Musicians Coax an exciting new band into existence

For a band who have been together barely a year, Portsmouth's Coax are already turning heads beyond the city.

Tuesday, 11th April 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:36 pm

Comprised of four experienced musicians, the rock group are now getting ready to play their first ever hometown gig as they launch their debut EP.

Frontman Andy Muscat previously played with a band under his own name, but had wanted to put something together with old friend drummer Ben Kennedy for some time.

But Ben had been busy touring as the drummer in pop starlet Foxes’ band, including a stint supporting Coldplay in America’s stadiums.

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‘I’ve known Ben since I was a kid,’ says Andy, ‘through family, but also through music.

‘We’d always wanted to be in a band together, and we spoke early last year – he was really keen to do something where he could actually get involved in the writing process. With the session stuff you tend to get left out of the creative process.

‘The bass player, James Stephens, we both knew through sessions over the years, and the guitarist, Brian Flack, Ben met him through Facebook. We all got on really well, and in that first three hours we wrote a song together, and it’s spiralled from there.

All four are involved in the songwriting and with various different projects behind them, Coax is a blank slate.

‘We wanted to make this a brand new thing between all of us. We’ve had ideas from the past that we’ve not set to something that we might being to the others – a riff or a vocal melody. When we bring it to the band, that’s the best bit – one of the other guys will say that goes great with something I’ve got, and it all gels rather nicely.’

They’ve also received a nice early boost. They were picked as Vodafone Future Breakers after winning a competition online.

‘I was just scrolling through Facebook and something came up – I went on their website, I sent them a track and a few details about the band. A week later I got a phonecall saying they’d chosen us and they wanted us to come up to the Global building in Leicester Square and do a session for Capital and a radio interview and a video. They played some of it on air, on the Big Top 40 show, which goes out to 140 stations and about two-and-a-half million people.

‘It was out of nowhere, when they called me, I’d forgotten I’d even done it,’ laughs Andy. ‘There are so many competitions like that and you often don’t hear back from them, so you never expect to hear anything. To get that phone call was great.’

The band did a short tour late last year, but this will be their first show in Portsmouth, where they’re supported by Megan Linford and Sad Palace.

‘We’ve done a couple of other shows and we were getting the EP ready, so we said we should do something in Portsmouth. It should be a great night.’

The EP is available for download now. Physical copies will be on sale at the gig, or contact Coax through their Facebook page.

The Loft, Southsea

Saturday, April 15