U.K. rock act Grand National will make its North American live debut in March, with one appearance confirmed for the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and another being eyed for New York. The duo recently wrapped its first full U.K. tour in support of its debut album, “Kicking the National Habit,” released in the territory by BBC Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank’s Sunday Best label.
“There’s always the cliche about how it’s impossible to break America, so we’re taking it day by day,” Da Bank tells Bilboard.com. “We’ve had success in England, but it’s still building. Australia has gone mad for it. America is obviously a crucial territory.”
To be sure, Grand National’s sound, which dusts groove-rooted rock with clever samples and a dash of pre-“Synchronicity” Police, seems primed for embracing by North American audiences. The group has enjoyed early airplay here thanks to West Coast DJs like Nic Harcourt and Jason Bentley, and has posted promising import sales at outlets like New York’s Virgin Megastore.
To that end, Sunday Best is in the process of negotiating a North American major-label licensing agreement for “Kicking the National Habit” and a separate distribution deal for its three other acts. “We feel North America wants our music at the moment,” says Da Bank’s manager, Ben Turner. “We think Grand National, especially, could take off there, and that the band belongs on a major.”
For now, fans can get a taste of Grand National on Sasha’s latest Global Underground album, “Involver,” which features his remix of the “Kicking the National Habit” track “Talk Amongst Yourselves.”
“Their songs have a timeless quality,” Da Bank enthuses. “The good thing is, they’re not this kind of trendy band that will just be around for 10 minutes. As I speak, they’re writing the second album. Although the first record has been out for a fair awhile, this is really just the start of the whole project worldwide.”