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South London is alive with music again. Hailing from the same region that produced David Bowie and a certain Rolling Stones, a band called Ludes are bringing their mythical brand of old-time rock and roll to the forefront and winning hearts with every note.
The story begins when David Ashby (vocals), 21, met Matt Allchin (lead guitar/ backing vocals), 22, at primary school in Penge. Inseparable at age eight, they became bitter rivals in high school playing in competing rock bands. But fate came a-callin’ when the pair reunited at Camberwell College of Arts. Bonding over the blues, the Clash, and their disdain for their graphic design course, the pair joined forces to create their ideal band, a blues-driven melodic combo eager to make a mark on the future.
Ludes officially formed two years ago when David and Matt met up with old friend James McCool (rhythm guitar), 23, a zany, multi-tasking musician from Camberwell and serene drum maestro Chris Morris, 22. Eventually, they found their dream bass player in Dom Peach, 23, “from Ipswitch… in Essex.” Branding themselves with the evocative name Ludes (the Czech word for “crazy girl” and a sixties drug slang-term), the boys set out to wobble lower lips and raise eyebrows with their tunes.
Camping out in David’s living room for months on end, the band sang together, practised and wrote songs. Their studies suffered, but dedication paid off as their sound developed and their lyrics deepened, depicting dark and scandalous stories. Now Ludes are at the top of their game with tantalising tunes like “Badlands”, “Walkin’ The Black Dog”, and “Zorba the Greek,” which not only provoke a present-day nostalgia but also suggest that they will be around for a while. Ludes’ live shows stun the senses and conquer audiences with humable melodies and snotty swagger.
Garnering praise in all of the right places, Ludes have already caught the eye of Dazed and Confused magazine who confer, “Ludes are single-handedly reviving the golden period of British rock when Mick, Keef and the Stones, courted controversy as the bad boys of London.”
Ludes’ debut single, 'The Luckiest Theatre / Walkin’ The Black Dog' was on August 28th on Goode and Proper Records. They've since signed to Sony offshoot, Double Dragon, and released 'She Was Just A Girl / Your Dog Don't Bark'. Debut album The Dark Art of Happiness is out now.