Kettering pupil’s prog-rock band tipped as one to watch this year


They’re a storming live band with a debut “21st century prog-rock” album that Classic Rock magazine called “big, dramatic, engaging and accessible”.

They’ve played or are playing most of the major British festivals including this year’s Download, and they’re being tipped – by the BBC among others – as one of the bands to watch in 2018.

And why are they in the Northants Telegraph? Because their front man, guitarist and main songwriter is Huw Edwards, who went to Bishop Stopford School in Kettering.

The band are Koyo, formed in Leeds about 18 months ago, their members drawn from the highly-regarded Leeds College of Music.

Huw, 25, said: “So far we’ve had a lot of positive reviews, and it’s been fun, it’s been great.

“But it’s important that we keep moving forward.”

It’s already a long way forward from Huw ‘s first live gig – as a 13-year-old on a music stage at Lubenham’s Scarecrow Festival!

Huw was born in Lubenham, near Market Harborough, and went to the village primary school, then Bishop Stopford School.

He and Jacob Price (the band’s sampling and synthesisers wizard, from Kettering) formed Koyo.

The name is a Japanese word that describes the changing colours of leaves in autumn.

But Huw is happy to admit that the band didn’t really take off until the other three joined – Seb Knee-Wright (guitars), Dan Comlay (bass) and Tom Higham (drums).

He said: “Our first rehearsal with our drummer Tom is where it really came together.

The band’s self-titled first album was hailed as “the sound of 21st century prog” by Q Magazine.

But Huw said the band’s live performances will make subsequent work more “raw” and “real”.

“Radiohead meets Hawkwind” is how the Guardian describe them.

New Single Jettisoned, due out in April, will show the band’s rawer edge.

Huw said: “We put on a real performance now, I think.

“That’s where the energy is, and where you feel you are witnessing something.”

Meanwhile, Huw has had to learn how to be a band’s front man, rather than a studio guitarist.

He said: “I’m constantly learning.

“And I suppose the confidence comes from experience and having more and more gigs.”

And what about that label the band have acquired – “21st century prog-rock”?

Huw said: “It’s kind of a blessing in some senses.

“And not in others.

“We are technically just a rock band, playing rock music, but I can see why people would say “progressive” - there are more than three chords and some of the songs are long and more complex.”

He says his influences range from Pink Floyd to Radiohead, and the current band he’d most like to support is Queens of the Stone Age.

And have his Lubenham parents ever hinted that he should perhaps get a more mainstream job?

“No, no” he laughs.

“They’re very supportive. The pressure is mainly pressure we put on ourselves.

“And there are weeks when nothing happens and you start to doubt yourself.”

But don’t be a doubter, see Koyo for yourself.

The band play live at The Musician in Leicester on Wednesday, April 18 – part of a national tour that also takes in Manchester, Birmingham and London.

“It’ll be loud, intense and sonically and visually engaging”, promised Huw.