By Richard Derbyshire

THEY made their debut in Southampton last year thanks to a new Radio One DJ who presented their first live session on the station tonight.

Hotly tipped London band Stereo Honey played The Loft on Lower Banister Street last October with fellow rising stars Anteros and Yonaka as part of DJ Jack Saunders’ Hopscotch tour.

Now the band, who last month appeared at a rain-soaked Victorious Festival in Southsea, have performed their first Radio One live session tonight. Their set included one of the first plays of their new single Icarus.

Frontman Pete Restrick, lead guitarist Nicky Boiardi, bassist Ben Edwards and drummer Jake Black have also been thrilling fans at festivals across the summer, including All Points East in London and Reading & Leeds with BBC Introducing.

However, few conditions will have challenged them as much than at Victorious where a compromise with the lashing wind and rain meant no drums or bass and Pete having to perform under a gazebo on the Castle Stage with Nicky playing guitar almost out of sight in the wings.

“We had to play somehow; we weren’t going to miss it,” Pete told The Echo.

“When we arrived, the guys on the stage told us other bands had already had to cancel their sets, but we said, if it can be made safe, we want to play. It was the wettest show we’ve ever done.”

Their stripped-back set included recent single Don’t Speak and other bangers from the band’s debut EP Monuments.

While they are a London based band and the other three all grew up in the capital, songwriter Pete hails from further afield.

“I’m the token northerner,” he said. “I was born in Manchester and moved to Leeds when I was four, so I am a hybrid from two great music cities.”

“I was part of the Leeds music scene for years and it’s still wicked to go back to play shows there and in Manchester.”

The four band members met each other while playing in other bands, as Pete explained.

“I was drumming in a band with Nicky and Ben and, at the same time, Jake was drumming in another project I was also involved with.

“All of us were doing different things, but eventually Nick, Ben and I put our heads together and said we should start our own band, and then Jake got involved a little bit later on.”

Stereo Honey are now putting out new tracks that will be on their next EP, which is set for release at the end of the year.

“After that we want to build up to our debut album,” said Pete, who added that the band have been working with music producer Charlie Russell at Dean Street studios in London almost since the day they first became a band.

“Charlie is one of the most talented guys I have ever met. He is fantastic, like a fifth member of the band. We really trust him and he is responsible in many ways for the quality of music. He brings everything we do together in a great way and our songs sound better for it.”

“I also like recording in the middle of Soho with so much else going on.”

Lyricist Pete describes band mate Nicky as “nothing short of a genius” on guitar and says all of the band bring their own kind of energy and sensibilities to rehearsals.

“Our songs originate from an idea from one of us. It may be some lyrics, but usually it is a guitar riff from Nicky.

“We’ll then build it up organically, perhaps Nick and I will work on it for a while, then I’ll write some bass and a drum beat, and then Ben and Jake will get involved and may change it around.”

“Words are mine, but the lads like to chip in and tell me whether something is corny. I trust their judgement, so if they say they don’t like something, I’ll change it.”

While it is still early days, the band already have one famous fan, after they played a set on the plaza at Broadcasting House in London with BBC Introducing.

“That show blew us away, but it was only afterwards we realised newsreader Fiona Bruce was watching us.

“Afterwards, she came over to me and said she had really enjoyed it, but that we had made her late for work. If Fiona Bruce is a fan, I guess that means we’re on the way to making it!”

It’s nearly a year since the band were last in Southampton and Pete says he is keen to come back and that there is one venue the band want to play.

“I know the Joiners and we would love to play there. Everyone in the music industry knows it is venue royalty for a band like us.

“You cannot go to Southampton and not play The Joiners. It is a point of initiation. Southampton has a terrific little gig scene.

“We friends with The Amazons and we know that they played The Joiners three or four times. Now they are playing the biggest festival stages. We are also good pals with Southampton band Wild Front, who we met at Community Festival last year. They are good lads and are doing really well at the moment. They are a proper DIY band, which I respect a lot.”

Stereo Honey were in live session with Jack Saunders on Radio One tonight.