BACARDI Rum/The List Unsigned Scottish Band Search
The night before
Having ripped our way through Glasgow, and several cases of BACARDI Rum, our search for the next band destined to be bigger than labba The Hut takes us ever onwards and upwards to Aberdeen. Words: Jonathan Trew
'lt's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n’ roll', according to AC/DC. Fortunately, it‘s not a particularly long way up to Aberdeen if you wanna rock 'n' roll at the next heat of the BACARDI Rum/The List band search shindig.
The number of tapes that came flooding in from north of the Central Belt, and outside The List's core area, was overwhelming. A large 'Thanks very much' is due to everyone for their support and especially Northsound's Jim Gellatly. We look forward to seeing Jim as a judge at the event
The tapes varied wildly in quality and style. Curiously, and as a very rough rule of thumb, the further north the address on the entries, the heavier the musical style. Obviously, not everybody who entered could go forward to the heats but we think we’ve picked
the cream of the crop across a range of genres. Better luck next time to those who didn‘t go through. Try again next year Those who did strike lucky will be lighting up Aberdeen's Lemon Tree on Friday 14 March. Six bands will be taking part and one will be going forward to the finals, in with a chance to win large quantities of dosh, recording equipment, studio time and bucketloads of CDs, courtesy of those
deep-pocketed folk at BACARDI Rum, Sound Control and Parklane Studios.
The bands competing comprise Bagsy, Chair, Easy, Tantrum, The Dawntreaders and Amoeba Red. Bagsy have been kicking around the gig circuit in the north east since 1994. A three-piece with a penchant for melodic guitar pop, they count A-Ha, Huey Lewis And The News and Gary Glitter among their influences. They are also fluent and amusing liars when it comes to describing their musical mentors.
Chair have been together for more time than it took The Stone Roses to get their second album laid down. In the topsy-turvy world of the biz they call music, this means that they are coming up for their 500th anniversary in rock years. Regular visitors to The Lemon Tree, they claim an affinity to the likes of The Human League and The Pet Shop Boys.
The Dawntreaders are well kent faces on the Scottish gig circuit who have garnered airplay on the Radio One Roadshow, toured the former USSR and been invited to play in Boston in the US of A. Hardened veterans of TV, radio and the print media, they probably don’t need me to tell you
Win money, fame and rock 'n' roll notoriety with BACARDI Rum and The List
As to five-piece Easy, they've been belting out indie pop/melodic rock for the last eighteen months and are keen on the likes of Paul Weller, U2 and a little-known combo called The Beatles. We think they sound an eensy-weensy bit like another little known combo who come from Manchester and who also profess an admiration for the Liverpudlian foursome.
Tantrum sound like they come from another planet, all ethereal melodies, looped samples and chiming guitars. MCA were so impressed by their first demo tape that they funded their second . . . stardom beckons?
Local heroes Amoeba Red are no strangers to The Lemon Tree having sold the place out last August. About as popular as free bevvy around Aberdeen, the five members of the band produce a driving rock that's shot through with Liz Mowat's acrobatic vocals. A top night out for all concerned is on the cards, especially since BACARDI Rum and a mixer is being given away at £1 a throw.
Aberdeen: The Lemon Tree, Fri 14 Mar.
The morning after
The Cathouse was packed to the rafters, the BACARDI Rum flowed like water and six bands took the roof off. The only difficult part was picking one clear winner. Here are those results in full. Words: Jonathan Trew
The event was the first heat of the BACARDI Rum/The List Unsigned Scottish Band search. The five judges' task was to decide which band from six should go through to the national final in Glasgow on Thursday 8 May and compete for the whopping prizes put up by BACARDI Rum, Sound Control and Parklane Studios. No one said it was going to be easy but no one thought that it would be quite as hard as it turned out to be. The standard was that high.
La Boum were the first to beguile the capacity audience with their seamless blend of sounds from all over the globe. Imagine a Jamaican street carnival that’s been infiltrated by a band of West African troubadours with a brass section and you’re halfway there. Throw in a bit of atmospheric
dub, alternating male/female vocals and more percussive instruments than you can shake a drumstick at and you have one very slinky beast to contend with.
Next up were The Goldenhour, five imposing lads who laid down a barrage of three tracks that were as hard, fast and sharp as their togs. It was powerful stuff, full-blooded but not afraid of the occasional burst of backing harmonies or the generous use of hearty melodies.
Kite Monster followed on with their take on the indie guitar squall. Whether striking a stop/start rhythm, alternating quiet‘and raucous periods or deftly building up dense guitar fields into ballsy storms, Kite Monster demonstrated a convincing grasp of what makes adrenalin flow.
Bosley contrasted with every other contender by not having a single lead guitar in sight. Male and female vocals contrasted articulately over heavy subterranean beats while a bass guitar picked out a sinuous sway. Think Tricky crossed with the Stereo MCs.
Now moothies are always welcome in a band and Catcher used theirs to good effect on 'Walkabout’. Backed up with a solid rhythm section and spiralling guitars, they produced a driving brand of rock.
The Small Gentlemen rounded off the competition with some superbly choppy guitars, a strong sense of what makes a tune, catchy riffs and a knack for turning discord into melody. The icing on the Gentlemen's cake was a
Winners ofthe Glasgow heat. The Goldenhour share a smile with compere Ewan MacLeod
nice line in patter from the Paisley boys.
The judges' decision finally went in The Goldenhour's favour. When Ewan MacLeod, fast-talking MC for the night, asked them how they wanted to be introduced they replied, 'Just say: "Here's tonight's winners." Oasis don't have a monopoly on being lippy. You could call it prematurely cocky or you could call it self-belief, either way it translated as a riveting stage presence. They played with the extreme precision that's born of long practice but with a passion that was as vigorous as a slap in the face. Delicate when necessary
yet capable of being bruising, The Goldenhour validated their arrogance and won £100 for their efforts as well as a crack at the glittering prizes of the final. Well done.
Bosley were the runners-up and pocketed a cheque for £50. The judges were impressed by their energy and innovative approach to performance. Upfront and in your face, they managed to be provocative and pant-shaking simultaneously. No mean feat.
All in all, it was an action-packed evening and a healthy pat on the back is due for all the bands involved.
7-20 Mar 1997 TllEUS‘Nl