MMU Students Hit the Big Time

Emily Whitehouse

Former MMU students Matthew Whitehouse and Joseph Kondras are living the dream as half of one of the most talked about bands on the Manchester scene. With their melodic tones reminiscent of 80’s indie pop, and smart, classically styled fashion it is no surprise that The Heartbreaks have gained the interest of several large record companies desperate to bring about an old school revival.

Hailing from the seaside town of Morecambe the refreshing four-piece is made up of Matthew Whitehouse (lead vocals), Joseph Kondras (drums), Ryan Wallace (lead guitar) and Chris Deakin (bass guitar). The beautifully phrased poeticism in their lyrics and the simplicity of their Smiths inspired harmonies provide a classic take on English romance, and create a compelling change from the masses of drum and bass we are quite unwillingly subjected to every day.

BBC Radio 6 presenter and all round music mogul Steve Lamacq has played The Heartbreaks on his show several times, deeming them one of his favourite new upcoming bands. Not only this David Sue of the Manchester Evening News has raved about the indie outfit, stating that “all of their songs sound like mini-masterclasses in fizzy pop brilliance, high on passion, wit and melodrama”.

Fresh off their European tour supporting former Smiths frontman Morrissey, no less, and in between recording their hotly anticipated album, due to be released before the end of the year, the band’s lead singer Matthew was good enough to speak to me about their rapid success.

“We wanted to make something people could cherish and I think that desire is reflected in the quality of artwork and the quality of music on both sides. We didn’t want to make something disposable in a culture where music is available like running water. We wanted to make something that would last.”

The band have been commended for their presence on stage Matthew taking on an almost Ian Curtis inspired energy, whilst Joseph’s lively and enthusiastic drumming provides us with not just great music but with one entertaining performance which keeps you enthralled until the very last beat.

Matthew added: “I don’t feel anything when I play…no birds singing, no bells ringing at all… on the contrary, it feels quite normal. The most normal thing in the world. It’s the time off stage that feels like a performance.”

In the last six months the boys have toured with The Pigeon Detectives, former Libertines member Carl Barat and their idol Morrissey. As if this wasn’t enough they are currently accompanying fellow Manchester band Hurts on their European tour and have just announced that they are to support The Ordinary Boys on their reunion tour at the end of the year.

It seems The Heartbreaks are in high demand throughout the music industry and I’m sure their popularity will only increase in the foreseeable future, so catch them before they’re big!

For more information on The Heartbreaks and a list of upcoming gigs, visit:

@theheartbreaks on Twitter 


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