The Guide Awards: Best Band winners, Fake Empire

They were runners-up last year, but this year the alt-rock trio returned to take the prize.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 5:23 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 10:42 am
Best band title winners, Fake Empire. From left: Simon Brookes, Les Black and Becky Bellinger. Picture: Habibur Rahman

But frontman Les Black admits: ‘We saw the nominees and I just thought there's some very popular bands on there. We’ve played with some of them as well, it’s anyone's really’

Guitarist Simon Brookes adds: ‘My catchphrase for ages has been “Always a bridesmaid, never the bride” and now, I’m a bride!’

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Last Saturday the band headlined The Fat Fox stage at Icebreaker Festival – the same event where they performed their first ever gig just two years ago.

And Simon praised the local scene: ‘It just feels really buoyant and exciting so we're really thrilled to be part of it and this is just a lovely thing to top it off.’

Les adds: ‘The local scene is really important because we've met loads of other bands through it. When we were doing this in the ’90s it was completely different, all the bands had a kind of rivalry that doesn't seem to exist any more.’

The band’s diary is already filling up for 2020 – they’ve got shows in the south of France lined up for later this month, then they’re supporting Magnetic Skies on March 20 at The Loft in Southsea, ‘and then’, says Les, ‘we've got some gigs that we're not allowed to talk about yet...’