Paul Kelly once wrote 'from little things big things grow', and never was a truer word written or perhaps sung. Consider all the bands that have slogged their way around the live circuit, performing to a hostile audience, before eventually becoming household names. The Beatles in Hamburg immediately come to mind, or perhaps Ed Sheeran is more applicable these days. I'm sure many of us at some point would have followed, or perhaps even known an artist who achieved some modicum of fame against the odds.
When I was in my early teens a friend of mine Steve (more on him later) and I went to see this new band in Leeds. There were probably no more than two hundred punters at the concert, but just enough to generate a great atmosphere. We arrived early for the gig, and I could see through a small window that two members of the band were still sound checking. One of the roadies noticing our zealous enthusiasm was kind enough to open the doors and allow us in to watch. Clearly the early bird catches the worm.
I remember the bass player was positioned a significant distance from his amp; casually pacing the dance floor as he jammed along with the drummer. As a fledgling bass player myself, to say I was impressed would be something of an understatement. He could actually play fretless bass and sing simultaneously, and he managed to make it look so easy.
I also remember the superb drummer powering away on the stage, much to the delight of my gig buddy, who was already a promising drummer himself. Such was the excitement the band generated that night, the gig culminated in a stage invasion, as we all jumped around to what remained of the music before the band fled the stage. The venue was Leeds Polytechnic, the year would you believe - 1979.
When I returned to school, I was raving about the concert, and how brilliant this new band were. Unsurprisingly, my enthusiasm largely fell on deaf ears; this was the post punk era, and most of my friends were into the Jam, The Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello. There was little or no interest in this unknown band with the strange name.
Well, about six months later, this very same band had reached number one in the charts all across the planet. As a result they would eventually claim the mantle of being the biggest band in the world, even outselling the Beatles at Shea Stadium. So, who was the band you might ask, or maybe you have already guessed.
Well, I'm sure you've heard of them, they were called the Police, and the bass player I saw jamming with Stewart Copeland that fateful evening, none other than Sting. Andy Summers arrived a bit later. The next time I saw the Police live in concert, there were over five thousand people there, and it was completely sold out. Many of my previously sceptical friends, were now big fans themselves, although not everyone managed to get a ticket such was the incredible demand.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, first of all, I've always been a fan of new music, and any artist's rocky rise to fame is something I find fascinating. And secondly, I've always been interested in who is deemed to be the next big thing. In the ever-expanding and wonderful world of kindie music, there are clearly many artists out there with significant potential. Fortunately these days, largely due to the Internet, it's much easier to get a sneak peek at the best new music around.
So who are my tip for the top in 2024? Well, if I was to narrow it down to just one band, then it would have to be Australia's very own Tiptoe Giants. Don't just take my word for it; their Spotify channel already has over 100,000 monthly listeners, and their music, as far as I'm aware is one hundred percent original. These girls have it all, the songs, the image, the musicality, and although I have never met them, they seem like very nice people.
Of course you always need an element of luck in this game, but I've always believed that you create your own luck. So remember the name Tiptoe Giants, because given the right circumstances, I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more from them in the future.
I'm sure if you are reading this blog, you may also have similar stories to this one. If you do, and would like to share them with me, I'd love to hear from you, but in the meantime keep your eyes on the Tiptoe Giants - world class entertainment coming your way. One more thing, if you are wondering what ever happened to my old gig buddy Steve Sidelnyk who was also at the Police gig; well, he ultimately became Madonna's go to drummer, as well as playing with Seal, Richard Ashcroft and a host of other big names. It just goes to show, you never know what's round the corner.
Tiptoe Giants - tiptoe to the top.