London calling for Velvet Audio

A NORTH East band is destined for success after a London record producer spotted them at a gig.

Velvet Audio jet off to London later this month to audition for recording giants EMI, the label responsible for launching the careers of artists Robbie Williams, The Killers, Echo & the Bunnymen and The Choral.

The Three-piece band, who describe their music as ‘grindie’ - a combination of grunge and indie - hope that the audition represents the big break that they have been working towards.

Peterhead boys Daniel ‘Coxy’ Cox (21), and brothers Ross (21), and Grant Graham (16), started playing together just 18 months ago but have been practising almost non-stop to perfect their unique sound.

The band lists the Stone Roses, Paul Weller, Jimi Hendrix, The Verve and Radiohead among their inspiration and say that music industry big wigs have found it difficult to categorise them.

“We’re very diverse,” says Peterhead Academy pupil Grant, “A lot of promoters haven’t known how to classify us. They’ve tried putting us into indie, heavy metal and even folk line-ups but our sound is unique.”

A year ago, the band were emailing every producer in Scotland looking for a gig but nowadays, the industry is seeking them out.

Ross’s girlfriend Chelsea Mennie (20), has been driving the boys all round the UK over the past few months, getting them to gigs in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as all around the North-East of Scotland.

“We’ve been playing gigs every weekend this year,” says Daniel, who plays bass and works as a financial planner at Peterhead’s Strachan’s Partnership, “We made it down to London and back in a day although we ended up having to sleep in a Morrisons car park!”

Their passion and determination is obvious as they thrill audiences at Aberdeen’s Tunnels nightclub on Friday, July 29.

“To describe as us music enthusiasts would be a huge understatement,” says lead singer and electric guitarist Ross, “Our lives revolve around music.”

The boys practice together almost every night and say that parents and friends have been great in supporting their dream of making it big.

Despite only being together a short time, Ross says that the band are “tight” and point out that rockers Muse and Rage Against the Machine put out an amazing sound with just three members.

The boys grew up with music, with fifth year pupil Grant learning to play the drums after receiving a kit for Christmas a few years ago.

Songwriter Ross, who is studying for a qualification in sound engineering at Aberdeen College, says that he draws inspiration for the band’s songs from experiences in his own life.

He said: “Writing lyrics is a great way to express what you are feeling.”

Girlfriend Chelsea adds: “You only need to listen to the songs Ross writes to understand what he is thinking.”

Velvet Audio have recently finished recording their first self-funded album at Floortom Studios in Clola and hope that their August 17 meeting with EMI will put them on track to success.

Daniel’s uncle Alex Wyllie added: “Velvet Audio are spot on. They’ve definitely got what it takes.”

Music fans can find Velvet Audio on Facebook.