Exposure: Oscar Charlie
Oscar Charlie - Hello Chrono
Oscar Charlie are musical immigrants. The unsigned indie band came to Glasgow from the Shetland Islands as a trio riding on a wave of major label interest with the intent to furrow themselves a path into the mainland music scene. Along the way they picked up a keyboard player and seemingly replaced their indie-pop sheen with a more mature and complex sound, without comprising the undoubted catchiness. To fill us in, here’s front man and guitar strummer Reuben Quinn.
Why should people listen to you?
We like to think that we don't really sound like much else that's around at the moment. We've been lucky enough to avoid any serious responsibilities for the past year and we’ve had the chance to devote a lot of time to working on a sound that really defines us as a band, rather than copying anyone else. And we all listen to a lot of music, so our influences are quite varied.
How much has Shetland influenced the band?
I suppose that growing up in an environment so condusive to creativity let us form a band without already being cool and get away with it. We got a lot of support in the islands, and people involved in the scene up there are always up for putting things together.
Do you prefer gigs down on the mainland or homecoming shows back up north?
The shows down here are in some ways more of a challenge - there are simply so many bands that you have to keep up with. However, it's very rewarding winning over a room of total strangers who you see on MySpace the next day. That said, I don't think the other guys would disagree that the gigs back home are a lot of fun. We haven't yet been home since Jamie joined the band but we're going up in May for a proper homecoming. He's going to lose his Shetland virginity.
As primarily a bunch of islanders, how highly do you rate the Glasgow music scene, and do you feel you have fitted in well?
The scene in Glasgow is very busy - there's always a gig to go to. A certain sound is very popular among musicians here at the moment - I'll call it 'The Clyro' - which is all fine and good, but the bands that are really imaginative stand out. It's a friendly musical community so we fit well socially even if we're into different stuff to a lot of other groups.
Finally, if you could choose to support any band in the world, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Well, Jamie [Miller, keyboards] would say The Doors, no doubt. Peyote and speaking in tongues and that. Prince would be superb too, just as long as you didn't drown in his tiny shadow. And maybe Mogwai as well. Me and Jim [Bevington, bass] saw them - it was intense. But then who wants to commit complete career suicide? We'll say the Ting Tings.