The British population is teeming with thousands of unsigned artists who play the various venues afforded to them for a little money and a good time.
Many have differing agendas. For some superstardom is around the corner via a record label man being in the right pub at the right time or through thousands flocking to their Facebook page to climb the bandwagon. For others, it’s simply a pleasure to work together with like-minded people either reproducing some of the greatest tunes ever recorded or strumming along to a completely new idea.
A third group vaguely sit in the middle. They enjoy what they’re doing; derive great pleasure from the shows they perform and agree that if they made it bigger that would be pretty cool too.
Smokin’ Aces Form To Provide Classic Rock To Masses
Cardiff four-piece Smokin’ Aces are in that category. Providing the cheery Welsh public with a supply of classic and glam rock tinged with pop and with a huge dash of Celtic magic they have won critical and fan acclaim since their real emergence into the public eye over the last year.
Mixing the musically unique nations of Ireland and Wales with the solid rock histories of the UK, USA, and Australia they provide a genuinely multinational extravaganza that will blow your socks right to the four corners of the globe. Suite101 spoke to two members of the band in a bid to dig deeper into their roots.
“Music’s always played a big part in my life,” explains vocalist Clare Cunningham, who hails from the teeny village of Collon in County Louth, a little north of Irish capital Dublin.
“In 2007 I moved to London to study a degree in music which followed meeting Jamie (Hiscox) the guitarist, and we started writing the material from then. Jamie knew Kris (Gibbins, bassist) from when he was younger, and then we found Sam (Greetham) the drummer through his cousin Emma, who went to school with Jamie.”
“I have known Jamie as a good mate for some years after a youth trip to Australia,” explains Gibbins of his friendship with guitarist Hiscox. “I was always in awe of his guitar skills, and he inspired me to get involved in music and start learning bass guitar myself.”
After a trial and error period with a few drummers, they now seem to have settled on Greetham who was introduced to them through their mutual friend.
AC/DC. Thin Lizzy, Queen Help Form Influences
Their influences vary greatly but a core of some of the greatest rock Gods of all time provide the spine of much of their talent. From their vast range of covers to their own gritty material, the band can point to the likes of AC/DC and Thin Lizzy as major claimants to any future success.
“I just find this style really appealing and easy to listen too,” explains Cunningham. “A lot of bands usually shy away from doing this as it’s classed as “boring,” however it means you can relax on stage and really get into the groove.”
“I like anything that shows some sort of musical talent and thought in the music,” adds Gibbins. “Something you can listen along to no matter what mood you’re in.”
Fortunately for the group, the mood of most audiences results in positive energy flowing back towards the stage. It’s a great indication of their talent, and they continually prove massively popular with private clients and venues continually coming back for more.
Many top acts have stated that this acceptance by your audience can be the most rewarding aspect of being a performer and the Aces tend to agree. Cunningham gushed: “It’s everything I’ve always wanted. And obviously to share this with three other members is fab too!”
“I love the buzz you get when there’s a great atmosphere, and people are drowning you out, and you know that it all depends on what you’re playing at that very moment,” adds the strumming maestro Gibbins. “Like a team, we all have our critical responsibilities, and one part can’t function without the other.”
And that one point may hit the nail firmly on the head. Like a family, a band succeeds, fails and learns as one. Each member’s achievements and mistakes map the future of the group and guide them through the rough road to fame and fortune.
Smokin’ Aces Prove Hit With Fans Of All Ages
Hiscox continually nails some of the more eloquent of rock’s guitar solos while Cunningham’s powerful and memorable voice pounds home the words you love to hear time and again. Gibbins’ base riffs reverberate down your spinal column with chilling ease and, like the glue, Greetham’s expert drumming keeps time and pace almost preventing the occasion from spiraling into some fantasy world of demons and dragons which litter the mythic past of this little corner of Europe.
“We want to go higher and higher,” enthuses Cunningham over their future. “The plan is to do a big support slot/tour and just get recognized for what we do.”
“I’d love to go as far as possible,” adds Gibbins. “To be widely known for our music, and to be able to share it with large crowds who want to hear it. If our music makes people happy, then we have succeeded no matter how far we go.”
So happiness is the key. If both band and audience alike share in tranquility then everything can glide forward. It’s a point the Gallagher brothers continually forget and almost threatened to tear the heart out of Metallica. Well, looking at ‘St. Anger’ it pretty much did.
Smokin’ Aces look set to continue to put smiles back on the faces of the public during difficult times, and if they continue to see their reputation rise, then some of our global readers may become quite accustomed to them soon enough.