The three members of the band The Pleasure Dome
Credit: The Pleasure Dome

In Conversation: The Pleasure Dome

Welsh-born Bristol-based three-piece The Pleasure Dome will release their new EP Liminal Space on 10 May. This week they shared the latest single from the EP ‘Your Fucking Smile’, following ‘The Duke Part II Friends & Enemies’. We took the time to find out more, and plans for the future with vocalist and guitarist Bobby Spender.

It’s been a turbulent time for The Pleasure Dome since the debut album Equinox was released in September 2023, particularly with the departure of two band members. Can you share just how important creativity is in tough times?
Yeah, it’s not been plain sailing since our debut record came out, but even before that really. People can come and go. Basically, the band has always been me (Bobby), making demos and songs and recruiting musicians, usually my pals, or friends of friends to help to play them. Harry for example is our fifth drummer. Life just gets in the way sometimes. I’m excited for the future because new musicians mean new ways of thinking. This new line-up gets people dancing, crowd surfing and smiling. To me, we feel better now than ever and that’s all that matters to me. The band always grows, as I grow. The energy stays the same, the attitude, the vision. We have a bigger ensemble in mind for upcoming gigs, which will help us realise a bigger sound…

How did you recruit Loz Fancourt (bass and backing vocals) and Harry Flowers (drums)?
Loz and I lived together for years before the band. We’re roughly the same age (34 & 35) and when I made the choice to start singing some of the songs I’d written, which I’d never done before, my ex told him because I was didn’t want to show anyone my songs. He demanded in and naturally came onto bass. We met Harry at a gig following the departure of our last drummer and he came along for the ride.

Were the songs for the new EP Liminal Space already written before they joined? How did the recording process go?
Well I wrote the EP in between our album being recorded and released, so around 6 months. With our drummer leaving it felt like these songs belonged together as a moment in time. The recording was rapid, we did it all in 2 days. It was strange after being in a studio for 7 days to record our album. We’ve always been quick but this was a whirlwind, it feels apt for what the record represents – a vignette of a stage of transition for the band.

What can we expect from Liminal Space as a whole?
There’s something for everyone, even a delta blues number about sugar.

Was there a point when you thought The Pleasure Dome would be no more? And so just how thrilled are you with the production of an EP?
Honestly, I’ve thought about that a lot during the last 5 years. Being in a band is tough, but the music is something I can’t walk away from. It’s my life. We have a really supportive label behind us and I’m proud of this EP. It feels like a statement of where we are taking the band. We’ve stepped away from being pigeonholed by specific genre, it opens the door for what we want to do next. The record was produced by our good friend James Trevascus, who has been working with us since the start. He wasn’t in the studio for the album, only mixing it. It was great to be able to record with him, he has a way of calming us down and getting the best performance out of us.

You played at the God Save Clermont Festival in France at the beginning of April. Was that the first time with the new line-up? How did it go?
It was really fun, but not the first time no. We played some secret gigs under the band name The Supermodels, which is a loose anagram of The Pleasure Dome. The crowd was electric, 3 crowd surfers is a good barometer for a fun show – along with a beer-soaked pedal board. Thankfully I only lost two to that French elixir.

The Pleasure Dome play in London on the 16th May and then a hometown gig in Bristol at the Louisiana 17th May. Is it possible to even describe how good that gig is going to feel?
Well as I mentioned, we’ll be playing with an extended line-up, so it’ll sonically be the biggest we’ve ever sounded which I’m really excited for. The Louis is a legendary venue, and it’s the first venue we ever sold out. It’s a special place for us. It’s somewhere I’ve seen a lot of gigs, and I love to play that stage.

London is a funny one. We love going there but I’m a countryside boy, London scares me a bit. I’d never gone until the band came along. Loz used to live there so gets it, but I can find it quite… Impossible. Should be fun though, regardless. We’re playing with some friends The Bureau De Change, a new band with our friends from the now defunct Byker Grove Fan Club. We did a very fun tour with them in 2022 I think it was, they’re great and I am dead excited to see them.

Any other plans in the pipeline for 2024 you’d like to share?
Well, it would be rude to tease… But writing for the second album is underway. Also, a nice big sit-down is in order. Maybe a holiday, I hear the beaches calling and the mountains beckon.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.