshop leader and Arts Barge co-founder, had taught Tom in his days of attending York Music Services’ Wednesday sessions, playing trombone in jazz and funk bands.  “I play it on the live-stream, not very well though,” says Tom.

“Christian had had this idea, saying, ‘Do you have any songs that we could do together this year?’, and we thought, ‘well, yeah, we’ve got this Christmas song’. Christian scored it out and they came and played it with us, socially distanced, wearing masks, though not when playing, obviously.”

What’s the title, Tom? “It’s called, well, we might call it Fairytale Of York! Though its short title is Gay Days, as the opening lines are: ‘The olden days, the olden golden gay days’. Whatever we call it, we’re thinking of chasing a number one hit next year!”

The live-streamed gig has been recorded with Ben Hammond, who has worked previously with My Chemical Romance, Florence +The Machine and Placebo. “We recorded a gig for Jorvik Radio there in July and thought, ‘wow, this place is at an impressive level we’ve not experienced before’,” recalls Tom. “So when they said, ‘do you want to do a streamed show with us?, we said ‘Yes!’.”

Russell Baldwin, the sound engineer for Bull’s gigs at the Fulford Arms, came on board too, and the result is a 50-minute show…

…”Getting on for nearer 60 minutes, with a few skits and some dancers,” says Tom. “I will say it was very strange to be playing a gig where you’re aware that people would be watching it, but they weren’t actually there.”

Explaining the Snow Global Tour title for a one-off gig, Tom says: “The idea was that we were going to make a T-shirt with only one date on the back, which we thought would be hilarious…but in the end we just printed T-shirts with lettering on the front.”

Next up from Bull at CharlesHutchPress will be an interview with Tom Beer about a band’s life in Covid-crocked 2020, the Love Goo EP, and plans for gigs and releases in 2021.

Bull on the loose with single Disco Living taking a dig at ‘London luxury lifestyles’

From Yorkshire clifftop to London rooftop: Bull’s new single Disco Living mocks the absurdity of “effortless” luxury-house lifestyles

YORK alt rockers Bull have an addictive new indie banger ready to sizzle this summer in the ebullient form of Disco Living.

Out now on EMI Records/Young Thugs, the follow-up to Green evokes the summertime spirit of vintage Britpop in its sly look at the “ridiculousness of the so-called high-end lifestyle and people’s obsession with luxury”.

As vocalist and songwriter Tom Beer explains: “I wrote this in London when we lived at our friend and amazing visual artist Jean Penne’s house and decided to become a world-famous group.

“I was walking down a street of mansions to meet my friend in Hampstead Heath. I walked past one mansion that was under construction and it had a facade of the completed house on the front with the extremely bold tag line, ‘Discover Effortless Living’. I thought this was really funny, so wrote the song with that as the opening line, kind of about that and how absurd it all was.”

Disco Living shouts from the luxury rooftops in the immediate aftermath of Green – Bull’s first single since signing to EMI Records in conjunction with York label Young Thugs – garnering support from Chris Hawkins’ BBC 6Music show, Dork and DIY.

Looking ahead, Yorkshiremen Beer, guitarist Dan Lucas, drummer Tom Gabbatiss and bassist Kai West will take to the road to play the Shacklewell Arms, London, on October 9 and Edge Of The Wedge, Portsmouth, on January 27 2021, pending updates on Government guidance on Covid social-distancing regulations.

Formed in 2011, Bull are the first York band since Shed Seven joined Polydor Records in October 1993 to pen a deal with a major label. To watch the Bull video for Disco Living, go to: youtube.com/watch?v=6juBc3Mgbjc