INDIE five piece Chapel Club have long been coveted as future greats among record labels and music media alike.
In one of the most ardent A&R battles in years, the London based band dined out on their potential as almost a dozen major labels vied for their signatures.
Now tipped as ‘the band’ of 2011, the former NME Radar prospects are expected to make waves when their debut album Palace is finally released on January 31.
But while the current media darlings were founded in our nation’s capital, one important member hails from within a stone’s throw of Huddersfield’s now lively music scene.
Before leaving for the bright lights of London Chapel Club drummer Rich Mitchell grew up in Birkenshaw and later went to Huddersfield University to study graphic design, living in Moldgreen for a year.
After almost a decade in London Mitchell’s drumming CV prior to Chapel Club was already impressive having played for Paul Weller, Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell and Florence and the Machine.
But his first experience of the industry came when he was barely into his teens.
“I was in a band with my brother called Sunnum Bonum, which was Latin for the state of absolute blessedness,” he says.
“It was very pretentious, but I was only 14, we were signed to a Kiwi label called Freak records, that’s where I first started drumming.
“I also played with a local band in Littletown in the Spen Valley called The Dirty Vinyls when I was in my teens.
“It’s quite weird because when I was younger Huddersfield wasn’t on the touring circuit so I’ve never really played the town.
“I think we played one gig in Huddersfield at a big old stone building near the uni but that was over 10 years ago.”
Now, with top radio station XFM tipping Chapel Club as their number two ‘One To Watch’ for 2011, Mitchell’s ascent from aspiring musician to bona fide label star is enough to make any rock hopeful green with envy.
He said: “We got together as a five piece and within about six months we had a manager and within about a year of properly forming we got signed to Polydor.
“It was all pretty crazy. I think in total we had 10 of the majors trying to sign us, we were getting wined and dined pretty much every night for a month.”
But despite the rapid rise to fame the band resisted the temptation to rush out a release and have been sitting on their first full album for more than six months.
“We holed ourselves up in a studio and said we’re going to get this right before we go out playing any gigs.
“I know a lot of bands go out there and play as many gigs as they can but we wanted to make sure we were happy with everything, that it was perfect.
“We spent a year in the studio just rehearsing and writing and then within three gigs we’d been signed.
“We recorded the album last April and had it all finished, mixed and mastered by June.
“We wanted to get it out straight away but the label wanted to get us out there touring and building up a fan base before we released it.”
Already recording new material ahead of their nationwide tour next month, Mitchell said they were excited to finally be unleashed on music hungry fans across the country.
“It’s our first proper UK headline tour,” he says.
“We did the NME tour back in October with the Joy Formidable, but it’ll just be amazing to be out there when people have heard the record and to know the songs when they’re at the gigs.
“We’re really, really excited about it.
“We seem to have backing from all the right places from Radio One and NME so it’s looking really good.
“It’s all set up for us to be one of the biggest guitar bands for quite a few years.”
Chapel Club play Leeds Cockpit on February 7.