by Margaret Chrystall
WHEN The Oxides appear at the Ironworks Summer Showcase on Saturday, it will be a radically different line-up to the one last seen anywhere.
The debut Friday 13th debut gig of the Inverness band back in 2012 featured singer and guitarist Jake Bolt, bassist Archie Stewart and drummer Duff aka Graham Duff – later joined in 2013 by Inverness guitarist Paul Elliott – PEL.
And in their time together, they played three Ironworks gigs, along with festival appearances at Belladrum, B-Fest, Liverpool’s IPO, goNorth plus gigs from Thurso to Liverpool, Perth to Aberdeen and Fort William to Drumnadrochit.
But after a break from last October, PEL left and Mikey Duncan – lead guitarist with Inverness five-piece City In Surveillance – joined.
But with drummer Duff finding his work commitments increasing, he also announced his departure shortly after.
Yet an ideal replacement came in Tom Forrester, formerly with Devil’s Queen.
Now after an intensive period of getting the Oxides existing set learned by both Mikey and Tom, The Oxides have found time to create new songs, want to have an album out by early next year and a single before that.
But they are left with a dilemma for Saturday’s gig.
Jake said: "With 50 per cent of the band new, it’s going to sound like a new band anyway. I’m looking at this as a first gig.
"It’s going to be like the first gig of a new band – and I’ve already got ‘new band’ jitters!"
The line-up is also still debating what to play. But with a short, 30-minute set time, they’ve decided to go for old favourites with just a smattering of new sounds.
Mikey smiled: "So it will be same old, but not same old."
Archie jumped in: "But it’s got a new feel. It’s a new bag, baby!"
Mikey said: "There are people who won’t have heard any of the songs ..."
Jake said:" We are in desperate need of new fans."
But Mikey immediately corrected him, not wanting to dismiss all the band's existing fans!
He said: "You mean MORE fans.
And laughed: "There’s nothing wrong with the ones we’ve got already!"
Jake cringed as he realised what he'd said: "I didn’t mean to alienate the ones we’ve got!"
But they're all likely to be on board, to get a long-awaited hit of the band's songs.And Jake’s first gig nerves are likely to have been soothed, as his bandmates spoke up for those songs.
New arrival Tom said: "There are literally no weak songs in the set that we can cut!"
Jake added: "We have a lot of songs – 23 or 24 – so we were looking for the A-pluses."
"The A double-pluses!" laughed Archie.
Jake grinned: "The A-stars!"
Even for the band, it’s hard to be able to say what the new line-up will sound like. Jake talks about Blackpool Narvana-compared band Darlia as the closest to the new Oxides sound.
Jake joked: "We’re the best Oxides tribute band ever..."
"Seriously, it’s like a brand-new band. It’s taken on a life of its own really.
"But it’s all about the feel."
He looked around the table at Archie and relatively new boys Mikey and Tom.
"All you guys are synthesising your own musical tastes into it. It feels like there is momentum."
Mikey said: "And it’s there for us to do."
The new Oxides formula is bubbling away in the test tube.
The Oxides are among the bands playing the first Ironworks Summer Showcase on Saturday. For full details, go to: www.whatson-north.co.uk
The band also plays Eden Court on August 30. You can like The Oxides on Facebook: facebook.com/THEOXIDES, hear music at: http://soundcloud.com/the-oxides Contact them on Twitter: @THEOXIDESMUSIC and hear them at: www.reverbnation.com/theoxidesmusic