When Argonaut got together to play covers, their quest wasn’t an easy life – the founding members wanted to be busier than they had been in their previous band. The new one regularly plays for three hours. Set to play Mad Hatters, Inverness, on Saturday, the four-piece are Inverness singer Martin Bannon, originally from Belfast, drummer Mike Margetson, originally from Huntly, bassist Gordon Morrison from Macduff and guitarist Jason Dormer from Nairn. They talk about life in Argonaut...
1 What are the main pleasures of performing covers? Any downsides people wouldn’t suspect?
Jason: The buzz from seeing people enjoying themselves. We play a wide range of music and put our own take on a lot of the songs so to entertain an audience is for us the biggest thrill.
The downside...packing up at the end of the night! We play a three-hour long, high energy set which drains us physically, so the thought of spending another hour lifting speakers etc is a real thought.
2 How did you get your line-up together? Has it taken time and been as carefully tweaked as the perfect football team – or are you just mates who met through music?
Jason: The band was formed at the beginning of the year. Mike and myself had been playing together in another band, but we wanted to be busier so decided to audition for a bass player and lead singer. Gordon (who I had known for 20 years) answered my ad on Gumtree and came along to a session one night and musically it all clicked together. The search for a singer was more difficult as we needed an individual who not only could sing a wide range of songs, but also had the ability to perform and communicate with an audience. In my mind there was really only one person we wanted – so I contacted Martin and waffled to him for two hours on the phone. Again, like Gordon, it just clicked and within six weeks we were ready to play live.
3 Which song makes each of your hearts beat faster when it comes round in the set?
Mike: King of the Swingers – from The Jungle Book.
Martin: Pricetag/I’m Yours /Where Is The Love (mash-up) – Jesse J /David Mraz.
Gordon: Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd.
Jason: Message In A Bottle – The Police.
4 Having a Jason in the band, was the name Argonaut inevitable?
Jason: Gordon came up with the name. We were really struggling and were at the usual “scraping the bottom of the barrel” stage. It’s lost on most people, but also it’s a name no-one seems to be able to spell ... Argonot, Agronot, The Argonauts, to name but a few! The more meaningless the better, I think!
The band plays Mad Hatters, Inverness, on Saturday night and are also live at The Bandstand Bar, Nairn, on Saturday, February 1. Below is the band live back in November playing their Pricetag mash-up.