As the bassist for Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Nash has achieved a lot. He’s toured the world, released a chart-topping album and sold around half a million records in the UK alone. Now that the band are on hiatus, he’s striking out on his own.
“No one really expects the bass player to do anything,” he says. “I know I can play music and write songs. But I’ve got to put my money where my mouth is and step up.”
He’s certainly doing that. With new project Toothless, Nash has already released two singles of dreamy folk-pop, ‘Terra’ and ‘Palm’s Backside’, and a full-length album – recorded mostly in his sitting room – is on the way. A trio of Glastonbury sets are booked, too.
“This isn’t just a throwaway side project,” he stresses. “I plan to tour and I’m already thinking about a second album. I really want it to be my main thing. My career for the foreseeable future.”
Does this mean Bombay are over for good? Nash still shares a flat in Hornsey with guitarist Jamie, and drummer Suren joins him in the new band, so you’d think not. Even main songwriter Jack Steadman worked on the record. But there are “no plans” to get back together and with everyone so absorbed in doing their own thing, Nash concedes Bombay’s latest album, 2014’s ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’, “could potentially be their last”.
He’s having far too much fun to worry about it. Currently putting the finishing touches to the record, and with some well-received debut live shows under his belt, Toothless is looking like one of 2016’s indie success stories.
Despite this, Nash still says going solo is one of “the scariest things” he’s ever done. “People are finally listening to the music I’ve written and it’s terrifying. It’s so easy for people to just dismiss you.” He needn’t worry: with songs this strong there’s little chance of that.
Toothless: The Details
Buy It: Single ‘Palm’s Backside’ (ft. Marika Hackman) is out now
Live: June 24-26, Glastonbury Festival (The Rabbit Hole, Friday, 4:15pm; Crows Nest, Saturday, 4:30pm; Croissant Neuf, Sunday, 4pm)