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The New Fab Four

The New Fab Four

Who: The Stands
Where: University - Bar on the Hill
Author: Jade Lazarevic
When: Friday May 7, 2004

LIKE THE BEATLES, THE STANDS are a four- piece from Liverpool.

And the similarities don't end there.

Before The Stands made their breakthrough, they spent week after week playing at a small event called The Bandwagon, similarly to The Beatles' legendary shows at the Cavern Club.

The Stands are also a favourite of OASIS star NOEL GALLAGHER, who is renowned for his love of JOHN, PAUL, GEORGE and RINGO.

Now The Stands look set to become the biggest thing to come out of Liverpool since the Fab Four with their debut album, ALL YEARS WAITING, garnering rave reviews around the globe.

Formed in 2002 by singer, songwriter and guitarist HOWIE PAYNE, the 28-year-old said it was near impossible not to get caught up in the city's vibrant music culture growing up in Liverpool, .

``In Liverpool, music is just like a bit of a way of life. Even if you're a bus driver, you'll be a singer as well,'' Payne said.

``In lots of other places your mum and dad will sit you down and say, ```C'mon, you've got to find a proper job,' but in Liverpool you say you're in a group and it's like, `Eh, great! When you playing?''' Payne formed The Stands along with STEVE PILGRIM on drums, LUKE THOMSON on guitar, and DEAN RAVERA on bass, creating a swirl of sounds which capture the spirit of THE BYRDS, THE BEATLES and BOB DYLAN.

The Stands frequented clubs and bars around Liverpool, namely at a free show called The Bandwagon, which was also home to the likes of THE CORAL.

``It was like our own little party. The Bandwagon allowed us to play long enough that people started getting interested in coming.

``Now you have to buy your ticket very early for The Bandwagon because it sells out so fast. It's become really well known.'' It wasn't long before they captured the interest of NOEL GALLAGHER who offered The Stands a spot supporting his Manchester band.

The Stands accepted the offer and Payne said the band has continued to share a close friendship with the eldest Gallagher brother ever since.

``We became friends after that tour and it was about three months later that Noel was asked if he'd play at The Bandwagon.

``It only holds about 250 people and Noel said, `Yeah, of course I'll play . th. th. but I'll only play if The Stands are on the same bill.''' Gallagher joined The Stands on stage and went on to provide guitar on the band's album, playing on the track SOME WEEKEND END.

Payne estimates the album took about three weeks to record in between the band's hectic tour from April and September 2003.

All 12 tracks on the album were written by Payne, who counts the likes of MILES DAVIS and GLENN MILLER among his inspiration.

``I write the songs but I kind of treat it in the way that an old-fashioned conductor would do it.

``You've got to get the best players to be able to get what you want musically. But even though I write the songs, it's kind of like I'm very lucky to have people that can interpret what I'm trying to do.

``I've been in bands with different people and the people I'm working with now are by far the best for me, definitely.'' ``Even though I write the songs, I think it sounds like The Stands rather than it sounds like me with a backing group.'' A lot of The Stands' time on the road has been spent touring with Australian rock outfit JET.

The Stands will join the boys on the THEE GET WELL GONE REVUE tour of Australia which will start tonight in Victoria and arrive at Newcastle University's Bar On the Hill on Friday, May 7.

``Everything has been wonderful for us. It's a bit like the best dream you've ever had and it's lasted for a few months. It's really, really good.

``We've never been to Australia before and we're just really excited about it.

``I could be cool and say, `Yeah, we're looking forward ot it,' but no, we're really excited. It feels like we're going on a holiday.'' Tickets to Jet and The Stands are available on campus from CYBERCYCLE.

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