Club rule okay ...

The Okay Social Club stand  together
The Okay Social Club stand together
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How can you call a social club with only four members a success?

Well you can if those four members happen to be Raff, Chris, Gordie and Mark of The OK Social Club, the next big thing in the Central Scotland music scene.

In a music interview first for The Falkirk Herald, the band presented the newspaper with special badges sporting the club logo.

“We’ve got our own t-shirts too,” said dummer Mark Feeney, former Five Park Drive stickman and, along with bass playing pal Gordie Burns, the last piece in the puzzle to create a truly great band.

“We’re really surprised at how fast things are moving,” said Mark. “We’re looking to get a UK tour and have a single to promote. We want to play all over the UK and then further afield if possible.

“That’s the dream.”

The OK Social Club was born two years ago when singer and strummer Raff met up with guitar star Chris Finn. They pinched the band’s name from an ill-fated weekly jam session they used to attend in Edinburgh.

Stories vary on how the band came by the manager who would take them to the next level.

“We saw him begging in the street,” laughed Chris. “He didn’t know what to do with himself after he left the army.”

Tommy Hamiltion, the man behind Falkirk-based music promoter Bulge, has a different account – he saw one half of the band, namely Raff and Chris, play a set at last year’s Wickerman festival and knew these were guys he wanted to manage.

Now with the addition of Mark and Gordie he’s certain he’s got hot property on his hands.

He said: “Mark and Gordie coming in has just freshened the whole thing up – there are four great musicians in this band now.”

Mark added: “Raff and Chris gel really well together – the combination just works. Some bands you can see it’s not going to be a long-term thing, but this has just clicked.”

Music is basically a way of life for all four members - Mark teaches guitar and drums, while Raff and Chris jacked in their jobs to concentrate on performing full time.

“Well we’re not really good at anything else,” said Chris.

Raff said: “I write the songs and the melodies, bring them in really rough and stripped down and the band then each add their own part to it. The songs are really pop, but the music is indie punk rock.

“We really like a lot of bands from the past like The Kinks and The Buzzcocks. When we went into record our songs we wanted to do all our parts separately, but the guy said just play together live, that’s when you’re best.”

Tommy said: “Pure energy – that’s the best way to describe them live.”

The new line-up’s first gig took place at Edinburgh’s famous Liquid Rooms.

Mark said: “It was weird to hear people in the crowd singing the songs back to us – especially since I hadn’t even learned some of them yet.”

“That first gig had real flying by the seat of your pants moments,” Chris admitted.

Tommy, an ex-serviceman, has brought his considerable organisational skills to the table and put together a barnstorming nine-date May tour which concludes with the Mad Ferret (Elgin) on May 27 and the Outback Bar (Stirling) on May 29.

The band plans to record three singles together and then release them one at a time before recording a full album of their own material early next year.

So things are off to a fast start, but the lads had better take the foot off the gas slightly as far as The OK Social Club van goes.

Chris said: “We drove it to two gigs and had two accidents – we’re two for two.”

Visit www.facebook.com/theoksocialclubofficial for more on the band.