MOST bands have a back story littered with early gigs in downmarket venues and performing for tiny crowds, but the juice aisle of a supermarket must take some beating.
Aisle 23 in Asda at The Jewel is the unlikely setting for a video by Edinburgh musicians Jamie and Shoony who hope their impromptu efforts for song Anyway will be enough to win them an opening slot for Wet Wet Wet at Glasgow Green in front of 15,000 people next month.
They have reached the final in a song contest set up with Wet Wet Wet to celebrate the Clydebank band’s own big break – opening as an unsigned act for Lionel Richie at Glasgow Green 25 years ago.
Singer Jamie Keir, 22, guitarist Sean “Shoony” Kowalski, 20, and drummer Jeanne Laidlaw, 24, entered their song and video for the competition after hearing about it on the radio.
The group had only popped into Asda to pick up a memory card for their video camera when they decided to shoot the promo video there and then.Former Portobello High pupil Jamie said: “We were about to go and shoot the video in a nearby park when Shoony turned and said ‘let’s do it here’.
“It worked really well and I could see loads of folk popping their head around the corner to check out what the fuss was about. Asda have since been in touch to say they love it and it has received 3500 views on YouTube.”
Jamie and Shoony were chosen as the first finalists for Real Radio’s Open for Wet Wet Wet competition on Monday.
The remaining four finalists will be revealed each day this week before going before a public vote on the station’s website which runs from 10am on Friday until Sunday evening.
Speaking of their chance to win the competition, Jamie said: “It would mean the world to us. We’ve been buzzing ever since being announced on Monday and we’re urging all our fans, family and friends to get online and vote for us.
“The biggest gig we’ve done so far was for around 200 people so to open for Wet Wet Wet in front of 15,000 would be amazing.”
Jamie and Shoony have been close friends since their days at Portobello High and were joined by Jeanne last year. Most of their songs are built up from freestyle jam sessions.
To date the group’s biggest highlight was having their single Anyway played at Tynecastle during last season’s clash between Hearts and Rangers.
Jamie, who works in a building suppliers, said: “That really was amazing. I’d class us as high-energy indie pop. I’ve been writing songs since I was eight years old and so take care of the songwriting and vocals while Shoony supplies the catchy riffs.”
By Gary Flockhart
Evening News music writer’s verdict on Jamie and Shoony
HATS off to the boys for pouring every ounce of energy into their performance – and in Asda, of all places. Okay, it’s not going to set the charts on fire, but it’s charmingly ramshackle and unpretentious.
I always like it when bands use their local accents, and maybe that’s why they reminded me a little of The View – before producer Owen Morris made them a lot more slick.
I’ve watched more of Jamie and Shoony’s videos on YouTube and they really seem to have fun performing, and that’s contagious for an audience.