Following the recent success of Twisted Wheel and rumours of more bands emerging from Oldham, the chance to see four bands from the same streets as The Children and Inspiral Carpets would not go amiss. Tiger Tiger played host to what it described as some of ‘Manchester’s best bands’ for their ‘Plugged’ event on Thursday 19th June, in a gig that did not disappoint.

Sat in the VIP room away from the scores of adoring fans outside, it is a wonder why The Fayre are not as big outside of Greater Manchester than they are within the city’s walls. Scheduled to play at Glastonbury in the next few weeks, I chilled with the hardened Oldham teens before their night kicked off.

Hi guys and welcome to Tiger Tiger. Firstly, why the name Bus Fayre, followed by The Fayre?

Austin – It’s mostly to do with our merry-go-round, ‘fairground’ style, however the name was already taken on Myspace, but we thought why not? It was a bit of a pun as well and it was on everyone’s lips at school because of the bus; people would say “Have you got the fare?” and we just thought it would be good to have that name because people wouldn’t forget it. Corny I know.
Eoghan – Stocky works at ‘Brewers’ Fayre’ too.

How did the band come about?

Austin -  Me, Will and Stocky started jamming together in school, and were recommended to use Eoghan as our drummer.
Stocky – The gigs started when we got to college. We decided as a band never to cover a song by a signed band, and we’ve stuck to it.
Will – Chris Smith, the drummer from The Cassettes organised gigs for us at first.

Your Myspace Page has you describing your style as ‘a party’, how would you describe your style in broader terms, and who were your influences?

Austin – Fast, fun, bouncing tunes.
Stocky – And NO mopey songs.
Austin – We’ve been criticised before for playing our sets too fast, but we don’t care. We just want to get up there and show the audience as much of our material as possible.
Will – We don’t believe in setlists.

Some of your gigs in the past have been witness to your fans joining you on stage, against the stewards’ wishes, is it a shock to you when they do this? How do you react?

Austin – Well we’ve never asked them too, but like you said, we want to create a party atmosphere and if that means the fans want to join us on stage, then so be it!
Stocky – I do it anyway at gigs so I have no problem with it. I did it watching The Whip the other week actually!

Will – We want to create the party atmosphere that The Children and The Downtown Rags create.

Would you like to see it again?

Eoghan – So long as it’s not on the first song, after that it’s fine.

How did you get signed up to play at Glastonbury 2008?

Stocky – One of our friends from university filmed us playing one of our songs, ‘Rose Queen’, and we sent it into a competition called ‘Clic Sergeant’, where our prize was a place on the stage at the festival.

What are your hopes in performing at Glastonbury?

Austin – Playing at the Late and Live tent at Glastonbury will be a really good experience for us.
Will – It would be nice to get signed, but there’s no rush. Three of us are at university anyway.
Eoghan – We’ve only played outside of Manchester twice before: at Leeds’ Tiger Tiger club and in Stockport.

What are your aims for the near future for the band? Do you hope to be up there with the Oldham greats of the past such as Inspiral Carpets?

Stocky – We’ve done quite a lot since we started performing. Our gigs keep on getting bigger and better.
Austin – Continuously coming up with new material stops us from falling into boredom. We wouldn’t mind getting signed, but like we said before, there’s no rush. We’re only 19 after all!
Will – We just want to keep on progressing, ‘cos it’s mint. Creating new sounds unintentionally is always fun, especially when all of the band member shave different influences, that all fuse together to create our sound.

What do you make of the Manchester music scene in general, and of the recent poll that put Manchester behind Liverpool and Sheffield for the UK cities with the best current music?

Will – I’d like to know who decides that. Personally, I think Manchester is leaving both of them in their foot-tracks.
Stocky – It’s inaccurate, but I can’t really say because I don’t know what the unsigned scene is like in Liverpool and Sheffield. I know how strong it is in Manchester though.

What are your views on the music industry at this time, and do you hope to provide diversity with your style in stimulating it a bit?

Eoghan – It’s horrible. Just full of scheming b******’s.
Austin – It’s all about money, which is sad. We play good gigs, but all the promoters care about are the ticket sales. You can have a band that’s done a really shoddy performance, but if the tickets have sold, the industry doesn’t care.
Stocky – The industry changes all the time. No-one knows what’s next.
Will – It’s hard to create your own sound, and for the industry to scout for some diversity.

And finally, what would be your advice for anybody wanting to start a band who might read this?

Eoghan – Try something different.
Austin – Learn as many different kinds of music and then fuse them together. Look at The Cribs, they just go for it, although I think they’re crap.
Will – Take influences but alter it a bit, develop it.
Stocky – Do NOT be like the Arctic Monkeys. Al too often I’ve seen people learn loads of their songs then try and imitate them. The industry is stagnant enough thank you very much. Indy’s going to fade out soon anyway, it’s had it’s day.

Words: Tom Southworth
Photo: Katy B

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