By Nicholas Jason Lopez
#ClubCassidy has always been about more than just the honest music that the “Dirty Pop” quintet of Vocalist Jamie Coupe, Guitarist Jan Barnegren, Guitarist Tom Macdonald-Grute, Bassist Jack Onslow and Drummer Pete Callaghan pump out.
On May 22, 2019, the guys surprised a dedicated fan named Holly in a park with an acoustic show. She’d supported the guys for about five years at that point. She approached Coupe after one of their shows way back when and said the song “Reason To Scream” saved her from a stupid mistake.
“Just seeing the reaction that she had, somebody [who had] really suffered in mental health, it was awesome to go to a place that was really significant for her in bad ways and give her this great memory and she was kind of crying throughout. The effect that our music has had on one person and seeing that, that’s what we do it for,” said Coupe.
Named after an early Jack Kerouac book and strongly inspired by bands like The Maine in terms of fan interaction, the group from Guildford, Surrey in the United Kingdom has been armed with a mission to dish out sad songs you can dance to since their 2017 formation.
“When we play shows, we really want people to just be there in the moment because there’s so much passing by and so much information these days that if you can just listen to [our songs] or connect with it and have a different meaning, that’s way more important than what I put in initially,” Coupe said.
Debut single “Guide Me” was released with a music video on Jan. 22, 2018. The song was produced by Pete Miles (We Are The Ocean, Dry The River, Canterbury) at MiddleFarm Studios. Coupe was later touched when he got a text from one of the guitarists that a fan would get lyrics from the song tattooed on them – “We are the only angels.”
“[The lyric] pertains to the fact that I think people that really do just take the time to break that barrier over social media to someone that’s suffering and go and see them, those people have the power,” said Coupe. “It’s kind of trying to empower people to help others that are suffering or just be there for a friend and talk if you can’t go that step further.”
They released single “Leaking Love” on Sep. 8, 2018, which gained its way to 50,000 Spotify streams by May 2019.
On Aug. 15, 2019, Maggie Cassidy released a lyric video for single “Runaway” performed in American Sign Language interpretation, with the view that music should be for everyone, no exceptions. An official music video premiered on Sep. 2, 2019 via Discovered Magazine. The song itself was recorded with producer Neil Kennedy (Boston Manor, Milk Teeth) and inspired by Coupe’s real-life romantic relationship and the feeling one gets of wanting to “flee” with that person because they feel it’s where they need to be.
“We just wanted to try a different sound and we came away with a really cool song that’s focused on escapism,” Coupe said. “We feel like the chorus is very accessible and it does what we want to do.”
Most recently, the band posted an acoustic cover of The Maine’s “Butterflies And Deja Vu’ on their YouTube page on Nov. 20, 2019 and announced “Why Can’t We Just Be Friends?” as their latest single, due out on Jan. 10, 2020. As far as the future, Coupe hopes to one day play with The Maine and will continue to write and play music that resonates with fans in more ways than one, just like it did with Holly.
“I’ve always undercut our music with the theme of mental health, especially more recently, kind of looking a bit more toward society and more of our songs will come out more in that vein,” Coupe said. “I always take time to bring up the fact that mental health is really important and it does need to be explored and talked about and start learning more how it works so we can help people.”