The Tubs

Agent: Mahmood Shaikh


The Tubs are a Welsh boyband who specialize in highly melodic pop music. Their unique ‘Tubbular Sound’ incorporates everything from traditional British folk music to post-punk to pub-rock to Flying Nun-style jangle. Owen “O” Williams (vocals, guitar) and GN (lead guitar), the primary songwriters from the group Joanna Gruesome, formed the band in 2018 following a trip to Llawr-Betws caravan park. After a freak weather event left them trapped in their mobile home, they had no choice but to write some new songs.

The result, after recruiting Wozza Warren (bass) and Matt Green (drums), was Names- an EP which expanded the boundaries of their ‘exuberant, hook stuffed” (Pitchfork) Joanna Gruesome compositions without sacrificing any of that band’s drive or aggression.

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The Tubs also double up as 3/4s of the ‘evil’ Sniffany & The Nits. Despite the Nits’ sonic differences, there’s a similar derangement at play beneath The Tubs’ jangle. Sometimes this erupts as a stray burst of guitar dissonance, a bout of yelling, or some pitched-up chipmunk-style vocal warping. More often it’s found in the lyrics. These are pop tunes about erotomania, groinal rashes, and heinous South London flat odours. Mental illness tends to be a recurrent topic but these songs don’t offer any advice or a particular sense of affirmation, relatability, or hope. If anything, they seem more interested in the ways in which mental illness can turn the sufferer into a petty, annoying arsehole. O Williams explains: “Having a compulsive disorder which makes me go bonkers isn’t my ‘superpower’ or whatever lol… it actually just makes me this irritating guy who smells.”

Gearing up to write their first LP,  the band wanted to produce a record that reflects the diversity of their taste while sounding distinctly Tubbsian throughout. The first tune they came up with, Sniveller (also the first single from Dead Meat) is perhaps their most ambitious to date. Over a Cate Le Bon-inspired guitar groove, Williams careens between trilling folk melodies and unhinged yelping, declaring himself an ‘arselicker’, ‘a bootlicker’, and ‘a snivelling sycophant’. After writing the tune, the band recruited Lan Mcardle (Joanna Gruesome, Ex-Void) to provide backing vocals and notorious synth wizard Gus Beamish (Makeness) to improv over the recording. The second single Dead Meat is a classic Tubs jangler, replete with gorgeous harmonies and lyrics about bin bags, butt cream, and revolting flats, while Wretched Lie sees the band taking a turn towards a gothier, more melancholy sound.

Since releasing the “Names” EP, the band have become a regular presence on the London show circuit – playing with acts such as Porridge Radio, Naima Bock, and Empath.


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