Circle of Friends

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Some Portsmouth music fans might remember Trouble Shooter, many will remember The Elements and most will know of The Rubicon.

Now, the Southsea band which has gone by all these monickers is known as Blackfoot Circle and frontman, Jake Bezzina, promises this will be the final name-change.

Blackfoot Circle used to be known as The Rubicon

Blackfoot Circle used to be known as The Rubicon

‘We’re not changing our name ever again,’ he says. ‘But it had to happen. There are so many other bands and products called Rubicon that people couldn’t find us on the internet. The name was past its sell-by date as far as I was concerned, anyway.

‘Blackfoot Circle is more in keeping with what our music’s like now.’

‘Blackfoot’ comes from the title of a confederacy of Native Americans.

The band added the ‘circle’ part to symbolise the equality of each of its members.

Jake says: ‘It used to be about individuals. Me, Jack [Greenfield – drums] and Barrie [Hardman – guitar] have been together since we were really young.

‘Grant [Melin – bass] is obviously a solo artist in his own right and James [Hill – guitar] used to be in another band called The Rebel Ching.

‘We formed our own little alliance,’ adds Jake.

He describes his band’s music as ‘melodic rock with stories about the people we know and the place we come from’.

They have a wealth of material, because Jake has been writing for 10 years. He explains: ‘I write at least five songs every week and I write for other bands as well.’

He’s been in touch with songwriting supremo James Walsh (of Starsailor fame) on a regular basis since the band met him when he judged the Hard Rock Cafe’s battle of the bands. Then The Rubicon, they were named the country’s finest in the competition last year.

Also in late 2011, the band won a competition for a slot on the acoustic stage at Bestival.

This year things are ticking along nicely too.

They are currently working on music videos for a couple of country songs they recently recorded at Transmission in Brighton.

Jake says: ‘It’s going to be really cool. We’ve got a story planned out for it.

‘The music’s got a really rootsy sort of feel with tribal drum beats. It’s going to sound really big.’

And the last collection of videos they put on YouTube got 1,000 hits in just five days.

They’ll be recording more new material this month, playing a gig at the Wedgewood Rooms and playing at Surface Festival later this year.

‘We’ve got loads going on in the band at the moment,’ says Jake.

And what about the future?

‘It’s just a matter of us going out there trying to get the people who like us to come together. You’ve just got to try to get your stuff out there.’

See Blackfoot Circle at the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea next Saturday (February 18). Support comes from Gem and the Dead Heads, Lucifer’s Gold and The Strange Royan. Tickets cost £6 from (023) 9282 8282 or on the door from 8pm.

Listen to their track Scarlett online at