Kate Parkin meets the Leeds band formerly known at Films
Sat on the grass, outside Leeds’ Leftbank venue, the sounds of gentle acoustic guitars wafting out the doors, it feels like the first day of Summer, or the last day of school, which for guitarist Gwilym Sainsbury it kind of is. This week he’s completed his Art Degree.
There’s a relaxed feeling surrounding the band with the unusual name, as they are about to embark on something new. Preparing to leave Leeds behind for leafy courtyards of Cambridge or to chance their arm in the big leagues of London, their final destination is yet to be confirmed. For now though we settle down to the serious business of the science behind their song writing and why they are definitely not ‘geek chic’.
Affable frontman Joe Newman first met ‘Gwil’ in their first year at Leeds University, before joining up with fellow student Gus Unger-Hamilton on keyboards, with drummer Thom Green completing the line-up. Previously playing under the name FILMS, having flirted briefly with the name Daljit Dhaliwal (after the Al-Jazeera newscaster), they only recently changed their name to ∆, which is what you get when you hold down alt and J on your computer keyboard. It follows a series of mishaps leading to them being mistaken for South Carolina garage band The Films, most recently at local festival Live at Leeds.
Gwil shrugs at me, resigned. “We knew that might be a problem long-term,” he confesses, “but when the Live at Leeds publication came out, they’d taken the bio from The Films and put it on ours. I think we then realised that that could carry on happening.