Trio Strike a Match and hope music will blaze a trail in 2011

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COME On Gang! are hopeful that the imminent release of their debut album will make 2011 their breakthrough year.

The three-piece, based in Edinburgh, but includes Galashiels’ Mikey Morrison and Rob Howell of Peebles alongside Brighton’s Sarah Tanat-Jones, have announced this week that Strike A Match will be released on February 12.

And having already launched a single this year, Mikey can’t wait for the long-awaited album to be available to the general public.

He told TheSouthern: “We recorded the album from March until May with producer Paul Savage (who has previously worked with Franz Ferdinand).

“It went really well and I love the album. I am really proud of it. I just want to get it out there now for people to listen to.”

It was hoped the album would be available this year, but negotiations with various record labels came to a stalemate until an agreement with small label Straight To The Deal was made.

Mikey adds: “It was taking ages (talking to labels) and it seemed that we were going round in circles. We didn’t want to be sitting on the album for six months because we want to write new music.

“They are a wee label run by friends and have done a fantastic job with another band’s album which did very well. We are hoping it will be the same with us.”

Come On Gang! were always going to find it hard to top 2009, when they performed at South By South West in Texas and for US government politicians in Washington DC for their St Andrew’s Day celebrations.

But 2010 has been another exciting 12 months, most notably when they performed the most remote gig of their careers so far, on the tiny Hebridean island of Eigg.

Mikey explains: “There is a festival called Home Game in Fife and the organisers decided to hold an Away Game festival on Eigg. There were only 150 tickets available and they were sold out in six minutes. It was a great line-up which included King Creosote and British Sea Power.

“There were just 70 musicians, 70 islanders and the 150 people who bought tickets. Everyone on the island was involved and given a job to do.

“I think that was everyone’s highlight of the year. We were certainly shown how to party by the islanders.”

Other highlights include reaching the final five bands in the Red Stripe Awards in front of wild Scottish rockers The View.

The trio also performed at Edinburgh’s HMV Picturehouse as finalists in the Hog The Stage competition for a chance to play at the capital’s Hogmanay celebrations.

Mikey told us: “We got to perform at London’s Heaven nightclub in front of 800 people for the Red Stripe finals. Around 1,600 bands had entered.

“The lads from The View came along – they have been to a few of our gigs. I am quite surprised they like our music to be honest. They are mental but good guys.”

Having held a launch party for their single in The Cave in Edinburgh, Come On Gang! plan another for the album in the capital, followed by an extensive tour and summer festival dates.

And they continue to meet up with their best-known fan – a man in his 50s with jet black dyed beard and black velvet suit who calls himself the Duke of Darkness.

“He phones me every three months and asks for my recommendations on who to see at South by South West. He is a lovely guy and I would regard him as a mate now,” adds Mikey.