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Quirky Unsigned Bands


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Me and a couple of mates have been organising an "Anti-Festival" to coincide with the Jersey Live Festival this September, featuring the quirkiest and least likely to get signed bands in Jersey.

So far we've got: my band Fish Whiskey, who are intentionally as unlistenable as possible. One of our songs involves one band member, Ciaran, standing on the stage hitting a tamborine at random and yelling "FLOOR TILES!" for a minute and a half, and we play a grindcore cover of Prince Charming. It's all good stuff.

The Wizard & The Frog - Fans of my diaries will be familiar with Elvis J. Healey: This is one of his current bands, and will be their final gig. It involves Elvis J Healey dressed as a wizard on guitar and a drummer in a frog costume (The Frog). Initially that was it (hence the name), and the drummer only had one snare and a bass drum, but they have since grown to include a full drum-kit, as well as The Spacemaster on bass, The Viking on keyboards and The Fairy on trombone. They play Syd Barrett-style psychadelic folk with ridiculous lyrics, as well as some hip hop, and a cover of "Love Machine" by Girls Aloud.

The Midnight Expresso - One guy, who is actually an incredibly talented musician, singing lounge style crooning vocals with entirely improvised lyrics over the demo tracks on his keyboard. Really hit and miss, but potential comedy gold.

The Meatballs - Avant-Garde Cabaret Disco Lounge Punk. Fairly awful synth-pop music, with really surreal lyrics over the top. The gimmick is that they're Tijiuana's answer to the Rat Pack, so they all wear tuxedos and lucha masks, and they're called Senor Destructo, Cervantes and El Tigre.

Pevin Kinel - A one-man project by Kevin Pinel, formerly of Velofax (remember that name, they're going to be huge (Y)) and The Pantalons. Performs live with guests, but on his recordings plays every single instrument, and there are tracks that have no instruments at all, just layered beatboxing with vocals over the top. Really experimental and amazing, stoned melodic mad cap mayhem, like a modern day Frank Zappa.

Basically, I've spent the last week or so listening to really fucked up music from bands that will never get signed to major labels, and I've loved it. Basically I'm asking if any of you guys have some equally bizarre bands in their local scene, or other weird unsigned bands they're aware of, to see if we can unearth some new genres or start a movement or something.

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The point in listening to them is that, usually, they're fantastic to see live, because it's just a great atmosphere, and the quality of the music becomes almost secondary. The Wizard & The Frog are a talented band, but the gimmick and the comedy aspect is much more important than that in a live environment, and the same goes for most of the other bands.

Basically I like them all because they're all so far from the kind of bands that get signed that it's very rare to hear anyone like them.

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