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The Hashtag Revolution

The Hashtag Revolution may still be pretty new on the scene but there are likely to be familiar faces in the line-up.  Although they all have other band credits to their name, essentially you could describe them as half of the recently-disbanded Superjets and half of the Demimondaines.  With Mark Staton on drums, Marcus McInerney on bass, Danny Albon on guitar and Chris Wright on vocal and guitar, the band spoke to Yorkshire Coast Gigs ahead of appearing at the Raecreative multi-arts event on 31st August at Vivaz, and Acoustic Gathering festival in Peasholm Park in September.

Starting with how it all came together, Mark explains that he and Danny had been in bands together before as far back as 1999;  more recently Danny and Chris had been in the Superjets.  "We were initially producing original material, but with the kind of gigs we were doing, covers started to take over.  That's not a problem, but I like to feed both sides of my musical appetite.  The band sort of ran its natural course - it was all amicable when we split - but Danny had invited me along to jam with Mark and it clicked, filling that thirst for creating some stuff too."

It still was not an immediate perfect fit - they tried out a few other bass players before finding what they describe as their 'solid, proper' line up.  Mark asked his Demimondaines colleague Marcus if he fancied trying it out; "When Marcus said 'I'll give it a go', I did a little dance, I had a feeling it would work out," he says.

In terms of their style, they feel they are a product of the collective influences they all bring, and won't define themselves as one thing; Marcus adds, "We feel it's other people's job to define us, really, we'll just do what we do"; whilst Danny relates how they have their own style, and in his case, he feels he's inspired by everything he grew up with.  He loves bands like Led Zeppelin and 70's rock but has broad tastes, and is a 90's kid so a lot of dance and indie features too - he lists a reel of names from across genres and decades - The Twang, Faithless, The Police - with the group nodding a general consensus over Jeff Beck - admiring the 'darker folk-rock-pop' element.  Marcus has a passion for reggae and dancehall, Chris is partial to 90's indie and retro 60's, whilst Mark declares a love for 'anything good!'

When it comes to writing their material, it usually starts with a riff or a drum beat; they record their rehearsals so anything they jam can be worked on later - "it helps us pull it apart and then stick it back together" laughs Chris. He is the main lyricist but the music comes from everyone.  "I've tried many times to write lyrics but they always end up in the bin!  I think it's very much a separate skill" says Mark.  Danny loves the vibe, the buzz of a new song when it's all coming together. There is a clear sense from the band of enjoyment, excitement and positivity about their work.  "We're always writing - every practice is a jam" smiles Chris.  Mark compares it to the Demimondaines rehearsals; "yeah, in both bands, every rehearsal is also a fun jam - for me, that's when you know it's the right people you're in this with."

Having recently played at Seafest, Marcus tells me they were thrilled to then be asked to play at Acoustic Gathering.  "Of course, we need to change things up to go acoustic; I'm swapping my bass for keyboards, for example; it will still be the essence of the band but with different vibes".  It will be business as usual for the Raecreative event though, back at a venue - Vivaz Nightclub - where they have shone previously, with warm words coming from the venue proprietors.  Chris notes how they have a 'groove' that runs through their set, and Danny implores that they "want people to dance and enjoy themselves when they hear us".  Marcus agrees, it "gives you a load of energy back when the audience are grooving too; if no one dances, I would kind of feel like we've failed; for me, music is to make people out there happy, and the internal journey I get is a happy by-product." Mark recalls that they've even had people dance during a soundcheck, which made his night. They hope that the Raecreative event will bring their music to a new, bigger audience, acting as a springboard for their plans to venture further afield. Marcus explains that the night will feature live visual art, photo booths, rock and roll poetry and more, as well as the musical acts, which will see Hashtag Revolution appear along with recently reformed melodic hardcore punk-metal band, Our Own.

Their final message to gig-goers, worded by Mark, is simple and effective: "We just want more people to get out there and enjoy live music!"  The team here at Yorkshire Coast Gigs agree wholeheartedly with that.

Find The Hashtag Revolution on Facebook.

Facebook, Twitter and Website for Raecreative event, Vivaz, 31st August.

Acoustic Gathering - Facebook and Website.