So there was this covers band, of note, you might say, playing the pubs and clubs of Renfrewshire, Scotland and occasionally beyond in the late noughties. We were called Unkle Remus. Some time in the following decade we called it a day, but three members – Noel McCormack (vocals), Robert Purse (drums) and Roy McLellan (guitar) – still wanted to work together, but away from the typical pub covers format. What to do?
Well, of the covers we’d been doing, it was the Who stuff that was most enjoyable and went down best with the more discerning audiences. And when your guitar player is a total Who nut who knows all the tunes – it’s obvious, right?
It was however clear from the off that this was NOT gonna be a “tribute” band – there would be no wigs, costumes or assumed regional accents. We just wanted to play The Who’s incredible music. Not trying to BE them, but to give their legendary body of work a new perspective, a different energy and maybe even some new fans.
A bass player was needed. Not to copy Entwistle but to attack the tunes with character and gusto, in the spirit, rather than the style of The Ox. Being well known to the band, not least drummer Robert, his actual cousin, Jack McDougall was the obvious choice.
Rehearsals began and in September of 2015 The Sell Out, named for The Who’s early classic album, played our first gig, at the Houston Inn Festival, to a rapturous reception.
There were numerous faces in the crowd that night, and the band was soon invited to play at a string of Mod events, from Paisley’s March of the Mods to Dunoon Revival Weekender, and were warmly and enthusiastically welcomed on to the scene by punters and peers alike, gaining a reputation for exciting and energy-filled performances, and a high standard of musicianship.
Thing is, though, good musicians are in demand, and Jack quickly attracted the attention of the legendary Big Vern and his Shootahs. Friends as well as bandmates, we were happy for him to have won such a prestigious gig, although sad to have lost him from The Sell Out.
Robert’s faith that the right person would emerge was justified after a fairly short hiatus, when renowned local bassman Graeme Carswell attended an audition. He played three songs, but all three “judges” agreed to give him three yesses after the first three notes he played. No three bad, as we say in Scotland.
Graeme’s addition is a bona fide result. Gigs have been of a high standard and we are full of ideas, energy and love for this band. The gigs keep coming, bigger and better, and we are, well – lovin’ it.
If you’re even remotely a fan of The Who or any of their records, and you want to hear them played live with something of the energy that was intended, and the fresh perspective that comes from being interpreted and performed by different individuals…
Well, come see The Sell Out!