Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Skruff are ready for whatever lies ahead

After having recently won the Battle of the Bands, Derry band Skruff continue to thrive.

They will be releasing a new EP in the Gweedore on December 22 and are playing with fellow Derry men Kharma 45 at The Nerve Centre this Saturday night.

I met up with Skruff's lead singer Connor McGowan and talked about the band's progress.

Connor is proud that the band are part of such a thriving music scene in Derry.

He told me: "I think what separates Derry from a lot of other cities in terms of music is that the bands here are not afraid to do their own thing and make their own noise, regardless of their contemporaries.

"It's exciting because there's something for everyone here, and I think a lot of 'out-of-towners' appreciate that the most enticing music is the music that can't be easily slotted into a certain genre and this place is full of that."

The band have recently done a few gigs across the water in England and Scotland which went down well but Connor feels that it isn't necessary to leave Derry to get a record deal.

He pointed out that if U2 were a band starting out in Coleraine or Belfast they would still be as big as they are - you can't keep a good band down.

He said: "Its a romantic idea, but if you're stirring it up in your home town, word spreads pretty fast, and the interest will come to you."

Connor also talked about the revolution that Myspace has caused and how it's a great way to sidestep record companies to get your music directly out to people.

"Myspace is great, you can spread your noise throughout a vast network of music lovers. It's a good way to listen to unsigned music and it knocks down another barrier between the performer and the fan."

Although it's not always sweetness and light in the Skruff camp, (as Connor told me with band members being fans of Pulp, Jefferson Airplane, Kasabian and Des O'Connor, "things can get ugly") the talented vocalist said there have been too many highlights to keep track of.

He said: "So far I've thrown up on stage three times thanks to nerves. We've played with Shaun Ryder, supported Little Chris, partied with Gary Lightbody outside Belfast and tore up Strasbourg University."

But Connor is still not satisfied and wants more success for the band.

"I want that whole 'Cheeky Girls' overnight climb to the top to happen. But it's easier for two Latvian greyhounds to climb than for four scruffy hungover guys to get to the top.

"Skruff will do what it has to, to get where it needs to. We hope the fans come too."

Check out www.myspace.com/skuffderry to find out more about gigs and to hear their music and listen out for their new tune 'Hot Robot' on local radio stations.

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