Not everybody agreed with their recent change of name, but the Fullertons are going from strength to strength. Kate Sole met up with them as they prepared to take Moscow by storm

Arranging to meet Watford indie band The Fullertons (formerly Camel One) at a local pub at 11.30am felt particularly rock ‘n’ roll.

Unfortunately, that’s where it ended as the doors were locked when we arrived and we were forced to relocate to a distinctly un-rock ‘n’ roll chain coffee shop.

On the way, Dave and Chris Chanell politely excused the absence of their fellow bandmates, Rik (who has replaced Pete on bass after he quit the band owing to health) and Rich, who are detained with their day jobs, and I quickly realised that I was not in the presence of Watford’s answer to the hell-raising Rolling Stones, rather a couple of grounded, driven brothers who just happen to have a real passion and talent for music. Which, let’s face it, is pretty refreshing in this age of Pete Dohertys and Amy Winehouses.

“I can see where it starts, the money, the fame, all that free time, but it’s all a bit stupid to me,” Dave, who takes lead vocals and plays guitar, says of his wayward contemporaries.

Chris, who plays hammond organ, adds: “I think it’s about hanging on to that buzz that you have on stage. I know a lot of people that use drugs recreationally, and I don’t have a problem with that personally, but one of my mates really got too far into it, and that gets worrying.

“I can’t even drink that much at gigs because I have to drive as I am the only one old enough to get insured on the van, but I like to remember what I have done the night before.”

And these boys, who have just released their debut single ‘Halfway Out’ and flew out to Moscow for a one-off gig at the weekend, have had quite a few nights to remember.

Coming to the end of a six week tour they have been all over the country, from “as far north as Leeds and down as far south as Bristol”, supported the likes of Good Shoes, Vincent Vincent And The Villains, and Blood Red Shoes, enjoyed airplay on Radio 1 and XFM and racked up raving reviews for their energetic sets, being compared to everyone from The Zombies to Dirty Pretty Things.

Describing their style, Chris tells me: “We are modern indie pop, with a bit of punk and ska thrown in, and there is the retro 60s element with the hammond organ.

“We have been compared to everybody under the sun. I think its because we are quite different and people find it difficult to pin us down.”

Dave, who is the shier of the two brothers off stage, but exudes the type of addictive confidence and prowess on stage that made music bible NME take note, adds: “We try to avoid the clever Arctic Monkeys style stuff in our lyrics because everybody is doing that, and we don’t want to do love songs, so we write about what we know.

“A lot of people compare us to bands like Supergrass. That’s a band who I would rather be compared to than anyone else.”

Aside from the obvious musical links with Supergrass, there is one more blatant comparison - their hairstyles.

Carrying on the tradition of indie guitar bands having barnets that deserve their own postcodes, all four boys in the band have spectacular locks! When I ask who takes the longest preening themselves, Dave, 23, swiftly drops his older brother in it, before saying: “All three of them are bad, there are always various waxes and even straighteners backstage. I’m the only one that hardly does anything.”

Nobly accepting his vanity, Chris, 26, then offers up that he has even been known to carry a “man-sized can of hairspray” in his bag. Going on to discuss the roles of the other members, Dave explains: “Rik is the one who gets the drunkest and has to be carried home. Rich tends to like eating a lot. If we go out for dinner he’ll always have steak, while we’ll have something really small like a bowl of chips. I think he thinks he has loads of money when he doesn’t, he is the extravagant one. I’m the organiser because somebody has to do it.”

And, as testament to this, Dave quietly points out that the parking ticket on the van is soon to run out and they should head off, leaving time for one just more crucial question - what’s the most embarrassing single in your collection?

“Timmy Mallet,” Chris replies without hesitation. Somehow I can’t see Alex Turner or Johnny Borrell admitting such a heinous crime, but then that’s what makes The Fullertons so appealing, they don’t take themselves too seriously. They are just four lads from Watford doing what they love, and doing it well! The Fullertons play a Live Session on BBC Three Counties Radio on August 1.

For gig listings and further details visit: or