These are men of the north country, a happy band of brothers who have staked their future on one roll of the dice. Or so it would seem were it not for the man who has stepped in to back the musical endeavours of Manchester-based band, Alias Kid.
Only six months after forming, the band were signed to Alan McGee's fledgling 359 Music, their fusion of '60s-style anthems and 1970s to modern-day musical arcania helping to turn the head of the svengali who gave Oasis to the world.
"Alias Kid are the real deal," says McGee, "and if Noel wonders where the working class bands have gone, have a listen to this lot."
Which brings us back to the Gallagher brothers of Oasis and what they once stood for. Boiling with Irish blood and an artistic pugnaciousness that found fertile soil in Mancunian land, the brothers, in tandem with the equally combative McGee, elevated themselves to a musical plateau comparable to those previously occupied by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Jam. And it wasn't just about the attack and attitude of their stage show, nor indeed the deceptively simple, universal nature of Noel Gallagher's writing. It was, instead, about what and who they represented.
Ultimately assuming a vaulted position in the rock firmament while referencing the iconography of the 1960s, Oasis had first been honest enough to be themselves before stepping up to the plate: a group of working class lads who stood very definitely outside the pop mainstream into which they would eventually break, and then rule. They, like Alias Kid, wore their hearts on their sleeves and, by doing so, won over a listening public who, whether they realised it or not, wanted to hear songs about their own lives.
Perhaps it was the acid house generation morphing into a generation of rock aficionados that helped energise a people's band like Oasis which encapsulated the working class zeitgeist of the 1990s when other bands could not. Either way, it has fallen, it would seem, to those "artful hooligans" Alias Kid (as John Robb of Louder Than War has called them) to pick up the dropped baton. And the task that lies ahead is a daunting one; that of making known the desires and ambitions of blue collar Britain, desires that are perhaps being ignored by the major labels.
Clint Boon of Inspiral Carpets has said they "have the potential to be one of the great Manchester bands", and so comprising singer/songwriters Maz Behdjet and Sean O'Donnell, Colin Ward (drums), Nick Repton (bass) and James Sweeney (lead guitar), Alias Kid possess a natural fusion of Mancunian flavours.
Says Maz: "What we're finding is that people of the Inspiral Carpets and Oasis generation of bands are getting behind us. It's a bit like a family that we're a part of. The older generation is full of our mentors. We did a couple of European tours when we started out and that's when Nick [Repton] of Gun Club Cemetery joined us. And with Alan McGee behind us we're on the right road. It's not a fame game for bands anymore, it's a music game. We're not in it for the money."
Alias Kid have recently joined the roster of Creation Management, home to The Jesus and Mary Chain and Wilko Johnson. Their debut album Revolt To Revolt (2015) was recorded in the Gorbals Sound Studio in Glasgow with Paul Quinn (Teenage Fanclub/Soup Dragons) and Kevin Burleigh (Glasvegas/Simple Minds) at the dials.
"We are serious," says Sean. "This past year's seen us step up another level." Confidence is sky high and there's no shamming with this band whose star is rising on the northern circuit. "We've come up on the blind side with 359 Records," adds Maz, "and McGee says that we're the characters that he believes the music industry is missing."
In under a year they've risen from obscurity to headline shows in Manchester and Liverpool and have secured national airplay, but only time will tell if the sleeping public will waken to hear a new wave of much-needed, raw music emanating from this country's heartland.
"This country has never needed a band to break through more than it needs it now," says Sean, "and I don't even mind if it's not us. The point is, it has to be someone. There are great bands out there, undiscovered, but we're in a fortunate position that we're being pushed. And we're having it. It's all about relating to people, and I mean, just think about it. Right now, the only rock'n'roll star in this country is Russell Brand. That's what it's come to."
Photo by Deborah Turner
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