AS UNSIGNED bands go, there can’t be many with a better track record than Stone Foundation.
The Midlands’ boys supported The Selecter and Buzzcocks on the Godiva Festival’s Main Stage on Friday and have just released another album nine years on from their debut.
And in the words of lead signer Neil Jones – it’s not only their best record but it feels like their first.
He caught up with the Observer’s Matt Bates just moments after an electric set on the Memorial Park stage.
IT’S APPROACHING 8pm on the Godiva Festival’s opening night and a soaking wet crowd is waiting for The Selecter and Buzzcocks.
But while the adoring fans wouldn’t be let down by their heroes later in the evening, it was the eight-piece band they had just witnessed who really caught the eye for many Festival goers.
Rock ‘n’ Soul group Stone Foundation really brightened up a soggy Friday night with their energy-filled set.
The band, whose members are scattered across the region from Tamworth to Atherstone and even Coventry, have been around in one form or another for a decade.
But it’s the group’s latest offering – To Find The Spirit – that has got lead singer Neil Jones more excited than ever.
“It feels like a first for us,” he told me.
“It’s really fresh, it’s easily our best to date and feels like a new beginning.
“Two new lads have joined the band – Gareth John on trumpet and Rob Newton on congas who is from Coventry – and they’ve just added a little lift to the band.”
A ‘mental’ year has not only seen them bring out the new record but also play in Japan, a gig so successful they could return before 2015.
Later this month they perform with Northern Soul star Nolan Porter – the nearest gig is in Leicester – and are booked for a top festival in Spain.
All that, and the lads still haven’t been snapped up a record label.
“I don’t think getting signed is an option now,” Neil admitted.
“We made a decision when we brought this album out to get distribution but not though a label. There’s no reason to do that anymore.
“You’re just paying people to do stuff that you can do – build your own team of radio pluggers, press people. That way you’re not having to cut corners and you’re doing exactly what you want to do.”
But the decision to go it alone does have it drawbacks.
Some of the group are lucky enough to be focusing on the music full time but for others a day job is still required.
“It’s hard work for a lot of the lads,” Neil added.
“You have to make ends meet and push the new record and tour – it’s hard work.
“But luckily there are eight blokes in the band who are just all really focused on getting good music out there.
“It couldn’t be going better.”
New member Gareth John has given a lift to the band, according to lead singer Neil Jones. (s)