Festival season is coming and Leicester’s own star independent event, Handmade Festival, is soon to hit the O2 Academy on 5 & 6 May. A whole host of the best musical talent will be hitting the town and one of those talents will be Halifax wunderkinds Sidonie, Esme and Henry of The Orielles.

Not just performing at the event, the trio will take over the official Handmade Festival app during the festival. Made with London-based developers Second Screen, the app will act as attendees’ main go-to for news, line-up and behind-the-scenes content on the weekend.

Handmade and Second Screen will capture otherwise-unseen videos and photographs of Esme, Sidonie and Henry during the festival, which will be available to view on the app as the festival is in full swing.

Ahead of the festival we caught up with Sidonie to ask some questions about what they’ve been up to this spring, the bands they’ve been hanging out with, and playing The Cookie in Leicester.

How has the first Euro tour been going?
Amazingly well thank you! It’s been better than we could have ever imagined to be honest. Being our first time touring outside of the UK we were a little apprehensive about the whole thing and afraid that not many people would come out, but we’ve been surprised at how busy each show has been. 

What have you managed to see of culture and nightlife out there?
Unfortunately, the long drives in between countries/cities leaves little time to explore much of the culture, however we’ve been getting a good taste for the nightlife ha! It’s been super nice as we’ve met a lot of cool people and also a lot of friends out here so every night has been different and exciting.

 For example, when we played in Brussels, the venue was also hosting The Wombats, The Magic Gang and Findlay so it was a proper Brits Abroad situation! We went to a bar lock-in with Findlay after the show which was fun. They’re sick people and we miss them already!

The night after in Utrecht The Magic Gang stalked us again and we hung out after our shows. We had lots of laughs and a good boogie. We actually had a good chunk of the following day to explore Utrecht a little bit as our next show was only a short drive away. We’ve decided it’s our new favourite city: very pretty and calm and offers the same as Amsterdam, minus the tourists. 

We also had three days off in-between our Berlin and London shows so decided to hang out in Berlin for a while which was nice because it gave us time to chill and properly look around the city. The weather was also perfect whilst we were there.

Any stories from tour?
Yeah we have loads of stories! But I think one that we’ll remember fondly is having two fans (now dear friends) hop in the van with us from Brussels to Amsterdam. They’d come from Cardiff and told us that they were planning to hitch a ride from Brussels to Amsterdam for our next show. We thought it would be daft not to offer them a lift seeing as we were heading that way anyway! They were true angels. Big love George and Tara! 

How has the album been received by live audiences so far?
It’s been great! It seems like since the album has come out, there’s been a noticeable rise in fans and the reception has been truly mind-blowing and surreal. It’s also cool seeing which tunes have been gaining the most reaction and is interesting how this differs between countries. 

How different is playing to festival crowds than gig crowds?
I guess the main difference is the fact that at festivals, people aren’t always there to watch you so you have to be kind of selective with which songs you play. All killer no filler kind of set. It is fun at festivals though because it’s so easy to discover new music and check out loads of new and exciting bands. 

What are you most looking forward to about festival season?
We’re really looking forward to seeing some old friends again. Festival season is one of the only times of year where you see bands you have met at previous festivals etc and so it’s dead nice all meeting up in a field again! Also hoping for some better weather this year. We were so unlucky last year; every festival that we played at happened to rain 🙁

Have you guys been to Leicester before?
We have! We played at The Cookie around a year ago but we’ve never really had the chance to stay out long in Leicester as we’ve always been staying in a hotel outside of the centre so will be nice to catch a few bands at Handmade Festival! 

Handmade Festival takes places at the O2 Academy on 5 & 6 May with acts including Drenge, Circa Waves, Little Comets, Future of The Left and many more. Tickets are on sale now.