We managed to have a good auld chatter with Dumfries-based band Tiderays recently, and they told us all about their musical journey so far; from leaving behind their former days playing as The Abstracts, right through to their future plans for the new band…
Small Town Sounds: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to have a chat with Small Town Sounds! It’s lovely to have you here.
Tiderays: Hi Small Town Sounds, we’re so delighted to be speaking to you finally.
There may be some people who aren’t familiar with the band – can you explain how the band started, who is in the band and what kind of music you play?
Well, we’re Tiderays and we formed at the beginning of 2017. We have Eddie Oakes on vocals and guitar, Robbie Huxtable on guitar (and fiddle and piano!), Liam Russell on bass and Trevor Newport on drums. We like to think of ourselves as an indie rock band with an occasional contemporary folk flavour.
In the past year you have had some changes in the line-up with your bassist Henry leaving the band. Is the current line-up the one you will be going forward with?
Eddie and Trev have been friends for quite a few years now and they started playing together a couple of years ago when they formed The Abstracts. Robbie also joined that band in 2016, but when Henry left we decided to start a new project with a fresh start, and after recruiting Liam we formed Tiderays. As Henry was a founding member of The Abstracts and after all the energy and passion he put into it, it didn’t feel right to continue as them. It was fitting to end the project when Henry left. We’re proud of that time and the music we made, but Tiderays will head in a different direction as a totally new project.
So, after Henry left you changed the band name from The Abstracts to Tiderays – what was the inspiration behind the current name?
Everyone in Tiderays is a huge fan of Justin Vernon in all of his guises and we got inspiration for the name from one of his Volcano Choir songs.
You’ve been very active on the Dumfries and Galloway music scene, playing a variety of gigs as both headliners and support. Has there been any highlights?
The hard work we put in with the previous band has paid off for us since we started Tiderays. We are benefiting from the good reputation we have as a collective and as individual musicians so we’ve hit the ground running in terms of shows and gigs we’ve played. The highlight so far has to be opening the main stage at Big Burns Supper Sunday Sessions at the Easterbrook Hall. To be involved in that event was just a thrill for so many reasons. We shared the stage with some unbelievable talent from around the country and of course locally. Also, the hard work and professionalism of the event organisers and volunteers just made our job of playing so much easier and enjoyable. But, we can’t not mention our launch event in January. We packed out The Live Lounge as a new project just a few weeks after Christmas. It was an amazing night that we’ll not forget in a hurry. We can’t thank the bands enough that came to play with us and the people that spent their money to buy our record and help us launch. It gave the whole project the kick-start it needed to move us forward in the right direction.
What is your favourite live music venue in Dumfries and Galloway?
We love playing live so much that coming up with a favourite venue would be impossible, but as a whole we love festivals. The atmosphere and the chance to watch and meet new bands and artists is something we all enjoy. We’ve had some amazing support from some venues though; Queen of the South Pub in Dumfries has supported us massively. We’ve always had a great time playing there and we’ve so much love for Irv and the guys.
You have mentioned before that you want to focus more on playing gigs outside the region, how is that progressing? Have you got any lined up?
In order to move ourselves forward we want to start playing outside the comfort of our home town and even the region. We’ve got gigs in Carlisle, Glasgow and Gatehouse booked in June. We’ve got a busy summer schedule which hasn’t been finalised yet, so keep an eye out on social media for our live shows. Then, if we can get the scheduling right we’ll head out on a tour at the end of the year.
You released your first EP last year – how has it been doing? Do you have plans for another, or possibly an album?
The EP has streamed and sold well. It got a warm reception on release. It was important that we released a demo, to give people the idea of what we’re capable of and something we could send to promoters and bookers that haven’t seen us live. An album is certainly in the plans. We’re currently holed up writing new material which we’ll debut live in the summer and release later in the year. Also there’s a video currently in the planning stages so watch this space.
Tiderays are on the line up for this year’s Electric Fields festival – will this be your first festival appearance? Are you excited for it?
Electric Fields will be our first major outdoor festival appearance and we’re a little bit excited. We all love playing festivals so much – we go to festivals as punters and music fans, so to get to play them is just extra special for us.
Who do you think is the best live band in Dumfries and Galloway?
The best live band in Dumfries and Galloway? Well Tiderays of course!! No, that’s an impossible question to answer. We’ve watched and shared the stage with so many great local bands recently that picking one would be impossible. There are some fantastic local original bands like Barstow Bats, The Lutras, Gracefell, and Onr. of course. We’re big fans of The Sheepwagon from Annan and a terrific band from Carlisle, The Reptilians. There’s an amazing music scene around here, in Dumfries especially and acts like Chasin’ the Train and Feel put on brilliant shows. So to pick one out of just the few we’ve mentioned is too difficult… But of course, Tiderays!
Which local band do you think are destined for major success?
Well, Onr. have the pedigree and the backing it seems. Each one of them are unbelievable musicians. A few of the bands we mentioned earlier have a fighting chance of making a success of things; it’s not just a question of talent. Guys need to be prepared to sacrifice and work hard. It’s great playing in front of sold out home crowds, but going to Newcastle and playing in front of 6 people and a sound man is the road that most bands need to take in order to make a success of things. That’s something we’re prepared to do in order to make ourselves a success.
Let’s get to know the band a little better, so, in Tiderays:
Who is the biggest diva?
Well Trev would say Eddie, but Eddie would probably say Trev. There’s no real divas to be honest, especially off stage. Each of us is capable of rolling up the sleeves and getting on with it. Eddie is the front man, so being an on stage diva is what he’s paid for. But off stage, nobody.
Who eats the most at band practices?
Robbie, he actually has hollow legs.
Who is most likely to cry at films?
Trev, he does so regularly.
Who turns up late to gigs?
No one has yet, but probably Liam. Not so late that people are panicking, just because he is so laid back hurrying isn’t an option.
Who never answers their phone?
Eddie. Absolutely murder!!
Who cheers up the rest of the band when they’re feeling a bit tired and grouchy?
Ahh well, we’re all great at that. We’re a close bunch and even Liam who is new to playing with us has fitted in just so well. Trev is the best at cuddles though, that’s not open for debate.
What is your favourite/least favourite thing about being in a band?
Easily our favourite thing is playing live, it’s the pay off for all of the hard work we put in. Ask us again about the worst thing when we’ve toured together.
Where do you see Tiderays in 1 year? In 5 years?
In a year we hope to have an album if not released then close to it. Five years? World Tour!