AFTER the gig of their lives in front of 3,000 people at London’s O2 arena last month, Kelso brothers Tamir and Orren Karp have vowed to return to play in Scotland in their Transit van.
Tamir, 24, and Orren, 23, are enjoying the positive reviews their group the Manic Shine’s debut album has received.
The rock band released Blindsider on the same day they performed in IndigO2 last month, a smaller but equally impressive hall within the famous Greenwich venue.
Tamir said: “It is a phenomenally huge stage with a massive sound which suits our music.
“We had not had an opportunity to play a venue of that scale until that night and it was a fantastic experience.
“When we got on the stage we felt like we belonged there.”
With a gig at the Islington O2 this Saturday as well, it is all a long way from being brought up in Kelso, where Tamir started his musical journey as a trumpeter.
But he insists his and Orren’s early life was vital to their promising current career.
He said: “We went to Kelso High when it had a fantastic music department with two amazing teachers, John Mabon and Harris Playfair. “They were integral to our development as musicians and we were in a band with Harris towards the end of our time at school.”
Aberdeen was the next stop after school for Tamir but thoughts of becoming a music teacher dissolved in the crisp north-east air.
“I didn’t really enjoy Aberdeen so I left,” said Tamir. “I played the trumpet at the time but got a free course in drumming at Edinburgh’s Academy of Music and Sound alongside Denis Lynch, who was a session drummer in the 80s with big bands such as Groove Armada and Texas. I have played the drums ever since.”
A move to London to complete a popular music degree led to Tamir, alongside Orren, linking up with Ozzie Rodgers and Hutch Hutchison to form the Manic Shine two years ago.
While still unsigned, the band members have normal jobs but hope that they will pick up a deal with a label soon in a highly competitive industry – provided it suits them.
Tamir said: “The reality is that London is jam-packed with bands. There are plenty of opportunities to play at venues but many don’t pay you as there are so many out there willing to jump on stage.”
As for signing with a record company, he says: “It is something we have to think very carefully about so we get the right label and right deal for us.
“We are facing the same problems any band in our situation has. It is difficult to get labels to develop you. The nature of the music industry at the moment is that it is hard to get something.
“If you put together your own album, which is of a high standard which can sell worldwide digitally, then you will get interest.”
But whether or not they sign a deal sooner or later, the group are planning to tackle Europe next year, as well as return to Scotland in their Transit van.
Tamir added: “London seems to be really into indie and electronic stuff at the moment, whereas Germany is meant to have a big rock scene. There is a rock audience in London but commercially speaking Europe may be a better option.
“We have a good fanbase in the Borders and have played there a few times.
“We have just bought a Transit van with seats in the back to transport us so we will definitely be up to Scotland.”
Blindside by the Manic Shine is out now.