The Chevin - is big music the next big thing?

The Chevin.
The Chevin.

YOU might remember me rabbiting on a few weeks back in this column about Live at Leeds proving that the guitar band wasn’t dead yet.

Well, there are certainly plenty of arty guitar bands around today, which I like, but they’re scarcely setting the world alight in the way U2 once did or Coldplay would like to (if they could) or The Killers would if they were less disco.

So the gap is there right now for an epic, properly mainstream, modern rock n roll band which means the time may be just right for the rise of The Chevin.

Hailing, as the name suggests, from Otley, this stirring four-piece sound like The Maccabees with extra oomph or U2 if Bruce Springsteen and Arcade Fire were writing songs for them.

Not that The Chevin’s lead singer Coyle Girelli has anything against arty guitar bands, as he told me earlier this week.

“I like arty bands but what I really love is good melodies and big tunes, what matters to me is songs and songwriters. The music we write and play is the sort of stuff we like ourselves but there doesn’t seem to be much out there at the moment.”

This rugged four-piece’s Live at Leeds performance capped an incredible last six months for songwriter Coyle Girelli and the rest of these ex-Prince Henry Grammar School students which has seen the following;

Being asked to tour with The Airborne Toxic Event.

Supporting White Lies on their winter arena tour.

Accompanying The Pigeon Detectives on a 16-date tour of Europe.

Appearing six times at the influential SXSW Festival in Austin in March.

For their forthcoming, self-financed debut album Borderland, The Chevin originally wanted to record in a forest but they had to make do with a desert instead.

Coyle explains: “I wrote most of the album a year and a half ago. The aim was to be cut off from the rest of the world when we recorded it. We were relying on our own money but LA producer Noah Shain heard our work on Fierce Panda and offered us his ranch studio in the desert outside El Paso which is right on the border of the drug wars. It was a bit crazy.”

Perhaps influenced by the romance of the moors overlooking their hometown of Otley, The Chevin combine the mystery of the landscape with powerful emotions and big tunes.

The reaction of audiences to their music sometimes surprises Coyle himself.

“We actually found it better playing arenas when we suppported White Lies on their tour. Our music comes across easier in a big space. It seems to be affecting people in a deep way.”

Anyone who is in any doubt as to the power and the glory of The Chevin, should pounce on Borderland in August which is released on So Recordings, an offshoot of Silva Screen Record. If you can’t wait ‘til then, check out their new single Drive online now.

The Chevin play The Cockpit in Leeds next Wednesday, May 23. For videos and links, visit

RIPLEYBlues are preparing to welcome a band hailed at Scarborough Blues Festival as “the best blues acoustic act in the UK”.

Playing upstairs at Ripley Town Hall on Saturday, May 26, BabaJack combine female vocals, slide guitar and rack harp.

More next week.

TOP local DJ king of the big beats Rory Hoy is certainly going to be busy this summer.

As well as appearing at Harrogate’s very own outdoors music festival over the Diamond Jubilee weekend (Dragongate Festival), Rory is also playing sets at York Carnival, CultureShock Summer, FEVA Festival and Manchester Pride. Recently a winner of a remix competition for Freshly Squeezed Music who specialise in something called ‘Euro Swing’, Rory’s agent is currently in LA pushing the youngster’s talents in the film and TV world. Rory has also started work on his fifth album.

For more information, visit

CONGRATS to Knaresborough’s long-running country & western music club which marks its 20th anniversary tonight, Friday with a special gig. To celebrate, Park Place Social Club’s John Latimer will be presenting top British country band C’est La Vie live.

For more details, telephone the club on 01423 863870 or visit

GOOD luck to Wetherby’s incredible modern pop diva Monkey Anna this weekend when she competes in the semi-finals of the UK’s Live and Unsigned competition at Huddersfield.

AND it’s also good luck to three local acts taking part in the House of Commons’ annual Rock The House competition.

The Crafters, Unknown Society and Chris Moretti were chosen by Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones.