Unsung Rock: An Encounter With Unsung Heroes
You lucky people. Following an interview with promising post-britpop start-ups Born Blonde, Unsung Rock brings you yet another band to add to your musical palette. This week I spoke to Andrew Fleming, frontman and lead writer of The Unsung Heroes, who have recently signed to 208 records.
The formation of the band was a pretty standard one, although the members’ various roles expanded in unforeseen ways. “I was originally the bassist,” laughed Fleming. “How I ended up singing and writing the songs is still a mystery to me.”
Fleming picked out “Pink Floyd, Radiohead and the Rolling Stones” as his greatest musical influences, but also pointed out that those choices are “quiet strange, because our music couldn’t be any further from what we listen to”. His desire to perform, however, finds its roots in the 90s Britpop era.
The Unsung Heroes are a live act at heart, and the singer claims that the band’s “greatest ever gig” to date was in Dublin on July 23rd last year, the day Amy Winehouse passed away. “I dedicated a song of ours, ‘the English kind’, to her - because I thought she had an amazing voice. When I announced this to the crowd the whole place actually laughed. I’m not quite sure why. Maybe they hadn’t heard the news and thought I was joking around, or maybe people are that heartless; hateful towards people which is fuelled by the mainstream media”.
Fleming also has an eyebrow-raising anecdote surrounding a fall-out with Razorlight, who have recently re-formed with an entirely new line-up surrounding Johnny Borell. He told Unsung Rock: “Back in 2005, in a previous band myself, Paul and Jimmy were in, we supported Razorlight at Middlesbrough’s Cornerhouse. After the gig me and our guitarist Paul hitched a ride on their tour bus to a party we had been invited to.
“We were both deliriously consumed by alcohol and started some harmless hell-raising. But I offended one of the band’s girlfriends and the bus abruptly stopped and we were asked to leave. At the time I never thought anything of it, as Razorlight were a relatively unknown band by the mass media at this time. I just remember seeing the band all looking at us in disgust at the manner we had conducted ourselves in. This is a band that NME hailed 4 months later as ‘Rock and Roll Kings’. I remember thinking The Sex Pistols would have caused a right scene, yet these rock and roll Princesses just kindly asked us to leave to save any aggravation. Of course we as a band don’t actually promote violence, but the whole thing just confirmed how wrong the media actually are.”
You can check out the Unsung Heroes’ debut single, That’s Reality, here. For now, we’ll close with the ‘Picks of the Week’:
The Tricks – Part Time Lover
Unsung Rock favourites The Tricks follow-up their stellar double A-side debut with this fantastic effort. It presents British guitar-pop at its triumphant best, combining a catchy riff and killer hook to create perhaps their most anthemic track yet. It also comes with a cracking video, which is embedded below.
The Vaccines – Teenage Icon
The Vaccines’ second studio album Come of Age will surely be the real test for the London rockers, who burst on to the music scene last year and seized the indie rock throne. But the singles released prior to the main event are also extremely important. Enter Teenage Icon, an excellent follow-up to the well-received Top 40 debut No Hope. It’s the catchy, light brand of indie rock one has come to expect from The Vaccines, and it provides further hope that the band’s second album can ‘do a Strokes’ and save rock ‘n’ roll once again. No pressure lads.
Frank Turner – I Still Believe
Typically British singer-songwriter Frank Turner received a nice little PR boost recently by filling the Olympic Stadium with the excellent lyric “who’d of thought, that after all, it was rock ‘n’ roll”. The mainstream attention that ensued was well deserved, however, as ‘I Still Believe’ finds itself as a hearty, bold track that presents a songwriter at the peak of his abilities. As you spend your days watching people throw javelins and jump in to pits of sand, this is an excellent song to soundtrack your Olympic summer.
You, the reader, are invited to join in. Heard any great Unsung Rock? You can recommend tracks for the ‘Picks of the Week’ in the comments below.