Catalans, communists and Hotel Lux: What you need to know about South London’s next great band

We’ve harked on about South London’s pedigree for new bands on for a little while now, but the goods keep on coming. Take Hotel Lux, Portsmouth-raised and now based south of the river, who could become the next in a long line of indie bands making waves everywhere. Here’s what you need to know about them.

The Last Hangman

The Last Hangman, a song by Hotel Lux on Spotify

They think the South London scene is the equivalent to 2013’s B-Town scene

“I think there’s been a long time since a group of bands have come together” says frontman Lewis Duffin. Lead guitarist Sam Coburn reckons “it’s equivalent to the 2013 B-town thing (referring to Birmingham bands Swim Deep, Peace and Superfood). It’s the community, everyone’s friends, it really is like one big family. There’s a healthy competition. Someone will put a song out and you’ll think, that’s song’s really good, and you want to make a song as good as that.’

Having supported bands such as HMLTD, Shame and Yak, they’ve been thrown into the ‘deep end’ of the London music scene. Lewis speaks about the other bands with affection and admiration. |Even if you take yourself out of what people see as the scene, as a fan of the other bands I think it’s great. Goat Girl, Sorry, Phobaphobes, The Rhythm Method, it’s just such a great group of bands.”

They’re named after a communist safe house

Searching for a band name boiled down to Lewis searching for decent-sounding words on Wikipedia. “Hotel Lux was a hotel in Moscow where communists were exiled to,” he says. “It’s where a lot of them ended up being killed during Stalin’s purges, taken from Hotel Lux. It was essentially meant to be a safe house, but it didn’t end up being very safe I guess.”

They’ve angered some Spanish men with a controversial Catalonia t-shirt

After posing for a press shot in which bass player Cam Sims is wearing a Catalonian independence T-shirt, they received a lot of negative attention. “I’ve had some Spanish men saying they want to shit on me” says Cam. “As a band we do support Catalonian independence, and when I put that t-shirt on I thought it was a good idea. I think it was the only clean t-shirt I had.” Despite receiving threats from over seas, the band consider it to still be a good thing. “It ignited discussion and I think that’s healthy in any sense of the word. I think nothing gets sorted unless there’s a bit of heated discussion. Saying that, I think the Spanish tour is off the cards for a while.”

Their first headline gig is coming up on Friday

“We’re buzzing,” says Lewis, “it’s the first time we’ve been able to organise all the bits to go along with it, the support, the venue, everything.” It coincides nicely with recent single ‘The Last Hangman’, which comes out on the same day.

Hotel Lux play The George Tavern on November 17

Words by Maisy Farren