Unsigned Wisbech band could land Top 40 hit

PUBLISHED: 17:26 12 October 2007 | UPDATED: 20:10 01 June 2010

Rob Knight. Pictures by: PETER UPTON

Rob Knight. Pictures by: PETER UPTON

EXCLUSIVE by TOM JACKSON THEY have toured Italy, will play alongside one of America s biggest bands on Monday, and looking to become one of the first unsigned bands to land a Top 40 hit. Wisbech-based band The First is releasing their debut single, Make L

Matt Smith. Pictures by: PETER UPTON

Special report by TOM JACKSON

THEY have toured Italy, played alongside one of America’s biggest bands, and are now looking to become one of the first unsigned bands to land a Top 40 hit.

Trevor Smith. Pictures by: PETER UPTON

Wisbech-based The First are releasing their debut single, Make Like A Tree, later this month. It will be available from internet music stores and can be pre-ordered now by text.

The five-piece band is made up of Rob Knight from Leverington, Trevor Smith from King’s Lynn, Tim Crane from Downham Market, Matt Smith from Watton and Sam Wood from North Creake, near Fakenham.

“It’s a hobby – but a serious hobby,” said Rob. “We write, record and rehearse almost every evening in our own studio.”

Three of the five band members, Rob, Tim and Trevor, met while studying music at the College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn.

Rob said: “We lost touch with each other after college and university but all five of us met at gigs and about a year ago, we formed the band.”

Since then the melodic rock group has toured Italy and most of the UK in an old van they bought from Rob’s dad, Richard. They then sold it back to Richard to raise money to release the single.

When on tour, they played alongside well-known bands such as Gallows and Wheatus, and played a supporting act at the Bloodhound Gang’s concert at the Waterfront, Norwich, on Monday.

Rob explained: “A support act pulled out and we were asked to step in after the Bloodhound Gang heard our demo.”

They have been featured in a number of magazines, including Metal Hammer, and were described in one feature as a band “with the ability to blend driving rock soundscapes with catchy pop melodies”.

The First have also been featured on the Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates’ Radio One Show.

The First have got the chance to make the Top 40, after chart rules were changed at the start of the year allowing digital single sales to count towards chart positions.

Make Like A Tree, available through internet music stores from October 29, will cost 79p to download. Alternatively it can be pre-ordered now, along with a bonus track, by texting TREE1 or TREE2 to 82822.

By texting TREE1, you will receive the single version of Make Like A Tree, accompanied by back-up track The Ballad Of on October 29. If you order TREE2, you will receive an acoustic version of Make Like A Tree, and a song called Say Something which will never be released again.

The band is also gearing up for the release of their first extended play (EP), Straight Through ’Til Morning, to comprise five tracks for release on i-Tunes on November 13.

Rob said: “We are hoping local music fans will support us in our bid to get into the charts - we only have until November 3 at the very latest to score our chart points so the sooner they pre-order now, or download the song as soon as it is released, the better.

“We may then get signed and be able to afford the van again.”


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