British Invasion

Pop-rock band Lawson make waves in Thailand

Playing their first showcase in Thailand and Southeast Asia earlier this month was UK pop-rock boy band Lawson. Currently based in London, Lawson consists of four members: Andy Brown (acoustic guitar and vocal), Ryan Fletcher (bass guitar), Joel Peat (lead guitar) and Adam Pitts (drums).

Lawson, from left, Joel Peat, Adam Pitts, Andy Brown and Ryan Fletcher.

The title of this four-piece band has a unique story, meaningful to its members. When lead singer Brown was 18, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and "Lawson" was a surname of a surgeon who successfully operated on the tumour for him. Without Dr Lawson, there wouldn't be the four of them in the band.

Lawson's debut album, Chapman Square, launched last year with positive feedback in the UK. The band's first official single, When She Was Mine, reached No.4 in the UK singles chart. Here, heartbreaking rock tune Standing In The Dark is a huge success as it has reached No.1 on three radio stations, while their album hit No.1 on the iTunes Thailand chart.

Before rocking their first show in the Kingdom at Parc Paragon, the Lawson boys chatted with the Bangkok Post about their first visit to Thailand and their debut album.

There was quite a big crowd of fans picking you up at the airport. How did it make you feel on your first visit to Thailand?

Adam: It was such an amazing reception we got at the airport. To be on a flight, 12 hours away from home, and be greeted by so many people, it's kind of taken us by surprise. We've heard that we've done quite well over here, but until you get here and see it yourselves... it was unbelievable.

Have any of you been to Japan?

All: No. 'Lawson' is one of the biggest chains of convenience stores in Japan. And it's coming to Thailand as well.

Adam: That's why we haven't been there. People might confuse us with the shop (laugh).

Joel: Maybe we could do something together like the 'Lawson with Lawson' show?

Ryan: It would be like a band named 'Tesco' in the UK (laughs).

Around the world, singing contest TV shows are a hit and many boy bands such as One Direction and The Wanted were born from such programmes. What do you think of this phenomenon?

Joel: Yes, I think it's bringing out a lot of people. A lot of singers and boy bands are from there. Although we're quite happy and quite proud that we started out from really small gigs all over the UK. I think we're quite lucky that it sets us apart from that.

Can you recall your first gig?

Adam: Yes, it was in Portsmouth. There was about 20 people supporting one of our friends' bands. It was terrible.

Joel: Actually, I remember that it was awesome.

Adam: Well, at that time it was incredible. But, looking back at how far we have come, it's unbelievable. It makes me proud of the way we started from the bottom and really worked our way to where we are now.

Tell us about your album Chapman Square.

Andy: This album is quite meaningful. Every song is written from stories of our lives. It's very personal in terms of love and relationships. It's quite emotional actually, some of the lyrics and songs. Musically, the album is influenced by bands like Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Maroon 5 and pop-rock music _ pop music that gives you a bit of guitar and a rocky element and edge. When we perform it live, it gets even rockier.

Joel: We're lucky enough to work with producer John Shanks who did all Bon Jovi's stuff. Instantly, you get a rocky sound in the album.

We heard Standing In The Dark was written from a personal story.

Adam: Yes, it was Andy's.

Andy: It is about my ex-girlfriend. We wrote it on the day that I'd seen her with a new guy. It sort of really hit me and upset me, so we wrote a song about it.

Well, that's how Adele got famous, right?

Adam: Exactly. Everyone, at one point in their lives, has gone through falling in love and heartbreak. They are topics that everyone can relate to, wherever they're from.

Before you came to Thailand, you were touring your new album. How did it go?

Ryan: It was a 20-day tour, the biggest we've ever done before. There was about 2-3,000 in each venue. To hear so many people singing every night, it was incredible.

Adam: We had a tour bus as well. It was our first tour bus. We said earlier that every single emotion happened on that tour bus. There was crying on it. There was violence and happiness.

Joel: It broke down a lot of the time. There was a lot of anger when it broke down, but we had an amazing time together.

What's next, once you finished the tour in this region?

Andy: We're heading back to the UK and then we'll spend some time in the US.

Adam: We'll shoot our new video there for the next single...

Ryan: ...which is our brand new song that no one has heard yet. It's not on the album. So, hopefully you guys will get to hear that soon.

About the author

Writer: Yanapon Musiket
Position: Life Writer