Growing fanbase is perfect start for Eyemouth's Gallas*

BERWICKSHIRE might just have found its own supergroup in the form of GALLAS* from Eyemouth.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 17th February 2010, 9:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2010, 9:32 am

Jim McGowan (lead singer), Lewie Harrison (rhythm guitar), Ciara McGowan (bass) and Keith Kench (drums) have been together for less than a year but have already got a fanbase that would have many up and coming local acts turning green with envy.

They have 620 fans on Facebook, performed to 250 people in Glasgow Town Hall on Saturday and look set to pack out The Tavern, in Eyemouth, next Friday, February 26, when they play a free gig there.

Things are moving at a fast pace for GALLAS*, but frontman Jim said so far he is thoroughly enjoying the ride.

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"Everything has just exploded recently, it's been amazing. We started doing some acoustic stuff about a year ago and after some phenomenal feedback we decided to get a full band together.

"We had our first gig at 'B in the Bear', in Berwick, alongside The Briganties and we got a really good reaction so we decided to go for it.

"We played at Berwick Golf Club a few weeks ago for what was just meant to be a bit of a rehearsal but before we knew it, two buses full of people came along."

The cold snap in January left many people with cabin fever and fed up that they could barely get out of their front door, but for GALLAS* it produced the perfect opportunity to network and write some new songs.

Jim continued: "Most people were frustrated with all the snow but we decided it to put the boredom to good use and set up a page on Facebook.

"We've now got 620 fans and it's a great people to let people know what we're up to.

"From Facebook alone, we've got 160 confirmations for The Tavern, gig which is fantastic. Normally if you go into the pub on a Friday there'll be 20-30 people so we're going to lift the roof off.

"We are really grateful to Douglas for letting us play and it's great that it's free entry. We want as many people to come along as possible."

Nearby Berwick has a thriving music scene at present, with the likes of Espionage of the Loc and The Warehouse Announcement firing on all cylinders and Jim said he hoped GALLAS* would soon be mentioned in the same breath.

"We've got lots of friends in Berwick and it's fantastic to see so many bands doing well. When we did 'B In The Bear' we played alongside The Briganties and they're a really cool group.

"It would be great to get Eyemouth on the map and give the town a band to be proud of. We keep on telling people that it's their band and we want to show everyone what the town is about.

"Keith has played in about 10 bands over the years and he says Gallas* has got now what it takes many other bands years to achieve.

"I count myself so lucky to be playing with such fantastic musicians that can build an idea for a song into a complete number in no time."

Jim is GALLAS*' chief songwriter but rather than sitting in front of the fire with a notepad or listening to other people's albums to get ideas for lyrics, he says his ideas will come to him when he least expects it.

"People used to laugh when I told them this, but a lot of our songs were written in 10 minutes on a serviette. I get a lyric in my head and I've just got to get it down.

"I got the idea for one of our latest songs in my sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and started writing it and it has become one of the tunes I love to play."

Whether they're written in a restaurant or in Jim's bedroom, GALLAS*' songs have been going down a storm across Scotland and Jim said the best feeling ever is having people sing your own songs back to you.

"We're inspired by a lot of acts from Stereophonics to The Killers all the way to older bluesy stuff and I know Lewie is influenced by Clapton and Hendrix.

"Covers of songs like 'Fans' by Kings of Leon and 'On A Day Like This' by Elbow always go down well at our shows but we also get a lot of requests for original songs such as 'All I Need Is You' and 'Hell or High Water' and it blows me away how people know all the words to them.

People have also come up with catchphrases such as 'let's go GALLAS*tic'.

"I'd like to think that GALLAS* play something for everyone. We don't want to tag ourselves as Coldplay-type band; one minute we'll do a song that'll make people want to jump on tables and the next we'll slow it down with a dark, gritty ballad. We like to keep our audiences happy."

With all of the band fully committed to the GALLAS* cause, Jim is confident that the future is bright for the band and says they are ready to give the music industry their best shot.

"I believe in this band 100 per cent, we've got some fantastic musicians and we just want to go for it now and make a name for ourselves."

To catch GALLAS* in action get yourself along to their gig at The Tavern next Friday, February 26 and in the meantime look them up on Facebook to keep up to date with all the latest news.