Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

On the Rise

20 March 2024, 10:00

How a move to Brighton was the catalyst for Bella Union-signed prog-rock trio Plantoid’s evolution.

“There's a kind of a thing of, ‘Move to London if you want to do music or the arts.’ But we’d got a bit sick of London, really,” shrugs Plantoid drummer Louis Bradshaw, reflecting on the band’s decision to escape the capital for Brighton’s creative shores. “As soon as we moved we started to take it a lot more seriously, and here we are.”

“Gave us all a bit of a kick up the arse,” laughs guitarist Tom Coyne from their seaside lounge. It’s a week before the band play a sold-out micro-festival at The Prince Albert, one of the city’s many loved independent venues. Opening the gig, sponsored by Spanish beer and live music champions Son Estrella Galicia and headlined by hyped Welsh quartet Panic Shack, the show marks another highlight in the band’s upward trajectory.

Having signed with esteemed label Bella Union shortly after moving to Brighton, the group released their debut record Terrapath earlier this year. An inventive, dizzying rush of cinematic prog-rock, they celebrated with a sold-out release show at local venue Alphabet. However, the roots of Plantoid took hold much further north, in Lincoln.


Bradshaw and Coyne grew up together in Grimsby, bonding over their love of mid-00s rock and metal. After completing their GCSE’s Bradshaw took a place at Lincoln College while Coyne stayed on for sixth form. “I hated it,” laughs Coyne. “He went to Lincoln, this music college, and was having a great time always saying how good it was, so I joined him in the second year.”

Singer/guitarist Chloe Spence grew up in Brigg, around forty-five minutes north of Lincoln. Joining the college the same year as Coyne, the two paired up for their course. “It was quite cool because part of it was to form bands and then at the end of each term we'd have a gig night where all these bands would perform,” says Coyne. “It gave us the opportunity to experiment in that format, where outside of that maybe we wouldn't have.”

DSC09640 1

Spence and Coyne began to write together at her parent’s farm and together they formed the band Mangö. In the year above, Bradshaw was playing in a different group but stayed friends with Coyne, eventually joining the growing ensemble.

Spence’s formative music tastes were similar to Coyne and Bradshaw. Influenced by her dad, she grew up listening to punk, rock and classic pop. However, once at college the trio found their tastes beginning to expand. “A gateway for me into more eclectic music was listening to Pink Floyd for the first time and being like, woah, this is crazy,” says Coyne.


“Nirvana was basically what got me into music. I mean I just liked rock music, that was my first love, just rock music,” continues Bradshaw. “I guess when we went to college, that's when we started to branch out with our tastes a bit. At least for me. I started to listen to other stuff. When we got to uni, we got heavily into jazz.”

The trio moved to London to study at Bimm, gigging when they had the opportunity. “It felt like a fresh path,” says Bradshaw. But despite releasing their Mangö EP in 2019, the group never really found the right space in the city from which to grow and in September 2021, coming out of the dregs of the pandemic, they relocated to Brighton.

After playing a show on New Year’s Eve, they started 2022 with promise. “A few Bella Union representatives were there, told Simon (Raymonde, label co-founder) about the show,” says Coyne. “He messaged us on Facebook and we were like, that can't be real.”

The band signed shortly after, changing their name to Plantoid. “We'd been wanting to do it for ages, but we never had a good enough reason to properly go through it all,” laughs Bradshaw.

A robot or synthetic organism designed to look, act and grow like a plant, it felt like the perfect word to embody the juxtaposition within their music. “I guess it depicts, in our minds anyway, this kind of marriage of super natural organic playing and live recordings,” says Coyne.

The sentiment is mirrored in their album artwork. Created using AI and adapted by Spence’s own hand, it depicts a War of the Worlds style space-fauna. “It's not like the kind of thing you really want to be crowing about, but it was just so fitting. Someone came to Chloe at her work and typed our band name into this thing and that's what came up. Everyone just loved it. I feel like it just played out for us. It was serendipitous,” says Bradshaw.

“In a way, it just worked with what the band meant to us as well, this kind of hybrid of artificial intelligence and then actually reworking it so it’s this marriage of human existence and nature,” continues Coyne.


It’s the perfect illustration of Terrapath, a record that brings together dynamic playing with captivating, otherworldly soundscapes. Tracks like previous single “Pressure” clash brooding verses against direct and explosive chorus with wide-ranging influence, while interlude “G.Y. Drift” is a cleverly constructed journey of chaos that showcases the band’s formidable musicianship and confident playfulness.

Produced by the band’s longtime collaborator Nathan Ridley at Hermitage Work Studios in North London, they felt free to push their boundaries. “He's a very charismatic person to work with,” smiles Coyne. “All of his passion, he just kind of shoves towards you.”

Opening SON Estrella Galicia’s micro-festival this weekend at Brighton’s Prince Albert, the group are looking forward to playing in front of a sold-out audience in what’s becoming a tradition for their hometown shows. “It’s probably one of my favourite venues to play, to be honest. It's nice and sweaty,” smiles Coyne. “Panic Shack are doing great things as well, so that's gonna be a good show to watch.”

Plantoid play SON Estrella Galicia’s micro-festival at The Prince Albert in Brighton on 23 March, alongside Panic Shack, with DJ sets from Kike Louie, Lee Petryszyn and Henry WP. Tickets are onsale now.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next