Liberty Belle and the Union Boys
Gig Seeker Pro

Liberty Belle and the Union Boys

Borough of Queens, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Borough of Queens, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"A 'southern belle' in the Southern Tier"

A ‘southern belle’ in the Southern Tier
Release interviews campus band 'Liberty Belle and the Union Boys'


Tyler Constance/Staff Photographer

From losing a member to scoring gigs at Cyber Cafe West, student band Liberty Belle and the Union Boys have faced many ups and downs in the past year. The alternative/hard rock trio features “Southern Belle” Laura Keim, a junior majoring in music, on bass and lead vocals, alongside Union Boys Andrew Williamson, a graduate student studying business, on vocals and drums and Harrison Teich, an undeclared freshman, on guitar. The trio opened this semester with a Late Nite show in the Undergrounds, illuminating the stage with glowing drumsticks and head-banging solos.

Release: Your guitarist left the project recently. What made you want to continue after losing an integral member?

Andrew Williamson: The music goes on. Me and [ex-guitarist] Graham [Mentis] talked about it, and he was fine with us continuing. He said he would help us find people to replace him and offered to teach them the songs.

Laura Keim: I want to pursue music in the future. Music is like my whole everything, and to me this band isn’t just for fun — it’s practice for when I do this for real. Graham understood that and it just wasn’t his thing, which is fine. It was sad losing him, but we got back up and we’re going strong.

R: Has Binghamton’s music scene changed how you play or think about playing live music?

LK: I think in a certain way, because at home I had an extremely strong following — my dad’s a music teacher and runs his own business. So every show I did, my dad and his entire business would show up and it’d be great, but coming here it was like I had to start from scratch. I hate to say I’m a daddy’s girl, but my dad was always there to support me, and when I came here all of a sudden, I was alone and I had to think differently about performing. It’s definitely made me grow a lot as a musician, and I think about music differently now because it’s all about keeping people engaged when you play live because if you don’t, well, they’re gonna come to Late Nite for the free chips and walk away, go take a bus Downtown and get drunk at frats. So we’re constantly thinking about keeping transitions short between songs, and saying interesting stuff between songs to keep the audience engaged.

R: What do you wish could be different about the music scene here? Is it welcoming enough for new bands?

LK: I wish it was easier to get people to shows. Honestly, there are plenty of opportunities to get shows on campus like Late Nite and club stuff like WHRW [90.5 FM], BUMP (Binghamton Underground Music Presents), Frost Fest and Spring Fling, but it’d be cool if we could get more students to be aware. B-line and Facebook are a good way to get us out there and get people to come out to shows. I think the scene is welcoming for new bands but intimidating. Last semester, we played the Battle of the Bands and nobody knew us and it was really intimidating at first.

AW: It can be kinda terrifying, but it worked out well for us.

LK: We’re moving our shows Downtown, making our way. We really like playing house shows because they’re fun and a lot of people come out to see the bands play.

R: In what way has working at the WHRW radio station shaped your band?

LK: I would not have this band without WHRW. I met Andrew there and we played together one night and I played him one of our songs called “B.D.” and he loved it and then we started this band. And Harrison was an apprentice so we also met him at WHRW, so funny how it all worked out.

R: Laura, you study music at Binghamton University. How have you taken what you’ve learned about composition into writing rock music?

LK: Composition-wise, not at all, but I take voice lessons here and I’ve learned a lot. It’s opera, so I’ve learned a lot of technique and applied it to rock singing. It’s great, I don’t get tired, I don’t need to breathe and I’ve got a lot of power now when I sing.

AW: I actually majored in music, and I did put some of what I learned into what I play. I was learning some really weird conceptual stuff in class, like “make the drums sound like falling down stairs,” and I’ve incorporated some of it into my own work and some with Liberty Belle and the Union Boys.

R: Lastly, any non-musical influences?

LK: All my songs I write about are about my life and my friends’ lives, so it’s extremely emotional. Sometimes I feel like my audience knows me so well and I have no idea who they are. The people in the audience know everything about me and they feel it. It’s all heart and feelings. It’s genuine.

AW: That’s the best part about us, I feel like it’s real. When Laura shows me a new song, I connect with it and it’s not just because we’re best friends; it’s like I can see into her and the people who listen to our music can see into her, and I think it makes us very accessible and I think people like that.

Liberty Belle and the Union Boys will be playing at Fitzie’s Irish Pub on March 22 and at Cyber Cafe West on April 5. They plan to put out their debut album in the near future. - B.U. Pipe Dream

"‘Same Love’ singer Mary Lambert serenades campus"

‘Same Love’ singer Mary Lambert serenades campus

In a moving and emotional performance, Mary Lambert sang her heart out on Tuesday evening for an awestruck group of Binghamton University students. The 90-minute set left much of the audience in silence and, in many cases, tears.

Since her vocal work was sampled in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ hit “Same Love,” Lambert has been rapidly rising in fame, releasing her EP “Letters Don’t Talk,” traveling on tour with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and even performing at the 2013 Video Music Awards. The Seattle-based singer focuses on issues like body image, sexuality and sexual abuse. But despite the sad nature of her material, Lambert’s optimistic and bright personality was showcased through her stage presence and honesty with the crowd.

Donning a black, multicolored print dress, Lambert stood before the onstage piano and introduced herself with an inviting smile.

“I’m going to cry at you and sing some songs. My name is Mary Lambert,” she said.

Her performances are known for their openness with the audience, and she encourages the audience to cry with her during concerts. Lambert said that she loves smaller shows because they are “so intimate, I can make eye contact. I can look at people while they’re crying.”

She began the show, which was co-sponsored by the Rainbow Pride Union, the Equality Project, SHADES and the Student Association Programming Board, with three original songs. One was “Forget Me,” the second track on “Letters Don’t Talk.” Students were captivated by her strong lyrics, beautiful voice and the sheer sincerity of her performance.

“I was surprised,” said Jamila Gordon, a sophomore majoring in psychology. “I really didn’t listen to her before, but after today I definitely see her as a true artist. She was able to touch the crowd.”

Only two hours before she took the stage, Lambert requested to use a practice room to write a new song, which she debuted at the concert.

“We led her into the Fine Arts Building … she wrote a song in an hour,” said Donald Lodge, director of RPU and a senior double-majoring in political science and Chinese. “She said she was inspired by the snow in Binghamton.”

In addition to her musical success, Lambert is an accomplished spoken word poet, having released a book in January entitled “500 Tips for Fat Girls.” When she shared the poem “I Know Girls (Body Love),” you could hear a pin drop within the crowd, mesmerized by the emotion so plainly expressed on her face.

“I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes I think you’re holding me … know that I’m holding you in my heart,” said Lambert after reading the piece.

This type of bond between the audience and performer is rare, and students enjoyed the opportunity to relate with Lambert in such a way.

“I thought it went really well,” Lodge said. “I noticed in the front, a lot of people were crying, just crying with her. People really enjoyed it.”

After the concert, Lambert spoke to Release about the influence of music on our ability to understand other people.

“I believe in the power of vulnerability,” Lambert said. “I believe it has the power to change society. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, there is the greatest opportunity for human connection.”

Opening for Mary Lambert was Laura Keim, a junior majoring in music. Keim began with a cover of Melissa Etheridge’s “Like The Way I Do,” followed by a few originals. Keim got the chance to open for Lambert through a contest run by RPU.

“She was amazing obviously, she was very, very real,” Keim said. “She displays all her emotion. I admire that because I’m a songwriter also. I feel like I’m really vulnerable with my music, and it’s nice to get to know someone in the same way.”

Lambert closed the show with an encore of her most famous song, “She Keeps Me Warm,” which was received with loud and enthusiastic applause. After the performance, she stayed to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

Approximately 160 tickets were sold for that evening, with $1 from every ticket sold going to the Identity Youth Center in Downtown Binghamton, a place for kids to go for help when they are struggling with their identity. In all, the event was a milestone for RPU and a moving experience for those who attended.

“It was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a really long time,” said Devyn Savitsky, a junior double-majoring in psychology and history. “I’m like, super emotional. I have a ton of homework, but I’m going to go home and write music instead.” - B.U. Pipe Dream


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...

Band Members