New Young Band at Orkney Blues Festival 2011
New Stromness band, The Vagabonds, had a baptism of fire with three gigs in one week – their debut in Orphir the week before, an appearance at the Orkney Blues Festival, which ran for the weekend of September 23-25 and the Archie Foundation Fundraiser in Finstown. The Blues Festival like to support young bands and Bad Taste and Slow Ride were also featured. The Vagabonds comprise Alexander Harrold (vocals), Ross Campbell and Ross Hamilton (guitars), Theo Prendergast (electric bass) and Ian Clouston (drums). These five talented lads, who all learned at Stromness Academy, are gifted musicians and have an awesome stage presence.
They played to a packed house at the Legion in Stromness on Saturday afternoon. The set was tight and well-prepared and the band handled tempo changes that were masterfully led by Theo on bass and Ian on drums. Ian also plays classical percussion and is a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. Solos by both Ross’s on lead guitar made for variety and a chance to display different retro style guitars. Ross Campbell's solo in, "All Your Love", by John Mayal and the Blues Breakers, was particularly impressive. The Vagabonds like to mix a blues sound with vintage rock and play classics by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Singer, Alexander, has a great growly Blues voice that was particularly emotive in, “Don’t Believe a Word”by Thin Lizzy. After a full hour of non-stop playing, the band still had an impressive encore at the ready that will have helped to build their fan base for future gigs.