THEY have a single out and play live today, but who are Viva City? Natasha Wynarczyk finds out.
NEWCASTLE electro band Viva City released their debut single Kate Bush on Monday.
The single has been well-received regionally and nationally, with airplay on XFM Scotland, the BBC and Virgin, and critical acclaim from BBC 6 Music DJ Tom Robinson.
The song has also proved popular with MySpace users, clocking up more than 10,000 listens on the site.
Byker’s Ali Allerdyce, Bruce Tate, Trev Stardust and Chris Cairns are aged between 21 and 24 and have been playing music together for three years. Bass and synth player Bruce explained: “We all knew each other from playing in different bands around the North East and found out that we all had an interest in music production, so we decided to combine our enjoyment of music production to form a band ourselves.”
Kate Bush is a glorious, stomping two-minute-long electronica single with a brilliant industrial bass line and distorted synths, which is quite unlike anything else in the charts at the moment.
“Our influences include the Prodigy, Bjork, Soulwax,” said Bruce.
“We feel that we are a bit different. There are so many guitar-based indie bands in the charts and we feel that we provide an alternative to that.”
They do, however, have an appreciation of music from the past. The lyrics to Kate Bush, named after the singer who had a hit with Wuthering Heights in 1978, “are about appreciating the past but mixing that appreciation with a more modern sound”.
Thankfully for the band, the members of Kate Bush’s dedicated fan site have largely lavished praise on the single.
The band’s music caught the eye of the legendary Kosheen DJs, who produced Kate Bush.
Viva City supported Kosheen at London’s Koko and the Islington Academy in 2007 and now have a strong connection with the band, who are famous for acquiring a series of Top 40 singles over the past 10 years, and will be headlining the dance stage at this weekend’s Glastonbury Festival.
Last month, Viva City played a gig at Shoreditch club Aquarium with the Kosheen DJs as their special guests.
But Kosheen are not the only big names in dance music to have a connection with Viva City.
Dutch DJ-ing legend Don Diablo remixed their track Audio Endlessly last February, and this was popular in Europe, notching up an impressive 250,000 YouTube plays.
After being snapped up by Vert records and being managed by Richard Hannan, they had a successful 2007. As well as supporting Kosheen they supported indie band Boy Kill Boy at Newcastle University Union and bagged a series of headlining gigs at London clubs.
They have even started headlining at a new travelling clubnight, Club Prologue, which happens in various London super-clubs. Bruce is the resident DJ there and describes it as his second home.
The band have big plans for the rest of 2008. Bruce said: “We want to release another single in September and hopefully have two more out by the end of the year.”
Catch Viva City at HMV, Northumberland Street, Newcastle, at 5pm today, where they will be playing a free live set before signing copies of the new single.
Kosheen DJs Darren Beale and Markee Morrison will also be there.
To hear Viva City, visit www.myspace.com/vivacityuk