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Interview: Band Of The Week – Circus

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I have been asked to do a feature on the new band Circus for for Blogcritics. I thought it would be a good idea to remind you what I said about the band previously in my column.

Circus Demo: Having waxed poetic about Circus live, you might probably think that the young lads would not translate that well onto demo CD. Well overall it does lack some of the amazing punch and pace of the band live. However when you hear 'Lady Margaret' with all pomp and presence that the band can muster.

It was rather clever that they left this gorgeous track until last. The entire rest of this demo is lead-up to this track, which should be enough to get them a deal by itself. Not that the rest of the tracks are at all bad from the cracking Prince-fuelled 'All 4 the Fight' right to the end. Its amazing stuff there is no other way of putting it.

And on their live form I said:

Now there has been a lot of buzz about these lads coming from various directions. My band-mate John got a copy of their demo while at another event a few weeks ago. The style of the band is a mix of Scissor Sisters, if they did metal and were straight, Queen at their heaviest, with a mix of Extreme at their funkiest, with a frontman (Sid Batham) who reminds you of either Prince while on guitar or Elton on piano. Sid is very much a classic frontman who gives it his all, and a rather good singer as well. The band combines all this and adds a touch of power metal rifferama.  They are as tight as a Scot's wallet and professional way beyond their years.

Their bassist had only been with them for three weeks but it was hard to tell. The band have attracted some impressive people around them and have that special something that should take them all the way.

Kim, Perry Benson, and I all wished we had a record label that night as we would have signed them up on the spot. "Lady Margaret" has huge hit written all over it. If you get a chance to see these Norwich lads, do everything you can to see them. Then you can tell all your friends you knew them before they were huge. They are the best unsigned band going in the UK right now… of that there is no doubt.

I had a chance to interview the lads and find out what makes them tick. It makes for an interesting read and shows just how with it this bunch of lads seem to be.

All that have heard you, including me, have their ideas of who you were influenced by. Who were you influenced by?

Prince and the Revolution! Queen, Aero smith, Steve Wonder, Scissor Sisters, Dream Theater, Hendrix, Lenny Kraits, Steve Wonder, Muse, Michael Jackson, … oh and Extreme and Elton John.

Describe to those who have not heard you yet what you sound like?

Actually we’d like to think there are shades of all the above – but with our own funky twist! We don’t try to be like anybody else but I guess as a band we reflect a combination of the styles of artists we like. Our roots are certainly in rock music – and hopefully what we add to that creates our own unique funky Circus sound!

How did all of you get into music and how young did you start playing?

Our parents are all into music, so we were all introduced to it from a young age and started playing when we were 8 or 9 years old. In high school we started to take it more seriously, playing in various bands, and by the end of high school we knew that music was right up there at the top of things we wanted to do for a living. Now we’re all working real hard to make this happen; both with the band and in our education.

Does headlining a gig with bands older than you below you on the bill intimidate you?

No we love it! It’s fantastic to get the opportunity to play alongside more established acts – but we love to headline, because when the pressure is on we just rock harder. We feel privileged to have been given the chance to headline by Tourdates so big thanks to them. It is often hard for young bands to get gigs because of the licensing laws and it’s a shame there aren’t more venues around that welcome young bands!

Do you think the British mainstream music scene has room for you?

There is always room for something new, fresh and original! Too many bands seem to focus on covers or copying what is popular, but we write songs that we like, tracks that we want to listen to and just try and do our own thing and be new and creative. Obviously we have our influences – but we don’t think we sound like anyone else at the moment – and that’s something we’re proud of.

Are you frustrated you have not been signed yet?

We appreciate that it takes time to find the right deal – really we’re only just starting out as a band. We’ve come a long way in a short space of time and we’re getting better every day and can’t wait to show our capabilities. If we keep playing, especially good music venues like Bar Monsta in Camden and the Borderline good things will happen!

Would you care if you were only big in Japan or Germany or the US and not the UK?

We’d like to be worldwide, but the UK is our home country so we’d like to have some success here. The UK really knows its rock music and has a long history of brilliant bands so with that kind of heritage, we hope there will be plenty of people in the UK who’ll like what we’re doing. But that’s not to say that other countries aren’t important. The rock scene in Japan has really taken off in recent years, for example – and of course, achieving recognition in the USA is always a biggie … so yeah, we’re aiming for global domination! That’s for the longer term. For now, we’ll be made up just to gig regularly in London and other key UK cities, to build up our fanbase.

What do you think of what is currently in mode on the radio?

A bit saggy and bland to be honest, but occasionally there’s something funky on! Sometimes Radio seems afraid of giving new styles of music a chance on mainstream shows. The live shows on Radio 1, for example, sometimes have some good new bands on but they rarely make it onto the day time playlist, and listening to the same stuff over and over again and so much of the popular music at the moment is depressing. It’s gotta be time for something new fun and Funky – and we’re sure we can put smiles back on people’s faces.

Do others your age respect you for what you are doing?

Very much so, we’re very close to our fans and try to keep in contact with them as much as possible. It means a lot to us that so many of our class mates at college and other people our own age have taken an interest in what we’re doing and have been very supportive and turned up to our gigs! So thank you to all of them. We take a professional approach to our music so I think people of all ages can respect and relate to that.

Are your parents 100% supportive?

150% supportive! They are amazing, and support us whenever they can by coming to gigs, helping us with new equipment and letting us practice at home! We can’t thank them enough. They are the ones responsible for getting us involved in music – so we really owe them everything.

As you would expect they have a myspace page and are actively touring to get their name out. This is a band that should be huge very soon. Head to their site and check things out so you can say you knew em’ way back when. If you happen to be able to see them live, see them as soon as you can. You will not be disappointed.

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About Marty Dodge

  • http://mondoproject.com Mark Saleski

    interesting marty. while listening to some tunes of theirs on the myspace page, it occured to me that this band has a lot of attributes of what was officially dumped on as “arena rock” back in the day.

    i like ’em!

  • http://www.andrewiandodge.com Marty Dodge

    Yes, even in the smallest venue they do come across as “arena rock” that is for sure. It ain’t nostalgia of course as none of them have been around long enough to remember in its zenith.