Attention Thieves new EP hits the storesBy Linda Serck
April 05, 2012
Walk into your local HMV store and have a flick through albums in the 'A' section.
Inbetween Atreyu and Audioslave you'll find the beaming beacon of pride and success that is Attention Thieves' new EP, Look A Little Closer.
The Reading rock band have worked hard to put this album on the shelves, and quite rightly are over the moon to see it in stores.
"It's a great feeling," says frontman Alex Green. "There's a big difference between a physical release and a purely virtual one.
"The fact that it is so much more tangible also seems to have more impact with people who are buying it".
What's even more impressive is that the four-piece - all friends from school - are unsigned.
Granted, they bagged a deal with Warner Brothers (via a record label owner who can't be named but who is a fan of the band), but they've done this all themselves.
The million dollar question is, how did they do it? The answer is unfortunately the most obvious one.
"Hard work", says Alex. "That's the short answer.
"We've worked hard writing songs that we really, truly believe in and taken the time to get them tight and work on our performance.
"But on top of that we put everything into the band.
"We all put the lion's share of our earnings into the band to basically fund what a label would normally do and we also manage ourselves so that means all the admin work."
They've also got a good management company on-side as well as a PR team, who spread the word about Attention Thieves to the likes of XFM (for whom the band recently recorded four live tracks) and Kerrang.
The band even opened the new Swarm ride at Thorpe Park.
On top of all the publicity comes, of course, the touring. The essential staple for any band wanting to put the feelers out about their music.
I'm talking the lovingly-coined 'toilet tours', where you travel the country in a beat-up old banger and potentially play to one man and his distinterested dog - all to earn your stripes as a proper band who use every live opportunity to hone their skills.
"The van can be pretty gross and boring and claustrophobic," says Alex, who used to front tech-metallers The Arusha Accord.
"Touring has been great though, being able to play a load of shows back to back is always great and you spend every day looking forward to playing - but it can get real boring up until the show."
He agrees that you need to perform your best, no matter how few people are watching.
"You just try and play your best show, every show," he says.
"You can never be sure how a gig will turn out until you start playing."
So what advice have they got for other unsigned bands wanting to do as well as they have?
"We've learned that the people who will care about the band the most are the people in the band," says Alex.
"So you need to be prepared to work for it and not expect anyone else to be doing the things you could be doing.
"You need to make it happen."
Attention Thieves' new EP Look A Little Closer is available to buy or download from itunes, HMV, Amazon, Play.com and other stores.
The band are coming to Windsor's Firestation Arts Centre on Friday 18 May as part of their tour.
Now call me gullible, but when Slough’s most famous band Viva Brother tweeted on April 1 they were calling it a day I wasn’t sure at first whether it was actually a prank.
The tweet read: “Thank you to everyone that has ever supported us or believed. It has been an unbelievable journey. This is us signing off. Goodbye.”
It had come before a tweet about their ‘merch’ being half price, so I was kind of putting two and two together, but then hoped it was an April Fool.
Sadly, it’s true. A spokesman for the self-proclaimed grit pop band confirmed the news. Poignantly, scrolling down to their previous tweets there was excitement about their forthcoming second album.
They also posted a YouTube link to their “last song”, called I Don’t Want To Be Loved. It sounded like they had rid themselves of the indie pop airbrush prevalent on their debut, Famous First Words, and had come out sounding more edgy and dark – moving away from their Oasis influences.
Viva Brother were a ‘Marmite’ band, who provoked extreme reactions, but I for one am sad to see them go. I really liked the lads and the music was catchy.
It’s sad to see a band who were playing Reading Festival last year and had so many hopes and dreams suddenly split.
Ten bands from across the region have been selected to appear in a local Battle Of The School Bands semi-final.
Having been whittled down from 150 plus hopefuls, the short-listed groups will be performing before a panel of judges at The Jazz Café in Madejski Stadium on Thursday, April 12. A grand final will take place at the Smart Festival at the Rivermead Leisure Centre in front of a potential 2,000 people.
The local charity event is in its third year and is organised by Pete Doyle of the Reading Rock Academy.
Pete says: “This is the reason why I set The Academy up – to give musicians a chance in life to play their own songs, and give them skills for employment in the new music industry.”
This year’s semi-final line up:
It Varies – Brighton Hill Community College
Sundara Karma – The Oratory School
Febueder – Charters School
Our Final Debut – Great Marlow School
Ioneye – Marlborough School
Independence – Brighton Hill Community School
FiveThirtyOne – Reading Blue Coat School and Henley College
Chasing Waves – Little Heath School
My Everest – Farnborough Hill
The Kicks – John Madejski Academy
Proceeds from this year’s event are going to charities Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
A new live music night is springing up in Wokingham on Friday. The Wokingham Music Club launches at 8pm at Cantley Lodge Hotel in Wellington Road with acts Never The Bride, Stuart Dixon and Adam Smith.
The club is held on the first Friday of every month. The focus will be on live music covering a broad range of genres including blues, country, folk and jazz.
The next act on Friday, May 4, will be the Steve Rodgers Band.
New band Private Jet are preparing for take off on Thursday with their first gig at South Street Arts Centre.
The band, formerly called The Quotes, are unashamedly pure driven rock, and will be appearing on my show this Sunday, BBC Introducing Berkshire at 7pm.
Listen to Linda Serck every Sunday on BBC Radio Berkshire at 7pm. Email your music news to firstname.lastname@example.org