Scocha round off busy year with show at The Maltings


ALTHOUGH choruses of Auld Lang Syne won’t be heard until December 31, Scocha are hoping that people will be in the New Year party mood the night before when they return to The Maltings.

Despite being together for a decade it wasn’t until August that the Hawick natives made their debut at the Berwick theatre but as far as first impressions go they couldn’t have made a better one.

The show sold out long before the guys took to the stage and they definitely fulfilled their promise of a rip-roaring night.

So when tickets went on sale for their December 30 gig they were quickly snapped up and guitarist David Chapman said that he and his bandmates were looking forward to ending their 2010 in style.

Speaking to ‘In The Limelight’ he said: “Our gig in August was a great night. It’s a fantastic venue and the people who came along made sure there was a great atmosphere.

“We’d previously done a number of gigs in the Berwickshire area and a few of our fans from over the Border came across. Special mention must go to the Chirnside Tartan Army who brought a bus load along and definitely made their voices heard.”

And although with their broad Hawick twang and songs about life in the area, Scocha are most definitely proud Borderers, their music and on-stage banter has won them fans much further afield.

After a successful appearance at Tartan Week in New York, the group were snapped up to play at the Glengarry Highland Games event in Canada and even though there were miles away from home, David said there were still a few unmistakeable Borders accents to be heard.

“We had an amazing time in Canada,” he continued.

“We played to 15,000 on the first night and then 6,000 people in a beer tent the next.

“It all came about due to our involvement in Tartan Week. Representatives from various other events went along and someone from the Highland Games noticed us and approached us about getting involved.

“Even when we’re in America and Canada we still get people shouting out for certain songs and joining in with the words. There’s a lot of ex-Pats out there and a lot of Borderers. So we’ll often get people coming up to us saying they’re from Kelso or Galashiels.

“It’s nice when that happens as then you don’t really feel like you’re singing to strangers.”

David said Scocha’s performance style aimed to create “a house party on stage” regardless of the size of the audiences they play to.

“When we do a gig we want to have fun and enjoy ourselves and we also want the people who come along to have a great night too.

“The number of people in the audience doesn’t really matter to us. Obviously it’s nice to pull in a big crowd but we put just as much effort into our smaller local gigs.

“Sometimes they are better shows as you can make eye contact with people in the audience and have someone to target when it comes to jokes!”

Scocha’s show at The Maltings next Thursday will be the last one of an extremely busy year for the band and they are giving themselves New Year’s Eve off before starting 2011 with a bang on New Year’s Day.

“We’ve have been quite busy over the past couple of weeks with a few Christmas gigs. Fortunately, unlike some other events we haven’t had to cancel any shows because of the snow. We had one in Yetholm a few weeks ago and at one point it looked a bit doubtful but it ended up going ahead.

“We’re performing in Jedburgh the night before The Maltings so we’re having a break on New Year’s Eve. It’ll be good to spend some time with our families.

“But we’ll not be able to be too hungover as we’ve got a gig in Hawick on January 1. It’s become an annual thing and we treat it more like a jamming session.

“We’ll do all of our usual songs but then we’ll also sing some Green Day and Status Quo.

“We mix things up a bit which is good as it means that I get to have a go on the drums instead of just playing the guitar.

“We’ve been doing it for 10 years now and the place has become our very own Cavern Club.”

At their busiest Scocha played 72 gigs in one year but now that they can afford to be a bit more selective with their diary, they have been able to dedicate more time to writing and recording new material.

And David said Scocha’s new stuff had so far been going down well with fans.

“I would say that we’ve done about 40 gigs this year. That’s not as many as in previous years but now that we’re a bit bigger and more well known across the world we can be a bit more choosey.

“We’ve never been afraid to say no to gigs and our attitude is that it’s better to play once in a while to a full house than play all the time and people get sick of us.

“We’ve started work on the new album and if I’m honest it’s long overdue.

“There’s a real mix of stuff so far, some of which we haven’t actually recorded yet. I prefer to play songs for a bit before recording them so you get a real feel for them as songs do develop over time.

“There’s always a bit of anxiety when you air a new song for the first time but we’ve played a few of the new ones at our gigs and they’ve gone down well with audiences.”

Berwick may be a fair drive from Hawick but David said he is confident that the audience at The Maltings on December 30 will prove that geography isn’t a barrier when it comes to knowing how to party.

“To me Border folk are all the same whether they’re north or south of the border. They all have that passion and sharp sense of humour.

“We tend to just keep our broad Hawick talk to Hawick but I don’t think we’ll have to tone things down too much for Berwick.

“As well as going across the Atlantic we’ve done sell out gigs in Shrewsbury and Somerset this year and they didn’t have too much trouble understanding us!”