Suffolk's new pop hopes on horizon

THEY are named after a DJ who ruled the pirate radio airwaves in the 1960s and 1970s – but Suffolk's brightest pop hopes are tuned in to the 21st Century music scene.

By Jonathan Barnes

THEY are named after a DJ who ruled the pirate radio airwaves in the 1960s and 1970s – but Suffolk's brightest pop hopes are tuned in to the 21st Century music scene.

Five-piece group Rosco, who take their name from cult DJ Emperor Rosko , have already begun turning heads with their edgy pop-punk sound.

The Ipswich-based band release an EP next month and have secured prestigious industry gigs to push their talents.

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Their records have already been spun by the likes of legendary DJ John Peel and music papers such as the NME are starting to pen glowing reviews.

"Everybody is looking for guitar-based bands with a strong front woman," said singer Erica Nicholls, 27.

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"That window could be open to us at the moment, although the music industry is so fickle and heavily reliant on trends.

"But we won't compromise what we do. We will stick to our guns and hope against hope that our time will come."

The group got together through Suffolk's musical grapevine. Erica started writing songs with guitarists Adam Clarkson, 28, and Jel Hueting, 29, two years ago.

They recruited bassist Dougie Blackett, 29, and drummer George Fothergill, also 29, and began playing shows throughout the region.

Since, they have built up a formidable reputation on the UK's live music circuit, and played a storming set at the televised Children in Need showcase in Ipswich in November.

"I've been in a few bands before, but nothing as professional or experienced as this," said Erica, from Bildeston, who is the group's main lyricist.

"The music has lots of energy and it makes you feel good. There's some angst in what we write but it is empowering music.

"Our lyrics are based on real life situations but the sound could depend on how I'm feeling that day, or how Adam is playing a guitar riff."

The band are signed to Holier Than Thou records and managed by SLiKCuTsProductions. They released a single, Capital Star, last year which is also featured on the forthcoming EP, out on March 31.

Erica said the band hated to be compared to other acts but were most often likened to groups such as

Garbage and No Doubt. Her idols are Gwen Stefani, Shirley Manson and Annie Lennox.

Rosco enjoyed a successful UK tour last year and the most important date in their diaries is an industry show at the South Pacific in Kensington, London, on February 27 with upcoming group The Lockdown Project. They are arranging coaches for fans from Ipswich to travel to the gig.

"It's a cliché but playing live is what we are really all about. The reaction from a big crowd can make or break or you," said Erica, who also works freelance in public relations.

"Being in this band has its ups and downs. I would be lying if I said it was an absolute breeze. It's expensive, tiring and demoralising, but most of the time it's really good.

"We've all grown up together and we're coming from the same place. No-one is pulling in different directions and we're following our hearts."

She added: "I'm the only girl and the others look after me. There's been a few heated moments when I've been getting grief at a show. The guys are good to have around – like having four bodyguards."


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