Road to France: Lincs’ answer to the economic downturn

With the likes of La Roux, Little Boots and MGMT gracing the charts, the synth sound has once again found itself back in the limelight. And while the Lincolnshire music scene has managed to keep up when indie, punk and metal all recieved a massive boom, the county’s talent had yet to deliver on the synth front — up until now that is.


Proving that Lincolnshire’s synth are alive and well are Joe Fitzmaurice, John Lowe, Emma Lundy, Colin Barstow and Daniel Thomas, together known as Road to France.

Road to France are Lincolnshire’s answer to the economic downturn, not literally of course. The band possess a sound that could make even the most sombre banker smile. Imagine a love child between Hello Goodbye, Busted, Cher and Nintendo; only better, much better and you are somewhere in the region of the sound achieved by Road To France.

Pop/punk guitar riffs and auto-tuned vocals sit underneath the enigmatic 8-bit synth. This is without doubt the happiest music to come out the country, let alone the regional. “ We try our best to make each other laugh” says guitarist John.

Road to France came out of nowhere, first gaining notoriety when their first track ‘Hollywood’ was played on the Introducing show on BBC Lincolnshire. From there, founding members Colin Barstow and John Lowe turned themselves into hermits, concentrating on follow-up tracks, rather than getting into the laborious process of gigging.

“We seemed to cursed ourselves with our original band. So we decided to tell no one” says vocalist Colin referring to the decision to concentrate on music rather than gig.

However it has been a decision that has worked in their favour, as through radio play, social media and plain word of mouth the band have built up a following often associated with experienced local acts.

The turnaround since ‘Hollywood’ has been quick, but the band’s origins are far removed from their signature synth. Think Locust or Dillinger Escape Plan, bands somewhere in the region of how Road To France could have ended up. If those names mean nothing, then imagine a sound based on noise, noise and more noise. But how does such a vast change in sound come about given the influences?

“We wrote Hollywood for a laugh” says Colin “I must write two or three songs every day, when John comes over it turns into a mess about.” “I guess it was the comedy that transitioned easily into Hollywood”, adds John. That comedy element has also transitioned well into the bands other tracks, notably ‘Deep Sea Monsters’, ‘We Are Fine’’ and ‘Get A Job’ which bounce along with the same pop/punk/synth vibe.

Road to France are heading into the studio to record their debut EP, intended for release in August.

For news, upcoming gigs and tracks, check out their MySpace page.

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