There are a number of young bands who have more than caught my attention recently. Most of these have very impressive frontmen who are the budding stars of the future (not that a frontman is essential in order to be a great band, I will touch on this later). When I say “stars” I don’t mean that their aim is to be written about in the entertainment section of a cheap tabloid by “journalists” who think it’s great to talk about which toothpaste their latest paparazzi victim is currently using. What I actually want to talk about is those who have a PASSION for making music and simply desire to share it with as many people as possible. There is a sufficient difference.
The ones who I find the most interesting are those who have a different outlook and speak with a manner that makes me realize they perceive the world in a unique way. THE ONES WITH IMAGINATION who probably spent a lot of their early childhood reading storybooks and watching cartoons; thus their creative ability is simply second nature to them. They are beginning to tell their own stories now… THE ONES WITH AMBITION who have had some kind of strife in their life and now have a point to prove to the world. Something drives them to make music and perform it because they NEED to otherwise life is dull.
I stood listening to a few young bands this weekend who I quite easily could’ve torn apart with criticism but I didn’t feel the need. What I actually did was listened to their premature songwriting whilst getting inside their head and understanding where they are at. This is when their songs really started to move me because I realized how personal they are to them despite the fact they haven’t yet learned how to write in an advanced style. They haven’t started experiencing the pitfalls of life yet because they are too busy growing up. What they certainly don’t need is anyone creatively interfering with them before they have properly learned their trade. A bit of feedback to help them develop sure, but they can figure the rest out on their own.
This all gets me very excited about how supreme music is going to be in the next 5-10 years. Music will be thriving because once it is accepted that you can’t make music anymore purely with the intention to sell it; then we will begin to see a real movement. The live circuit is already witnessing some of the best acts it has done for a long while and everyone is starting to raise their game. That’s where the money will be for a while now and so unfortunately we will probably see an increase in live band competitions which I can tell you from experience on both sides of the fence – please save yourselves from the disappointment and disheartening outcome it usually brings to a lot of bands. Whilst these events have been quite useful for me; bringing some new enthusiastic bands to my attention I get the feeling bands wise up and remember that making music is not based on winning a prize. Do it the organic way, people will start listening of their own accord when you are great and they will also tell their friends how great you are. This takes time, dedication and perseverance. Stick with it and things will happen for you when you are good enough.
It only takes one person to point out a minor thing and suddenly it can totally change your perspective on what is important. My philosophy for staying on the right track is – EDUCATE YOURSELVES. You don’t need to go to university to be acknowledged as a musician/artist. There is absolutely no harm in doing so but it’s not essential. I never did the latter but I did make sure I educated myself in the meanwhile. Doing it this way you fulfil a more thorough criteria and way of learning. Make mistakes and be sure to learn from them. The musicians/songwriters/bands who progress the fastest are those who are constantly critical of their work whilst also having the ability to take constructive criticism on board.
Fantasist totally blew me away on Friday night. This is one of THE MOST accomplished group of musicians playing together I have seen and that’s after nearly 5 years of working in the business and everything that came before that. I actually got the youtube bug and watched some live footage back online but it’s just not the same. To be fully appreciated this band needs to be seen live because that’s what they are. A REAL LIVE BAND with no pretentious bollocks despite ALL being outstanding instrumentalists.
So as one of my good friends and I stood and watched Fantasist (the last band of the evening) we both analyzed this trio of extreme technicality that faced us. “Why isn’t this band going to dominate the world?” was a question that foxed us both. Despite there being no clear frontman here – each member was equally as vital to the final product of the sound, and the sound was (excuse the pun) fantastic! When the vocals came in they were technically quite good but lacked a little in the soul department – maybe a quick listen to RX Bandits wouldn’t go a miss here to see how it’s done… The songwriting has some room for improvement too but the instrumentation was TRULY AMAZING. These guys absolutely took hold of every second of their performance.
The sound of this band can only be summed up as they’ve built the Lego model using the instructions but now they want to dismantle it and make their own variation. Rather than playing a cheap imitation of the music that inspires them they just play the music they like in a genre defying free-for-all. This could be what holds them back slightly too as I’m not sure how much my attention grasps hold of the recorded version of this music without the strength of a good song. However I’m not doing this band enough justice here – GO AND SEE THEM!
Fantasist play ITC Fringe Festival @ Satan’s Hollow
Thurs 14th Oct
Stage time: 10pm