LOCAL rockers The Rising launch their second album Are You Ready to Fly? at The Joiners tonight, in the first of three appearances in Southampton before the end of the year.

The band will present nine tracks, which they recorded at Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire, home to albums by acts like Oasis, Stone Roses and Stereophonics.

After the success of their self-titled debut in 2013, frontman Tommy Overington told The Echo that no one expected their follow-up to take so long.

“Our original plan was to stay with a classic retro sound, but after laying down a couple of tracks at an analogue studio in Hackney, our influences changed to something more contemporary, both in style and production.

“At the same time, we had the first of four sessions at Rockfield, where we recorded three songs, Olympus, Carpet Right and I Want You. In the end, our visits there spanned from autumn 2015 to last summer.

“The album took a long time, but using one of the best studios in the world costs money and, as a self-funded band, we needed to keep gigging in between visits.”

Since completing the album, guitarist Ryan Griffiths, drummer Matt Stanton, bassist Barrie Jarman and singer Emily Blackledge have left the group.

Now, drummer Nathan Jessup, guest vocalist Sophie Naessens and bassist Steve Wadey, who was part of the original line up in 2010, join Tommy and keys player Liam Dixon and guitarist Jimmy Hayes.

“Liam is a big of synths and psychedelic bands like Tame Impala and Temples, and our songs Kaleidoscope Eyes and Carpet Ride were very much written with that sound in mind,” said Tommy.

“At Rockfield, we recorded with the same the Hammond organ that both The Who and Ultravox used, which really blew us away.”

Later this month, the band will support Manchester legends Black Grape at The Engine Rooms on November 30 before an intimate Christmas acoustic show at Heartbreakers on December 23.

“We’ve done in-store gigs and other smaller shows before, so this won’t be the first time we’ve stripped our songs back, but it’s a different dynamic to our usual performance,” explained Tommy.

Despite a busy end to this year, Tommy said the band are not planning on sitting still for long.

“We’re currently talking with promoters to get the album out around the country in 2019,” he said.

Richard Derbyshire