Turn off the big light, we’re getting cosy with Niph 

Cardigan Arms in Leeds welcomed Niph on Thursday night, (2nd May) as they played their debut gig at the cosy venue.  

The band consists of 23-year-old Callum Minks on guitar, vocals, and drum sampler; 24-year-old Aaron Jolly on bass and vocals and 24-year-old Alex Plater on guitar, vocals, and keys. 

Although there was overall excitement from the boys before the gig, there was a range of emotions felt from all of them. It was Callum and Alex’s first gig since August 2023; after playing consistently since 2018 and despite Aaron having previous experience as a session bass player, it was his first time singing live. 

“Aaron had an absolute blast, but we could see that he was either very excited or very nervous because he was getting some serious steps in before we went on! But he smashed it having never sung to an audience before!” Callum said. 

Niph has influences from R&B and Hip-Hop artists that helped to create the foundations for their songs, “as well as having sonic influences, we’ve been heavily inspired by how Frank Ocean and Dijon approach their live sets; they create a cosy, living room vibe with the way that they’re positioned on stage,” Callum explained. 

Their inspirations shone through when the new lo-fi indie band invited over 70 people into what felt like an oversized living room. The room had a vintage feel to it, with only lamps being used to create a warm space. 

With it being such an intimate show, it made the experience a lot more meaningful for the band, playing in a room full of their closest friends, family, and even strangers. Callum found himself buying people drinks to thank them for coming to watch, “if I had it my way, I’d make all our events free because I just love people coming together for a pint and a chit-chat. But that’s why I’m not the businessperson of the group!” 

Niph’s songs feel like laying on the grass on a hot day with your friends, they sound like a bottle of corona with lime. Despite having a very contemporary sound, the songs also have a nostalgic feel, summers with friends, chilling in the garden and underage drinking. They have a sound of complete happiness.  

Callum said: “That’s why we really wanted our first gig to be in the event space at Cardigan Arms because it has a small capacity and just captured the perfect vibe for the music to be played in. Everyone was sat down, and it was very relaxed and lovely.”  

In the past the boys have been in bands that played indie rock, folk rock, and punk, so by stepping away from the traditional band setup and picking up a sampler and a drum machine made it a refreshing approach to creating music for the group. 

Each vocalist uses a Roland VT-4, which was a decision made to have more control over their vocal sound when playing live, so when playing in different venues their vocal effects would be cohesive. “They’re fun too and always manage to get someone to laugh when you make your voice sound like you’ve inhaled ten helium balloons,” Callum added.  

The trio have known each other since 2018, however they all moved to different cities after university, and Alex and Callum only reconnected with Aaron again after bumping into him in the middle aisle of Aldi.

Callum added: “Alex and I had already been writing some stuff for this project, so to find a bassist during the weekly shop was a great find.” During the show, Aaron even referred to himself as an ‘Aldi value bass player,’ which received a good laugh from the audience. 

“Also, we genuinely couldn’t have asked for a better person than Aaron to have been involved in this project, if it was still Alex and me by ourselves then it would still be an idea with a few songs. He gave us the push we needed to create a tangible live set.”  Callum explained. 

Niph has been focussing on getting gigs booked, and they have made Leeds the focus of their upcoming shows. They have also been enjoying recording the tracks themselves, figuring out their production style, and are expecting to put out music in the upcoming months.  

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